I haven’t seen the show Last Kingdom, but I have heard AMAZING things about it. I was still curious about the new board game called The Last Kingdom Board Game which I found at GenCon and the publisher provided it for me to check out. New to me!
It says it can play 2 players on the box, but I wasn’t sure how well that would work out since it was seemingly an area-control game. Fortunately, we found out pretty quickly that it works pretty well with 2 players, so don’t let that deter you.
In The Last Kingdom Board Game, players are trying to gain influence over the regions and score points. The game is played over 2 eras and in each era, all of the regions will be scored. You need to manipulate your position to score the most points to be the victor in the end.
During the game, you have to manage your cards and your tokens really well because you are super limited. Since you only get a handful of cards to use for the entire era, you have to pick and choose when to actually use a card and gain the benefit. How important is the territory being scored this turn vs. the next turn? Will you want to use your really cool card early or save it for a pinnacle moment?
Each turn you will perform a number of various actions if you can afford them and you will choose one at a time until all players have passed. The target region will then be evaluated for influence to see which factions will win the region. If you align with the right faction that wins you will gain points.
What is cool about this game is that you are able to switch sides during the game. You might have a special card that allows for switching or you can take a basic action to switch. It is not EASY to switch, but it is possible and if you time it all correctly it might just fall into your lap everything you need to win the game. You have to be timely and pay attention to what is happening on the board.
I really like how you have such a limited number of cards each era and that you have to pick and choose when to play them. Do you play them early, seed them through the era, or hang on for a big ending? So much to think about and plenty to do to try and get the leg up.
The card play is fun and interesting, and I also enjoy the constant battle to try and gain those points from the region. It isn’t bad to lose though since you get tokens for your troubles and the tokens help you take additional action in the next turn. Pick and choose your battles I suppose.
This game works well with 2 players since you are able to change sides if you have the right cards or enough tokens to do so. It isn’t a direct combat as it might look if you were just passing by. There is definitely more going on which makes it more than a dudes on a map game.
Right now I have only played one time and I was very impressed. I would definitely like to play it again and then again with more players. I also definitely want to go watch the show since I think I would really enjoy the show too! It feels like a very thematic game, so if you enjoy the show then you will probably enjoy this one. Definitely a Game of Thrones-esque feeling. Check it out!
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