Author: Rainer Knizia

Publisher: RAVENSBURGER 2005

Awards: none



G@mebox author Marco Klasmeyer writes about the game:


King Arthur rules over Britain. His knights, the twelve Knights of the Round Table, are loyal to him and abjure the secular duties in order to begin the quest for the holy grail. During their long quest they have to survive dangerous fights and exciting adventures in order to gain glory and honour.

Each player fights against enemies and opponents with his knight cards. Defeated enemies can be used in the course of the game to gain valuable adventure cards and hence collect victory points. Therefore being successful in gathering these adventure cards gives you a good chance to win the game.


The card game King Arthur consists of 53 knight cards in three colours, 44 antagonist cards of four kinds, 13 adventure cards and 25 signets in five colours. The 13 adventure cards are placed face up at one border of the table. They show different pictures of treasures, weapons and honourable events. They display values from 6 to 20 victory points and show different conditions to obtain the appropriate adventure card. The antagonist cards are shuffled and placed as the supply stack. Afterwards the antagonist cards are drawn one by one and laid face up in the middle of the table in a row for each colour of the antagonist cards. This is repeated until one colour row has reached the number of four antagonists. The knight cards are also shuffled, each player obtains four cards at start-up and the rest build the supply stack. The signets are only needed for the advanced game modus.

After the game has been set up, the players start their turn clockwise and have the following options in the given sequence:

  1. Draw antagonist cards: whenever all rows of antagonist cards have less than four cards the player on turn may draw so many antagonist cards that a colour row has four cards again.
  2. Defeat an antagonist: a player can only defeat one visible antagonist at a time. He can do so by playing knight cards of one colour with a total value equal to the value of the antagonist card. The colours of the knight cards are independent of the colours of the antagonist cards. A knight card can show one or two knight symbols representing its value. It is allowed to play more knight values than needed. Special knight cards show Merlin, the wizard, which can be played as an arbitrary coloured knight card with a value of one. The knight cards are discarded and the antagonist card is taken to the hand of the player.
  3. Take an adventure card: a player can choose to complete a quest and take the appropriate adventure cards. But he has to fulfil the condition shown on the adventure card. Conditions are for instance antagonist cards with a specific amount, total value or colour or any combination of these characteristics. The higher the value of the adventure card, the more difficult is the condition for the quest. The used antagonist cards must be discarded and are out of the game. The adventure cards have to be placed before the player, visible to all the other players.
  4. Draw a knight card: a player can draw one card at the end of his turn or even two cards, if he has passed all other possible actions. If the supply stack is used up, the discard stack is shuffled again.

The game ends immediately when the last but one adventure card is taken or the player defeating the last antagonist card finishes his turn. All players count their adventure card values and add the values from their possible antagonist cards on the hand. The highest score wins.

Advanced Rules

In the advanced game modus, each player obtains also five signets. The game follows the normal rules except for defeating antagonists, where a player has three additional options:

  • normal attack: the player has to play the required amount of knight cards to defeat the antagonist. BUT instead of taking the defeated card to his hand he places one of his signets onto the card. Only when all antagonist of one coloured kind are marked with a signet the appropriate knights can take the antagonist cards.
  • repeated attack: If a player attacks an already defeated antagonist card, marked with his own signet, he has to spend the appropriate amount of knight cards again. But in this case he immediately obtains the antagonist card.
  • double attack: This is a combination of the both possibilities above. If a player plays immediately twice the needed amount of knight cards, he can immediately take the antagonist card.


King Arthur is a nice little card game in the context of its "big brother" - the board game King Arthur which is also made by RAVENSBURGER. Like in the board game the players have to complete quests and thus gain honour and glory. The standard game works simple and is explained in five minutes. Nevertheless there will be a real competition among the players for the most valuable adventure cards. At the end of the game when only few adventure cards are remaining, it is really hard to get the last honour points, because the game ends before the last card is distributed. So one can defend its pole position by fishing away the cheap ones and hence prevent the others from getting the very last precious treasure. Also when you plan to complete a special quest, you have to carefully select the antagonist cards to defeat and collect for the appropriate quest's condition. But besides all planning it might happen that your opponent player catches it just before your turn!

It is important to mention that King Arthur can also be played by two players having the same fun as a bigger group of players. It is a fine tactical card game in the advanced game mode. The advanced game mode offers much more tactics and it makes collecting antagonist cards much more complicated and expensive. With only two players participating, the advanced game modus is not recommended, because it is too foreseeable. But with three or more players participating it will be hard to tell, when your defeated antagonists are finally added to your cards.

The design is kept quite simple, but this is OK for a card game. Only the signets are only printed one-side, which I personally find a bit disturbing.

Overall, the game offers some good playing fun, and it is certainly more strategic than the electronic boardgame version.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany