Strategic Depth: Beginner
Setup Time: 5 mins.
Play Time: 40-60 mins.
Mechanics: Area Control, Card Drafting
Production Info: 2017 | Iello | Richard Garfield
In the game Bunny Kingdom, each player acts as a bunny lord for his/her respective King. The Kings from each kingdom have sent their finest lord (you) to conquer newly discovered land to expand their kingdom. You will need to explore these new lands and decide which areas are worth conquering. As you takeover territories for their location or resources, you will need to make decisions on whether to construct cities or mine for even more valuable resources. As the various fiefs expand in your kingdom, you will accumulate valuable Golden Carrots which will ultimately represent your dominance. Your king is very demanding, not only requiring you to expand his kingdom, but also accomplish missions of the utmost discretion. In the end, only one kingdom with will truly reap the benefits of what this new land has to over!
- The Good -
A Plethora Of Good Options
Bunny Kingdom is filled with decisions throughout the game. Unlike most games, your hand of cards typically consists of too many “great” card options and you have to rationalize with yourself on which strategic route you want to head towards. Many times in the middle of the game you may get handed a Parchment Card (hidden object) that completely changes your original strategy. Other times you might be working two different strategies to mitigate your risk. Bunny Kingdom gives you tons of options that all seem really great and it is up to you to decipher which of these options with ultimately lead you to victory.
2-Player Provides Completely Different Strategies
The way Richard Garfield modifies Bunny Kingdom for 2-players is just brilliant. It almost feels like you a playing a game designed for 2-players. Some may even consider Bunny Kingdom best played with 2-players (I’m currently on the fence). The major difference in a two player game is you have the ability to prevent your opponent from getting handed a particular card by discarding it permanently from the game. This adds even more complexity to the way you strategize, as you are often left making the decision to discard a card that you really want but ultimately don’t want to risk your opponent taking first.
Very Well Produced
Bunny Kingdom has beautiful artwork sprinkled throughout the cards and game board. I actually felt myself wishing there was a novel or movie to give me insights into how all the different bunny characters interact with each other. Iello also did a great job of providing quality plastic pieces to play with. While I wish the city figures were a different color, something just feels right when you go to place one of your bunnies on top of a city. The components coupled with the fantastic artwork make Bunny Kingdom an incredibly appealing game to interact with.
A Sense of Accomplishment
In every game of Bunny Kingdom I’ve played, no matter if I won or lost, I always felt a compelling sense of accomplishment. There is something extremely satisfying about filling out the board’s grid with your bunnies. While the first two rounds of the game seem very limited in what gets played, the 3rd and 4th round provide for an amazing flood of advancement and growth. Few games leave each player feeling proud of what they were able to piece together by the end and Bunny Kingdom does a great job of providing satisfaction even to the player who did not win.
- The Bad -
First I will say the board size problem has already be solved in later versions of the game. If you have an earlier edition, you can order a new board for free (just pay shipping) here. I have only played on the small board and it makes the game an utter mess in the later rounds. With such a large box, I have now idea why Iello even entertained the thought to cut costs and make a smaller board. If you are going to purchase this game used, make sure the board size has the larger 22" x 17 3/4" dimensions (original board size was 17 1/2" x 14 1/8").
While Bunny Kingdom has beautiful artwork throughout the board and cards, there were two big issues I had with the artwork while playing. First, the backs of the cards have very similar artwork compared to the faces of the cards. This makes it very annoying as it is difficult to discern when a card is flipped over or not. Yes, you could fix this with solid sleeves, but this is an issue that should have easily been avoided. Secondly, the lava that flows through the mountainous terrain is very small and doesn’t stand out at all. The lava represents a “wall” where you cannot connect a fief. It takes too much effort during gameplay to consciously remember to scan the board for the small slivers of lava and new players almost always don’t remember to recognize it.
Knowing The Score
Often times the results of the game are completely unknown until the very end of the game. This can be frustrating in the later rounds where you need to make critical decisions on how aggressive or safe you need to play. Because there are so many parchment cards and they can be quite valuable, there is literally no way to know how close you and your opponents are in terms of the score until the gameplay is over and you are counting up the score.
