Fighting the Crusades is the least of Richard the Lionheart’s worries.
The Crusades have summoned King Richard the Lionheart to war in the Middle East. Back home in England, John Lackland is trying to consolidate his power, recruiting the Sheriff of Nottingham to his side. Opposing them is Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men. What will be left of Richard's Kingdom when the Crusades are over?
In Richard the Lionheart, players ally themselves either with King Richard or John Lackland as they travel across England, trying to earn Prestige points and influence the Crusades from afar. At the end of the game, Richard will return to what's left of his Kingdom… if he returns at all.
Players have loyalties to either King Richard or Prince John and work cooperatively throughout the game with the other people in the faction. In games with an odd player count, one player becomes a neutral figure, choosing which side to support each round. The conflict rages on two fronts. While Robin Hood and his men fight Prince John and the Sheriff in England, King Richard faces off against the forces of Saladin in the Holy Land. To win the game, a player must not only earn the most Prestige points, but their faction must be on the winning side of the conflict in the Middle East. This forces players to take actions that support the team as well as selfish ones.
Richard the Lionheart is played through a series of rounds, broken up into a number of phases. To start each round, an Event card is drawn that may have ongoing effects throughout the following phases, or may be resolved at the end of the round. Players then get a chance to travel around England, taking advantage of the special actions associated with the different locations on the island nation. A Purchase phase allows players to acquire cards, upgrades, and even Prestige points.
Then, it is time to contribute to the Crusade efforts. Each player must contribute Influence cards or lose Prestige points. The Crusade deck is revealed, and the contributions for each faction are assessed. Influence cards may affect the outcome of the Crusade, change the timeline for the return of the King to England, or increase or empty the Royal Treasury.
“The game is designed to have a climax at the end of each round with the Outcome of the Crusade phase. The anticipation and bursts of emotions from this specific moment of the game are pretty tense and fascinating,” said Sasdelli.
Many different factors can lead to the end of the game. If Richard’s or Saladin’s forces have managed to win the war, the King’s Return track has reached 0, the Royal Treasury track has reached 0, or the Game Round track has reached 10, the winning faction is determined and Prestige points are counted up to determine the winner.
Richard the Lionheart is a game about the alliances we make and how far trust can take you. As players work together to accomplish shared goals, they will also have their own selfish interests at heart. Your faction may win the war, but another player on your team may be the ultimate victor if they managed to make moves that benefited their own self-interest.
“This was the driving force behind the game. You feel like you are part of a team with the greater good in mind, but you are often reminded that you also need to be selfish,” said Sasdelli. “Finding the balance between both is the key to winning.”
In Richard the Lionheart, players choose one side of the tense tug-of-war for the crown and battle to ascend to the throne. One of the two factions will come out on top, but only a single player will earn enough Prestige to win the game.
Two Game Boards
Players travel throughout Britain on one board, gaining Prestige for their deeds, while tracking the progress of the Crusades on a second board.
Ten detailed miniature figures represent the characters supporting each side of the conflict.
Influence the Crusades
Players’ actions don’t just affect them in Britain, but they will influence what happens in the Middle East. Richard could return in triumph, or not at all.
16 Highly-Detailed Plastic Miniatures
10 Character Dashboards
240 Influence Cards
1 England Board
1 Crusade Board
1 Reserve Board
15 Edict Cards
18 Event of the Crusade Cards
6 Player Aid Cards
7 Faction Skill Tokens
1 First Player Token
1 Game Round Token
6 Ship Tokens
60 Prestige Point Tokens
6 House Tokens
Playing Time 60 Min
Players 2 to 6
It may not be possible to ship very heavy items outside of the Mainland UK.
Released: 14 November 2017