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Kingdom Builder

52 customer reviews

List Price: $59.09
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  • For 2-4 players, Ages 8 and up
  • Playing time about 60 minutes
  • Designed by Donald X. Vaccarino
19 new from $32.50 3 collectible from $25.50
$36.50 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by CLICK AND SAVE and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Kingdom Builder
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  • Kingdom Builder Nomads Expansion 1 Board Game
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Total price: $85.58
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Product Description

By skillful building of settlements players create their own kingdoms, aiming to earn the most gold at the end of the game. The 3 Kingdom Builder cards specify the conditions which must be met in order to earn the desired gold.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 3 x 11.6 inches ; 3.8 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • ASIN: B0063I6Y2G
  • Item model number: 60832
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 8 years and up
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,190 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Kevern on December 29, 2011
A new, non-Dominion game from designer Donald X. Vaccarino, and it's a good one. Game play is refreshingly simple. Pick a card, and play 3 houses on that terrain, touching any of your current houses if possible. Where you want to put your houses is determined by the 3 goal cards used in that game. Some goal cards reward you for spreading out over the whole board, or building by water or mountains, or linking locations contiguously in a 'Ticket to Ride' type fashion. There are a total of 10 of these cards, 3 of which are used each game, so the combinations of these cards really change the strategy from game to game. There are also 8 terrain sections, 4 of which are used each game, and each of which have a different 'special power' players can acquire during the game. This leads to an incredible amount of replayability, and games that feel very different from one another even when played back to back.

If you like games like Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan, you will certainly like Kingdom Builder. It has the same subtle strategy, where there are often a handful of options to choose from each turn, and the game becomes about optimizing these choices.

Most importantly, it's a fun game, easy to learn, and has the longevity to be played over and over again. Highly recommended!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Rob Reinhardt on September 28, 2012
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This is an excellent, gateway abstract piece placement game. Easily taught in under two minutes, yet complex enough to get one thinking. The premise is simple. Each turn place three houses in terrain matching the card you have drawn. The two catches being that, you must place the three together and if you can place them adjacent to pieces you already have on the board, you must. Each game features a standard scoring that stays the same (for placing pieces adjacent to special spaces) and three ways to score that are randomly drawn from a deck of cards. In addition, the boards along with some special action tokens can be different each game, leading to a new game each time. With one expansion out already, the possibilities become endless without the rules becoming convoluted.

The one drawback in the game is that it is very unforgiving at the beginning. Your first three turns can make or break your game. A bad initial placement can make it very difficult to recover. While experience can help you overcome this, there's no help for you if you receive a bad card draw. (Getting two or three of the same terrain in a row at the beginning can be a particularly bad situation). For this reason, we play with a minor variant. Each player starts with two cards instead of one, replenishing their hand each turn. This greatly reduces the luck factor and, in my opinion, greatly increases the enjoyment due to having more choice. Some argue this lengthens the game, however, in my experience the length of the game is far more dependent on the playing style of those at the table. When approached about this, the designer preferred to keep the game as it was and won the Spiel des Jahres so it's obviously a quality game as written. In my opinion, it truly shines with the variant.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Stockton on August 20, 2012
Before I go into my own review, I will say that this was the 2012 Spiel des Jahres winner (German game of the year.) Games winning this award are normally innovative, have broad appeal and are easy to learn and play, even for more casual board game players.

By those criteria, Kingdom Builder deserved it.

I normally am not a fan of positional games, but found this to be easy, forgiving and fast.

The basic premise is that terrain cards tell you where to place pieces, while victory condition cards tell you what you are trying to accomplish with your pieces. The "modifiers" that make the game interesting are location tokens which allow you to tweak the positioning rules a bit and obstacles and terrain changes that constrain your placement.

The board is built by picking 4 board segments from the 8 possible selections that ship with the game. (Easy expansion options, anyone?)

Easy to learn; easy to play
Fast - (30-60 minutes for 4 new players)
Forgiving - The board is big enough that you don't end up "trapped" into a dead-end game.
The open board and fast play keep it from being too competitive
Each replay will be somewhat different
A good introduction to positional games

Scoring is easy to make mistakes (e.g. count the number of your several-dozen pieces near a mountain)
Several "back to the rulebook" situations can arise

Summary: (4 stars)
It's a solid game, especially if you like positional games and casual games, you will like this one.

I don't think it's quite on par with the likes of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcasonne, etc. and I think that hardcore wargamers will probably find it too simplistic for more than a few plays.

I don't think anybody who reads this review and still buys it will regret buying it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By William H. Atkinson on February 12, 2013
Kingdom Builder

A name like Kingdom Builder inspires the imagination with knights, castles, battles for riches and honor, and, for the fantasy minded, magic and dragons. This amazing fiction is even conveyed in the box's cover depicting a knight on a reared horse standing over a cliff looking over a valley with castles at the base of a mountain range.

In this game players operate as a Kingdom attempting to expand it's influence across the land by placing settlements according to a specialized rule set (each settlement must be place adjacent to, if possible, another settlement). At the end of the game players receive gold for how well they placed their settlement on the landscape.

Upon removing the shrink wrap we felt the textured box and considered the quality to be about average. The game boards are constructed with high quality chipboard as well as the action tiles which we will discuss later. The wooden game pieces for the settlements are not simply cubes; they do actually look like little houses which, although they are very simple in nature, dose add to the fiction of the game. The quality of the cards is like any other game and we would recommend that you purchase some nice quality card sleeves for the gaming cards as they are only plastic coated and will show wear after some moderate use.

Moving beyond the initial opening of the box you take notice of the artwork. Artist Oliver Schlemmer's interpretation of Donald X. Vaccarino's Kingdom Builder is not terribly exciting or imaginative but does provide a nice visual playing experience. The game cards which players draw at the beginning of their turn, showing the type of land the player must place on, is also left wanting.
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