Review: Rurik Dawn of Kiev

Finally, our country got rid of the last traces of the invaders and began to hold together. For the first time, we felt like a country. But just then our father left for eternal rest. And now we, a group of inexperienced brothers, have acquired the right of succession. Some give it up, others usurp it, but they all threaten each other with their military might.

At that time, no one could have guessed that the sons of Vladimir the Great would throw their country, Kievan Rus, into many years of struggle and war. And it is to this point in the history of Eastern Europe that the board game : and its designer Stanislav Kordonskiy introduce us. The game was released under the auspices of and had its viability checked in a campaign on the server.

In a large and heavy box with a lid decorated with a view of the walls, a flood of components awaits the player, led by a large game plan. He lays it out in the middle of the table and notices that it is divided into regions. He places one rebel piece and one resource token on each active player (according to the number of players) and places a token in the first position on the scale of the round counter. He places entitlement and strategy boards above and below the map. He attaches a deck of intrigue divided into halves to the top board of the strategy, and creates a menu of deed cards at the bottom board of the strategy.

Each of the participants will receive a household board depicting the fortress, and above all a pier with a ship and a position for raw materials on it. They will receive three coins, but also two exchange tokens. However, the distribution does not end there, because the individual participants choose a color and receive a lot of pieces, buildings and tokens from it. Players also choose their leader, taking his card and thumbnail. He prepares his indicators for the claim board. From the beginning player, in preparation, each places three pieces plus their leader in any region of the map and thus determines their initial distribution of forces.

At the beginning of each of the four rounds, players plan their actions on the strategy board, with the help of adviser figures. Their placement from top to bottom is decided by force, while each of the participants is free to choose among his advisers the number that suits him for the moment. In addition, it is possible to equip it with bribe coins and thus further increase its power. However, each field also has its own capacity, after which the event can no longer be planned. Players send one of their pieces one by one until they reach the available advisors.

Then all the players turn their plans into reality. However, players must take the initiative, ie they must evaluate their pieces from the lowest value (weakest) to the highest (strongest). So they can deploy new units on the plan (where they already have some), move them along the plan or attack enemies (players or rebels). But players also build buildings, get new plan cards or get tax coins.

In general, individual action squares give advisors one or more points for a given action, which then determine how much the player can catch. It is always true that the boxes more at the top are thicker and therefore offer more icons. As a result, more units can be moved or a better building can be built. In addition to these basic actions, players can also complete tasks from deed cards, use their secret plan cards, or exchange resources.

There is no comparison of values ​​during combat, but the attacked player simply has to remove one of his units from the plan. In addition, the attacker receives a reward in the form of a shift on the scale of the fight (warfare), but can also suffer losses. This is decided by chance in the form of a randomly detected scheme card.

At the end of each round, players may advance with their indicators on the scale to claim the throne, but must meet the conditions of the position to which they wish to move. Each of the three columns has its own conditions and relates to the construction, control of the regions and the accumulated raw materials on the ship. Everyone gets their financial income and the game continues for the next round.

After four rounds, the fight ends. Players will receive victory points according to their position on the eligibility scales, for achievements on the warfare indicator, as well as a reward for completed cards. The winner is the one who has the most points in the sum.

Rurik: Danw of Kiev is a well-prepared tactical game in which players will compete in sending pieces to common action positions and try to influence their superiority and victory on a common map.

At the birth of every success are ambassadors of varying strength and their clearly given order. It doesn’t matter if they come first or last, the strongest will always get the best position. Everything can change with bribes and coins in your pocket, which can strengthen even a figure whose word does not have such weight at the beginning. The only way to cut someone off from the action is to fill all the vacancies. Then strength no longer matters.

We really like making this competition for action. The ability to jump over opponents and compete for the stronger squares is a great feeling. The order of the players in the round is simply not crucial. Players always have their hands free to plan, while the game is really very conflicting and no one has a certain position until the end of planning. But even the envoy in the last place gets to the event.

