Published by: Rio Grande Games
# of Players: 2 to 4
For Crown & Kingdom does not contain many components. This is true to many abstract strategy games as they tend to focus more on gameplay rather than theme and components. I found however, For Crown & Kingdom did a good job with delivering some theme through it's components. Each player has 5 different emissaries that are on wooden discs with a male sticker on one side and a female sticker on the other. Each player also has support tokens that they will placing on the outside of the board. The support tokens along with coins and board regions are made of cardboard that you punch out. The quality was standard and had no issues punching any of it out. Each player has a player aid that explains what each emissary does and what bribes you can make and for how much. The rule book is designed very well and explains everything in detail. Everything is organized well and made for an easy learning process. For an abstract strategy game, I thought For Crown & Kingdom did a good job with it's components and delivering some theme.
For Crown & Kingdom has players taking turns using one of their emissaries with the ultimate goal of getting support tokens in each of the regions on the map. The number of regions is based on how many players are playing. Each map tile has a side with one region and a side with two regions. Each region has it's own special action that can be used by the Scholar emissary. Players during their turn will do up to 3 steps. A player can first put a bribe to allow them to do something special during their turn like move 1 less step or use a character's ability. After the player decides to use a bribe or not, they will move one of their emissaries. The amount the emissary moves is based on how many emissaries are currently in the same region as the emissary you want to move. If your emissary is with 3 others including other player's emissaries, you would move 4 spaces. 1 for your emissary and 1 for every other emissary in that region. You always move clockwise unless you do a bribe that lets you move in the other direction. You can not move less than your what your total movement is, unless you use the bribe that lets you move 1 less than you would.
I knew absolutely nothing about For Crown & Kingdom before it randomly appeared on my doorstep. That is a shame because this is a very fun and strategic game. If you are a fan of abstract strategy games then you should be a fan of this game as well. The amount of brain burn that went into my decisions for turns reminded me of Chess. You really need to think ahead and also keep your opponents in check. At first you may think this is easy as you get the first 3 quarters of the regions with support, but then suddenly it hits hard. Those last 2 to 4 regions you need suddenly become very challenging to get as players can more easily block you from placing support tokens. The 2 player game is very competitive head to head, while playing with 3 or 4 players can be chaotic but still very good. I love how easy this was to learn and teach. This is a game that can be enjoyed by a teenager and your grandparents. This has definitely been a surprise hit for me in 2016 and hope more people get the chance to play this. I would gladly recommend this to anyone who wants a chess like experience or a game that is easy to learn but has lots of challenging decisions. For Crown & Kingdom is for sure staying in my collection.
+ Easy to learn and teach
+ Lots of brain burning decisions
+ Decent amount of theme in a abstract strategy game
- Some of the pictures of the emissaries can be mistaken for other emissaries
- board becomes very busy with 4 players