Design: Dirk Henn
Number of players: 2
1 small gameboard, 52 wooden power stones printed on both sides, 24 powercards, 8 herocards and 1 crown.
The goal: Collect as many points as possible by conquering area's.
Preparation: The empty gameboard is placed between the players with the kingscrown in the centre. Both players get 4 hero-cards. The other cards are shuffled and each player gets 5 of them. These are placed face-up in front of the players. The other cards form a deck.
A gameturn consists of perfoming 1 of the following 3 actions:
Play a powercard: Each powercard must be oriented with the crown you see on top of the gameboard. On every powercard you can find a direction and a number. The player moves the crown in the indicated direction and moves exactly the number of spaces shown. The crown cannot move of the board or move to an occupied space. The player places a stone in his color on the empty space.
Take a new card: If a player has less than 5 cards, he can take a new one.
Play a hero-card: When you play a hero, you also play a powercard. Now you can move the crown to an occupied space and turn the stone to your color.
The end: As soon as no player can move or if all the stones are placed, the game ends. To determine the winner, you count the areavalues. An area consists of all the stones that are connected with at least a full side. The value of an area is equal to the square of the number of stones in the area. So an area with 4 stones has a value of 16. The player with the highest total amount, wins the game.
Valuation: Rosenkönig is another 2-player game in the Kosmos series. It looks good and I think it's a worthy exetension to this series. I haven't played it yet though. I've played the game once. At the start we didn't have a strategy and just played some cards. The lower value cards were the most interesting to build adjacent stones. After a few stones were placed, the higher cards got more interesting and you had to look at the cards of the opponent to block him. We both concentrated on building a large area and we both succeeded. One stone more in an area made the smaller areas of the opponent worthless. Then the game suddenly approached the end and the last stone was placed. I'm not very excited about this game. It has enough possibilities to play it more often though. Satisfactory.
Strategy: It's obvious that the bigger areas score more than the little ones. Two areas of 3 stones each are worth 18 points, but a area of 2 and an area of 4 are worth 20 points and in both cases 6 stones are used. And also there are the face-up cards. You can look at the cards of your opponents, but he can look at your cards too. Don't forget to use the information. It's important to keep your options open for movement and on the other hand you try to block your opponent. Don't use your heroes to early. They become rather important in the endgame.