Friday, January 20, 2017

Kingdom Builder

Bentley likes to play strategic board games. For Christmas and for his birthday he always has a new one on his wish list. This Christmas we gave him Kingdom Builder. Each player has 40 settlements (little houses) that they strategically place on the game board, trying to maximize the points they will earn at the end of the game. Players earn points for placing a settlement near a castle and then they have three other goals which change from game to game. A goal could be placing your settlements next to water or a mountain or connecting your settlements to each other or spreading across the board vertically or horizontally or settling in all four quadrants of the board evenly or having the most settlements in a quadrant.

To win the game you must keep in mind all four goals. You must place your settlements where they will earn points towards more than one goal. I have learned that playing a strategy game against a child who has spent hours playing chess (training his mind) is humbling. When it's his turn he always has a well thought out plan in mind. When it's my turn, I dither, I vacillate, I hesitate. Bentley gets frustrated with my indecisiveness. I get frustrated with my indecisiveness! I just want to win occasionally against the 11 year old. That should be doable, right? Fortunately there is an element of luck to the game, so even if his strategy is superior to mine, I still have a chance, if I get better terrain cards!

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