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115: The Crew | The King’s Dilemma | Burn Rate

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Welcome to Which Game First where we boldly explore the hilariously huge world of board games. Did we unearth any hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on? Let’s find out!

First up this week: We space suit up for an uncertain mission and play the cards we’re dealt in The Crew: The Quest for Planet NineNext: We enter the court of an uncertain monarch to help solve the troubles of the realm in The King’s DilemmaAnd lastly: We spearhead a startup through the uncertain times of the dot-com bubble in Burn Rate

The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

Designed by: Thomas SingPublished by: KOSMOS (2019)Players: 2 – 5Ages: 10 & upPlaying time: 20 min

The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, is a co-operative trick taking game. The players are a team of astronauts tackling a variety of challenges in space.

Each mission has a different success condition.  For example, a victory condition might be that Ed must collect the green 5. Succeed and we can go to the next mission.  Fail, and we have to try again.

The game follows many of the standard rules of trick taking games, meaning the highest card of any suit will take the trick, and there are trump cards, which overtake the highest card of any suit. And of course, there is no discussing your hand with other players.

Once per hand, a player can communicate one fact about one of the cards in their hand. But the communication is limited to expressing that one card is either the highest, lowest, or only card of that suit. 

There are 50 missions in all, with each mission becoming more challenging . 

The team wins only if every single player is successful in fulfilling their tasks, and of course The Crew knows that in space  … no one can hear you play. 

The King’s Dilemma

Designed by: Hjalmar Hach, Lorenzo SilvaPublished by: Horrible Guild (2019)Players: 3 – 5Ages: 14 & upPlaying time: 45 – 60 min

The King’s Dilemma is an interactive narrative legacy game where players represent the various houses leading the government of the Kingdom of Ankist.

Each turn, one card from the “Dilemma deck” is drawn, which poses a problem that the Council has to resolve on the King’s behalf. As members of the King’s inner circle, your decisions determine how the story proceeds and the fate of the kingdom. Each event happens only once: You discuss and bargain with the other players, then finally each player votes YEA, NAY, or PASS. Depending on how the vote winds up, the story progresses with the consequences of those decisions, for better or worse.  

You have to keep the kingdom going, while also seeking to fulfil the goals on your house’s secret agenda card; this power struggle may lead the kingdom into war, famine, or riot, or it could generate wealth and well-being. This will depend on your choices! What is good for the kingdom as a whole may be bad for your family, or vice versa.

Will you act for the greater good, or will you think only of yourself? That is truly The Kings’ Dilemma.

Burn Rate

Designed by: Rich KoehlerPublished by: Cool Studio (2002)Players: 2 – 4Ages: 13 & upPlaying time: 30 – 45 min

BURN RATE is a card game that puts the players in the role of a dot-com CEO, trying to keep their startup afloat. The challenge: lose your company’s money as slowly as possible. 

Each player starts by drafting a team of 4 employees and an equal amount of c...