Saturday, 26 September 2015

Kingdom Death (Part1: Unboxing, Discovery with tears of joy in our eyes, first game)

After some crazy good vacations (Croatia) and some really busy months of work before, I return to work with a lot of personal gaming-homework to do as I have Chaosludik 2015 Team Tournament for the game Warmachine Hordes showing up in two weeks.
As if life wasn't good enough, our group of backers received this:

''What's this?'' I ear you ask. Well THIS, my friend is a blast from the past. THIS is the holy grail of kickstarter. THIS is what would happen if unicorns could team up and make the coolest boardgame ever.


Yup, you read that right: our group of backers has received the first of three parts to our pledges for the Kingdom Death Kickstarter.
This epic Kickstarter legacy began in the early days of Kickstarter (for boardgames) in November 2012 and finished funding in January 2013....With a wait of over two years (lets say 3 to make it sound cooler), we now hold the box in our hands.
Oh, and by box I meant a 9kg box!!!

You think three years is a lot? Well there is a reason for that:

Its big!! Box 1 of 2.

Big box and its little sister full of promotional miniatures.
Not only is the Kingdom Death: Monster box double the size of what was originally planned, the quality of the components has been kept to the highest possible within budget (sometimes I seriously wonder if they didn't went in the red simply judging by how good the components are) and probably the highest quality I've received out of all my kickstarters.

Kickstarter can be real hit or misses and I'm glad to say that component-wise this is an absolute top-perfect hit. Here's more pictures to prove it:

The details of the feathers. Oh it is crisp and nice on all the models we've checked so far!

Sprues with a very good plastic.
Now components are one thing but when you are buying a game, you are also buying an 'experience'. How are the rules?
''Nicely Presented'' would be an euphemism. The rulebook is gorgeous. The paper quality is very good.

The Rulebook's cover

Some random page about cards n' stuff.

One of many beautiful full-page artworks.

And another one simply because I could'nt resist.
So far the rulebook seems well-designed as our first game went very smoothly. We did do the ''step by step'' via the rulebook but never did I find myself thinking that it was taking too much time or that the rulebook was stopping us from playing, instead the steps were short enough and the lay-up well thought so we were almost always in the action.
What is more magical is that, thanks to the wait (3 years!!!), its crazy-high quality of components and the numerous eye-candy artworks, Kingdom Death really feel like you are not only holding a treasure but also discovering a world. A beautiful dark deadly world.

Now lets move on to the playtesting/discovering of said world.

The following night after having received my copy, I invited friends (funny fact: they all played Dust at some point in their life, one of them wrote articles on this blog) that each either had backed kingdom death or showed a lot of interest in trying it out.

We first got to assembling a few of the models so we could begin:

Just after I warned them of how bad my carpet is when you drop a piece on it (I seriously believe its pattern should be sold to the military to put on airport's landing strip so enemies can't see the airplanes), I managed to have the face of my guy FLY away from the table and lose itself somewhere. As I wrote we have yet to find it.

Guillaume, putting the ''horror'' in ''horror survival boardgame'' thanks to his faceless builds.
As you guessed, the poor bearded survivor is now missing his face. From left to right, survivor girl, survivor guy without his face, The Butcher, The White Lion.

Lets wake up with dried ink in our eyes (for those who have a face!)

We then proceeded to jump into the game and start with the into scenario. We, of course, named our survivors to increase their chances of staying alive: Marilene, Marie-Claude, McMilliguity and Senvizaj (my character of course!).

The white lion attacked us and managed to disembowel McMilliguity as well as break Marilene's leg. We nonetheless prevailed by throwing rocks at it until it died.

We collected bits and scraps from the lion (like an unknown bits that counted as anything, hide, an eye, organs and broken lanterns) and wandered until we found more survivors and then founded...

Otoh Gunga the first Settlement in Montreal...err...Kingdom Death. One of us (Marie-Claude) discovered language by uttering these famous words: ''No I don't want to do it.'' (Thanks Lennard!).
We then proceeded to build a Lantern Hoard, a Bone Smith, a Skinnery and an Organ Grinder.
Using the bits of Lion we had we built equipment (a Rawhide Vest for Marilene, Rawhide gloves and a Bone Axe for Boderek (McMiliguity's replacement while he was recovering) and finally some Rawhide Headband for Senvizaj so he could hide his face or lack of.

We then proceeded to go back and hunt another lion, emboldened by our actions. Marie-Clause stood at the camp with McMiliguity and we got the company from a new survivor: Lisa Ann. (Yeah we are no fools, we know where Lennard found that name)

The hunting sequence is super cool because you don't really know what will happen while on your way to fight your prey. In this case we had some kind of bone-storm forcing us back, we got lost, Senvizaj got straggled then fell in love with a lovelorn rock (just a rock) (which he used as a face, something he always wished he had), encountered a random Mask-Salesman who sold Senvizaj a ''Death Mask'' (a kind of double-edged sword = you will crit super easily but if you get hit, chances are you are dead or extremely injured) if you are suspecting a recurring theme with Senvizaj's lack of face and the equipment he acquires well you are right.
Finally, we got to ambush the White Lion!

After a crazy fight which started really well (Senvizaj headbutting the Lion again and again in a ''If I don't have a face, neither will you!'' manner)

Senvizaj Ambushing the Lion!
 we started going insane to the Lion's roar with Marilene going bat-sh** crazy (10 insanity) and Lisa Ann outright dying from brain damage. Boderek managed to get us out of trouble putting the axe to good use and putting the, now very bloodied, Lion out of its misery.
We then collected (the following won't interest you, it is for our personal use): Shimmering Mane, Lion Tail, Golden Whiskers, Broken Lantern, Lion Claw, Sinew x2, White Fur x2, Monster Organ, Monster Bone and...Love Juice x2 (lets get that Intimacy going!)

And with that, we started making our way to the Settlement. Next time we have to decide what we do with Lisa Ann's body (okay that sounds wrong...but there is Cannibalism!), if we try to have a birth and what new technologies and wonders we will create/find. Of course, we have 'The Butcher' that might pay us a visit!

When all goes well and better...

Our expectations were high, this game has met all of them, heck it pushed back the limits of what a good kickstarter can be. Now we know there truly can be some amazing products created from kickstarter and not the low-quality some companies made us grow accustomed to.

Thanks for reading and see ya next time for Otto Gunga's next adventures in Kingdom Death.


  1. Me want to play this game...ce jeu est tout simplement magnifique. Je pense bien me procurer le monster box.

    1. The price tag is steep but it's worth every cent of it. But you should pre-order while it's still available at 295$ us because at 400$, with the exchange rate it's going to amount to around 500$CA :'(