I purchased Kingdom Builder almost 2 years ago now and it has been a hit from the very first day of play. My wife, friends and I have played countless times and have loved every game of it. But it is a game that I had yet to play with my kids until two nights ago that is. I mentioned the game in my article on teaching kids strategy using board games here as a game I aspired to play with them. On Tuesday they asked to try it and I jumped at the opportunity.
Kingdom Builder is a construction game in which players take turns laying down house-shaped tokens that represent settlements on a playing field filled with hexes. The playing filed is randomized with each new game as are the rules for scoring. Players place their settlements in a fashion that will garner them the most points for the current game, with scoring calculated at the end of play. The game is over once one player runs out of settlements to place.
I have to admit that I was nervous when we started playing. The rules are so simple that a threenager could play it (if you don’t happen to have kids you will understand the reference once you do) but with the shifting in scoring conditions and playing field, the tactics can be close to those of chess (I said close chess players 😉 ). Amazingly, once I demonstrated how to score, the kids took to it like a duck to water. The three scoring cards we drew were Hermits, Citizens, and Miners, meaning that you score points for each settlement cluster, for your largest cluster and for each settlement built beside a mountain. To my surprise, my children played to these right away and in the end did very well, with my 4-year-old son coming in second right behind me!
We will continue to play this game for a while to see how they react to the different scoring cards but for now, I’m considering this a success in the “teach kids strategy” column.
If you are interested in Kingdom Builder, click here.
Until next time, have fun!!!!