“The Black Southern Host has arisen, corrupting the hearts of the indigenous creatures. Afflicted by a mysterious sickness, they are attacking human cities. The last remaining hope for restoring peace to Xidit lies with the Kingdom’s noble heirs, the Idrakys. As one of them, you must roam the Kingdom recruiting brave soldiers and reclaiming threatened cities. Your bravery will not go unrewarded: accumulate wealth, send bards to sing your praises, and build Sorcerers’ Guilds!”
Lords of Xidit is a 2-5 player programming game designed by Régis Bonnessée with artwork by Xavier Gueniffey Durin and Stéphane Gantiez and published by Libellud
Box Game Length: 90 Minutes Actual Playtime: 90-120 Minutes
Setup time: 15 minutes
Player Count: 3-5 Players
Game Mechanics: Action/Movement Programming and Pick-up and Deliver.
Game Weight: 2.64/5
Thematic Integration: Low. There really isn’t anything unique about how the theme integrates it into the games mechanics. It’s a fairly common fantasy theme, adventurers, bards, warriors, monsters, etc.
Objective: To travel around the board recruiting different classes of adventurers to then bring them to cities to battle monsters. Recruits come in 5 different classes (colours) and monster require a specific set of adventurers (colours) to defeat.
Battling monsters will gain you two of three rewards of your choice indicated on their tile; coins, towers, or bard tokens which each represent one of the scoring tracks of the game.
Game Round Summary: Each round, players will simultaneously select a series of 6 actions to program into their player boards. When everyone is done, all actions will be revealed simultaneously. Starting with the first player, you will take the first action on your player board and proceed clockwise until everyone has taken 6 actions.
You’re able to choose to travel along 3 different coloured paths, to recruit an adventurer, battle a monster, or do nothing. As with most programming games, getting there at the right time is important. If another player does an action at a location before you, that will change how your action is played out.
When choosing to move, simply move your character along the matching coloured path to the next city.
When recruiting an adventurer, you must always select the lowest level recruit in the city that is available.
When battling a monster, return the required adventurers (colours) to the supply and collect two of the three rewards shown on the monster token. Then return the monster token to the supply.
Every 4th round, there will be a action of sorts where you can reveal how many of each of the different classes (colours) of adventurers you have for a small reward, again, either coins, towers, or bard tokens. You don’t have to spend these adventurers, however, you are giving up information to your opponent.
At the end of the 12th round, the game ends and scoring begins. This game features an elimination scoring system in which players have to be above others, but don’t necessarily have to have the most in each column except the last one of course.
Depending on the order of scoring, either coins, towers, or bard tokens, players will either move on to the next scoring track, or be eliminated. The player that managed to make it through each scoring track and has the most on the last track wins!
Artwork: The artwork is beautiful, you really feel like you’re throw into a world filled with monsters and adventurers. The artwork was what originally drew me to this game, and the beautiful story behind the characters.
Components: Quality is good and on par with other games in this price range. The characters are standees, not minis, which has become the norm as of late, so that kept the price down, though I think having those as minis would have been really fun to paint and move around the board. It was an interesting choice especially considering all the adventurers are minis.
Speaking of the adventurers being minis, I’m still not sure if I really love this or hate it. They do look nice, but it’s a bit more of an annoyance than anything when playing. They don’t always stand up well and are easy to knock over. They could have easily been wooden cubes, or something less tippy. Though, I am partial to wooden cubes so that’s probably not for everyone hahaha.
Scales Based on Player Count:
3 Players – When playing the 3 player variant, you use a dummy player as the scoring system just doesn’t work without a 4th player. The idea is to use the dummy player to try to eliminate your competition by moving the dummy player up on the scoring tracks that will cause them the most trouble. There’s something satisfying and tactical about playing with the dummy player. However, remembering to moving the dummy player on the scoring track is something that if often missed. Aside from that, it’s a good variant and adds a level of strategy to the game that isn’t there otherwise.
4/5 Players – Either of these are great player counts, and more fun than with 3 players. As with most programming games with simultaneous action selection, getting there before someone else is fun and satisfying and can lead to some pretty funny moments when someone tries to fight a monster that is no longer there. The tension is great and leads to many of those moments that tend to happen less at a smaller player count.
Replayability: Moderate. The game has limited actions available, really, moving along 3 different coloured roads, either recruiting an adventurer or attacking a monster. Even with those limited choices the game always feels a bit different with the scoring tracks changing order each game and how the monsters and adventures spawn at different locations.
Overall Thoughts: I have a couple other programming games in my collection, but combining pick up and deliver with programming makes this game a real treat to play and a game I am happy to have in my collection.
With all that said, I do wish there was an expansion for the game that included variable powers for each of the characters to keep things interesting or even possibly some event cards that force things to happen in the game.
I wish this game got more love and attention because it really is a fantastic game with a unique experience.