11/05/2021

Crown of Emara: Win and rule the tiny Kingdom Emara [Review]

With many board games taking inspirations from historical events and real characters of yore, Crown of Emara’s design team steered in another direction by creating a small fiction universe. Emara was described as a prosperous and peaceful country under the reign of King Thedorius The Wise. Just like the typical background story, in this game, players compete to be the successor by showing their skills to keep the country’s state or better, more flourished than before.

I have seen Crown of Emara several times in several local game stores in Germany. Of course, it is pretty common because the game is published by Pegasus Spiele. Pretty unfortunate that it was released in 2018, when our manpower was not ready to have a quite complex game. On the other side, this actually opened a crack for Adhitya to write his thoughts on the blog. I really appreciate his effort to express his feelings towards the game. I am pretty moved with what he wrote, and I hope you, too. Without further ado, this is it.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ON CROWN OF EMARA

The first time I opened Crown of Emara’s box, I was wondering because I could not find the main gaming board. Yes, we wouldn’t find it anyway in this game. Instead, we got this small board for the players and for scoring, intended as the centre board. Besides, there were some parts that built a rondel which later on should be combined to the centre board.

Additionally, the size of resources components are also very eye-catching. They are larger than the usual size I usually get in other games out there. However, in terms of shapes, nothing is extraordinary. Most of them are similar to your standard euro games’ components.


The look at the main board with its visibly clear components. The latter ones are pretty huge, and we’ll never miss them.

Personally, it was a joy to see Crown of Emara’s cosmetic aspects. Both components and artwork in this game is a sight for the sore eyes. Dennis Lohausen’s illustration is far from fancy, but I still considered them vibrant and colourful. With this quality level, it is sufficient already to pull newcomers to join our gaming session just from the look. Trivia time! Do you guys know that he is also the illustrator responsible for graphics in Gaia Project dan some big titles, too?

PERSONAL OPINION

This game from Pegasus Spiele is a simple euro game to the core. It mixes action selection and worker placement together, not only it blends, it becomes one in harmony. Players can choose actions based on how far they move between the two rondels which spot consists of multiple actions. To get deeper in this matter, I found out that how far players move really depends on where their hands are played. Thus, it was essential to think about the combinations we needed to play during the game to be more efficient. It sounds complicated I know, but worry not! It’s true that Crown of Emara possesses a bunch of option to choose. Nevertheless, the game’s point of interest lies in how to outpace your opponent.

Two point tracks in Crown of Emara

If I’d be blunt, Crown of Emara integrates a particular scoring system that feels very similar with the one from Rajas of the Ganges. I concluded this point after seeing the two point tracks for the citizen and the housing. What’s more, the final score is determined from the lowest of these two tracks.

The fun part is, the citizen point starts from 0, while the housing one begins at 30-35. From my experience, by the late-game state, realization on how to effectively balance both tracks will kick in. At this crucial time, failure to do so might lead to a low scoring result despite so much effort throughout the game. If you love your points, take care of both tracks, I mean it.


Two tracks that need to be balanced out to generate the best point output. Getting too advanced on one track does not help at all.

Replay value and suitable target market

I had several plays where wrong calculations and questionable moves wrecked my chance to seize the Crown of Emara. The external factors and uncontrollable events, such as opponents’ action, sometimes led to mismanagement. It did not end there, though. The culmination of events resulted in imbalanced tracks, which of course hampered my way to win the game.

However, it didn’t devastate me to the point of losing my gaming spirit. In fact, that feeling just made me want to play Crown of Emara even more. 

I’ve played this game with 2, 3, and 4 players, and all were enjoyable, although with more players, the game potentially became tighter and more competitive. I believe this game can be enjoyed by newcomers due to ease of teaching, as well as heavy euro gamer thanks to the amount of strategic thinking involved. 

Short game time for maximum joy

Crown of Emara doesn’t take too long and can be completed in an hour, yet players can play it with maximum fun throughout. It also still feels meaty despite the short gaming session. Furthermore, the game becomes more enjoyable for the eyes, thanks to great artworks from Dennis Lohausen. Besides the great illustration, the publisher also provides high-quality components that don’t disappoint us.

PENUTUP

Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about Crown of Emara besides its difficulty to find this game in my home country, Indonesia. I guess it’s not that hard to find in the other part of the globe. I only managed to get the game in the second half of 2020, which was two years after its release. However, despite the belated acquisition, it managed to become one of my highlights of the year, and I can’t wait to seize the Crown of Emara once again.

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