DESIGNER: Uwe Rosenberg
PUBLISHER: Wyrmwood/Rio Grande Games
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2
AGES: 14 +
TIMES PLAYED: 3, with a copy I purchased
I am a fan of Uwe Rosenberg games, so when a new one comes out, it is pretty much an automatic buy for me. Sure, I’ve been burned a couple of times in the past (I’m looking at you, Reykholt), but more often than not I enjoy them. One of the many things I like about them is that they usually work very well as 2-player games; since more than half of my gaming is 2-player, it is a definite plus. Robin of Locksley is specifically a 2-player game, so I was especially interested.
There are 60 loot tiles. 25 of them are laid out in a 5 x 5 grid. The rest are put face down nearby to serve as a draw pile.
There are 8 corner-shaped fame tiles. Two of them – The Beginning (start) and Long Love the King (end) are always used and are put together on one corner. The rest are shuffled; you draw three and put those on the other corners, and put the other three back in the box. There are 16 smaller fame tiles; you draw 12 and place three on each side of the board; the rest are returned to the box. Some of the pieces are labelled as day (easy) or night (harder), and you can choose to use the day pieces to make the game easier.
The game contains 2 pieces per player – one Robin, which is used to move on the tiles, and one Bard, which is used to move on the fame tiles.
Before the start of the game each player chooses a tile from the corner of the board and then places their Robin in the now-empty spot. The tile is placed face-up in front of the player, in their personal supply.
On your turn you move your Robin in a knight’s move as in chess – the shape of an L. You take the tile you landed on and place it into your personal supply, and draw a tile to replace the one you took. Sold Loot collections are discarded to form a discard pile that is shuffled and re-used when needed (more on selling loot collections in a minute).
After you move your Robin you have the choice to move your Bard on the Race Track, which is made up of the Fame tiles. Each Fame tile has a task on it; if you have fulfilled that task you may move onto that tile. Most of the “tasks” relate to your personal supply – have 2 collections, have at least one tile of a particular color etc. If you cannot meet that task you may also spend 1 gold coin per space to move.
How do you get gold coins? Well, all the tiles are double-sided. Any time during your turn you can sell a Loot collection that has three or more tiles of the same type. Two of these tiles are discarded to the discard pile and the remaining tiles are flipped to their gold side and remain in your supply as gold (much like in Bohnanza). However, unlike Bohnanza these gold coins are not victory points; they are currency that is used to travel the Fame track.
The game ends in one of two ways – if one player laps the other player (meaning they pass their bard a second time), that player wins immediately. Otherwise the player to complete two laps and fulfill the task on the end tile wins.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE GAME
The components are of good quality. The icons are distinct and the text is clear. It can be a little hard to read the text on the fame tiles from across the table, which requires asking the other play to remind you what they are, which is not ideal. It does get easier to remember with repeated plays, but there is still a lot of asking “what’s that next tile say?”. All information is public, so you aren’t giving anything away; it’s just annoying.
The rules are clear and provide some good examples.
The box is double the size it needs to be; aside from space concerns, this means that the tiles fall all over the box every time you move them, and you have to reorganize everything each time you open the box. I have now bagged everything, even though a better, smaller box would negate the need for that.
I enjoy the game play. Using the knight move from chess adds to the puzzle of trying to plan your move to maximize your collections. You also need to be thinking about how that positions you for future moves, which makes it more challenging.
Gold not counting as victory points is a nice twist. It is essential in helping you move around the board and possibly prevent the other player from moving too far ahead of you; you have to find the balance of not spending it carelessly and not hoarding it too much, and that can change from game to game based on the fame tiles that come out and the layout of the loot. You also have to monitor the other player to see if they are about to rabbit ahead and end the game.
I do not anticipate ever needing to make it easier by using the “easy” tiles, as the goals are pretty straightforward, but it could be useful with a younger player or less experienced gamer. I think this could easily be played by children much younger than 14.
Overall, I enjoy the game. There is a lot of strategy built into this game that is not obvious on the first read-through of the rules. If this game had a smaller box it would likely see more play, since it would be more easily portable. However, with a play time of 20ish minutes on average it likely will get pulled out often at home when we want a quick game.
THOUGHTS OF OTHER OPINIONATED GAMERS
Mark Jackson (1 play): My only complaint is mentioned by Tery… the size of the fame tiles (especially since the box is large enough for bigger fame tiles). Otherwise, I enjoyed my one play immensely and am looking forward to adding it to my collection.
I love it!:
I like it: Tery, Mark
Not for Me: