Lords of Xidit

Lords of Xidit

Complexity
Components
Enjoyment
Replay Value
Understandable Rules
Story
A mysterious sickness swept across the land of Xidit, transforming innocent creatures into monsters.  One by one, the monsters began attacking cities and terrorizing the human inhabitants. The humans called for aid from the kingdom’s nobles, the Idrakys.  You are their only hope.  Go quickly.  Travel the kingdom, recruiting soldiers to fight the monsters with you.  At times you might only find peasants, but you can use their pitchforks to your advantage!  Don’t worry, your bravery will not go unrewarded.  The lords of each city will shower you with gold, send bards to sing of your battle prowess, and even build sorcerers’ guilds in your honor.  Be careful, there are other Idrakys doing the same thing and you’ll want to outdo them of course.  You have your honor to uphold after-all.  Now go, save the kingdom!

Game Mechanics
Programming

Number of Players
3-5, but with 3 you must use a dummy player

Play Time
The rules say 90 minutes, which seems accurate.  For a four player game with players who already know the rules, it takes about an hour.  There are variants to make the game shorter as well by decreasing the number of rounds in the game.
 
Down Time
There isn’t much downtime in Lords of Xidit.  The only noticeable downtime is if some players take longer to decide what actions they want to program for the round than others.  After that, the play is smooth and continuous since everyone’s moves are already decided.
 
How Does It PlayPlaying the Game
Awesome.  That’s how it plays.  The unique game mechanics bring a freshness that makes Lords of Xidit fun to play and makes you want to play it again right away.  That’s because up until the very last moment, when scoring is officially over, you can never be sure 100% who is going to win.

Scoring is done by comparing your amount of gold, bards, and sorcerers’ guilds to the other players in an elimination style ending that forces you to score in all areas instead of just focusing on one.  In the beginning of the game, you randomize the order of the gold, bards, and guilds win conditions.  Then when scoring happens, you all compare what you have for the first win condition.  For example, if gold was first, you would all show how much gold you have and the person with the least would be eliminated.  That eliminated person can no longer win the game even if they have the most bards and guilds.  Then you move to the next win condition, which eliminates another person.  Finally, the last two players compete for victory.

This is such a unique scoring mechanic that I can’t even compare it to another game.  You don’t need to be the best in every category, but you absolutely can’t be the worst otherwise your time in Xidit will be over.  The other key aspect of this is that the amount of gold a player has is hidden and some of the bards are hidden as well.  The only win condition you will know for sure who is winning at is the sorcerers’ guilds since you can count those on the board at any time.

Ok, that scoring mechanism is interesting sure, but you’re probably wondering how the rest of the actual game plays.  The mechanics are unique there too since it’s a programming game.  That means that each player plans out all six of their actions for the round before anyone does any of them.  Then everyone plays their first action one by one, then their second, and so on, without being allowed to change any of them.

This is where the real strategy comes into play.  When you’re planning out your six moves, you have to think about what the other players might be doing.  It becomes a bit of a guessing game, but that’s the fun part.  For example, there might be a monster you want to attack during this round, but if you need to stop and recruit help first, another player might go attack it first and you’ll end up there with nothing to fight. That’s bound to happen a few times in every game, but it’s not horrible.   

A small extra note, there’s a little token that each player gets that they’re supposed to place over the last move they made on their tracker so they don’t forget.  At first, that seemed silly since I’d obviously know what I just did right?  Wrong.  After just a few rounds it became one of the handiest little tokens in the game.  Since everyone’s turns are planned out ahead of time, it’s easy to accidentally rush through things and potentially miss players.  If you use that little token, everyone can verify how many actions they did and who should be going next.

Complexity
For the most part, Lords of Xidit is a fairly simple game.  The only possibly complex part of it is trying to guess what the other players might do in order to get the most out of your turn.  I think it could easily be played with people new to gaming and older children.  They might need you to handle all the scoring parts at the end though.

Game Components 
All of the components seem really well done, but I would have liked the player tokens to either be miniatures or just larger pieces of cardboard.  Depending on the angle of the token, it’s sometimes hard to notice them with the colorful board.

