Posted by James (admin) on April 12th, 2011
The game’s full name is ‘Artus and the Knights of the Round Table’ and the reason this game has caught my attention is that it is by the same designers who created El Grande which is one of my favourite games (as wel as many others like Tikal I, Tikal II and Asara).
During the game, players play cards from their hand (they each have identical decks) to move their Knights (usually clockwise) around the table. Each chair has a number next to it ranging from -15 to +10. When a knight moves, the player scores points equal to the number of the chair they leave. If a knight moves to a chair already occupied by a knight then that knight gets displaced to the first empty chair anti-clockwise. Players also have cards that move the princes, make a prince into a new king, and trigger scoring situations (i.e. score all your knights on the carpet chairs, etc.)
The gameplay sounds clean, simple and tactical, but the extra twist is that when the King moves (or a prince becomes the new King) the whole table is rotated so the King is at the crown position which can shift the numbers (and, therefore, the potential for scoring) a lot.
The player can choose the mix of card types they have in their hands (knight cards, king cards and scoring cards) and I like this element of control it should give the player. Also, each player has to play all of their cards by the end of the game so I can imagine there will be some tough choices deciding on when to play the scoring cards as some may score negatively now but could score even worse later.
I’ve enjoyed the recent wave of simple and focused games being released and Artus looks to join their ranks. Artus may not be as complex as the some of the designers’ previous games but the rules look like it contains unique and interesting game mechanics.
You can read the rules on Alea’s web site. You can use this link to go there: http://bga.me/artus