Cover You Kingdom
- Designer: Jeffery Beck
- Publisher: Grandpa Beck’s Games
- Players: 2-8 Players
- Ages: 8+
- Time to play: 30-40 Minutes
Hey folks! Back again with another game from Grandpa Beck! This is a review copy of Cover Your Kingdom from Grandpa Beck’s Games. This time, we’ve just inherited our very own magical kingdom! That’s right, we are rulers of our very own magical land. I should say “magical” is very loose. See, our land is void of magical creatures that we’re trying to persuade to live in our land. The more magical critters that live here, the more magical we’ll be! Then, at the end of the game, one player is deemed THE MOST NOBLE AND SUPREME MAJESTY OF MAGICAL MIGHT might might might (echos away.)
So, let’s take a look at what makes this game so magical!
- 131 Magical Creatures
- 60 Constellation Tokens
- 8 Kingdom Boards
- 8 Turn Guides/Kingdom Powers
- 1 Crown
- Plus some spare cards
- Double Sided
- Basic Play Side – Has the name of the land and a brief description of the land.
- Advance Play Side – Has the starry night sky and places for the constellation tokens on top.
- Highland Creatures – Those that only live in the highlands.
- Lowland Creatures – Those that only live in the lowlands.
- Anyland Creatures – Those that are in anyland. That’s either high or low lands.
- Wild Creatures – Creatures that can’t form clans on their own, but can join any clanning creature’s clan.
- Free Creatures – Creatures that don’t join clans. They’re free. They instead preform actions.
Crown – Piece of cardboard swag that the winner can proudly wear to make other players jealous.
- Each player takes a kingdom board.
- Each player takes a turn guide card.
- Shuffle the creature deck and deal 6 cards to each player.
- Place the remaining deck within reach of all players.
- Give the crown to the nicest smelling player.
Starting with the nicest smelling player. Yet another reason to make sure you smell nice is to assure first player turn in games. Be kind, hygiene-ate. Players must preform one action, but can take two actions on their turn.
There are 5 actions to choose from, and here they are.
Form a Clan
- Pair two matching creature cards and place them in your kingdom.
- Pair any creature with a wild creature.
- One of the pairing creatures must come from your hand. The other one can be either from your hand or the top of the discard pile.
- Place the two cards forming the clan in your kingdom matching what land they prefer.
- You can’t pair more than two creatures to form a clan.
- You can’t use two wilds to make a clan.
Recruit a Clan
- Indicate what opposing ruler and clan you want to recruit.
- Reveal a creature that matches that clan or a wild card.
- That player can defend and play another matching creature or wild card.
- This goes on until one ruler cannot or chooses not to respond.
- All cards played go on top of the clan pile, the winner places it in their kingdom.
Here’s how it goes. A player tries to steal my lucky charms. I counter with another LepreCon. They then play a CerbeRussel Terrier. I’ve had enough of these shenanigans and play the Spydra. I end up winning and keeping the clan. This fat stack is now worth 80 points.
Add a creature to a clan.
- Add one matching creature to one of your top clans.
- You can’t add wild creatures to a clan.
- You can’t add more than one creature at a time.
Employ a free creature.
- Play a free creature to a separate discard pile and preform the action.
Discard then draw.
- Discard a creature card and draw a new one.
- You can’t discard a free creature or wild creature.
- You can’t draw from the discard pile.
To signal the end of your turn, you will first draw up the 6 creatures to complete your hand. Next, in clockwise order, the other players will draw back up to 6 creatures to complete their hands. Then the turn passes to the ruler on your left.
When the deck runs out of creatures, it signal the ending of the game. Players will play creatures without drawing until everyone is out of creatures. If you run out of creatures, your clans can still be targeted by other players while they continue play.
Players tally all creatures in their kingdom. Add each creature card’s total together. The player with the highest points is THE MOST NOBLE AND SUPREME MAJESTY OF MAGICAL MIGHT might might might.
I was blown away by the components. The card quality is great. There’s even a cardboard crown to wear! I could spend all day just looking and reading all the different cards. I don’t think any one of them share the same art or comment. A lot of the creatures feature the same character, but the saying or a slight difference is noticeable on each card. The LepreCon Man is hawking a different good on each card. The UniqueHorn sporting a different, unique horn. Or my favorite, the Sighclops proclaiming something sad on each card. Even the cards that don’t looks like they vary, have the slightest differences. The Hentaurs have a shifting eye. The Pigxies have different mud or droll patterns.
Besides the art, I’m a big fan of puns. This game does not hold back. From the kingdom boards that all have different names that spoof some great fantasy lands. Yarnia, Scamalot, Griddlemirth, and Matlantis might sound familiar. My favorite though is Smogdor. This kingdom I will claim as mine each game. As this spoofs Trogdor, from one of my favorite childhood web comics.
There’s also a good amount of smart jokes on the cards. A Sighclops, which is a cyclops, talking about baseball and clubbing a Homer. This is a nod to Homer’s Odyssey and the cyclops that Odysseus encounters. Or the VulcEnt saying he’s rooted in two different worlds. Those worlds being Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. You can tell a lot of time and thought went into the art and theme of the game.
Game play seemed a little overwhelming at first. I think this was due to the rule book layout. There’s a lot going on with different color boxes, bullet points, and the phases. Once I started reading it all, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it looked. It’s actually pretty easy once you start playing.
The game itself is cutthroat. It’s brutal. It’s mean. It’s ruthless. It’s fantastic! It’s a blast to play. It’s mean, but in a fun back and forth way. Once players start to accumulate clans on their kingdoms, the gloves come off. It’s rulers trying to deplete other players creatures and build up their own kingdoms. I really like the recruiting clans. There was nothing better than a back and forth battle to keep or gain a clan. Then there’s that decision if you should just let it go easy, or go down fighting for that Bragon pile.
Now, if you’re a person that doesn’t like mean games. This one probably isn’t for you. One game, I cut a players score in half by removing their prized top clan full of wild creatures. Then at the end of the game, I was able to recruit clans from that player and leave only one clan left. Was that mean? Probably, but it’s okay. That was my sister and she got back at me the next game.
Cover Your Kingdom is a easy to learn, fast to play, ruthless game. It covers all the things I love in a game. High player interaction, fast play, and great artwork. I recommend this to anyone that’s looking for a fantasy themed card game you can play with the whole family.