Architects of the West Kingdom, designed by Shem Phillips, is the first in the "West Kingdom" trilogy. The game builds on the success of the "North Sea" trilogy. As royal architects you are trying to impress the King and maintain your noble standing in the kingdom by hiring apprentices, constructing landmarks and contributing to the cathedral.
Architects of the West Kingdom is a worker placement game. The actions get more powerful the more workers you have at a given location. But rival architects will do whatever they can to stop your progress including notifying the authorities of large groups of crowds which are sent to the guardhouse. Do you want to be virtuous and be an upstanding citizen or take a less moral route to achieve your goals? The choice is yours.
Architects of the West Kingdom is getting an expansion next year, Architects of the West Kingdom: Age of Artisans.
Age of Artisans - What we Know
This expansion gives the ability to add a sixth player. Age of Artisans includes new craft cards, a dual layered guildhall board, two new player boards and a variety of extra apprentices and buildings.
The biggest addition comes from multi-use cards that can be played to upgrade buildings and apprentices. This, surely, will add new paths to take and new ways of scoring victory points. What these upgrades entail and exactly how they will be used is not yet known.
The new dual-layer guildhall board will reset and discard apprentices keeping the market fresh with new apprentices during the game preventing the market becoming stagnant. There also seems to be a worker stacking mechanism which allows players to build additional buildings without advancing the end game. How this all works with the dual layer guildhall board is unclear at the moment.
Age of Artisans is set to be released next year. However, it has not been determined if it is going straight to retail or via Kickstarter. If Shem Phillips' other games are anything to go by, this expansion is surely going to be a big hit.
I personally really enjoy Architects of the West Kingdom and welcome the expansion. I'm not too sure about the sixth player to be honest. But more buildings, apprentices and the dual-layer board has me very intrigued. I am keeping a close eye on this one. The refreshing of the market is a welcome addition indeed. I will be keeping a close eye on this one as more details are revealed.