Khan of Khans

Review by Rhiannon King

At some point during week 2 of lockdown 2, a new game landed on my doormat unexpectedly. Since then Khan of Khans has turned out to be a regular game on our gaming table and I haven’t even tried it with the kids yet. Designer Reiner Knizia has created a simple yet frustratingly fun game based around herding the most cows, or stealing them from opponents, and becoming the one true Khan to lead them all.

Each player chooses a location stack to draw a card from and the hope is that you draw a cow card. Cows can then be corralled before they’re stolen but it’s a true test of nerve, and in my case idiocy, of how big you let the herd get before you lock it down. Locations will also contain cards that raid your herd, cause stampedes or let other tribes steal them.
The trick seems to be to get to know each location well, they all have the same distribution of points on the cow, stampede, and raid cards. However, each location has a special card, and in some cases this can mean extra points. You may think you have one over on someone as you take the 100-point cow card from a stack they were draining, but it’s worth knowing which stacks have extra point cards.

It’s a simple game to learn and a quick game to play which makes it perfect for a spare 15 minutes. It’s often the case at game nights that we need a short game while we wait for people to arrive and this fits the bill. The cards are good quality and the artwork is great, very fun and colourful and definitely appealing for a family game.

My only complaint would be that in a two-player game some of the tribal abilities feel game breaking, in our house we have a couple of tribes that are only used for 3 players or more. For example, Sable Nation tribe allows you to place your herd face down making it very tricky for the other player to know which card to steal. We found the result was a little too unbalanced but seems fine with a higher player count.

Final Score
7 out of 10: The game seems to be a re-implementation of Kajko i Kokosz: Przygody Wojow (loosely translated -The Adventures of Warriors) also by Knizia. Its a much more modern feeling game with more appealing artwork that seems to fit better with other modern board games. The 7 out of 10 is that despite enjoying it, it’s not the sort of game that I could play multiple times in one game session. 

Verdict
At £20 the game sits on the edge of reasonably priced for me, another £5 and I would think twice. It’s small and light enough to work as an extra game on game night or taking on a day out which is something we always look out for. Easy enough for my 6 year old to play and fun enough for this 39 year old.

 

Game Information: 2-5 players, 20 minutes. Age 9+.

Components: 90 Raid cards, 13 Corral cards, 10 Khan cards, 2 Player action tokens, Location map, Rulebook, Winner token

Game Design: Reiner Knizia

Graphic Design & Illustrations: Ian O’Toole

Publisher: Chaosium Inc.

 

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