Chairman of the Board: Little conquerors

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‘Tiny Epic Kingdoms’ review

By Ed Appleby, Illustrator

Board games are fun, but some are difficult to play outside. Paper counters have a tendency to fly away and a lot of little pieces can get lost. This game comes in a great travel size and has the added benefit of being able to explore huge tracts of land from the comfort of your own table.

Tiny Epic Kingdoms is a strategy game for two to five players designed by Scott Almes and published by Gamelyn Games in 2014. Players control a fantasy race and attempt to gain the most victory points by growing their population, researching magic, and building their tower. One player chooses an action—build, research, patrol, etc.—then all players execute that action in sequence. The game ends once a player fulfills one of the end game criteria and there aren’t any more actions left in the pool.

The rules for play are extremely simplified. Each faction can guide you in how you play the game—whether you focus on building, war, or research—but the choice is ultimately yours as there are several ways to score points and win. Every victory point in the game is hard won, so games are often close.

The gameplay length can vary quite a bit. Some players can rush to start the endgame while others can delay the endgame until they max out points. The war mechanic is also very unique, with players having to contribute resources to their war effort, which are taken whether they win or lose. During a war action, players can also ask for peace, which will allow both players to form an alliance and occupy the same spot. Although some players may ask for peace, only to make war on their unsuspecting opponent.

Tiny Epic Kingdoms combines the strategy elements of Risk and Settlers of Catan in a very small box. Don’t let its size fool you—the versatility and re-playability of the game is extensive. I would recommend the game to any group looking for a fun and versatile strategy game.