You are the Lord of a small kingdom, looking to expand and gain new lands. Wheatfields, forests, mines, deserts, meadows and waterfronts are all ripe for the taking. The only problem, other lords are vying for the same lands, and plotting to undermine your kingdom!
Kingdomino is a tile drafting and tile placement game. Where based on the number of players in the game, you will remove 3 – 4 tiles from the box and placed number side up. Players will arrange these tiles with the lowest value at the top then going down. Once this is done, tiles are flipped over revealing the land side. These lands are formatted like domino pieces – hence the name of the game – one half with one land type and the other half as another or possibly the same. Once you flip over the tiles, you may notice that the rare land types are generally always at the bottom. These lands provide the most point multipliers on each single tile at the end of the game but are risky to select because there are so few of them.
The crowns on the land types represent how much you multiply the number of tiles connecting. For example, if there are three forests connected with 2 crowns between them. You multiple 3 (the number of forests) by 2 (the number of crowns) to give you 6 points.
Tile selection works as follows: the first player will select one tile she would like to draft by placing her corresponding meeple on it. The next players in turn order will go until all tiles are drafted. Once the tiles are assigned, players will reveal and arrange a new set of tiles with the same procedure listed above. Now the player whose meeple is first takes their tile and adds it to their kingdom then placing their newly freed meeple onto the new set of tiles effectively creating a new varying turn order.
Now there are a few rules to consider. You can only connect sides to similar sides. Meaning you can’t connect a forest to a desert. The exception to this rule is when you connect a tile to your castle, as your castle acts as wild tile.
There are a few variants in this game. Dynasty, where the game only lasts three rounds. The Middle Kingdom, where players gain 10 points if their kingdom is in the middle of their grid when the game is over. Harmony, players gain 5 points if their kingdom is complete and there are no discarded tiles. Finally – my personal favourite variant – the mighty duel where 2 players use all 48 tiles in the game attempting to complete a 7×7 kingdom rather than a 5×5 one.
Art and Components
The art of this game is reminiscent of Portal Game’s Imperial Settlers which is a personal favourite of mine. The characters and the structures on the tiles are fun and cute and reflect the simplicity of the game. The components include 48 tiles, 4 kingdom castles and a handful of meeples. Simplicity at its finest. The box for the game is very functional, holds the tiles in place and makes it easy to shuffle for each play and easy to remove from the box when refilling the tile pool.
Bruno Cathala is a board game titan with an impressive list of games under his creative belt. 7 Wonders Duel, Five Tribes and now Kingdomino. This a game with important decisions that must be made. The variants and scaling of players make the game playable for 2-4 players. This is a quick game to learn and play, but tricky to get the
hang of. It’s great for couples or young gamers and the price point is really affordable when you consider sheer quality of game you’re getting for its modest price.
Tile laying is a very common mechanic, what are some of your favourite tile laying board games?