I get my crafting hat on at the community centre, and Tiny Epic Kingdoms gives you a not-so-tiny and enjoyable experience.
Due to having some spare time at the community centre today I felt it was time to explore a new game called Tiny Epic Kingdoms. It comes from a kickstarter campaign that was successful, and will be sent out sometime around September or October. For those who don’t want to wait, a printable version of it has been distributed too, so this morning saw some careful blade work cutting it out, and the afternoon was spent at the art gallery getting some coloured pencil work done.
After creating the main pieces, parts from a Carcassonne expansion have been very useful in providing resource markers and other bits and pieces. When the full game arrives near the end of the year that will be a better experience, but for now it plays very well.
The only problem now though is that after having done all that work and play tested it tonight with someone else, it’s so good that I want it in full colour. So I guess that I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.
Tiny Epic Kingdoms
Tiny Epic Kingdoms (TEK) is a small version of what are known as 4x games, eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate, which tend to be be large complex games taking several hours to play. TEK is different though in that if fits all of this in to a 30 minute game, with 16 wildly different factions and landscapes.
The aim of the game is to reach one of three end conditions for the game, which are to complete the tower, max out your research, or to have all 7 of your meeples in play on the territories, and to have collected more victory points than anyone else.
You start with two people (called meeples) on a piece of land, and set your food/mana/ore to initial recommended scores of 3/2/1. How it plays is that the active player chooses an action from a list of 6, and places a marker on it. Those actions are patrol, quest, build, research, expand, and trade. The action is then performed by everyone, who can choose to ignore it if they wish, and the active player token is moved around for the next person to choose an action. When 5 actions have been chosen the action board is cleared and a fresh set are then chosen again.
The person who chooses an action must either take that action or do nothing, but for other players if they ignore the action they can collect resources from where their meeples are on the land, which is food from plains, ore from mountains, and mana from forests. Through strategic play you can sometimes choose an action that several other players aren’t yet capable of doing, which will hopefully be to your advantage.
Patrol lets you move a meeple from one section of a territory to another. If you move in to the same area as someone else you secretly choose how many resources to put towards the battle and then reveal at the same time. In this way it’s also possible to have allies, where no battle occurs between you. Quest lets you move a meeple to another territory, build lets you build another stage of the tower at the cost of ore, research lets you increase your abilities at the cost of mana, expand lets you add another meeple on to your territory at the cost of food, and trade lets you exchange one type of resource for another.
All in all this is an easy game to play, but with interesting strategic outcomes depending on the type of faction that you choose (orc, dwarf, valkyrie, merfolk, etc…) and the style of play that you perform.