Saturday, August 23, 2014

Systems Saturday - Feudality (2011)

Playing Feudality (2011) is always a treat.  As often as not, I get the chance to play it with the game designer, Tom Wham.  When he is going to be at one of the small conventions I attend, I always look to see if it is on the Sunday morning schedule and sign up right away.  I've tried a number of strategies and have as much fun not winning as I have winning.  This is a good thing, since I have only won a couple of times in dozens of attempts.  Earlier this week, our friend Dave was in town from Colorado and we played several games, wrapping up late at night with this excellent Tom Wham game published by Z-Man Games.  We used both the base game and the hard-to-find expansion.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
A long time ago in Europe, ages were pretty dark. The distribution of wealth back then left a lot to be desired. Greedy people banded together to take things from other people so that the rich could get richer and the poor could have even less. Twas ever thus. Step into the middle of the normal state of human affairs as a Baron or Baroness somewhere almost in Europe a long time ago. Thanks to your birth you have a lot of little people working to make you richer, and you, in turn, are doing your best to make your king even more prosperous. If you do things right, you might someday be king.
Each player starts with a Fiefdom Management card, divided into 64 squares (49 of which can have tiles played on them. Into four of these squares you deploy your Keep, in which you will put your fortification of some sort, and your soldiers. Elsewhere in your land you deploy assorted resource gatherers and buildings in an effort to grow, prosper, and score victory points. Along the way there may be wars, invasions, tournaments, taxes, and a lot of other nonsense.

I have found with this tile placement /resource management game that despite the luck of the dice being a fairly prevalent factor, being able to over-produce a single resource can be immensely helpful in staying competitive.  I've tried being heavy on victory point tiles and leaving my fortifications fallow, but the one thing that has always been true in my own game play, having better-than-solid production in at least one resource has led to me being within a point or two of victory or even winning.  I have also come to the belief that building up your fortifications early can lead to a quick victory but can also strain your resources if the dice aren't going your way (or at least staying neutral).  Check the game out if you get the chance and grab one for your own collection.

A look under the hood of various Games, Rules and Systems.
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