World Without End is a traditional European-style strategy board game themed around events in the fictional village of Kingsbridge, from 1337 to 1361, nearly 200 years after the construction of the imposing cathedral known as The Pillars of the Earth. Players take on the roles of merchants, farmers, and builders who strive for wealth and prestige while living a devout and loyal life. The object of the game is to get the most victory points. These are mainly obtained by participating in various building projects and caring for the residents of Kingsbridge affected by the plague, the so-called Black Death. However, life in Kingsbridge is not easy. Players must constantly struggle to get enough food, show loyalty to the church and the crown, pay taxes, and deal with sudden setbacks that happen randomly throughout the game.
The main feature of this game is a huge four-panel game board of excellent quality, depicting Kingsbridge and the surrounding countries. On the game board, there are different locations, such as
- production areas, such as the quarry (production of stone), the forest (production of wood), and the fields (production of grain).
- And there are different construction sites where players can contribute with stone or wood and gain victory points.
- From the village of Kingsbridge, with its houses and market, Some families get sick during the plague and can be healed, gaining VPs and various bonuses. In the market, players can exchange wool and cloth for money.
The game takes place in 4 chapters (periods), consisting of 6 rounds each. Each chapter represents a few years, during which players participate in various building projects, gaining precious victory points while also dealing with various unexpected events. At the end of each chapter, all players have certain obligations. Failing to make it will cost you victory points and additional penalties at the start of the next chapter. The same sequence of actions takes place in each round:
- The active player (who has the active player token) reveals an event card. Events can be instantaneous or have a lasting effect until the end of the chapter.
- After solving an instant event, the event card is oriented on a special municipal space at the top edge of the game board. The active player chooses a direction that suits his current goals as it affects two elements in the game: the personal income of each player and a special bonus only for the active player.
- Players receive their income according to the card’s orientation.
- The active player receives his special bonus as he has the favor of either the Prior/Prioress, the King/Queen, the Guildmaster, the Merchants, the Earl of Shiring, the Bishop, or the Outlaws.
- Each player plays an action card starting with the active player. All players have the same set of 12 action cards. These actions include: selling wool or cloth in the market; trading wool for fabric (which is more valuable); building a house that gives a bonus when rented; renting up to 2 homes; obtaining a grain; obtaining a resource (wood or stone)); gaining piety from the cathedral; taking care of sick people; participating in a construction project with timber or stone, or repeating the action chosen in the previous round. In this phase, players choose one card to play with and discard another. This way, they will play six steps throughout the chapter and discard the rest.
At the end of the chapter, players have the following obligatory obligations: They show that they live a virtuous and pious life by paying two righteousness, showing that they have enough food to support themselves by paying 2 grains and paying taxes. Pay. To determine the tax amount, the active player rolls a die. Failure to fulfill one or more of the above tasks will result in players losing victory points and additional penalties occurring at the start of the next chapter, such as losing their income in the first round of the next chapter or playing an action card less. It is possible to avoid the extra fine by paying one loyalty point.
At the start of the third chapter, the plague hits the village, and certain plague tokens are placed face-down on each house in Kingsbridge. Each round, a family in one of the houses can get sick and be healed by using the appropriate action card to give victory points plus other bonuses to the players who choose this action. To care for the sick, players must have sufficient medical knowledge.
Now let's go through our usual scoring categories:
Parts of the game are very beautiful and of high quality. The game board is visually stunning, with Kingsbridge's village and surrounding lands drawn, giving players a sense of England in the 14th century.
Resources (wood, stone, grain, wool, cloth) are made of wood, appropriately colored. They also have shapes that resemble their natural forms, especially grain and dust. That's a bit rare in a standard edition of a game. Houses are also made of wood shaped like houses in each player's color. All the other components: piety and loyalty markings, cover markings, money, and medical knowledge are made of thick cardboard with attention to detail and also with appropriate shapes. Action and event cards are thick paper and deserve a special mention. They are elaborately designed, and their backgrounds have the visual feel of the paper used in the Middle Ages. This also applies to the screens of the players. All in all, the components will satisfy even the most demanding gamer. Thumbs up to Michael Menzel, responsible for the game's 9/10
World Without End has rich gameplay and depth that will challenge strategy game lovers. At least not completely. Luck plays a part in the game, but not in a way that can spoil a player's strategy. After all, life is full of surprises, and things can't always go as planned. This is the concept the designers had in mind when they decided to include the event cards in the game. Some are frustrating and can mess up your plans, but consider them a challenge to your mental skills. Plus, they improve the replayability factor. There are eleven event cards for each chapter, and in each game, you randomly choose which six will be included. In this way, each game is different from the other. The game revolves around maintaining an often fragile balance between catering for food supplies, money, and purity, which are the tasks all players have at the end of the chapter. And in between: fighting to collect resources and gain victory points by participating in construction projects. One design element that some may object to is how our adversaries determine personal income. It could be considered another lucky element, but it makes the game more interesting and unpredictable. Never, during my games, have I felt that my fate was in the hands of random events or luck. Each player, in turn, orients an event card, which is a good opportunity to get what he needs, plus the bonus of the favor. By manipulating both action cards and houses, it seems that you can control your strategy. This is easier in 2 player games than in 4 player games because, in 2 player games, you have control over your income 50% of the time, while in 4 player games, it's only 25% of the time. As for player interaction, there isn't much of it in this game. Opponents' resources are hidden behind special screens, so you have to pay attention to what other players get and need. The only way you can disrupt they plan to orient an event card so they don't get something they need. However, in most cases, you will be absorbed in your own problems and introduce the map to get what you want. You don't have the time or the urge to worry about what other players are doing; your problems are enough. There are so many things to do in this game that you won't get bored easily. 8/10 learning
Although the game isn't very complex, and there isn't much to do in each round, it takes some time to get used to all the game components and its strategic elements. World Without End is quite easy to learn but hard to master. In the beginning, what will surprise you is what your priorities should be. There is so much to decide about orienting the event cards, and playing your actions will be difficult. After you play your first game, you will probably get to see the whole picture, and you will start to do much better and appreciate its depth. 7/10 Theme
World Without End is a thematic game. This element is strongly supported by the italicized text on event cards, describing a particular event from the book, and the formidable game board that brings the world of the book to life. All the mechanics are connected with the theme, from selling wool in the market to healing sick people and the sudden occurrence of events affecting the village’s life. If you've read the book, you'll appreciate the game more, but even if you haven't and you're looking for a strongly themed Eurogame game, this game is definitely for you.
The depth and versatility of the game guarantee that you won't lose interest in it easily. The random event cards and how personal income is determined mean that no two games are alike. I'm personally more than willing to play "World Without End" at any given time. 7/10 Pleasure
It's not fun in a way that you'll laugh while playing, nor will it lead to funny comments between players. But I consider it fun by challenging your mind to overcome obstacles and manipulate the game’s mechanics in the most imaginative way to win. Whining about setbacks due to event cards can be pretty fun, though. 7/10 Advantages
- Beautiful components
- Challenging gameplay, nice
- theme. equally
- good with any number of players.
- Some may be annoyed by the luck factor or the way income is determined.
According to our new scoring system, scoring categories have different weights. Components have a 15% weight, gameplay 40%, learning curve 5%, theme 5%, replayability 25%, fun 10%. According to this system and the above scores in each category, the overall weighted score of the game is:
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