Dates played: February 21, 2019 & February 23, 2019
Gist of the game: Use domino tiles to construct a 5×5 (3-4 players) or 7×7 (2 players) kingdom. Tiles are constructed as dominoes, with two domains per tile and adjacent tiles must share a domain (water, wheat, cave, forest, etc.). If you cannot make an adjacent play, the tile is discarded. Some half-tiles have crowns, which will give you points when all the tiles have been exhausted. The player with the most points (combination of number of crowns and size of domains, that is, how many like-pieces are connected).
Color commentary: There’s a mechanism to call dibs on the next round of four tiles that I’m convinced we’re not executing correctly, but M insists we are (or at least are executing correctly enough). For the sake of our marriage, we modified the rules a bit so that in a two player game, Player 1 chooses the first tile, Player 2 chooses tiles two and three, and Player 1 gets the leftover tile as their second piece. M calculated that otherwise, the player who got to choose first always won the game.
Given my affection for Carcassone, Takenoko, and Tsuro of the Seas, I might just be a sucker for tile-laying games, but after we got the dibs-calling order sorted out, I like this game a lot. Pre sorting out, I was a little stabby.
The shuffling of the tiles between games and the dibs-calling means that there are a lot of possible combinations of kingdoms, so I feel like this is going to have a lot of replay potential. M has requested that we just keep it on the table so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. Not even Groo received this honor, so you know he must be a true fan.
Playing this makes me want to introduce M to Carcassone (we have the Big Box at our disposal), though, and go on a tile-laying binge.