Tom Lehmann

AMIGO 2006




Gamebox author Marco Klasmeyer writes about the game:


The players take the role of applicants at the royal court. In order to put through their concerns they need great power of persuasion to get the assistance of influential members of the royal household. Starting with the skivvy or the lady's maid up to the royal couple - everyone has their own possibility to help you, if you can only convince them of needing their support. Your powers of persuasion are represented by dice in this game. Each player starts with three dice. Each turn, you throw the dice, put at least one dice aside and throw the rest of the dice again - as long as all dice have been put aside. If the result of the dice meets certain conditions, you may buy special character cards. These cards give you additional dice or extra skills. The player who throws at first seven of a kind, may gain the royal couple's support and may thus become the winner of the game.



The game consists of 60 character cards, one start player token, 12 dice and 5 double sided overview boards. The character cards are divided into 5 categories starting from basic characters (category 1) like farmer or skivvy up to the very powerful characters (category 5) like the royal couple. Each character requires special dice throws to be purchased (printed on the left corner) and offer in turn additional capabilities to the player (printed on the right corner).

The start player begins each round, the other players follow clockwise. During his turn a player takes initially 3 dice and throws them. These currently thrown dice are further called the active dice. From the active dice, the player has to put at least one aside. He can through the remaining dice again. He can repeat this until all dice have been put aside. Depending on the characters the player has already obtained, this normal turn can be modified, i.e. he can start with more than 3 dice or additional dice can be taken during his turn or the active dice result can be modified in various ways. But once the dice are put aside (and hence become inactive) they cannot be modified anymore. At the end of each turn the player can try to obtain a new character card with the result of all put aside dice. Each character needs specific dice condition to be acquired like 4 of a kind or all dice even or all dice in a sequence. Only one character can be acquired per turn. Dice which are not needed for this may remain unused. It is not allowed to acquire the same character again apart from the jester. A player can use any of his characters only once per turn but at any time during his turn to modify active dice or obtain additional dice. To indicate already used characters they are turned by 90 degrees or flipped around. At the end of the turn all character cards are put into their original position again. After all player have completed their turn, the next start player is the player right of the previous start player. He was also the last player of the round and will start the next round, thus he can play two turns in a row.

If a player has thrown 7 dice of a kind he may decide to acquire the king and the queen and thus initiating the final round of the game. The current round is completed as usual. The final round is also started by the player right of the last start player. The goal of this round is to achieve the highest possible dice result (e.g. 8 times 6). The player with the currently highest result immediately obtains the king. But the queen remains with the player who initiated the final round. The queen offers the owner an additional dice with a value of choice. This is a great advantage for the player who started the final round. Finally the player with the highest dice result obtains the king and the queen and thus wins the game, because he has the highest influence of all players.


Um Krone und Kragen is a great card and dice game. It is quite simple but offers a large variety of tactical elements. Each player has many options to obtain valuable character cards, which enable him to finally throw 7 or more of a kind. Although it is not possible for every player to have all possible characters due to their limited number, most of their capabilities are equally weighted. So that all players have more or less the same powerful capabilities to modify dice throws. But there is one capability which is the most valuable of all: characters which allow to take additional dice. Because at the end the goal is to have as many dice of a kind as possible, it might be a little advantage to bring up more dice than the other players, for instance 8 twos are better than 7 sixes. Nevertheless it is also important to be able to modify dice throws, if you are not that lucky in throwing the dice. Even for two players Um Krone und Kragen the balanced mechanism works well, that is because if a player gets one very valuable character the opponent makes the next two turns and has two possibilities to get the next most valuable character. With three or more players the distribution of characters is also balanced, because the same characters are more often available. At the end the best combination of characters ("dice bringer" and "dice modifier") offer the best chance to win the game. But do not forget that it is still a dice game, so even the most powerful characters can be overruled by Fortuna. Even the design of the cards is outstanding, so Um Krone und Kragen will become one of my favourites. It is also quite small, therefore it could be good company when travelling.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany