Friday, August 12, 2016

King's Breakfast - a tiny but tasty card game

It has been years since I've played King's Breakfast but, back in the day, I played the heck out of it. A simple little game of card drafting and brinkmanship, I got a lot more fun out of it than I would have expected.

In the game, you've been invited to the castle to have a sumptuous meal with the king. Fame and glory in the form of victory points will be showered upon you if you share in the king's tastes. But not if if eat more than the king.

The game consists of a deck of cards of different types of food, plus five dragon cards since dragons always mix with royalty and fine dining. 

Each round, you deal out twice as many cards as there are players. You then sort them by type of food, with any dragons placed on the side. Then, on your turn, you can take all the cards of one type of food or draw a card from the draw pile or use a dragon to eat two cards from the king's collection of cards. After everyone has had a turn, all the unclaimed cards go in the king's collection.

When there aren't enough cards in the deck left to deal out a round, the game's over. You get points by multiplying the number of cards of each food type by the number the king has. Oh, unless you have more than the king. Than you get nothing for that food type. Naturally, whoever has the most points wins.

It was designed by Alan Moon and Aaron Weissblum. Moon is the man who have given the world games like Elfenland and Ticket to Ride. Weissblum has done a number of collaborations with Moon, including the 10 Days series.

King's Breakfast was not one of their big hits. It's a light little filler with some card counting mixed with pushing your luck and a dash of spite with the dragon. (Because, since everything accept the blind draw is open knowledge, you just use the dragon to mess with someone else's scoring) There aren't any compex decision trees going on here.

And yet, every time I played King's Breakfast, I had a good time and ended up feeling happy. It wasn't just a pleasant little game. It was a relaxing one, a game that took away any grumpiness the day might have left me with.

One part of my enjoyment of games from the meditative state I can get from playing them. Lord knows that is part of why I love Ingenious, although I also enjoy it's tactical play. For me, King's Breakfast was almost entirely meditation.

I don't think King's Breakfast is for everyone. I don't think it's either designer's finest work. But it did right by me.

No comments:

Post a Comment