Jochi Khan, Tsolmon and Bainer… are the names of three important figures in the tragically short history of the Bronze Horde. As a contemporary of Ghengis Khan, Jochi struggled to make a name for himself and his 100 followers (and their families). Camped outside the Silver City he cherished visions of glorious conquest. Alongside of him, his faithful Capt. of the Guard Bainer swore to make this a reality. However, their aged Shaman, Tsolmon (Bainer’s mother) warned an ignominious fate awaited her people if they did not turn their eyes from the corrupting allure of ‘civilization’ and return to their pure and savage roots to the North. Half-heeding her advice Jochi’s horde half-sacked the silver city plundering only its farms and fields before turning northward. This half-measure yielded equivocal results. It wasn’t long before waning morale lead Bainer to turn upon his liege and seek to take control of the piddling horde. At the moment of greatest confusion, Ghegis Khan and the one true “Golden” horded descended upon them swallowing them up completely. In sadness, Tsolmon departed this material plane through self-immolation. Jochi-Khan chose to die in a makeshift arena providing sport and amusement to the Temujin’s greatest warriors. I’ll be dammed if I haven’t somehow completely forgotten what became of Bainer. But I’m sure it was equally tragic.
This was my first time to play Kingdom with veterans Alissa and Nat. I enjoyed it, but I’d like to play again with stricter adherence to the rules and procedures. I find one of my chief pleasures in the collaborative creative activity of these style games is interacting with the constraints imposed both by the procedures of play as well as by the divisions of authority between players. When the rules are too loose, either by design or non-observance I feel like I’m just a member of a story-writing committee. (And that’s about as fun as it sounds). I think we had plenty of fun because as a group, we’re getting more and more used to each other. We know each other well enough to know that everyone’s sincere about creating good stories. I feel all we need is games that give use licence to push hard in order to ramp up dramatic conflict.