But strength is not everything. It is only half the battle, because the evaluation is the opposite, from the weakest to the most powerful. Therefore, players will pay a very high price for a stronger action field – they will perform their action only at the end of the round. But players must also not forget their buildings, which have the potential to change the distribution of forces in specific regions.

It is also interesting to proceed column by column based on clear requirements. With the levels achieved here, too, players can get quite serious points, which can decide the game. Each floor has its own conditions for progress, so players can try to fulfill them.

But none of this matters, because in the end, success is purely about position and dominance on the map. It is the movements, battles and recruitment of new units that is what Rurik wants to talk about the most. And he succeeds, especially if you read the historical background about what is happening on the map and how it has affected the history of the whole of Europe.

But the game is really irreconcilable. Players can push themselves into action positions, but they also attack each other on the map and have cards in their hand, which can further influence the whole game and opponents. The sum of these elements means that if you do not want to be constantly targeted and attacked by opponents, then you probably should not buy this game. But if you like this way of fighting for victory, then do not hesitate.

The fights are good mainly in higher numbers, starting with three. You should expect at least ninety minutes. This is despite the fact that the game is divided into a total of only four rounds. But there are a lot of actions and moves in each of them, so it all takes quite a while. However, a longer game time is definitely not harmful due to the content.

Positive words speak for Rurik also with regard to processing. Clear rules will delight you, from which you will quickly understand everything. Above all, the processing itself is really nice, with a lot of pieces that you would not expect in a historical game.

Rurik: Dawn of Kiev enters a river in which a pile of excellent games dealing with dominance in the areas of the map is already floating. Although he does everything right, in the end he is separated from the competition by the way he chooses events. Thanks to that, he gets among the better ones, but he is still in tough competition. If you still miss a game of this style or want another one and you like history, then you will definitely not go crazy with Rurik: Dawn of Kiev.

DesignerStan Kordonskiy
ArtistFinn McAvinchey, Yaroslav Radetskyi, Alayna Lemmer-Danner
PublisherPieceKeeper Games, Banana Games, Giant Roc,, Hobby World, Lotus Frog Games, Ігромаг
Year Published
# of Players1 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 1, 2, 3, 4 players
(67 voters)
Playing Time120
Mfg Suggested Ages13 and up
User Suggested Ages10 and up
(11 voters)
Language DependenceSome necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(6 voters)
CategoryCivilization, Economic, Medieval, Miniatures, Territory Building
MechanicArea Majority / Influence, Area Movement, Auction/Bidding, Contracts, End Game Bonuses, Open Drafting, Selection Order Bid, Solo / Solitaire Game, Take That, Variable Player Powers
ExpansionRurik: Dawn of Kiev – Intrigue Cards 1, Rurik: Stone & Blade
FamilyCities: Kiev (Ukraine), Cities: Novgorod (Russia), Cities: Smolensk (Russia), Components: Map (Continental / National scale), Country: Belarus, Country: Moldova, Country: Russia, Country: Ukraine, Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, Digital Implementations: BoardGamePlay, Digital Implementations: Tabletopia, Players: Games with Solitaire Rules, Series: Madison Game Design Cabal
Primary NameRurik: Dawn of Kiev
Alternate NamesRurik: Kampf um Kiev, Rurik: Боротьба за Київ, Рюрик, 留里克:基辅的黎明, 류리크: 키예프의 여명

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: Rurik Dawn of Kiev
Final word
Rurik: Dawn of Kiev is an excellent predominant game where the pieces on the map move as a result of an original approach to the choice of actions. Players consider between the strength of the action and the effort to get to the move sooner. Also very important throughout the game is the ability to cope well with the attacks of opponents and plan their own attacks. The game is interesting, and in addition, the theme is good. Rurik: Dawn of Kiev is a surprisingly good game, which success is spoiled by perhaps only great competition.
Reader Rating0 Votes
+ original choice of event
+ simple rules
+ lots of conflicts
+ central map and battle for position
+ processing
+ scroll through claim columns
= players are constantly attacking each other
= players are constantly attacking each other= lots of other games of the same game content (it will not be easy to choose)
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