- Overall -
Bunny Kingdom turned out to be a surprisingly fantastic game! If you can get over the childish name/theme, the actual mechanics of the game are brilliant to play. Richard Garfield created an incredibly compelling game that holds players attention throughout and gives a sense of accomplishment by games end. The great mechanics combined with an hour or less play time make this an easy game to bring to the table no matter the occasion. The only dire complaint I (and many others) had related to the board size has since been fixed and I’m glad Iello listened to their customers.
Bottom Line: Worthy of adding to your collection (make sure you get the large board!)
The following summaries are meant to be a high-level reminder of how to play this game. If this is your first time playing, we highly recommend that you read your board game's included rule book which will go into much more depth. You can download a digital PDF copy of the official rules by clicking the button below. There are also a few video tutorials near the bottom of this section to help all you visual learners out as well.
- Setup Overview -
Place Strength 1 Cities on each City space on the board
Place one colored rabbit per player on the 0 space of the Score Track
Shuffle all the Exploration cards to make a deck and place the deck face-down
Deal each player either 12 cards (3-players) or 10 cards (4-players)
Deal each player two decks of 10 cards.
One of the decks per player is referred to as the Reserve Deck and should not be looked at until prompted.
- Game Play/Player Turns -
A. DRAFTING CARDS
Pick 2 cards from your Hand and pass the remaining cards to the next player
During rounds 1 and 3: pass the cards to the player on your left
During rounds 2 and 4: pass the cards to the player on your right
Add 1 card from the reserve deck to your Hand
Select 1 card to play
Discard 1 card to be permanently removed from the game
B. PLAYING CARDS
Provision Cards - Immediately draw two cards from the main deck and play them
Parchment Cards - Place face-down in front of you as these will not be revealed until the end of the game
Territory Cards - Place you bunny on the board based on the grid location shown on the card
Building Card - Place face-up in front of you and place the respective city or token shown (ie Farm, Sky Tower, Camp, or City)
C. CONTINUE DRAFTING
You can now look at the cards your neighbor passed to you (if there are any). Repeat these two steps (Draft and Play) until all the hand cards have been played.
After the last cards are played, begin the Construction Phase.
If you choose to, you may add any of the buildings or resources you’ve accumulated during your drafting phases.
Only 1 City or token may be placed on a territory
A building may not be moved later on in the game
You may place a building or additional resource on a territory that already produces a resource
If a player wishes to use a Camp card on an empty territory, any player with a camp card containing a lower priority number may always choose to play beforehand.
In this phase you will total up points based on the fiefs built on the board
Fiefs - A group of one or more connecting territories own by a single player. Territories are only considered connected on their sides (not diagonally)
Scoring - Multiply the number of unique resources within a fief by the number of city towers within the same fief
Parchment cards are only scored at the end of the game so do not reveal those
Repeat the three phases until you have finished the fourth round, which will end the game
- End Of Game -
The game ends after the fourth round
Score your fiefs a final time
Reveal and score Parchment Cards
Move your respective bunny figurine along the score track to represent your final score
- Winning -
The player with the highest amount of golden carrots after the end of the fourth round is the winner.
- Tie Breakers -
In the event of a tie, there is no tie breaker.
- Great Instructional Videos -
Here are a few helpful instructional videos you or your group can watch to learn how to play this game visually.
Are City Cards considered Upgrades?
No, City Cards are to be built on land plots that are control by the player and have no other items built on them (ie no resource chits or other cities). There is no way to replace a 1-towered city with a 3-towered city.
Does a single territory with no connections count as a Fief?
If two players play a Provision Card, who gets to go first?
Since the cards are random, it does not matter who goes first (play rock, paper, scissors if it really matters!).
Can you build a building that produces a resource on a territory that already has a resource?
Yes. The only stipulation is you cannot build two buildings (city or triangular token) on a single territory.
BUY THIS GAME
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Highest Price: $49.99 (Sep 07, 2017)
Lowest Price: $31.15 (Dec 03, 2018)
Average Price: $39.49
*According to CamelCamelCamel.com (06/09/2019)
Expanding The Game
An expansion to Bunny Kingdom was released in April 2019 called Bunny Kingdom: In The Sky. This expansion to the game adds the ability to play with 5 players and also incorporates a new way to score points through “trade” (collecting resources).
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