The King's Dilemma: enthusiastic first impressions

Lovers of GoT and medieval intrigues? The King's Dilemma is the game for you - our first impressions are enthusiastic to say the least

The Christmas holidays, as we know, are the ideal time to try out new games; alone or in a group, the number of board games to play next to the tree is almost infinite. In these weeks of celebration, we have decided to keep ourselves company with The King's Dilemma, a game with legacy elements that has given us some excellent first impressions. On the other hand, the premises were intriguing to say the least; a medieval kingdom to be ruled in collaboration, intrigues and machinations and a long and complex storyline that keeps you glued to the chair for over 15 hours.

In order to carefully review a game like this, which has such a large number of hours on its side (divided into multiple single games), some in-depth analysis is needed.. Even avoiding any type of spoiler, in fact, it would not be possible to talk about the gameplay and the plot without first having savored them carefully. But as we have a game ahead of us that we are sure could intrigue many of you out there, we have decided to give you an article of first impressions on The King's Dilemma. A starting point to stimulate your curiosity while waiting for the actual review and, why not, an opportunity to offer you a possible New Year's companion.

Ready to find out with us?

Inside the game world

The King's Dilemma takes us to the Kingdom of Ankist, a fiefdom divided into twelve lands, between marquisates and duchies. Led by a King and a Council, the Kingdom of Ankist is a prosperous land but often at war with neighboring kingdoms. To manage the internal and external problems that arise are the Council and the five houses that make it up. Players each play a house and in each game they play the role of a different member of the family.

During the 15 games (approximately) of which the game campaign is composed, Ankist passes from king to king and from century to century; but the five dominant houses always remain the same, at least until you choose to change the party of players. Thus, the game becomes an exciting narrative continuity, in which the focus is on the decisions and discussions between the players during the sessions of the Council.

The challenges presented to the Council depend on the cards that are drawn and these can change according to the decisions made. As in a game-book, in fact, each choice directs the story in a direction, which in the game is realized with the opening of one of the 75 Story Packs. And to keep track of the progress of the Kingdom, the players have a board in front of their eyes, in which the most important parameters are shown: Influence, Wealth, Morality, Well-being and Knowledge.

Our first matches | Impressions The King's Dilemma

Our Ankist Council is made up of the five recommended players. In fact, even if The King's Dilemma can be played from 3 players, the sessions of the Council become far more intriguing if played by five; choices and discussions last longer and the game arrives at a truly unparalleled narrative complexity.

In our case, currently reigning over Ankist are:

  • Gli Huge - Dukes of Solad
  • The Asterians - Duchi di Wheel
  • I Tordek - Marquis of Tork
  • I Niuage - Duchi di Flower
  • The Collorosso – Duchi in Natar

Each house is characterized by a general personality and a story, but it is the individual players who give the imprint to their characters. So, each of us chose the name of the house (the one before the dash) and, after taking a Secret Objective and therefore a character of the character, we launched into the game. We will not reveal the details of the story, also because we do not want to risk ruining your taste for the game; but we would like to say that the first games played proved to be nothing short of fascinating.

Alchemy at the table: the heart of The King's Dilemma

At the table, an excellent feeling between the players was created right from the start. Some of us were already role players, others instead experienced the thrill of wearing new clothes and immerse themselves in a new personality for the first time. And history has managed to involve us all, spurring us to put into play not only our planning skills, but above all our dialectic. The King's Dilemma is in fact based on choices and votes and the heart of the game is precisely the dialogue. Being able to convince other players to vote in a direction favorable to our interests is the key to victory, but in the meantime we must also learn to balance the interest and well-being of the Kingdom, to prevent Ankhist from succumbing and the game ends in nothing.

In a few shifts we became familiar with the decisions, with the buying and selling of votes and with the actual votes and we let ourselves be guided by the Story Cards deep inside the world of Ankhist. The result was almost two hours of role playing, laughter and tactics, in a mix of challenge and complicity that created a splendid alchemy between the players.. We can't wait, therefore, to move on with the game, to be able to talk to you in more detail about The King's Dilemma and its intriguing story. And to tell you what became of our Ankhist and who won the tough battle for the government of the Kingdom.

A few additional details about the game

  • Type: Narrative with legacy elements
  • Authors: Lorenzo Silva and Hjalmar Hach.
  • History: Carlo Burelli
  • Illustrations: Giorgio Baroni
  • Publisher: Horrible games
  • Spanish edition: Ghenos Games
  • Duration: 45–60 Min
  • Players: by 3 to 5
  • Age: 14+
  • Price in Spain: 69,95€
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