Coin & Crown Board Game Review (Escape Velocity Games)

7

Build the best kingdom in Coin & Crown, a tableau-building, victory point game played in five short rounds. During Coin & Crown, players will recruit soldiers, construct buildings, and upgrade their city, all with the ultimate goal of trying to best their neighbors. Coin & Crown comes with some cute components (jingly plastic coins and velvet pouches), but also has a few minor publishing problems.

Coin & Crown Board Game Details

Players: 1 to 4

Game Time: 60 Minutes

Age: 12+

Genre: Tableau Building / City Building

How is Coin & Crown Played?

At the top of the round, players draw four random coins from their pouch. These are their resources to spend. On their turn, they can buy something with their coin, complete a free action (free actions are random each game), upgrade something, or build a land (hamlet/village/town/city). 


Everyone gets a set of coins and a purse to randomize their resources.

You can build lands by purchasing them with coin or by taking them by force, but you need to have certain cards purchased in order to upgrade them. Builders may let you skip some of these resources.

Ultimately, the goal of the game is to have as many hamlets, villages, towns, and cities as possible, with each upgrade offering more victory points. However, VP can also be gained by having the most of something (such as soldiers) at the end of a round, or fulfilling certain random objectives (such as donating the most to a church).

Nearly every card in the game is somewhat unique, with different land cards having different upgrade requirements, and even simple cards like soldiers having different power levels or a different amount of times they can attack. A round lasts as long as any player still has actions they can complete. If cards aren't purchased at the end of a round, money is put on them, which a player can then gain by taking them.

A Surprisingly Well-Balanced Game

There was a lot going on in Coin & Crown, but we found that most strategies left us in similar areas. Trying to just purchase soldiers secured me a win, but the player who was focused on buying builders, buildings, and upgrades fell just slightly short. The only players who really seemed to falter were the ones who tried to do a little of everything; it isn't a game for people who like "jack of all trades" playthroughs.


Regardless of your cards, you'll score mostly for your lands. 

There are ways to exploit the game; if you do it right, you can get into a decent string of purchasing cards essentially for free, which also adds money to your pool. In our game, we had a card that let us upgrade coins to different values of coin, which was powerful when combined with an unlimited number of bronze coins.

However, because the game only goes five rounds, you have to be fairly decisive with your strategies. Your decision-making may also change with the game, as you do need to compete with others to have the "most" of certain things by the end of the round. 

It should be noted that some of the balance of the game is a bit forced; on the last two years, the player who has the least amount of victory points in their land gets to go first. This does provide some rubberbanding for players who are behind. 

 

Some Minor Publishing Issues

So, there's a problem with this game, and it's the publishing. Coin & Crown uses silver, bronze, and gold coins, but in practice it's very difficult to distinguish them from each other. This is glaringly obvious from the outset and a strange publication choice, because it made things confusing a few times for those of us who could not distinguish colors very easily. 

One problem is that the settlement cards have a "gold" that looks identical to "bronze" on other cards. It appears to be because the cards themselves have a colored overlay. Regardless of the reason, it seems like something that should have been checked before the print run occurred. 


In this image, the left is 'gold' and the right is 'bronze.' The center is also gold, though it looks like it falls between the spectrum of gold and bronze.

The game also requires a lot of space, probably more than the game really needs. Even the average "picnic table" setup is going to be a little cramped as you build your tableau.


You have a center market deck in addition to everyone's personal tableau.

If you like tableau building games, Coin & Crown is a really streamlined and fast version of one. You can get a game done in 45 minutes if you know how to play, and the varied free abilities offer some replay value. It's definitely a better than average tableau building game, but it needs some work on the publishing side.

Coin & Crown Board Game Review
  • PRO: A streamlined and fast-playing city-building game that comes with fun props.
  • CON: Some minor publishing issues and a fairly generic theme.