Publisher Pegasus Spiele was kind enough to send along a copy of their Crown of Emara board game, which enticed me with its lovely artwork and quadrants that puzzle piece together. Here’s a typically rambling unboxing with the added weirdness of being overdubbed.

(click to view transcript)

(mic noise) Looks like it’s way behind. (audio out of sync with video) Looks like it’s WAY behind, like i’m in a kung fu movie… (Ryan in voiceover) Uh… as you can see, i do actually run tests of these videos before i hit the record button to see – you know – how sync is working, and if picture’s okay, and i did that with this one! It was the very first time, as you’ll hear later in the video, that i was using a certain new computer and, uh, i thought it went all right, but when i played the thing back, it… it super didn’t. So this was on the shelf for a while. What i had to do was go back, and as you’ve seen in a couple of other videos – the Underwater Cities ones – i had to redub it, kung fu style! So my mouth isn’t gonna match up quite well with my lips, but some of you assured me in previous videos that it wasn’t that big a deal. Oh, look! There’s a walmart receipt. My. Isn’t that just… behind the scenes! What did i buy? Uh… there’s a 4 charm asst… well that… that sounds downright illicit. Tassels? i bought t… it’s not what you think! i think they’re sewing notions. Ah, whatever. On to the video! Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around the Table with a very special treat for you, which is technically a treat for me, because i was very interested in this game called Crown of Emara, and Pegasus Spiele was very kind to send a copy along for me to get into! i like in these unboxings to go into the reasons why certain games appeal, and certain games don’t. And to imagine the horror stricken faces of the publishers when i describe why a certain game caught my eye, and why it didn’t. Because i’m sure they put all kinds of work into the marketing and the back of the box, to tell you different things about the game… it can be such a small thing! This is the case with Crown of Emara: it’s such a… the things that probably the publisher didn’t even consider! Well first of all, what do we have? We have a very lovely… look: a cute little bird! A cute little birdie on the front of the box – here, i’ll see if i can get a better shot of that. Look how adorable! Oh – TWO cute little birdies! Oh my gosh. Well, who wouldn’t want a game with two cute little birdies? i mean, Wingspan was a thing, wasn’t it? Uh… but that wasn’t the big draw. Uh, one of the other draws was that it was called “Crown of Emara.” So it’s a fantasy themed game, and i think… i don’t know if it takes place in the real world or in a fantasy kingdom, but it’s – you know – it’s in that genre. And they didn’t call it “The Land of Maaagicalville” or anything like that, which i find very boring uh way to title something. Called the Crown of Emara, which… uh… puts into – you know – feature focus this interesting object of power. Uh… and it kind of – you know – invokes… invokes Lord of the Rings. You know, you got this magical ring that drives you insane and turns you invisible… spoiler alert… um… it’s been 80 years, however long… i don’t think that there’s going to be anything special about the crown of Emara IN the Crown of Emara. It’s probably going… what i expect to find when we open the box – and we will shortly – is just a big cardboard token that looks like a crown, and that’s the first player marker. That’s all i expect. And then the whole idea is that when you win the game, you win the crown of Emara. So i don’t expect there to be anything super exciting about it, but i did like that titling scheme. And then, the most ridiculous thing that got me really excited about Crown of Emara is that the board is in… is in chunks that puzzle piece together. And if you know the things that i like, i like jigsaw puzzles, and i especially like board games with pieces that fit and snap together, and i don’t know why? It’s a weird… it’s a compulsion. i don’t know what’s happening. i don’t know what’s wrong with me. But i know nothing else about the game! All i know is that cute birdies, it’s about a crown, and the pieces fit together. And that would have been enough for me to pick this up, and i very nearly did, but it got edged out by… another game. So i’m really happy that Pegasus Spiele, uh, sent this along. So let’s crack into it! We should take a look at the back of the box, because this is what the marketers actually – you know – the publishing company ain their marketing spent time on. They tell me that on each of your turns, you spend one of your councillors and decide which card brings you closer to your goal goal, which reminds me a little bit of Concordia, right? You got a little hand of cards, and each turn, you just spend one card. Step number two: use your councillors wisely in the town as well as in the countryside. So there’s two different areas to use your… your cards, your people… and then gather citizens and provide housing… satisfied citizens will lead you to victory, and to the crown… the titular crown… uh, whatever. (laughS) So it doesn’t… i mean, especially since they’re putting “1, 2, 3” and, uh, sort of uh disarming baby birdies on the cover, it doesn’t look like it’ll be a mega super deep heavy strategy game with tons of complex rules. i’ve been fooled before. i’ve been fooled before. i’ve been… been very often fooled. Here we are. (hums) Oh! The subtlest… this… mmm… small undertones of… fruity…. i’d say Box Fart-o-meter: 1! Just… if we could go 0.5, i might. That was a very subtle box fart. Uh… if you have a box that makes a horribly filthy noise, uh, and would cause you to not invite it over for Thanksgiving dinner ever again, i would like you to film that, and i would like you to send me the video – by hook or by cook – and permission to use it. i will put it in a box fart compilation, which i hoped to have ready months ago when i hit 10000 subscribers, but didn’t happen! i’m still collecting box farts, uh, but send me yours and i’ll try to get in that compilation coming up. It’ll be a good time! Eyy look at this! It’s the rule book, and the rule book… let me see… 12 pages. So 12 pages is about the standard for most of the boxes… most of the games that i unbox, so uh… nothing too alarming there. And i always like to look at sort of the ratio of pictures to text, because if a game ha… if a game manual has a lot of pictures, you know you’re in for a good time. At least, that’s what i like. i’m a visual learner, and i think that picture examples are really important for teaching a game. i mean, i use picture examples all the time when i teach games. Mm-hmm! And most of this rule book is actually talking about the specific things that each little card in the game does. So as far as rules go, you’re only talking about these first four or five pages, and then two of those are setup. So yeah, it looks… i mean, it looks pretty darn light. And that’s fine! That’s fine. My family, who i now rely on to play board games with me, is very upset at me for teaching them a brand new mid- to heavyweight game every single Sunday. Uh the… they’re pretty tired of it. So if we can get something to the table that’s a little bit lighter, i think that they will be happy with it. Not saying that this is light! i don’t know! i haven’t played! Uh, maybe you have, and you can tell me all about it in the comments? There’s a nice little band keeping this pile of card together. i don’t want to tear it. i know that i’ll never use it again, but i don’t… look how nice it is. How could you rip that? How could you rip that paper band? Okay! So here we go: puzzle piecy action! So there’s one quadrant of a board, and looks like there are bread tokens, and some… i’m gonna guess these are chests, but they look very nice. You know, i have my uh… my close-up cam going, which i just smashed with a board… let’s see if we can get these on here. Little bread token. Little sort of chesty lookin’ thing, aaaand… so let’s see how these actually fit. i think they go like this, and… oh, lovely. They just notch together like that. Don’t they look beautiful when they’re together? They’re gorgeous. And we’ve got a coin, which i’ll put over on the close-up cam. There’s a little coin. That’s how those look. And everything is – you know – nice standard thickness cardboard. A tiny bit thinner, actually, than a few of the games i’ve unboxed recently. Unfortunately, i unboxed a game a week ago, and the… the… the tech problems were so terrible that i couldn’t possibly put that in front of you. i would have felt really really bad for wasting your time with, like, a total of 2 frames a second kung fu movie delayed audio. Hopefully… you know what’s happening? Behind the scenes… so i have a Patreon account, and if you’re a patron watching this, thank you so much for your support! If you’re not, consider supporting me, because what i’ve been able to do with that, uh, Patreon support, is i’ve been able to purchase a second-hand desktop computer that i call “The Jerk.” The Jerk has a, uh… double the RAM that my laptop has… i’ve been doing all this stuff on the channel on my laptop, and that really hasn’t been sufficient, so now i have a desktop computer, and i was able to buy it with Patreon backer support from a friend of mine. It has a nice graphics card in it, so hopefully, this is – you know – this is the very first video that i’m doing with The Jerk, and i’m hoping that, uh… why do i call it “The Jerk,” by the way? i should flash a picture of it. There it is. Uh… i used to run a software studio, so there’s the triple monitor setup from that. i… i folded the software studio, moved out of the city into the suburbs. i was very very sad about it, and i thought “i really need to build a really nice workstation,” so i built this monstrosity of a triple monitor horrible thing, and uh… and and now that i’ve hooked the… the new/used desktop machine up to it, i call it The Jerk. Uh… so this video is being shot on The Jerk! Long story short. Look at that: there’s four tiles… they… those… that’s beautiful. That just looks – oh my gosh – the illustration looks gorgeous! It reminds me very much of Village, if you saw my video on how to play Village? Go check that out – i’ll put the link up in the top. So we’ll put those all to the side, and we’ll pop a few more things out. These are going to be the same… same story, i’m assuming. And we’ve got, uh, nice rings… nice ruby signets, and they’ve gone the distance and put a little hole in the middle of them. Again, back to the close-up cam. That’s what those look like. Very lovely. And a couple of little tile things that we don’t know what they do, because we’ve never played the game before! Now if the colours are looking a little bit washed out on that close-up cam, it’s just because it’s in, uh – you know – blue screen mode, so it’s cutting down a little bit on the… on the blue. So they’re going to look a little bit less faithful when i put them up on that camera. And a few more of these. So these are all looking like very similar die cuts per board. All the