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Posted on Nov 13, 2022 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Will Tyranny Fall or Rise! King & Assassins Deluxe Edition Board Game Review

Will Tyranny Fall or Rise! King & Assassins Deluxe Edition Board Game Review

Rick Martin

King & Assassins Deluxe Edition Board Game Review.  Publisher: Galakta  Designer:  Lukasz Wozniak  Price $30.00

Passed Inspection:  fast playing, easy to learn, good replay value, nice artwork, excellent family friendly board game

“The king has finally descended among his people, safe behind a shield wall of his so called ‘knights’ and sure of his immense authority. Walking among the crowd, he pays no heed to the shouts of rising anger, blindly believing that his subjects are too scared to act against his rule. Yet, there are shadowy forces ready to topple the throne and secret agents hidden among the throng who are more than willing to strike at the most opportune moment. The fate of the kingdom is soon to be decided… “

Box Art

Kings & Assassins Deluxe Edition is a redesign of a 2013 release.  This new edition streamlines the game, adds 23 beautiful miniatures and features a double sided map board of a medieval village. 

The game comes in an attractive and very sturdy box.  It features very attractive and evocative artwork by Grzegorz Rutkowski, Michal Lechowski, Tomasz Chistowski and Michal Lechowski.  The components include an 8 page rule book, 23 plastic miniatures, 5 plastic base discs, 2 quick reference sheets, 15 round cards, 12 citizen cards and 1 double-sided mounted game board.

Game board side A offers a smaller village and is easier for the assassin side.  Game board side B is more challenging for the assassins as there are more ways for the king to find safety.

Beautiful double sided map board

Kings & Assassins is a game of asymmetrical strategy and deception.  One player controls the evil king and his brutal knights while the other player controls the citizens of the village and the three assassins tasked with removing the king at all costs.  The assassins start out disguised as villagers.  Once they attack, they reveal themselves.  The king’s knights have the authority to imprison the villagers at will or attack and kill the assassins – this is how assassins are removed from the game.

3 Disguised Assassins

The game itself is very challenging for both sides. Out of four games played, I lost all but one.

The game is played in a series of rounds.  The knights try to get the king to his castle while the assassins try and keep this from happening by any means necessary.  Each round the king player goes first and draws a Round Card from the Round Deck.  This shows you how many actions the king and his knights get and if the knights have the ability to arrest villagers.  The same card shows how many actions the assassins get.  All movement on the beautiful map board is orthogonal not diagonal.  You can move people either on city street level or by rooftop movement.  After the king and his knights finish their phase, the assassin player takes his or her turn.

For the king and his knights, the following actions can be performed:

  1. move the king for 1 action point
  2. move a knight for 1 action point
  3. have a knight climb to a rooftop 2 action points
  4. have a knight descend from the rooftops 1 action point
  5. have a knight eliminate an assassin 1 action point
  6. Capture a citizen if the card says you can 1 action point – note that when you capture a citizen, the other player does not reveal if the person was a villager or an assassin.  Basically, the king player doesn’t know how many are still out to get him unless he kills them after they reveal themselves.
The King’s Knights Corner an Assassin pic

For the player controlling the assassins and the citizens, the following actions can be performed:

  1. Move a citizen 1 action point
  2. Climb to a roof top 2 action points
  3. Descend to street level 1 action point
  4. Move an assassin 1 action point
  5. Have an assassin climb to a rooftop 1 action point
  6. Have an assassin descend from a roof top 0 action points
  7. Have an assassin eliminate a knight 1 action point for the first knight, 2 points thereafter on the same round only
  8. Have a assassin attack the king 2 action points (it takes 2 wounds to kill the king)
  9. Moving to a rooftop can give you a tactical advantage by allowing you to attack both targets on the ground as well as targets on the rooftops. You an also avoid obstacles by climbing up over them.

Knights can push citizens back away from the king and this creates a ripple effect down a row.  You can move multiple citizens with one push.  This helps clear the way for the king to try and reach safety in his castle.

Beautiful Components

The king player wins if he eliminates all three assassins or gets to safety in his castle.  The assassin player wins by killing the king or if by the end of the game, the king hasn’t entered his castle.

While there are no solo rules included in this game, it is very easy to create a solo bot controlling the king and his knights as their actions are dictated by two overriding needs – get the king to safety and arrest the assassins. The digital edition of the game does offer solo play.  It was released by Asmodee Digital and is available for iOS, Android and Steam.

This is a fun game and offers tons of replay value for a very affordable price.  The components are all first rate.  I would have rated the game higher had a solo system been included.  But, as it stands, King & Assassins is a fun, easy to learn family game of asymmetrical strategy.  It would be a perfect holiday gift for the family that games together. Well done Galakta!

Armchair General Rating:  91% (1% is bad, 100% is perfect)

Solitaire Rating: 4 (if you play as the assassins)

(1 is not suitable, 5 is excellent solo play)

So Ends Tyrants

About the Author

A college film instructor and small business owner, Richard Martin has also worked in the legal and real estate professions, is involved in video production, film criticism, sports shooting and is an avid World War I and II gamer. He designed the games Tiger Leader, The Tiger Leader Expansion and Sherman Leader for DVG and has designed the solo system for Forsage Games’ Age of Dogfights.  Currently Rick is designing T34 Leader for DVG.  In addition, Rick can remember war games which came in plastic bags and cost $2.99 (he’s really that old)!