Designed by: Casey Willet and Aaron Yung
Published by: Black Locust Games
Two factions rival one another, each fighting for a purpose, ready to wage war against one another. The Archangels, angelic beings of light, fight for tranquility and all that is just. The Fallen Angels, angelic beings of darkness, wreaking havoc with great evil. Both factions rely on the elements, including their angelic abilities to achieve victory and defense in battle. Both forms of angels may even come to reach Earth, influencing it’s inhabits for the necessity of special benefits. Both factions will stop at nothing to defeat the other by way of invasion of one’s homeland. If the archangels succeed in the invasion of the realm of darkness, all may find peace. If the Fallen Angels succeed in the invasion of the realm of light, all may suffer in misery. The question is where will you stand when choosing your Kingdom?
Kingdom is a two-player card game in which players each play as an angelic faction, trying to defeat his or her opponent by way of gaining victory points through invading one’s kingdom. Each player will attempt to achieve this by summoning Angels to attack and defend against his or her opponent, including using the elements known as Pillars, and action cards known as Angelic Scripts. The objective in Kingdom is to be the first player to score 35 points by way of invading your opponent’s kingdom. Players score points based on the numerical rank value of an Angel that successfully invades a kingdom. Players must also strategize to defend one’s kingdom, as his or her opponent will attempt to do the same.
Before explaining how the game plays, one should note that this is a written preview and rules, game board, and art are subject to change. To begin, each player will receive a deck that includes Angels, Pillars, and Angelic Scripts. Players will also receive cubes to keep track of scores on the board, and a power stone to keep track of one’s power also on the board. Both a player’s score and power starts at zero. Players will shuffle his or her deck, placing it in the proper spot on the board, and drawing seven cards as a starting hand. Under special circumstances, a player may declare a mulligan, enabling an opportunity to draw a new hand. The game includes a set of movement cubes for players to keep near the board for each player to use. The Fallen Angels act first.
In turn sequence, players will go through a series of phases to complete a turn. At the start of a turn, the player will draw movement cubes equal to his or her current power value or at a minimum of one if a player’s power is zero. Next, the player may play one Angel face down on a starting zone space. An Angel that is face down is currently inactive. A player cannot have more than five Angels on the board. The player may play Pillar cards onto Angels by paying the cost of the Pillar cards, using one’s power. A Player cannot stack multiple Pillar cards onto Angels. Then the player may activate one Angel from a previous turn by turning it face up, making it active. Angels have special abilities, and some trigger when activating the Angel.
The player can then spend movement cubes to move active Angels on the board. A player cannot pass through Angels or end movement on a space that already has an Angel. Angels each have a movement allowance and players cannot exceed this unless using Angelic Scripts that alter movement rules. The Player may visit Earth by stopping on an Earth space on the board, gaining a special benefit specific to that space. If an Angel attempts to enter a space with an opponent’s Angel, combat ensues.
Each Angel has a special elemental attack for each orthogonal and diagonal direction on the board. Players will compare the elemental attacks to see who will be victorious. The combat system of elemental attacks uses a rock, paper, scissors mechanic. Fire beats Earth, Earth beats Water, Water beats Fire, and Infinity beats all elements. In cases of a tie, the Angel’s numerical rank value will break the tie with victory going to the highest ranked Angel. Defending Angels equipped with a Pillar gains the elemental ability and rank bonus of the Pillar during combat. However, attacking Angels equipped with a Pillar gains only the rank bonus. If a tie in combat cannot break, both Angels defeat each other in combat. Defeated Angels go to the discard space on the board.
In the next phase of the turn, the player can burn (discard) Pillar and Angelic Script cards to gain power. The amount of power gained relates to the cost value of each card burned. In the final phase of the turn, the player will draw his or her hand back up to four cards, or draw at a minimum one card if he or she has more than four cards. Players should note that at any point in time during one’s turn or even during an opponent’s turn can play Angelic Script cards by paying its cost in power. Angelic Script cards are action cards that can enable different types of enhancements to give a player an edge. Players will continue to take turns until one player is the first to score 35 points. A player scores points equal to the value of an Angel’s rank when he or she can move an Angel onto the opponent’s kingdom space. The player also gains any additional points buffered by abilities or an equipped Pillar card’s rank bonus. The player will remove the Angel and any equipped Pillar when scored from the game. When a player scores, he or she must also reset his or her power back down to zero.
Kingdom is an interesting card game that requires strategic planning and thorough balancing of management with regard to a player’s turn. Players are likely to finish Kingdom in about an hour. When playing Kingdom, players will find that the game possess various points of the tug-of-war thought process. Does one save valuable Pillar and Angelic Script cards, minimizing accessibility to movement cubes for having low power? Alternatively, does one burn Pillar and Angelic Script cards to increase power, enabling accessibility to movement cubes, but now lacking opportunities for beneficial enhancements? Other balancing elements relate to when a player should play or save an Angelic Script card, or when to attempt movement onto one’s kingdom. Both decks are identical in terms of Angel abilities, Pillars, and Angelic Scripts. One may think this would cause a lack in variety, but such is not the case. The game requires enough strategic planning and balancing to enable variety in play, including variability with the randomness of a shuffled deck. Another concept worth noting is in how the game works even-handed such that a player losing can bounce back, take the lead, and even win. Through repeated plays, such circumstances occurred in a few instances.
From an artistic perspective, Kingdom does well to identify the visual apparent differences to establish contrast between both angelic factions, defining a significant feel in the rivalry of both kingdoms. The Archangels have White cards unique in design, along with a white power stone, and cubes. The Fallen Angels in contrast, use black. Even the board displays significant visual differences with the score tracks, power meters, and kingdom areas with the Archangels located in the heavens above the mountains, and the Fallen Angels deep below the Earth. As previously stated, this is a written preview and some of these designs may change.
Fans of card games, such as Summoner Wars and Cabals will find interest in Kingdom because of its skirmish type feel in card play. Fans of card games that require hand management and the balancing of variable player powers will also likely find interest in playing Kingdom because it often requires such planning. If you are interested in Kingdom, please check out the Kickstarter page http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1281146833/1003677068?token=81a35d7f to learn more about the game.
MOST RECENT EPISODES