Player Pieces     Tiles

The box unfortunately doesn’t have any organizational system, but the game did come with enough empty bags to store all the punched out components.  I still would have preferred to have some kind of insert instead of everything just getting thrown in.  Sometimes the game board doesn’t sit level because of it.  That’s a small nitpick though.

In the Box

Theme
The theme feels prevalent in Lords of Xidit instead of just being there for show.  Having to travel around the map to find soldiers and attack monsters is well done.  The rewards you get for killing monsters also feel true to the theme.  I especially liked the idea that the lords send bards out to neighboring lands to sing your praises.  Maybe my character was a bit too self-absorbed…  That’s the name of the game though, to be the best!

Replay Value
With the different win condition ordering and the fact that it’s a fairly quick and unique game, I think it will continue to be brought to the table.  The feel of the game also changes with different players who have incredibly different strategies.

Favorite Part
I definitely like the programming aspect of Lords of Xidit.  It’s great when one of my plans would play out perfectly, especially when it meant that I outsmarted the other players.  I’ve gotten outwitted myself more times than I can count, but it’s still a ton of fun.  Plus, since everyone already has their turns programmed, even if a player walks away from the table their turn can still usually be done for them (unless they’re attacking) to avoid downtime.

Least Favorite Part
I don’t like that the three player game requires the use of a dummy player.  Even though it adds another level of unique strategy, it’s also easy to forget and feels a little clunky since the rest of the game is so smooth.

Similar To
The game is a remake of another game called Himalaya.

Expansions
None so far.  There is a promo that adds a few extra titan tiles, though.

The Bottom Line
I really like Lords of Xidit and it’s one I’m definitely keeping.  It’s easy to learn, easy to teach, and fun to play.  The fact that it only runs 60-90 minutes makes it even better.

 

Rule Clarifications

This section is for confusing rules.  Basically, if I had to look a strange rule up, I’d rather make it easier on anyone reading this and list it here.  I apologize if I’m wrong on any of them, please feel free to correct me.

Tower reward placement: You can only play towers up to 4 stories high and only if another player doesn’t have their tower on that location already.  I assumed that any towers you’d win in a battle could be put behind your screen for later use, but that is incorrect.  If you can’t build the tower pieces, you can’t take that reward.  Just like if you won 4 tower pieces, but could only use 2 of them, the other two would be “excess” and not used.  The only time you can get a tower piece behind your screen is if it’s during the census.

On page 14 of the rules: “If a player who has not yet built a Sorcerers’ Guild wins the Battle Mage reward, this bonus story should be placed behind their Screen. As soon the player is able to add this story to other stories in a Sorcerers’ Guild built by their Idrakys, they must place it on the Game Board.”

When the threat queue is empty: If there are tiles in the recruitment discard, which is next to the threat queue, turn them over to create the new threat queue.  If there are no tiles in the threat queue or the recruitment discard, the titans wake up. Flip the top face-down titan on each stack over to show the monster side.  The titans waking up also triggers a reinforcement action, even if there weren’t any titans left to wake up.

On page 12 of the rules, “The Arrival of Reinforcements event is also systematically triggered, regardless of the state of the Titan piles.”

Threat Queue

When the recruitment queue is empty: If there are tiles in the threat discard, which is next to the recruitment queue, turn them over to create the new recruitment queue.  If there are no tiles in the recruitment queue or the threat discard, take tiles from the threat queue.  The titans do not wake up like they did when the threat queue was empty.

Recruitment Queue

Titans: You can only attack a titan from an empty city, which means it cannot have a recruitment or a threat tile on it.  You also cannot attack a titan from a city you’ve already gotten rid of a threat in that round or from a city you’ve gotten rid of another titan in that round.

On page 13 of the rules, “It is not possible to eliminate a Threat tile and a Titan tile or eliminate multiple Titan tiles in the same City during the same Game Year.”

Titan Tiles

Three player game: To play a three player game, you must use the dummy player.  If you don’t, the scoring at the end of the game wouldn’t work correctly since that requires at least three players to be eliminated to decide the victor.  The dummy player makes the game a little clunkier and is easy to forget, but when used right, it can really add another level of strategy to the game.

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2 Comments on "Lords of Xidit"

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Love the game, the most confusing part of the game for me is REINFORCEMENTS that occur when the Titans awake. I have to read the rules every time for that setup. Also, I find that people rush through their movements and mistakes can often occur.

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