In a fertile land fraught with danger, great kingdoms compete for valuable resources. But evil lurks in the murky swamps and haunted graveyards – hazards a savvy ruler would best avoid. Can you lead your kingdom to wealth and glory?
Kingdoms is a fast-paced, strategic board game in which two to four players assume the roles of rival kings trying to increase their wealth by establishing castles across the land. By building castles in the richest regions, you stand to reap the most rewards. But build carefully! The most sought after regions may be infested with dragons, trolls, and other hazards that seek to rob your kingdom of its riches.
Designed by Reiner Knizia (Ingenious, Lord of the Rings: The Board Game), Kingdoms offers a rapid and strategic contest of wits in which players attempt to outthink and outmaneuver each other, all while ensuring the best positions for themselves. First published by Fantasy Flight Games in 2002, Kingdoms has been updated in this comprehensive new version to feature detailed plastic castles, a streamlined ruleset, and other welcome game enhancements.
A Land of Opportunity and Danger
Kingdoms is played over three rounds, during which players position square tiles onto a grid that represents the land’s many resources and dangers. On each turn, a ruler may place one of two components onto any open space on the grid:
- A castle, which claims the points in both the row and column in which it sits, or
- A randomly drawn tile, which raises or lowers the total point value of its row and column.
In this way, players vie to place their all-important (and ever dwindling) supply of castles in the best possible positions, while positioning negative value tiles near opponents’ castles to lower their scores. The result is a deep, strategic standoff in which victory often comes down to the final tile!
But the realm is full of wonders beyond mere villages and marauders. In addition to the standard resource and hazard tiles (which clearly display positive and negative values), a limited number of special tiles are also shuffled into the pool. When placed wisely, these special effects can quickly change the fortunes of a hapless ruler.
Gold Mine: A highly coveted prize, the riches from this subterranean reservoir can be used for good or ill. The gold mine tile doubles the value of all other tiles in its row and column, regardless of whether those tiles have a positive or negative value!
Mountain Tile: These majestic peaks are virtually impassible, cutting off commerce wherever they appear. When a mountain tile is placed, it divides its row and column into two separate parts, each of which is scored separately. This can be a great advantage, cutting your castle off from negative tiles that would otherwise decimate your score... but mountains can just as easily block off much-needed wealth.
Dragon Tile: Woe to the king that faces the wrath of the dragon, for no good comes from this destructive tile. In any row and column in which the dragon appears, resource tiles (positive values) are ignored, while hazard tiles (negative values) are still counted. In short, the dragon destroys only that which is helpful to your fledgling kingdom!
Wizard Tile: Previously available only as a promotional item to lucky convention attendees, the powerful wizard is included in this new version of Kingdoms. This potent spellcaster is a valuable ally to any ruler; he increases the rank of adjacent castles, multiplying their scores.
Each round proceeds until the board’s thirty spaces are filled with a combination of castles and tiles, after which each row and column on the board is scored, with gold awarded to (or taken from) each player accordingly. Amass the most gold over three rounds, and you’ll claim dominance over the realm!
Quick to play, yet offering a wealth of strategic challenges, Reiner Knizia’s Kingdoms offers a satisfying and engaging battle of wits, all in roughly half an hour. The land is ripe for the taking, but only the cleverest ruler will spread his kingdom across its vast expanse. Can you rise above your rivals?
20 - 40 minutes
2 - 4 players
The copyrightable portions of Kingdoms are © 2012 Dr. Reiner Knizia & © 2012 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Kingdoms is a trademark of Dr. Reiner Knizia. Used under license by Fantasy Flight Games. All rights reserved.