No. of players: 2-4
Amount of time to play: 45-60 min
Age requirements: 14+
Set-up time: 5 min
Crusaders Thy Will Be Done combines a rondel with mancala mechanics with a dash of area control and set collection to create a fun, super accessible board game.
Crusaders Thy Will Be Done Rules Description:
In Crusaders Thy Will Be Done, you play an order of knights seeking to spread the influence of your faction. The game includes ten different factions with unique bonuses. At the start of the game you are given two and choose one to use. You also start with one knight token and a player board.
Your player board has a rondel made up of six wedges on it. At the start of the game each wedge has two action tokens on them. On your turn you either resolve an action or upgrade a wedge. Each wedge has an action associated with it. The actions are travel, influence, build, crusade, and influence (there are two travel wedges). To resolve an action you take the action tokens of the wedge showing the action you want to perform. Then you distribute them one at a time clockwise from that space. The number of tokens you removed equals the action’s strength for this turn.
Here are the actions you may take:
Travel – This action lets you move your knight(s) around the board. It takes one point of strength to leave you current hex to go into an adjacent one. If your current hex contains an enemy token it costs two to leave hex. This only applies to enemy tokens, not your opponents’ knights.
Build – You may build a building from your player mat in a hex that does not contain an enemy token. These buildings gain you Influence and most reveal action symbols that increase the strength of different actions. The level four buildings also provide end game scoring.
Muster – Mustering your troops gets you Influence and increases your Crusade action strength. You need three strength the first time you muster and the cost increases by one each time you resolve it.
Crusade – This action removes enemy tokens from the board. You need a strength equal to or greater than that enemy’s strength to defeat it. In return you get Influence equal to its strength and keep the token. Every time an enemy token is removed from the board that army’s strength increases by one.
Influence – This just gets you points from the supply equal to this action’s strength.
The other option on your turn is to upgrade a wedge. You flip a wedge over which reveals an additional action you may take when resolving that wedge. You then pick any wedge and redistribute its tokens one at a time starting with the next clockwise wedge.
The game ends once the supply of Influence tokens runs out. There are a different number in the supply depending on the number of players. Finish out the round so that all players get the same number of turns and then calculate your score.
In addition to the Influence you gained during the game, You also score Influence based on who has the most and second most enemy tokens of each army and any Influence gained from level four buildings, The player with the most Influence wins.
Quick Review of Crusaders Thy Will Be Done:
Crusaders Thy Will be Done is a fun board game that is easy to teach, quick to play and enjoyable for newer and veteran hobby board gamers. It combines rondel action selection with mancala token distribution to create a fun and unique experience.
The components for the game are excellent. The little wooden buildings and knights look great on the board and the bright colors make it stand out. The rules are well-written and the art matches the theme.
For a medium-light Euro board game, Crusaders Thy Will Be Done is easy to teach, learn and play. Turns go quickly and the game does not overstay its welcome. In fact you’ll often find yourself wishing you had one more turn.
There are several ways to score points and not a single path to victory. Focusing on a couple ways is probably best though. I have read the Influence path is overpowered, but have not consistently witnessed that in our games.
Some players think the game plays itself as the optimal move is usually obvious. But if you plan well, the best actions tend to be the ones you want to take. Different factions can help you plan too.
Crusaders Thy Will Be Done is a great board game to add to your collection. It is easy to teach and learn, very accessible and plays quickly. That means it should get to the table often and be on your shelf.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 4 out of 6
Luck 2 out of 6
Player Interaction 4 of 6
Replay Value 4 out of 6
Complexity 3 out of 6
Fun 5 out of 6
Overall 5 out of 6