The King’s Dillemma is yet another legacy
game, where you have to meet your friends
weekly, for months and months and months.
This time the game is a bidding malarkey,
wherein events in a fantasy kingdom are revealed,
and the outcomes of which are subsequently
bid upon by the king’s advisors.
each player represents one of these lordly
lads (or lady-ettes). Said lords must keep
a beady eye on the state of the kingdom, its
wealth, morale, and so on, while simultaneously
pursuing their own hidden goals.
The bidding section involves throwing cardboard
shield influence things into a pile. you also
have cardboard money which
you can throw at things, usually other players
to bribe them to vote in your favour. or invest
in some get rich quick scheme.
a single game lasts the career of a single
king, and usually ends when he dies. though
it can also end if the kingdom becomes too
unstable, or strangely, too stable.
in any case, at that point, totals are tallied,
effects are recorded, and it all begins again.
the two cores of the game are, firstly, the
evolving stories of the kingdom, randomly
revealed from a deck of cards that is refreshed
each game from
the legacy staple of sealed decks, and, secondly,
let down by the fact that it not really clear
how much any particular
effort at influencing the kingdom really benefits
The primary scoring involves two tallies whose
value are difficult to judge; one acts as
a kind of consolation prize for players doing
badly, but what this means in the end game
is entirely unclear.
i should clarify i did not read the rule book,
but the person who did expressed quite strongly
that exactly what strategies one should
pursue were not clearly expressed.
this eventually led, after 4 games, to some
players losing interest in the bidding process.
the latter was exacerbated by the fact that
the winner of 3 of the 4 games was the most
conservative player of all, who
rarely contributed to a bidding process, and
primarily hoarded money.
On a positive note, a single game is quick,
spanning 30 to 90 minutes, depending on efficiency
of play. And the events are
funny, intriguing, and well written, and personally
make me want to play more.
6 out of 8 henries.