Klaus-Jürgen Wrede

Publisher: Queen Games 2002

Awards: none



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes:

On first sight Krone & Schwert (crown and sword) comes along with rich equipment. As you can derive from the title the background is settled in the medieval time in Europe. It is a game with kings, castles, cathedrals and of course intrigues, because everyone wants to be king. The king is the only one to claim taxes and he can do so every time at the beginning of his turn. He then gets one victory point for each of his castles and a card is drawn which is either a crown or a sword. If a crown is drawn nothing happens. The swords, however, are gathered and count against the king during a revolt. But the other players can get victory points, too, when a town card is drawn and then the king gets nothing. If one of the players feels strong enough, he can even try to revolt against the king. For this fight the winners get additional victory points. At the end there are some more points for the biggest empire, the actual king and every building.


The game starts with the foundation of the empires. For this purpose each player puts two of his markers on landscapes on the board (the board is devided in hills, plains and forest squares). From these points he starts to expand. The game is played in rounds. Each player has 3 action points (AP) per turn. For some actions he needs special cards. At the beginning of the game each player draws five cards. He can erect a building (2AP+castle or cathedral card). While castles can only be erected on hill landscape squares, it is necessary to play a town card for a plain landscape. There are other cards for weakening the king or to prevent the others to attack him for one round (1AP). Then the player can draw a new card (1AP) or increase one of his empires (1AP). He can also found a new empire without a connection to the others (3AP). Or he can attack one of his neighbours from one of his empires (1AP). He then plays one or more cards of his own with a value equal or higher than the number of the opponents castles (each card has a value for combat next to its special features). The defender can only avoid the attack if he has a special card.

The last action is to revolt against the king (1AP). When someone chooses this action each player has to decide whether he is for or against the king and how many cards he puts in this battle. In the end the value of the cards for and against the king are summed up and the winner is the one with the highest value (remember that all open swords count against the king). If this is the party with the king, he gains two victory points for each of his cathedrals and every mate gets one victory point for each cathedral. If the opponents win the battle, the leader of the revolution (the one who started it) becomes the new king. He gets at once one victory point for each of his castles and two victory points for each cathedral. The mate get one victory point for each cathedral they own. The new king must tell his opponents his actual victory points. If these exceed a specific value, depending on the number of players, the game goes in his final phase. The cards then are mixed up a last time and one additional card - the end card - is added to the staple. If this card is drawn the games ends immediately.

Of course the one with the most victory points wins the game.

When I first saw the game on the Spiel fair in Essen 2002 I was quite interested because of the rich and nice equipment of the game. But when I first tested it (with three players) I must confess that I was a little bit disappointed. There was definitely too less conflict in the game. Nobody tried to attack someone else, because each player had a lot of space. But then the speaker of Queen Games contacted me and focussed my attention on a sentence in the rule that I had read over. The board must be made smaller. There are five board tiles, one for each player. So if there are three people you only take three of the board tiles. That is the reason why we had so much space in the game (we took all five tiles). Thus, using the correct rules ensures more conflict even between fewer players. Nevertheless the game becomes better with more people since the result of a revolution is much harder to predict. Also, I should say that Krone & Schwert is no family game. The players should have some experience in tactical playing. I easily won the game, because nobody really tried to attack me as the king. And - this was quite easy to guess - the king has the best possibilities to win the game. If you are looking for a nice and amusing tactical game which is not very complex and if you are fed up with playing Siedler, you should perhaps try Krone & Schwert.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany