In a little more than 2 weeks, I’ll be able to take possession of my “grail” game. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Great Lakes Games Convention at the beginning of November where not only many of the newly arrived Essen games will be unwrapped and played but I also found someone willing to part with their copy of Tal der Könige.
Tal der Könige is long out of print and it’s relatively difficult to find copies for sale in the states. It seems to be more easily found in Europe but as luck would have it I stumbled into this sale and I won’t have to pay shipping.
So what’s a “grail” game and what’s so special about Tal der Könige? A “grail” game is a game that, for an avid board gamer, falls in the “must have” category for whatever reason (rational or otherwise). They’re usually hard to find and/or very expensive and obtaining a copy represents the culmination of effort, patience, and unfortunately usually money.
Relatively speaking, Tal der Könige isn’t ranked very highly. But it isn’t a slacker either at 6.72. Designed by Christian Beierer, it was published in 1992 by Kosmos and supports 2-4 players for about 60 minutes. It comes in a horrific neon and triangular (yes…triangular) box but the game itself is very beautiful. The game requires players to bid, bluff, auction, steal, pillage, and scrape together materials to build pyramids on the large triangular board. The game presents some nice “screw your neighbor” opportunities so it may only play well in the right crowd.
But, for me, the biggest drive to obtaining a copy was that the game just looks damn cool.
The image above courtesy of Toynan on BGG