Review by C. Demetrius Morgan
is a card game skirting the edges of traditional trick taking games. Published by Hinterwelt
and currently available from RPGnow
And just who is Hinterwelt? “We are primarily an RPG company right now but we want to look into the exciting (for us at least) PDF market and especially the PDF board game/card game market.” -William E. Corrie
Rating: This was a tough call. While the presentation is well done the actual content is a bit sparse, however there were no appreciable PDF issues and my answers were responded to in a timely fashion and the updated PDF displayed marked improvement. Thus I am going to give Regicide 6 out of 10 golden apples. Be sure you read the review in full to see why.
My first impression of Regicide was that it needed some work, but Hinterwelt has shown great enthusiasm for working out kinks in the rules. Indeed during the course of this review I have received at least one updated PDF. That says a lot about the effort being put into getting Regicide clear-cut and ready to play. Too, when asked what the main influences were that helped shape Regicide Mr. Corrie had the following to say, “Too little sleep, too much coffee, and a desire for a simple diceless strategy game. Seriously, I have always loved the old time strategy card games that were simple yet complex at the same time. Cribbage and Racehorse come to mind.” I found that lighthearted remark to be interesting and provide an insight into the heart and nature of Hinterwelt. However there is also a serious side to Hinterwelt. For instance when asked if there are any plans to publish a print version of Regicide in the foreseeable future Mr. Corrie stated, “To be honest, we are testing the waters with the PDF market. It seems a good place to see if there is any interest in the mechanics then we can contemplate moving to a print version. We have high hopes at this point.” My initial impression of Hinterwelt run parallel to those that I have of Regicide, both contain great promise and convey a sense of dynamic enthusiasm that is certain to brighten a room. Here’s hoping that light isn’t snuffed out before its time.
Regicide is a set of rules for use with a standard deck of playing cards. Yet it also shares certain concepts with trick taking games. Actual play is more like a hybrid of 'Go Boom' and 'Euchre', yet it is not like the at all. Which is the point. Regicide is a card game unto itself in which many similarities can be seen to existing card games, but the rules are such that it does not appear be derivative of any single game. Indeed one could just as easily say that Regicide is similar to Hearts or Trumps. But the reality is it is not like any of these games.
The Setting: The “board” (which you have to print out) is a map of our world, with each continent set up at a sort of base of operations from which your counters (which you also have to provide) are to be placed.
The Game: Regicide is essentially a card game skirting the edges of trick taking games. The concept is not unlike that found in Avalon Hill’s “Down with the King”, which was a fantasy game of political intrigue, only on much smaller and less complex scale.
There are some bumps. But then this could be said of many a game. Luckily I have quite a few books to illuminate the subject matter. The most pertinent to this review being “The Complete Hoyle‘s Games” and “The Encyclopedia of Games”, both of which were consulted for comparison of rules structure. Hoyle’s is dense and can make the best of us feel like a thick wit at times with its often bland, dated, matter-of-fact writing style. But it presents rules for just about every card game imaginable, and then some. By comparison Regicide is a bit thin, or unencumbered if you prefer, and doesn’t suffer from dated grammar. However the Encyclopedia of Games is a much more recent volume, and it presents the rules for a number of card games in straightforward and easy to understand terms. If anything the rules of Regicide are written in a style and structure closer to those found here than in Hoyle’s.
Negatives: Cost. I think the price of this set of rules, and the fact it is a PDF, is going to be what ultimately does Regicide in. Too, I would like to have seen at least three more pages of examples, explanation, and samples of play. It’s not necessary but it would have been nice. However, as a “bonus” Regicide would make for a great extra incentive if bundled with other Hinterwelt products.
Positives: Simple, straightforward, not encumbered by a lot of extraneous pages dealing with comparisons to other card games or dense terminology. Regicide has great potential for being developed into an independent board game. Preferably one divorced from the standard deck of cards, but either way the potential exists. Should make for a nice evenings diversion over beer and chips. Alas, no rules for “strip Regicide” here. *wink*
Rumors: Will Hinterwelt be publishing more non-role-playing games? “We have two [card games] in the works. The first is Imperial Polka, where 2-4 players attempt to conquer lands in ancient Rome. A standard 52 card deck using weighted War rules is used to resolve combat; it's a lot like Regicide, but a little more complex with more resource management than Regicide. Our other game, Royal Fop, has players betting on and trading specialty Fop Cards while using a poker mechanic to resolve conflict. It's more betting & bluffing, less strategy.” But that‘s not all! “We're also looking into jewelry, dice bags, and maybe even a novel or two.” -William E. Corrie, Hinterwelt
Copyright © 2004 C. Demetrius Morgan