Here’s a quick summary of Crown of Emara excerpted from my How to Play video:
Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and this is Crown of Emara, a 2-ring circus of a rondel game for 1-4 players. Let me show you how to play!
The benevolent King Thedorius the Wise is retiring … you know how kings retire? Like, that’s a thing that kings do? … and you and your friends are vying for his crown. But you’ll have to prove to the king that you can rally the support of enough citizens – and keep those citizens housed – before he’ll hand over his divine right to rule bestowed upon him by God – because kings do that. They just… pack it in one day. You have two markers on the score board: one to track the number of citizens you rule, and one to track the number of houses you’ve built for them. Your score at the end of the game is the lower of these two totals. So you’ll generally spend the first part of the game trying to catch your citizen marker up to your building marker, and the rest of the game trying to raise them more or less concurrently.
To do that, everyone gets the same deck of cards with various effects on them, and a little player board with three slots in it. There are two locations – the country and the city – and you get a councillor in each location. On your turn, you’ll play one of the three cards in your hand to one of the three slots on your board. The card gets you some kind of benefit, and you also get to move one of your two councillors clockwise around either the country circle… or the city circle…. as many spaces as the slot dictates, and then do stuff on the space where you land.
The countryside has you gathering resources, while the city has you spending those resources to gain citizen and construction points, or buying extra helpers and resources to buy points in bulk, or to curry extra favour with the king. There’s a pull-up-the-ladder effect on most of these city spaces: the first person to pay for an action generally gets the highest benefit, and then the law of diminishing returns applies for everyone who comes after.
You take turns placing your cards and moving your citizens until your board fills up with 3 cards. Then you flip the cards and place three more, and then flip those and play your final three cards. Then everyone scoops up their 9-card deck, shuffles it, and repeats that whole process again. The second time you reach the end of your deck, the game ends, and whoever has the highest score on the lowest-earning of their two markers, wins!
Well, does it sound interesting? If you want to learn more about the rules of the game, click the link at the end of this video or in the description below to watch my complete How to Play video, which includes the overview segment you just watched. And if you like what i’m doing, click the badge to subscribe, and the bell to get notifications. And now, we dance![Music – Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson Creighton]
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