The time has come for the gods to elect a new leader from the ranks of mere mortals. However, a decision like this can’t be rushed. The gods are going to need some time to consider their options, and the offerings made by each candidate, before they throw their support behind someone. If you hope to become the Elected of the gods, you’re going to have to outthink the competition, make well timed bluffs, and win their favor.
In Kronia, each player takes on the role of a spiritual leader. The gods have decided to choose one of them to become the Elected. Over the course of 12 days, players will make offerings to different gods in an effort to win their Favor tokens. For all their power, the gods are predictable and will always grant their favor to the player that has given them the best offering. After 12 rounds, the points are totaled and the new Elected is named.
In a standard game of Kronia, five different gods have a hand in deciding on the Elected. Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, Artemis, and Apollo all weigh in on the big decision. However, not all gods have the same political power. For example the mighty Zeus’ opinion holds a lot more sway than Apollo’s, making his Favor tokens much more valuable to acquire and creating more competition for them.
Players start the game with the same hand of 12 Offering cards. Offerings are numbered between 1-12, and range from lowly grains and fruits, all the way up to riches of silver, gold, and statues. Players attempt to win the gods’ favor by making offerings at one of three different Temples each day.
At the beginning of each day, the starting player draws four Favor tokens from the bag. The different colored tokens indicate which gods’ favor they represent. The starting player selects one of them to return to the bag and then places each of the others on different Temples.
Here is where the real political maneuvering gets going. Beginning with the starting player, everyone places an Offering card face down in front of one of the Temples. If there already is an offering there, they place their offering on top. After everyone has made their offering, one-at-a-time, players may make a switch. They can either move their offering to a different Temple, or change their Offering card. In either case, if a change is made, their card becomes the last one placed at the Temple.
Players really have to be able to read their opponents here. How badly do they want a Favor token from a certain god? What offerings have they already used? Are they bluffing or do they really want to win this round? It becomes a game of political cat and mouse. The stakes can be the difference between winning and losing the election.
Once all of the changes have been made, or players have passed, the offerings are revealed. The highest offering wins the Favor token. In the case of a tie, the lower offering in the stack wins!
When a player’s offering fails to win the Favor token of the god, they can take their Offering card back into their hand and discard a different one, or simply discard the offering they made. If they win the Favor token with an Offering card numbered 6-12, it is discarded from the game. However, if they’ve been lucky (or sneaky) enough to win a Favor token with an Offering card numbered 1-5, they put the card aside for possible end game points.
Not all gods are created equal, and some of the Favor tokens hold a lot more value. Each Zeus token is worth five points, while each Apollo token is worth a mere one point. But there are other ways to amass value. Collecting three tokens from the same god earns players five bonus points, four will earn ten points, and five tokens from the same god earns a whopping twenty extra points! Players are also going to earn points for winning bids with low Offering cards. The more bids they’ve won with offerings valued five or lower, the more points they earn.
After 12 days of offerings to the gods, their decision comes in. Everyone totals their points for Favor tokens and low Offering cards, and the player who has earned the most points becomes the Elected of the gods.
The Hades variant introduces two God’s Rage tokens to the bag. When one of them is drawn at the start of a round, all other Favor tokens are returned to the bag, and players make offerings to avoid taking the token. The lowest offering gets the God’s Rage token, worth negative three points at the end of the game.
Kronia is a game that forces players to read their opponents and make decisions based on the shifting value of the different Favor tokens. Players can become the Elected through shrewd decisions and well-timed bluffs. Each game only lasts about 20 minutes, so even if the favor of the gods doesn’t shine on you for a certain round, there will be another election in no time. The gods respect a valuable offering, but also intelligent game play and brave decisions. A player who is able to incorporate all of those elements, will soon take their place atop Mount Olympus.
Kronia will be available at your FLGS on June 23.
Find more information about Kronia here.