A darkness is corrupting the region, creating monsters throughout the land! Can you defeat the monsters while outsmarting your competitors and be the one to claim all the glory?
Lords of Xidit
Designer: Régis Bonnessée
Publishers: Libellud, Asterion Press, Rebel
Players: 3 – 5
Time: 90 minutes.
Lords of Xidit is a 3 to 5 player game where the players must travel to all the various cities in the region, recruiting the townsfolk to form a militia and to take down the invading monsters. This may sound like a lot of games, but there are some mechanics at work here that make this one of my favorite games.
For setup, each player picks a color, the tokens for each city in the region are split up to form a monster pile and a city pile, five of each are then place on the board, and the worker miniatures and placed on the city tiles. At this point a first player is picked, and they choose a starting location on the board.
Now things start to get interesting. We have to start first by deciding the win conditions. There are three commodities that determine the winner. The first, plain and simple is money. The second is by getting your bards to sign of your might and glory. The last is by building Sorcerer’s Guilds in cities which you have defeated the monsters. But which should you focus your efforts on? Well in each game you randomly decide the order in which these are evaluated. Essentially when performing the final scoring, their will be rounds for each of the types above. In each round somebody will be eliminated for not having enough of one resource, so you will need to balance you’re efforts to gaining some of all three. You only win if you have enough to make it into the third scoring round, and you win that round.
Maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here, let’s look at how you actually earn these rewards. For a normal game, there will be 12 rounds. Each round will consist of 6 turns or actions. But here is why I just absolutely love this game. You and all of your competitors will plan all 6 of your turns in secret with these handy action tracker dials. Then once everybody is ready, the trackers are flipped over and then each player takes a single action as play rotates around the table.
So you have to one plan for what you want to do, and what your opponents might do. You can also see the next few cities and monsters that will appear. So you’ve got options. But nothing is worse than (or better than, depending on who you are) when you get to your third move and realize that you are one step behind on of your friends and the last 4 actions you have planned are not going to get anything done. It’s just fantastic, and adds a ton of depth and strategy to the game.
So now that you know what’s going on, let’s look at what you can do. The simplest action is to move. Each city connects to three other cities via colored roads. You would pick the colored road you want to use with your action dials. The next action, is to do nothing. This can be devastating to your opponents, by allowing you to swoop in after them and get better warriors from cities or just to mess with their heads! The last action is to perform and action in the city you are currently in.
This can be a few things. The first is to recruit fighters. There is an order to which fighter you get, where weaker, or less valuable workers are recruited first. Each monster will have a fighter requirement to defeat it which is on each monster token. The second option is to spend your workers and fight the monster in the city where you currently are located. When you do this you can then claim 2 of the three rewards on the monster’s token.
The first, like mentioned above was money, plain and simple. Take the number of coins on the token. The second was the bards. You will be awarded a certain number of tokens which can be placed in any adjacent region. All of these regions are outlined on the game board. Each has a first place value and a second place value that is evaluated at the end of the game. All of these are open for all to see, except for the center region which is hidden (and worth the most points). The last option is to start building a sorcerer’s guild. These are built at the city which you currently stand, and can only be four tall, so you will need to build these in multiple cities.
Without going into too much detail, the other action you can take is to fight a titan. The titans only come out if you can place a monster during normal game play (which I’ll explain shortly). You can use any of your fighters to deal with a titan, but the rewards just are not as good as normal monsters. But if you are in a pinch, they are definitely worth considering.
Okay, so a little bit of house keeping. There are a few other things that happens before the end of the game. The first is finishing and replacing both city and monster tiles. Each city will have 5 fighters to recruit. Once this happens, that tile is then place in the incoming monster pile. When a monster is defeated, it’s put into the incoming city pile. When either of these happen, a new tile is brought into play and the game continues. This goes on for the 12 rounds, with only three interruptions. After every 4 rounds (called years in the game), a census is held. Players will get rewards if they have the highest number of a certain fighter type in their possession (there is a reward for all types of fighters).
That’s pretty much it. The game is a little bit longer to play through, and does require a little bit of explanation at the beginning. But the mind games of what you and your opponents are thinking about doing, and having to plan out your moves 6 turns at a time while considering all these options make Lords of Xidit one of my favorite games. There is a three player version, but I really think you should play with 4 or 5. I highly recommend this if you want a nice strategy and planning game with some different game mechanics at play. Also, who doesn’t enjoy slaying monsters!
- High in strategy and planning.
- Game order/resources randomized by how you play.
- Win conditions/order different each time.
- Lot’s of great little miniatures.
- Great bits of art on all the pieces.
- 4 to 5 players.
- First play through will take a bit of explaining.
- Cleanup and setup can be somewhat tedious because of all the pieces.
- There can be some frustration if you keep getting out smarted (but hey, maybe learn from your mistakes?).
Main image credit to the game’s website.
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