It was immediately intriguing when I came across a game which offered both skill, and strategy.
The Knights of Crylail offers players both.
On the skill side, it is a finger-flicking game. That means it requires the same skill set as the classic Crokinole. If you don't have a steady hand and a deadly aim as you settle in to flick your wooden disks you best practice because that is at the heart of Knights of Crylail.
The story lore is fun to start with.
"The warring kingdoms of Crylail are forced to put their differences aside for a time as they turn to fight a common foe. A dark wizard has summoned three mighty Drak-Borgs, equipped them with stones of power and sent them to their death in the Void. When each Drak-Borg meets this fiery doom, the wizard and his legions increase in power. The hope of the Free Lands of Crylail depends on the brave knights and their fellow fighters sent to slay the Drak-Borgs in the Lanten fields at the edge of the world," details the single rules sheet for the game.
The rules are very simple, but also allow for some strategic decisions.
The Void is represented by the edge of any convenient table. Players will send their disks (the knights) down the table, attempting to place them in scoring positions near the three target disks (the Drak-Borgs).
The components are great. There are three Drak-Borg disks, and then each player gets a set of six knights. Triangles are included to mark the launch and battle lines. All are made of wood, always a bonus in terms of components. It also all fits in a small cloth bag, so taking it with you is easy.
The playing field is a smooth table.
Place the Drak-Borg at one end, behind the battle line.
Set the launch line at the opposite end of the table. Players take turns flicking their knights from behind the launch line toward the Drak-Borg to score points.
If the knight goes off the table or stays on the table but does not cross the battle line, it is removed from play for that round. Knights removed from play are placed face-down to indicate they have been used that round.
Where the strategy comes into play is that each of the six knights, marked by a brand, has unique attributes, which impact scoring. It is a player's choice when to use each knight, adding a layer of decision-making to each game round.
As examples; Spearmen – represented by the Spear, if this knight is closest to the Void (edge of the table behind the battle line), it is worth six points.
The Slayer – represented by the Axe, this knight scores double points if it scores in the round. It cannot be the last knight a player sends into battle.
It is the added layer of strategic play option in terms of piece selection which gives this finger-flicking game an added boost in terms of enjoyment.
If you like games that require skill, and like a bit of strategy mixed in, then Knights of Crylail is a must.
Check it out at www.bluepantherllc.com
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper August 17, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada