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Kingswood Preview

Quick Look: Kingswood

Designer: Henry Audubon
Artist: Tristam Rossin
Publisher: 25th Century Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2-5
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 10 - 25 min

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of Kingswood. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.


tl;dr: Bop around town then go kill baddies. Come back, repeat. Get famous.

Getting to the Game
Remove the five basic locations, and from the remaining seven special locations, randomly choose one. Shuffle these six locations and deal them out, forming a circle in the middle of the table. Remove cards from the monster deck appropriate to the number of people playing, separate chapter 1 cards from chapter 2 cards, shuffle separately and then combine, chapter one cards on top. Deal the top three monsters face-up near the created deck. Each player chooses the guild they're going to fight for, and gains that card's starting resources. Time to venture into the wood.

The goal of Kingswood is to become the guild with the most fame. To do this, you'll need to kill monsters. The player with the most fame at game's end, once someone has reached at least 20, wins. Nothing to it but to do it.

Playing the Game
When it gets to be your turn, you'll choose one of two actions: Either exploring or collecting. If you choose to explore, you'll get to pick the location that currently has a meeple on it, perform the action of that location, and then move the meeple to the next location around the village, in either direction, taking the action of the place where you stop. This rondel-like action selector is brilliant, and serves up some delicious tactical options. Alternatively, you can collect: The King's Guard Pawn is going to be following the players around town, and you can remove it from town in order to collect two gold. This prevents the next player from collecting, as the King's Guard isn't in town to collect from. 

The only way to win is to gain fame by defeating monsters in the forest, so everything you do is geared towards being efficient in that realm. The rotating adventurer meeples further push players towards having to either wait for more opportune times, or force their actions through the use of gold. In actual play, you find yourself at the mercy of your wallet more often than anything. Getting into the forest isn't always readily done because of where the meeples land, and gold allows you to move further around the village than just next door. Keeping in mind that wherever you stop also allows the next player to take that action factors into your calculations as well, so there's lots of tactical thinking in play. 

Kingswood plays very fast, and with the right group, can be incredibly cutthroat. Don't be deceived by the seemingly simple gameplay - once players' guilds have upgraded swords and spells, the battle over what's left in the forest after every turn is totally relevant. Just because you *can* defeat the Moon Sprite doesn't mean you should as you'll refill the forest and perhaps not be able to do anything about it. Whereas leaving that little one fame creature behind is one less slot for a larger monster to become a juicy target for your opponents. 

Artwork and Components: 
Rossin's artwork does a great job of evoking a light and playful forest, while still convincing you to kill these beasts. There isn't a ton of art - cards with the same name have their art re-used, which may or may not still be the case when the game ships. It's entirely possible that there are additional assets waiting for the final print run of the game. That being said, what I have in front of me is perfectly delightful, and would suit the filler-nature of this title. 


The cardstock in use here is pretty standard stuff, but the preview tokens I have are pretty light. Of all the upgrades I'm hoping for, I wish for these the most. With the amount of time you'll spend flipping and gaining them, they deserve to have a little more heft to them. I'm not too worried about that, though, as tokens are some of the first things to get upgraded in a KS campaign.

The Good
Fun, light gameplay with solid tactical decisions. Plays quickly. Decisions feel relevant.

The Bad
Not as deep a dungeon-diver as some might want. Art and components are question marks. Overall table feel is just meh right now. 

Kingswood brings just enough meat to feel like an exciting experience on the table. It stops short of being truly must-play, though, as what you'll do is pretty repetitive. The playtime is perfect, ending just as you start to feel like you "get it." I'm giving Kingswood a score of For the Love of the Fame.

Check out Kingswood on:


On KICKSTARTER now! Campaign ends May 16, 2019

Nicholas Leeman - Reviewer

Nicholas has been a board game evangelist for over 10 years now, converting friends and family alike to the hobby. He's also a trained actor and works summers as one of the PA announcers for the St. Paul Saints. He lives in Minneapolis, MN with his board gaming wife and son.

See Nicholas's reviews HERE.
Kingswood Preview Kingswood Preview Reviewed by The Madjai on April 25, 2019 Rating: 5

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