Khronos – Board Game
I’ve recently introduced a few of the club to the board game Khronos from Rio Grande Games.
this is a 2 to 5 player game, which really probably works best with 4 or 5 players. Games should last around one and a half hours which seemed to be a fair estimate upon the two games which we’ve played so far, both with novice players.
The basic premise of the game is that a player controls two time travellers seeking to make the most money over 7 game turns by building, renovating, or populating buildings throughout time. The board is split into three time zones, the Age of Might, The Age of Faith, and the Age of Reason, each board being exatly the same to start with. As the game progresses buildings are constructed, with large buildings built in the earlier time zones rippling through to the later time zones. There are various construction rules which need to be abided by, the most critical being that there can only be one of the largest type of building in a domain (kingdom) at any time. This restriction has other implications which impact how players expand their potential income, as well as impare the other players.
Players derive some income from building and explanding large buildings but their primary income comes on turns 4 and 7 of the 7 turn game. A player can only get income from 2 of the 3 time zones so need to optimize their without wasting income on all 3. The primary driver in the Age of Might is to have the strongest castle controlling the most cincome from civil centres. In the age of Faith the objective is to have the largest religious building controlling the most income from civil centres. In the final Age of reason the objective is to control the Civil Centres with the most attached castles and religious buildings (roughly speaking).
The main mind twist for this game comes from the rippling effect of buildings being built earlier cascading forward through time. This could result in buildings which were built later dissapear as if they had never existed and significantly impact other players income strategies.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the game and it seemed to be well received by the other members. I would suggest that this is an adult or older child game. The game quality is second to none with robust card counters and hefty wooden pawns. Whilst the cards were great the general consensus was that there weren’t quite enough for a five player game without needing to be reshuffling every 4 players. Definately one for consideration.
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Agreed – this is one excellent game – things started off slow as we got to grips with the game mechanics – but by turn 7 we were all well into tactics and trying to stop other players gaining income… thoroughly enjoyable.
Believe after a few games you could get the play time down to around 1hour – as our first game with stops and starts only lasted about 1.5 to 1.75 hours.
I have to agree, Khronos is a really good game that you have to play a few times to truly get to grips with. It certainly makes you think long and hard about each move you make and also to watch your opponent(s) move to try and hinder them etc.
My first game I played I have to say I really struggled with the objective and soon felt overwhelmed with all that was going on. This was my failing and not the games, part of the fun of the game is learning and figuring out the best way of playing that works for you.
Overall very good game if you want a break from the normal
I just got it and have been playing solitaire. It’s surprisingly good for that as long as you don’t peek at the cards each “player” draws for the next turn. It takes several games to commit all the rules to memory since you have to deal with all the paradoxes wrought by time travel. But the mechanics are simple and game becomes quite complex, and tactical options abound. It also moves quickly since there are really only 2-3 actions you are likely to make on each player’s turn. A lot of fun and well made. I would suggest to the Rio Grande people that they put out an expansion pack with more cards and more money, since both can be exhausted (even playing just two players, you’ll have to repeatedly shuffle the discards). There’s an optional rule to reduce the effects of a random draw of construction cards, but I find that its effects are just as random.
BTW, you have to read the rules very carefully to solve ambiguous situations. A few more examples in the rulebook would have been nice.