Game Review: King’s Forge

KingsForgeKing’s Forge
Game Salute, 2014

So last time I wrote about my legendary terrible dice rolling, so you would think that this game would not be for me. The game comes with 91 dice! Toy value: awesome. It also comes with a nice plastic anvil first player token.

But, strangely, these dice seem to like me better, and I really like this game. The premise: Crafters wanted! The king was forced to behead his King’s Forge (blacksmith) due to the crafter’s annoying affinity for flatulence puns. (Not kidding). So now the position is open, and you are competing for the position. The first person to craft the required items (number varies on number of players), will win the coveted title.

This is a dice-pool-building game. You start out with a pool of 5 metal (black) dice. Each round is played in 3 phases: The Gathering phase, the crafting phase, and the clean up phase. During the gathering phase, you use your dice to purchase other dice, die roll bumps and other such game play events. Then you take the remainder of your dice, during the crafting phase, roll them, and use those dice to purchase the items you need to win the game. During the clean up phase, you return all the dice to your pool, add in the dice that you purchased during the gathering phase, the first player token moves to the next player, and you start over again. Pretty simple, but the game has a good amount of strategy.

Depending on the number of players, you will have a different about of Gathering cards available for purchase, and each card has 2 distinct options to choose from. There are more gathering cards and craft cards than you use in a single game, which gives the game lots of options for good re-playability. However not all cards are balanced, and as we found out in our first game, the wrong distribution of those cards can make for a frustrating game. (Bad? Maybe not. More challenging? Definitely) We had an abundance of craft cards that needed blue dice, but no gathering cards that produced blue dice. There is a balancing aspect though. There are 4 “docks” tiles. They allow you to “kill” dice (return them to the main supply) in order to gain a benefit. This is costly because it removes dice from your supply and you don’t get them back. We used the dock tile that supplies blue dice a lot. You “kill” any 4 dice to get one blue dice. Two people per round can use this phase, but the 2nd player has to “kill” any 5 dice. We had to have blue dice, though, so this gave an interesting dynamic to the game play.

I like this game. It’s got nice art, decent gameplay, and did I mention that you get 91 dice? And a cool plastic Anvil? It plays nicely to the theme and I can’t wait to play it again. The game is currently listed as $40 and there is an option to buy an “unnecessary, but totally cool game board” for another $10. Check it out on BGG as well, there are some variants and a solo game option. The game is just out, and already people are asking for expansions! Recommended!