The King is dead! So the throne, and the rule of the kingdom, has fallen onto the Queen. Unfortunately now is not the best time to be in charge. Monsters stalk the lands, putting the kingdom in peril. But fear not, for where there is evil, there are heroes to fight it.
By Order of the Queen is a fantasy-themed board game in which players work together to complete the Queen’s orders. This sees them building a team of heroes, completing quests, fighting monsters and protecting the villagers of the kingdom.
Time is of the essence, though. As each day goes by, the forces of evil grow more powerful. The players can keep them at bay, but should the land fall into the foes clutches, all the villagers perish, or no more heroes step up to defend the realm, all is lost.
In order to win the day players attempt to succeed at a number of tasks, which are completed by performing dice tests. These tests are informed by the task they are fulfilling, as well as the make-up of the players party of heroes. The three actions consist of questing, attempting to complete the Queen’s order, and fighting foes.
Occasionally a powerful opponent will lay siege to the kingdom. This takes the form of the Nemesis, a monster so powerful that it prevents the players from completing the Queen’s order until it is defeated. The players need to be wary, for the Nemesis could attack the land at any time.
The games intent appears to echo that of Dead of Winter. Players work together to manage the upkeep of resources as they fight off a slowly amassing enemy. All while attempting to fulfil a set objective.
Similarities end there, however. Players are constantly building and cycling their team of heroes, while passing a member of their team on to another player each turn. There is also a larger focus on player heroics, with daring battles against massed foes a real feature. It is also a truly cooperative game, with no traitors or individual player objectives.
Artist Justin Hillgrove has done an excellent job with the artwork. There is a definite medieval fantasy feel to the illustrations, which are very detailed and full of character. And even though they are done in a cute stylised, cartoonish way, they don’t feel overly childish.
If a cooperative fantasy game which is one part resource management and one part combat sounds appealing to you, then keep an eye on By Order of the Queen. It is due to go live on Kickstarter in early February. The game is designed by David Gerrard and will be published by Junk Spirit Games.
Update 02/02/2017: By Order of the Queen is currently live on Kickstarter.