It’s no secret that Architects of the West Kingdom is a fantastic game. It’s my #4 game played of all time!
Designed by Shem Phillips and S J MacDonald and published by both Garphill Games and Renegade Game Studios, this wonderful worker-placement game about building a city in Medieval France has very few flaws in my opinion.
At the time, we didn’t have a whole lot of information about it.
Now we do, and this looks so sweet!
Today, Shem posted the rulebook to BGG and also announced this week that pre-orders would open on November 19 from Garphill Games.
First (and this wasn’t a criticism), it adds a 6th player. I can’t even imagine playing this with six, so we’ll see what happens. Turns are fairly short, so it could be fine.
The expansion will add Artisans, which are just like your normal workers except they count as 2 workers when you place them and can ignore one virtue loss when placed.
That will come in handy!
It also has 12 new building cards and 12 new Apprentices.
The game will start with an Apprentice draft similar to what happens in Paladins of the West Kingdom, where each player (in reverse player order) gets to hire an Apprentice for free before the game starts. This will probably alleviate a bit of the time issue, especially in a 6-player game, as you will get a leg up on your normal starting position.
A couple of new concepts in this expansion are crafting Tools and Adornments for your Apprentices and buildings respectively.
This will take an extra worker to do (unless you use the Black Market for the Tool), so you may find yourself running out if go overboard, but this will allow you to supplement the effects of your buildings and Apprentices, giving them additional powers or perhaps letting them be activated again.
These adornments and tools will get you more points at the end of the game as well.
Reading through the rulebook, it appears that they have addressed what minor criticisms I would have for the base game as well.
First, there will actually be scoresheets included! Wow, that was so missing from the base game.
Secondly, there are now a couple of ways to flush at least some of the Apprentices from the Main Board space where you hire them. Many have complained that if none of the Apprentices on offer suit your strategy, you are essentially shut out of hiring Apprentices since there was no way to clear some of them out.
Now, there are three spaces in the Guildhall (where you build your buildings or add to the Cathedral) that will flush the left-most Apprentices from both rows. There is also at least one building adornment that will let you remove all 8 Apprentices from the board, adding new ones and then letting you hire one for free.
I never thought a rulebook could make me drool.
Architects of the West Kingdom: Age of the Artisans has just proven me wrong.
What do you think of all this?
Are you pre-ordering first day?
Let me know in the comments.