Claim KINGDOMS Royal Edition
One day at a Friday afternoon we were surprised by our door bell. When we saw the mailmen with a pretty big box we were confused at the beginning, because we didn’t remember ordering anything. But when we opened the box and saw the postcard from White Goblin Games saying to have fun trying out this new game, we understood that we just received another review copy! Excited as we were, we immediately checked it out, and this is how it went.
How to Play.
Claim KINGDOMS Royal Edition has a fast setup and easy to learn rules. Randomly place an equal amount of the double sided war maps on the table, as the number of players. then shuffle the nine treasure cards and place a treasure card facedown on each ruin (the rocks) on the war maps. Each player chooses a color and takes the ‘followers’ and score token in that color. Then place the scoreboard and put a follower in each color of the players that participate on the number one. You can place the remaining followers close by. They will be your supply to claim factions. Create the draw deck. The rulebook shows how many factions to take depending on the amount of players participating. It is wise to choose factions with different value. Once you have chosen your factions, shuffle them and place one card in the middle of the play area on one of the war maps. Then give each player one card and place three cards face up to function as the display. The remaining cards will be placed next to it as the draw deck. You can also give each player a reference (aid) sheet to see what each faction is doing and how best to use them.
On your turn you will play a card, activate your faction power and take a new card. You will always have a maximum of one card in your hand. On the start of your turn, you play this card on a space on the war map and place one of your followers on it. The card must be adjacent to another card on the war map. This means in the first turn, the first player has to play his card next to the starter card that you placed on the war map during the setup. You can never place a card outside the war map or on a tile that has a skull and bones icon on it. You can place your cards on special tiles. A catapult will allow you to eliminate a follower from an adjacent card. A mill will let you place an extra follower on the card you have just played. A swamp will make you lose one point and a castle will make you gain one point. Lastly the ruins hold a treasure you can activate only once, like gaining two points for example. If you place your card on these special action fields, they immediately have to be activated.
After you have played your card and placed your follower on it, you can choose to activate the power of your faction. Factions can give you immediate bonuses such as gaining points, but they can also give strategic choices such as swapping your follower with a follower from another card for example. If you have more followers on a faction then your opponents, you gain control of that faction, so the ability’s of the cards you play could come in handy in many ways.
If you gain or lose immediate points because of your faction or a special action field, you move your follower on the score track. You can never have a negative amount of points. After you have played your card and used your ability, you take one new card.
The game ends directly when a player doesn’t have followers anymore, the draw deck is empty, or when the war maps are completely filled. Then the scoring begins. You can score points for controlling the map, or controlling factions. You control this if you have more followers on the map or on a certain faction. The player with the most points wins the game.
Playtrough of the game.
This game is so much fun and it doesn’t take up much time. It’s a light strategic game that works well in party’s to because it’s so easy to learn. With Claim KINGDOMS Royal Edition you can really annoy your opponents because you can block them greatly with moving their followers, using your abilities and placing cards in the right spot at the right moment. On top of that, the game also looks like a lot of fun with a unique design for each faction. The rules of the faction can at some times be a little confusing, check your reference sheets regularly and when in doubt, we found it best to communicate with each other how we thought the rules should be played, so that we always came to an agreement.
The best part is the replayability in this game. Every time you start a new round, you will have different maps and fractions. But Claim KINGDOMS Royal Edition also provides an alternative way of playing as you can play with only cards an without the maps. With two players, we found the game rather short as we run out of followers quite quick. But this was easy fixed with a made up house rule that we pick up four maps instead of two and use the amount of followers for two players. This means one player has the green and blue followers for example. This created not only a longer gameplay, but also even more replayability and more factions. Mind that this is not in the rulebook, this is a variant we made up.
Claim KINGDOMS Royal Edition is a fast paced strategic light game with a lot of fun and nice art. This game works well with two players, but if you play with a group of four this game also provides a lot of fun. It has a lot of replayability since there are a lot of factions and the tiles are double sided. The game even has different variants to play. So if you are in the mood for a fast strategic game. Claim KINGDOMS Royal Edition is the right choice.