This educational strategy game represents the events of Norman Conquest of England taking place in XI century. Historically, Harold the Second, last Anglo-Saxon king of England, lost the Battle of Hastings to William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, who became the next king.
The game is flown on schematic map of England. Players take the roles of William and Harold. In turns they give orders, move units and conquer areas. To win the game, player must gain 60 points. Points are gained by controlling land and taxing peasants. Potency is important in taxing peasants and fighting: it is increased on "low" tax rates and decreased on "medium"/"hard" tax rates. Player will gain 1 point per 1 peasant at "medium" tax rate and 2 points at "hard" tax rate. To set the tax rate player should have tax collectors.
If one of player's units enters an area occupied by enemy, the fight will be proposed. Area becomes controlled by player if it was not occupied by anyone, or fight was won.
Spies may be used. They hide from the enemies and are not seen around 80% of the time no matter who occupies the land.
Killing the opposing monarch will not necessarily win the game. Harold is already the king, so William can crown himself as soon as he gains 30 points or kills Harold. He must go to London to accept the crown.
The educational twist of the game is in-game encyclopedia and a question before player's turn. Incorrect answer will result in a loss of player's movement ability.
The Quiz full of questions on these historical events may be played instead of strategy simulation, where multiple options may be turned on/off as well.
In the Days of Knights and Kings is an interesting early strategy game that depicts the events leading up to, and including, the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD that saw William of Normandy crowned king of England. The game casts you as advisor to Harold, the reigning monarch, and the computer plays William. In a nice twist to conventions of turn-based games, the winning conditions for both sides are different: you will win if you either accumulate 60 points, or kill William. You gain points by conquering cities and collecting taxes from them. William, on the other hand, will win if he can successfully crown himself (to do that, he must get 30 points, reach London, and kill Harold). Another interesting element in the game is that you must answer one or more multiple-choice questions at the beginning of each turn. These questions pertain to factoids about the Middle Ages (e.g. "which of the following people were heir to Stephen's throne of England?"). Incorrect answers result in a loss of movement ability during your turn.
In addition to Risk-style gameplay where you move units to conquer various cities across the map, you can use spies and move Harold around the country to attract militia (only if the town he visits supports him, however). The game, although primitive, is quite fun and polished: there are comprehensive rules, advice, and even a nice glossary/reference section on medieval terminology. It is not as deep as Annals of Rome or Kingmaker, but it's quite a fun beer & pretzel strategy game that warrants a second chance.
People who downloaded In the Days of Knights and Kings have also downloaded:
Imperialism, Imperialism 2: The Age of Exploration, Imperial Conquest 2, Kampfgruppe, Joan of Arc: The Siege & The Sword, Iron Seed, Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom, Iron Cross
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