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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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Gibson's KINGMAKER

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21 May 2023 01:46 #339391 by Dr. Mabuse
Any KM fans out here? I've been seduced into buying a copy after seeing a couple of videos by Ricky Royal from Box of Delights. I don't recall seeing any discussions here about it in the past.
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21 May 2023 13:09 #339392 by Cappster_
Replied by Cappster_ on topic Gibson's KINGMAKER
I know the Dice Tower is a forbidden topic, but they just released a 'at the Table' episode (on their normal DT podcast feed) featuring Alan Paull.

He spends a lot of time giving a brief wargaming in the UK history, and talks pretty extensively about Kingmaker and the changes he's made as a developer for the new version.

I found it very fascinating, especially because Tom and Eric let Alan dominate the show. I've heard of Kingmaker, but his interview put it on my list of games to try in the near future.
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21 May 2023 13:48 #339394 by Msample
Replied by Msample on topic Gibson's KINGMAKER
I have never played the original. Its certainly been around for a very long time. I do wonder if this is more nostalgia than anything else. I certainly never heard players familiar with the game pining for it to be reprinted/improved etc.

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21 May 2023 16:16 #339396 by Dr. Mabuse
Replied by Dr. Mabuse on topic Gibson's KINGMAKER

Msample wrote: I have never played the original. Its certainly been around for a very long time. I do wonder if this is more nostalgia than anything else. I certainly never heard players familiar with the game pining for it to be reprinted/improved etc.


There are some elements like diceless combat/seiging, negotiation, random events, the Parliamentary phase where players vote on available titles and the acquisition, and or execution of Royal pieces are quite appealing to me. This new edition seemed to have been developed with a contemporary gaming eye. I'm really looking forward to it.

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23 May 2023 01:54 - 23 May 2023 02:01 #339410 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Gibson's KINGMAKER
I used to play a lot of it back in the early 80's. IIRC, it tended to devolve into ginormous stacks of nobles glaring at each other and trying to catch nobles off guard when they get summoned away from their stack to take care of some problem or the other, such as Pirates to Pevensey. Eventually someone gets bored or lucky with summoning or frustrated, and decides to try to end the game.

Combat is diceless, but it is still random. Each card has the odds that would let the larger stack win, such as '3/2' or '5/4'. If you win you get the loser's nobles, and you can do what you want with them. That usually means beheading, since there isn't much to negotiate with. Why should I take 30 Flemish Archers and a ship when I can completely cripple you in the game. There are the names of three families on the cards, and win or lose those particular nobles die in combat.

We never did advanced Parliament rules, because it seemed to be a lot of complication to get to the same results that the basic game got you.

The map is nice. I've forgotten all the English geography I memorized by playing it.

I'd play it again, if beers or mojitos were involved, but I'd give a lot of caveats to people who've never played it before. It's a 40+ year old game, and it shows.

ETA: Picking up an heir is no more complicated than running it over with a noble. There are some rules about having nobles from both factions, which are basically, "You have a turn to get down to a single faction." Leave it loose on the board (no reason to do that), trade it, or behead it. The designer's notes mention that this is ahistorical, but giving heirs agency made the game too complicated.
Last edit: 23 May 2023 02:01 by RobertB.
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23 May 2023 10:49 #339411 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Gibson's KINGMAKER
Isn't the original interminably long?

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23 May 2023 10:55 #339412 by dragonstout
Replied by dragonstout on topic Gibson's KINGMAKER
Big old design diary here:

Kingmaker the 2nd: design diary

It describes how the revisions drastically reduce the length of the game.

I have always understood the game as being both very well-respected by some, thought of as a dinosaur by others. Chris Farrell semi-often brings it up as an example of a multiplayer conflict game that solved some of the issues of those games that many games since haven't. The design diary shows that a lot of thought was put into "fixing" it WITHOUT turning it into a "modern game" (while the classic version is still playable in the new edition as well).
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23 May 2023 11:41 #339413 by Dr. Mabuse
Replied by Dr. Mabuse on topic Gibson's KINGMAKER

dragonstout wrote: Big old design diary here:

Kingmaker the 2nd: design diary

It describes how the revisions drastically reduce the length of the game.

I have always understood the game as being both very well-respected by some, thought of as a dinosaur by others. Chris Farrell semi-often brings it up as an example of a multiplayer conflict game that solved some of the issues of those games that many games since haven't. The design diary shows that a lot of thought was put into "fixing" it WITHOUT turning it into a "modern game" (while the classic version is still playable in the new edition as well).


Yes, exactly. They also added a prestige point variant which also aids in cutting down the playtime apparently. I'm also looking forward to the solo mode.

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23 May 2023 12:33 #339414 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Gibson's KINGMAKER

Gary Sax wrote: Isn't the original interminably long?

'interminably' is a strong word. It was long, though. I remember it taking three or four hours.

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23 May 2023 22:53 #339428 by Dive-Dive-Dive!
Replied by Dive-Dive-Dive! on topic Gibson's KINGMAKER
I played Kingmaker several times in the 70s. I’m in the “it’s a dinosaur” camp. For the time, it was a beautiful game with unique mechanics and play style. We desperately wanted to enjoy it, but it often dragged on and on — so, nearly interminable — and seemed to include lots of aimless wandering about. As RobertB said, it seemed to try to encourage negotiation, but without any real incentives. Perhaps we weren’t good players.

We were used to long games — Empire of the Middle Ages, USN, and Space Centurions V all got several plays — but this just seemed longer than it was worth.

Having said all that, I still have our old copy, and I’d very happily try the new Edition.
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24 May 2023 22:48 #339448 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Gibson's KINGMAKER
I forgot to mention this feature, which was kind of neat, You can loan another player as many nobles as you want, and they get control. This is useful for letting two smaller players beat up on a bigger player. Either side can break that alliance, and those two stacks can't attack each other for a full turn.

The advanced game also had a semi-tactical combat system, where you split up your stack into Left, Right, and Van. We didn't use it much because it just made a long game longer.

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