same shapes. But here’s something unique… here’s something unique and interesting: okay, we have a standee of a guy on a horse, and i’m expecting to find the second half, or maybe his base, somewhere along here. And these look like player boardy lookin’ things, like so. And i think from the back of the box, didn’t we see that the cards go, sort of, slot slot slot under there? And a few counter things… oh, here the… here are the horse legs. Blop blop blop! And so i was wrong about the crown of Emara being the start player token, because it looks like this horsey is the start player token, because it’s the only unique thing in there. Looking very nice. Uh maybe i missed it? i’ve not seen the… the titular crown of Emara in any of this punchable stuff? Um… let’s just go back through real quick. Are you the crown? No. The crown? No. No crown there. Those are signet rings. Not the same thing. Uh… no crown there, no crown there. Maybe you spotted it? Maybe… maybe… did you ever… did you ever watch She-Ra: Princess of Power? The original, where you had to look for Loo-Kee in the episode? There’s a little creature you had to find in the… painted in the background? You had to find Loo-Kee. It’s early. i’m shooting this earlier than i usually do, so i might not be making coherent sense. But, uh… Masters of the Universe… we were just talking about She-Ra the other night, and uh… how my wife said that she brought her She-Ra dolls to school… and i said what a shame it was that the She-Ra dolls… okay, old man: tell us a story. The She-Ra dolls looked like Barbie dolls, which was totally dumb, because, like, the… the female Sorceress character – the Masters of the Universe line… the He-Man line… didn’t have Barbie proportions or Barbie combable hair… What does this have to do with Crown of Emara? Not that much. This is all for entertainment value. Uh… the wood pieces look very unique. i’ve never seen anything like these before in any game that i own. i like to pull out the red ones because they work better on the close-up cam with its blue screen magic. Here we go. Let’s get these off of here… and that’s what the profile of the little unique meeple looks like. And there are some resource bags… two different kinds of resources here. It looks like wood is one of them, and the other one is… sleep…? Oh, it’s blue. Sleeping bags! No – here. We’ll put it here. Looks like… you’ve seen these in… in other games. They look like marshmallows, or… it can’t be haystacks, if they’re making it blue. i don’t know what those are going to represent. Food bundles? Not too sure. But we’ve seen them before. There’s nothing wrong with that. Uh… in this bag, there are more uniquely shaped meeples that i haven’t seen in any other game that i own. i’ll put the red one again up on the close-up cam. A little… little flat… little flathead guy. It looks like Play from Kid n’ Play! And i’ve never felt older making one of these videos. All these pre-two th… pre-millennial references… uh… now THESE… this is truly the cup of a carpenter! These have to be hay bales – lookit. Those are similar shape to the blue ones. And theeeese… i don’t know. i don’t know. Those are like, in… you know, in Lucky Charms? Those were the the ones that you didn’t want to eat. Those were the poison marshmallows? Like (Lucky the Leprechaun voice) “Purple horseshoes, and… and… and gross gray fungus! (inane Irish laugh) Lucky the Leprechaun!” i don’t know what that… i don’t… i don’t know. Haaa…yes! A couple more… oh, yeah! Hey, cool! i’ve seen these before. i was about to put the blue one on there. That’s not gonna work. Ao let’s put the red one on. Aha… i keep hittin’ the wrong button! There we go. Look: it’s like the Chef Boyardee meeple from… what do we see… The… The Voyages of Marco Polo! Right? He’s got a little Chef Boyardee hat, and my stereotypical, uh, quasi-jingoist Italian accent! Uh… apologies to anyone who’s Italian watching me. And a little house. Uh… made famous by a game you might have heard of: Monopoly. It looks… you know… your standard house. You find those in Catan and so many other games. Yhose are all the wood pieces, and now we come to the cards. It’s a pretty thick deck, you know? If i was going to estimate how many cards are in there, it’s hard. It’s a hard thing to do. And i don’t know what value it provides, me guessing the number of cards that are in there, but… so that you know, in case you wanted to pair your copy, make sure you’re not missing any cards, count them all up, i’m going to say… there’s 50 000 cards in there. And here they are. Hopefully there’s not a lot of blue on them, because… there’s blue on the backs. Those look like haystacks. We’ll check the backs first. So these are all part of the same… whoa! No. No! No! These are all super… ah, okay. i’ve got the whole thing upside down. Ughh… excuse me, wood. (bad voice that doesn’t sound anything like wood) “You’re excused, Ryan!” That’s not what wood sounds like. That’s not wood’s voice. Anyway, uh… to the cards. We’ve got a lovely crest on the back of these ones, and on the back of these ones, there is jubilation. Some sort of… some sort of celebration. i’ll put all these on the close-up cam as well. (jazz dooting) Mm-hmm! Now that big missing hole in the middle is because there’s blue, and those ones… aaaand… there’s quite a few more decks than i thought there would be. The back of the box made it sound like there’s only going to be one deck going on in this game. Put one of those on there. Put one of these on there. And then – oh, it looks like uh… uh… very much like… i’m getting the sense