The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Middle Kingdom

Apart from online Dominion, the only other game (singular) I’ve played in the last week is a 3 player game of Middle Kingdom. (I’m pretty much destined to buy most games by Tom Lehmann).

Well, we got a rule wrong (sigh), but I can make a few comments.

  • The VP chips are thick. I’m not sure about the cards; neither good or bad enough for me to remember.
  • The game sets out to make blind (simultaneous) bidding palatable, according to Tom’s notes. If you already love Blind Bidding, you’ll swoon. Then again, maybe people who love those don’t mind the drawbacks the design set out to avoid.
  • The catch up mechanism works … you still have the “Ooh, I should have picked Y”, but now you can recover. In fact, the catch up mechanism is so powerful that players jockey for last place in the mid-game. This offends some people, but not me. Just part of the game.
  • It was OK-to-good, but we played with 3. I suspect you need four or five to bump it to “solid good.” Part of the issue is that there are more turns with fewer players, and you go once through the deck. Each turn you flip up (n-1) cards, which lengthens the game. 45 minutes with three, but probably 25 with five. That raises the rating a point right away.


Written by taogaming

October 28, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Posted in Reviews

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