Some know them from European folk tales.
Others discover them through fantasy classics like The Hobbit or games: from D&D to Warhammer.
Nasty little creatures known as goblins are the staple of the entire fantasy genre and most settings lacking them feel sad, empty and simply not green enough.
The Goblin King is Angry
The game tackles an incredibly important subject matter: the role of goblins in human dominated society. Let’s be honest. These guys are always portrayed as laughing stock, weaklings, crazies or in the worst case – cannon fodder. No one seems to care about their feelings. The world where this game takes place is no different. Humans treat goblins like pests and the goblin king has become really, really angry because of that.
What’s the best way to stop his anger? Attacking the biggest human settlement in the area. 6 goblin tribes decide to march together and raze the city with all their power and troops they have. Only one tribe will receive the favor of the king and achieve eternal glory.
Leading Your Army
Jokes aside the theme feels charming, quite original and is nicely complemented by the rules. Core mechanics feel like an unique spin on the tower defense formula. Instead of protecting the “tower” you are supposed to attack it.
The central castle is represented by a stack of hexagonal cards, revealed each turn. The hexes contain various challenges and human enemies, that threaten our goblin friends. To win, players have to surround the castle with a certain number of goblins.
The board is also made of hexagons with 1 goblin encampment near each edge. Factions are slightly asymmetrical, as each player chooses a different leader and all of them have their own, unique powers (like faster movement or getting more units per turn).
Each round is divided into 5 parts. First phase is devoted to spawning new goblins. Everyone can place 4 of them and pay to recruit additional ones. There are also some upgraded units available – Hobgoblins and Ogrin – each having their cost in regular goblins and stones, which are the main currency here.
Movement phase comes next and has players advance their troops through the map. Next, during the castle phase, a top hexagonal card from the castle stack gets revealed and affects players. This often means spawning human units on the board. During the conflict phase some unfortunate goblins are killed by human units. Each round ends with an “end phase”. Here: every player gains one stone and the first player’s token is passed.
The Kickstarter Campaign
The campaign has exactly 20 days left until the end. There were 2 stretch goals unlocked so far, and some planned ones include replacing wooden cubes with beautiful painted meeples.
The Goblin King is Angry seems like a fun and creative attempt at designing something new in the stale genre of tower defense games. I hope we’ll see more titles from this team in the future.
P.S. The sense of humour desires some additional praise. Even the campaign and the rulebook are theme heavy and hilarious.