-Today’s Cool Thing is a regular column giving G&S staff and customers a chance to talk about whatever cool thing they are currently nerding out about.
Let’s start this by being completely honest: I didn’t expect much from The King is Dead.
When Osprey, the historical book publisher, announced that it would be releasing games, I was skeptical. Yes, I did expect it to be pretty (like most Osprey books), but I was doubtful that they would be able to produce a game that warranted more than a cursory glance.
I am very happy to report that I was wrong. Dead wrong.
When purchasing a game, I tend to rely heavily on the opinion of the Games and Stuff staff, since they have typically played most games before me. No one had played, but both staff and customers were hearing good things. I will admit that — in the end — it was the price (25 bucks!) that drove me to make the purchase.
As of this writing, I have played the game four times in one week, and I have to say that this is one of my favorite games of the year (so far!). There’s not much to it at first. The components are of nice quality, but there are very few of them. The rules are short and easily learned, although you will most likely need at least one complete play through to see the mechanics in motion. Simple, right? Yes, and no. There is a far deeper, chess-like component to this game that is only really evident when the entire table has an understanding the mechanics.
It’s a lot of game for the price, and I love when I feel like I’ve gotten a bargain. I had the very same feeling with games like Star Realms and Voluspa, both of which enjoy a lot of play time in my house.
Am I geeking out? Yes, I am. It’s beautifully made at an attractive price with a lot of replay value. It’s a fantastic debut, and well worth checking out.
– Len Sullivan is a G&S regular and fanatical lover of all things Viking and Arthurian. He is an accomplished miniature painter and Tolkien nerd.