October is a big month for Kickstarters, and we’re gonna have a good amount of previews and coverage coming soon to help you learn about them all, but we thought we’d kick it off with a game that launched at the very tail-end of September: Regency. The debut release of San Diego’s Pique Games, Regency launched on September 30th with a goal of $8,000, and the folks at Pique were nice enough to send me a preview copy to check out. So let’s dig into a game that lets you “step” into history.
What’s In The Box?
The game really only has two main components: the cards and the “Regent boards,” which are mostly just the tableau that your cards will be arrayed around. A lot of work went into the look and feel of the game, and it shows in the artwork used. Per Pique, over 80% of the art is original (historical games sometimes just cheat and use public domain work), and it is really pretty. Definitely captures the sort of portraiture you’d associate with royalty. They also expressed an interest in diversity, and they followed that through with an incredibly varied array of rulers from all over the world (though they went with a black Cleopatra for some reason, which is incredibly ahistorical), and the different citizens you can get reflect the different cultures as well.
How’s It Play
Regency packs quite a bit of fun into a small box. The core part of the game is in the collecting of citizens to add to your fiefdom, which is the area in front of your and surrounding your regent board. The cards all sit in a shared populace, which shifts as time goes on. Regents have to use their influence to draft cards that both work into their sets (similar to games like Amul) and give benefits that let you affect the game and your fellow players. They also interact with the different parts of your regent board, so when selecting cards and filling slots (or losing them as they shift when a card is removed) there’s a bit of strategy going on in front of you as well. There’s a great balance between player interaction and individual strategy as you have to keep your own house in order while dealing with the others. Cards are divided up into different castes, with each regent having a caste they favor more than the others. This comes into play with the event cards, which normally require you to have a member of that caste in your population to use but can be avoided if your ruler has that caste as their “prowess,” e.g. Isabela I of Castile has a religious prowess so she can use those events regardless of who she’s added to her fiefdom.
The Kickstarter for Regency runs through October 30, and you can get the base game for $29.
Thanks to Pique Games for the images and preview copy used for this article