The Bottom Line
Players who enjoy Yahtzee but find it repetitive and limiting should love this game. To Court the King is a thinking man's Yahtzee, adding new elements without diminishing the fun.
- An entertaining and challenging dice game.
- A fun new challenge for fans of games like Yahtzee.
- Game plays quickly once players are familiar with the special powers.
- Will only appeal to fans of dice games.
- For 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up.
- About 30 to 45 minutes per game.
- Published by Rio Grande Games in 2006.
- Designed by Tom Lehmann.
- Game includes 60 character cards, 12 dice, 5 summary cards, 1 start player figure, and rules.
Guide Review - To Court the King
A total of 19 different characters are available. Some, like the Farmer, add to the number of dice that you can roll on your turn. Others allow you to manipulate the dice that you do roll. For example, if you roll a total of 20 or more you can choose to take the Merchant. The Merchant allows you to re-roll any number of active dice.
As the game progresses, the rolls required to earn new cards become tougher to make, and the special powers become more powerful. One nice twist is that there are never enough of a single card for every player. So if you don't get the Guard (requires three of a kind; brings an additional die into play) soon enough, the other players might prevent you from getting one at all.
The characters can seem overwhelming at first, but the game includes excellent summary cards for every player which make it easy to learn the powers and what it takes to win the cards.
Once a player rolls seven of a kind, she can choose to take the King and the Queen. If she does so, a final round begins and everyone gets one chance to make their best roll. The game ends when the player who triggered the final round gets the last chance to win.
To Court the King offers numerous strategic and tactical choices. I've seen players win by taking a "always get more dice" approach, and I've seen them win with a much more balanced approach that includes acquiring plenty of cards to manipulate the dice.
This is an excellent dice game, and one that I will gladly play any time at all. Fans of dice games should definitely add a copy to their game library.