Kingdom Death: Monster

2016-12-02

I heard about Kingdom Death: Monster (KD:M) back during the original Kickstarter. It was notable for it’s ambition of creating a long form and very high quality game. It was far too pricy to invest in, especially given the lofty goals. Since it’s successful original Kickstarter it has gotten good reviews and has been spoken of as a fantastic experience, providing organic storytelling in the way the game plays.

The core game campaign covers thirty lantern years, and each year takes around one to three hours to complete, meaning that a KD:M campaign is a big undertaking requiring many play sessions. That is super exciting for me because I have friends that I don’t get to see often enough, and this will be a persistent experience for us to share.

Big box with lots of fun toys

The game is huge. There is a massive number of cards, tokens, and miniatures (more on minis in a bit). The rulebook, which is now hardcover, is more than two hundred pages, containing a large number of story events. There are large sheets and game boards for managing play in a straightforward and effective manner. The mini’s are high quality design and require assembly (and, if you feel like it, painting). The book art and mini design are both very high quality and give a strong sense of the setting (I will note that some of the art, see above, is a lot cheesecake, which is unfortunate). It’s been a long time since I did any mini painting; I am looking forward to it.

the kingdom of death doesn't look terribly comfy

The current Kickstarter is for the improved 1.5 edition. They had pretty much sold out of the original edition print, and this new Kickstarter was partially to fund a reprint so that new people who wanted to get the game wouldn’t have to pay several thousand dollars to get a copy off of eBay. Well it turns out that this reprint/update was hotly anticipated because they surpassed their goal nearly instantly, and surpassed the original Kickstarter within the first two hours. Quite a success, and a strong indication for how much people were looking forward to this being available. As I write this the Kickstarter is about to pass six-and-a-half million dollars.

I’m excited about this game because of its strong story components, themes, campaign progression, high quality components, meaningful complexity, and random play (lots of dice rolls and tables). The cooperative gameplay is the sort of gameplay that my friends and I particularly enjoy, being able to group strategize to tackle a difficult strategic challenge.

This image really fits the mood of the game: a weak survivor taking on a giant monster

I highly recommend watching the Let’s Play by the Beasts of War. It’s very well done and gives a good sense of the game, though they don’t get into the story of the game as much as I think I will.

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