that it’s a bit of a deck builder, because look: there’s four different decks, and they’re each going to be in the four player colours. There’s the red deck, there’s the green deck. And what do we find in the green deck? On the flip side, we’ve got some food, we’ve got that poison marshmallow from Lucky Charms… uh… there are no poison marshmallows in Lucky Charms. Please do not sue. And we got some wood, and that bundle – which i still can’t tell. i joked that it was a sleeping bag, but it really does look like a sleeping bag there, doesn’t it? Uh… and the signet ring, and the… rewind your boots symbol. i don’t know what any of the symbols mean. And i would expect the same things to show up in the red deck. So if we flip the red deck over, look: yeah. We’re getting poison marshmallow… it’s all the same stuff. Yeah. So that suggests… well, i was going to say it suggests to me a deck builder, but that would be the case if the backs of the cards were the same in the other decks. But they’re not, so that means you would be able to tell what you’re pulling, so maybe it’s not deck buildy? i don’t know. i don’t know. What’s on these ones? Symbols that we don’t understand! Those look like points. Things are going on up top. Hmm… the prince. Yeah. Definitely if you have that and that, then you get that, and that many points. Sorry for the autofocus going crazy there. i like to turn it on just in case it doesn’t, uh, focus correctly. Those look like… you know, if you’ve ever played Dominion, those look like the – you know – the point card deck in Dominion. And we’ll swipe those away and put this last little… whoa! There we go! This guy, this guy… again, trade the things in the top in, and you get the perks on the bottom, is my guess. So that’s some of the cards. Again, no idea how to play! It’s only a 12-page rulebook. It doesn’t look like it would be horrendous to learn. i’d like to try it this week, actually, with my family. i might be able to convince my family. The third… or the fourth thing that i didn’t mention off the top of the game, the appeal of this game: i’m constantly looking for, uh, ways to get games that i can convince my family to play with me. So i thought i’ve got a lot of sci-fi already. They’re not super interested in sci-fi, although i am. So maybe fantasy? Maybe fantasy will – you know – turn their crank a little bit? We’ll see. i don’t know. i’ll try to get to the table. Please tell me what you think of Crown of Emara, if you’ve played. i’ve never played before, and it’s another one of these games that kind of… it feels a little bit like it came and went and not very many people talked about it, but i don’t know why! It looks like super capable. Great production values. Really nice artwork. Uh, i love the theme. Oh – wait. And there’s one more thing that we didn’t bring out. There’s FOUR more things that we didn’t bring out of the box, just as i was wrapping up. Oh: i will say, though, the uh… the insert… ah-heh… nice theme, great artwork, uh… high production values… the insert SUCKS. Look at that. This, uh… it’s the double well. So it’s kind of stinky. Uh, but these are, uh… poppableoutable – ooh, look! And they puzzle piece together! Oh, aren’t i excited? Oh… i thought there was going to be one per player, but it looks like there’s just a big huge long score track for all players. Interesting, though: i don’t know the economics of it and why they would make it so that these two pieces puzzle piece together, instead of – you know – having a foldable board? Maybe that’s less expensive? But then i’ve heard making dies for things is not cheap at all. So it’s interesting. And it fits… that fits pretty well, but not as nicely as the the four pieces of the main board. The main boardS. And then this last little thing here is… a thing. i don’t know. But they made sure it has… they spent money on a die to make sure it has nice rounded corners! So – you know – it’s that kind of thing. Little touches like that. Uh, please tell me what you think of this game down in the comments below. i’m going to play it, and we’re going to get it to the table… uh, might do a Find the Fun on it. Uh… i know i keep promising that, but i AM gonna do more Find the Fun videos, i promise. Uh… if you want to back me on Patreon to get more nonsense and to fund my more composed videos, where i spend hours upon hours editing How to Play videos for you, uh… jump in on that. If you’d like to talk to us on the Discord server, there’s the link below. Uh… we’re in there, uh, any time of day, day or night. You can come and talk our ears off about board games, and we’ll be happy to hear it! So hope to see you there, and thanks so much for watching this one. We’ll see you next time. (i think that went quite well!) Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! To 100% this video, click the badge to subscribe, and then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff. [Music: Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson Creighton]

Get Your Own Copy of Crown of Emara

i wasn’t successful at convincing my family to play with me, but i’ve since had the pleasure of playing Crown of Emara at the 2-player count. It’s a fun little rondel game with a surprisingly challenging decision space that belies the publisher’s attempts at making it look simple. It’s a great example of a game that’s easy to learn, but tough to master. And it’s like nothing else i own.

To add a copy of Crown of Emara to your own board game collection, click the Amazon link below. Your price remains the same, and i’ll receive a small commission!