Heart of Crown: Far East Territory Expansion Review

Heart of Crown: Far East Territory is an expansion for Heart of Crown by ginkgo, published by Japanime Games. It is for 2-4 players. This expansion adds a new princess and 12 new types of cards to be used with the base game. It also comes with randomizer cards and dividers so that it can be placed in the box along with the other cards.

For more information on the original Heart of Crowns game, please check out the link below.

For those unfamiliar with Heart of Crown, let me give you a quick overview of the game. The game is played over several round with each player starting the game with 7 Farming Villages and 3 Apprentice Maids in their deck. A Basic Market and Random Market are set up with various card types. The Basic Market contains City, Large City, Royal Maid, Senator and Duke cards, while the Random Market contains 10 different common card types shuffled together into a deck. 8 different card types are then set around the deck. The players draw 5 cards for their starting hand. On the player’s turn, they will follow 5 phases. In these phases, they will be able to play an Action or Territory card. If it has link symbols on it, they can play more. They can then buy card from the market, back a Princess or play Succession card to their Domain in front of themself. Of course that’s after they chosen a Princess to back. Once a player backs a Princess, they’ll be able to do more stuff like placing cards on top of Territory cards in their Domain to keep them available for later. Once they’ve done all that they want or are able to do, they clean up everything they’ve played that’s not in their Domain and draw 5 new cards. The Market refreshes any empty slots that were emptied during the player’s turn and play passes to the next player. All this continues until one player ends up with 20 Succession points in their Domain. As long as there’s no other players able to do that on their turns, that player wins. Otherwise the tied players continue to 30 Succession points.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the game and how it works, what does this expansion add as far as content? Well, to begin with there’s a new Princess to be thrown into the mix. She’s added in with all the other Princesses at the beginning of the game, putting the count up to 13 Princess cards. There are also 12 new types of Common cards that are used in the usual manner in the Supply. These are mixed in either small or large doses with these market cards to add new choices and combos for the players to make. The expansion contains a list of recommended card sets for customizing the game by using certain Common cards from this set with the core set. Each one adds a bit of the east-west trade theme to the game. I’ll go into a little bit more detail in the gameplay section below.

COMPONENTS
While this expansion only contains a deck of cards, there’s actually quite a good bit of content included. As I mentioned earlier, the expansion comes with a new Princess card and 60 Common cards in 12 different types. It also includes Randomizer cards and dividers for keeping everything separated in the main game box. Just like with the original game, I really like the artwork and designs on these cards. They continue with the same look and feel that was presented in it. I think the theme comes through quite well. Of course, my daughter loves the new princess, as expected. Overall, we both really like the look and quality of the cards with this one.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this expansion is a rather small, card size booklet. There are no pictures other than the one on the cover. There’s a brief story about the Far East Territory included in the book, which I felt is a nice touch. The rulebook itself doesn’t contain a lot as far as actual rules. Basically it tells you how to include this expansion with the main game. Which as you’ve already seen in the overview above, isn’t all that difficult. Most of the booklet is dedicated to frequently asked questions arranged by card name. Each FAQ gives a bit more insight into how each particular card works. Finally there are 10 different lists of recommended card sets for playing the game with. Everything from the first time playing with the set to using almost all the different common cards from this expansion. Each one provides a different way of playing the game which will change how players play as well. I really would have liked more visuals and examples of gameplay in the rulebook, but I understand the desire for minimalizing everything as well. Overall, the book is pretty good. If you’ve played the base game, you don’t have much need for more rules anyway.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This expansion is pretty great. There are plenty of new cards that increase the fun of the base game and take it into a new direction. Of course trade is the main theme of the expansion so it capitalizes on drawing cards and discarding, then returning cards from the discard pile. It’s actually a pretty cool concept. You can simply throw out the garbage in your hand and pick up that awesome card you played on your last turn. It adds new territories like the Port City that have 2 links on them allowing you to keep playing cards. It also provides 2 coins which is very helpful at buying those more expensive cards. You start chaining some of these together and you’re in pretty good shape. There are some attack cards like the archers that force opponents to reveal the top card of their deck and if it’s a Common card, they have to discard it. It also provides a coin to the player for every attack card they play as long as the archers are in the player’s play area. There is also a defense card that allows the player to place it face up on the player’s draw pile as a defense effect. There’s a card that deals with the curse cards, as well as one that will either place coins in your play area or allowing you to remove 2 counters and copy another kind. Unfortunately there are no Succession cards but you can simply continue using the ones from the main game. Overall I like the direction that this expansion take the main game. I like the feel that the expansion gives you. It definitely adds more strategy to the game. Fans of the original game will most definitely want to add this to their collection. It’s a must buy in my opinion. I highly recommend it.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Heart of Crown: Far East Territory is an expansion for Heart of Crown. It adds a new Princess and 60 Common Cards in 12 new types to be used in the supply. These cards are centered around the East-West trade. The expansion doesn’t add any more time to the actual game play. Most game sessions still last around 45 minutes. The cards look great and add more of that anime style that my daughter and I really enjoy. There’s lots of new ways to play using the different card types that make this highly replayable. I think fans of Heart of Crown or any of the other Japanime Games deck builders should really enjoy this one. For Heart of Crown owners it’s a must have. I highly recommend it.
9 out of 10

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For more information about this and other great games, please check out Japanime Games at their site.

http://www.japanimegames.com/

About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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