This session we are still only three, Richard is back from skiing in Colorado but Steve got stuck in Birmingham. Anyway, it was Richard's choice and he chose a game he bought at Essen 2005, King's Progress, and this was the first playing. After the success of Steve Kingsbury's City & Guilds this is the follow up. Here is a brief description courtesty of BGG.
This game is based upon the typical life of a late medieval English court. Many Kings came under the influence of a select inner group of courtiers who used their influence to gain gifts of land, titles, money etc.
This game recreates the desperate race to get the best and the most gifts for yourself. The game is played over three rounds; each round the King visits a royal castle or house (The Kings Progress). Your aim is to gain the most prestiege for your family by collecting courtier cards, melding them to build your influence and thus gain control of the courtiers, advancing those courtiers to the royal castle and then using the courtiers to select various gifts for yourself. Gifts and courtier control gain victory points at the end of each round. As the game progresses gifts become more valuable. Each courtier also has a character ability which can be used by the player in control to gain extra actions or other advantages.
The board and components
I had printed out the rules and read them on the train on the way home so had a vague idea of what it was all about. Richard started going through component list and we thought that we had some cards missing. We definitely had two King Cards and two lots of King destination cards. After some head scratching we realised that the Courtier ability cards and Minor Control cards were double sided. Doh! A trifle misleading but printing costs probably was the deciding factor. So after we had read through the rules, which seemed a bit confusing, off we went.
Have we got all the rules right.......er no!
You are allowed to perform 2 actions out of a choice of four: Advancement - Build - Collect - Discard. You can perform the same action twice.
Advancement - move a courtier on the board one space
Build - play influence cards to the table to build melds of courtier cards, person with the highest build gets the ability card, second highest gets minor control
Collect - pick up one influence card from the 3 card display
Discard - discard the topmost card from one of your builds
Each courtier has a special ability that if you have the ability card you can use at the beginning of your turn, once the ability is used it is exhausted until control changes hands then it becomes available to the new owner.
The game consists of 3 rounds and the King moves to a different location each round, the idea is to move the courtiers to that location and then pick up gift cards. These consist of money, land, titles etc. Whenever 5 courtiers reach the Royal Court or the King marker reaches the crown on the king track the round ends. The players with minor control can then choose from the minor gift display.
This is obviously only a brief description of the game, and as we discovered halfway through the game had played several rules wrongly or ignored them altogether. I enjoyed the game despite coming last by one point, obviously the rules we got wrong would have made all the difference and I would have finished with a better score had we got it right :)
Final board position
Richard 41, Garry 31, Colin 30