When You’re the New Craftsmaker to the King!

It’s December, so I thought that title would be a fun reference. If you don’t get it … Get with it. Anyway, without further ado, an announcement!

Are you worthy enough to be the new craftmaster to the king? Then join in! The competition is about to begin! Out-forge your opponents and make the best weapons and trinkets in the land to be crowned the new King’s Forge. But that’s not all! Try the competition with Gold added into your materials alongside metal, wood, gems, and magic and see if you can still get ahead.

That’s right folks, we’ve got a double feature review here. Ready to take a closer look? Let’s roll out!

What Is It?

King’s Forge is a pool building, dice rolling game where you gather resources and roll modifiers to ultimately craft new items for the King. But be careful! If your items aren’t up to snuff, your opponents can craft better versions of them and steal the glory out from under you! You want to manage your pool well and keep in mind that you won’t necessarily be able to roll your newly acquired dice right away. Plan ahead to come out on top!

King’s Forge: Gold is a modular expansion that adds in gold dice (a new material), that act as wilds when gathering materials and better metal (can only be a 4/5/6 roll) when crafting. The expansion also adds some scenarios/rules which can spice up the competition.

Who Is It For?

I definitely recommend this one to fans of dice games because it’s another great one out there. I would probably say ages 10+ since it’s not that difficult and I think kids will enjoy the look of the game too. It may also be enjoyed by those who like to add light role play into their games – you can have everyone “become” a character at the start of the game and announce their gather actions as well as their crafting actions later i.e. “I craft a mighty broadsword for the King!” … “Well, I craft a courageous hammer” et cetera. Maybe I’m too into it. Maybe I’m just a higher level of cool than most. The world may never know. In summary, a great game for a large range of people.

Quality of Components

The dice from both games are really nice – some are sparkly, some translucent, some swirled, but all great. My only complaint on them is that the green are very dark and can sometimes look very close to the black so just be careful when using them if you have trouble with dark colors blending together like me. The card art is simple but very nice as well and the cards are a nice quality.

The base game box has plenty of room in it for expansions and Gold fits in there in its’ box, or by just putting the components in the base game box. Gold also adds a new dock ability and I just wish it had come as a cardboard tile (like the ones in the base game) instead of a card so that everything matched. But, hey, not the end of the world.


  • The board is laid out very nicely, everything has a place and it all makes sense. I know not every edition of the game has a board, so I have to highly recommend this (3rd) edition for the board
  • I also like, however, that it comes with those dock tiles I mentioned so you can play without the board if you’re shorter on space.
  • In the base game alone there’s a lot of replayability because of the number of craft and gather cards, and Gold adds more of both too, which is great.
  • Gold doesn’t add difficulty to the game, just more variety and fun! So it’s a nice addition if you’re already a fan.
  • The gold dice from the expansion change the crafting phase a little because they are used as black metal dice, but can only be a 4, 5, or 6. It’s an interesting twist and, if you have enough, you can guarantee yourself some good rolls for crafting which is a nice boost.
  • The Queen’s Favor in Gold allows you to use your unused pips from crafting dice to earn another die for the next round, which is cool because it doesn’t make you feel like all those extra dice are worthless.
  • Gold also adds in that if you steal from someone when crafting, they earn a gold die which is nice because, again, it doesn’t make you feel like your turn was completely worthless because you get something to help you out in the future.


  • The rules in the 3rd edition were a little confusing about when to move dice off of your smithy tile and actually use them. We ended up assuming and then we also looked up the 1st edition rules, which explicitly states when to do it. So that was a bit of a mess up for the newer version.
  • I would have also appreciated a few more examples/pictures in the rule book, just cause I’m a visual learner. 
  • You can sometimes get unlucky and not have a lot of good gathering options on your turns and get stuck feeling like you didn’t do much. You have to try and build up your engine so that later turns you can make bigger moves!
  • In the Gold expansion, the Rogue card seemed very strange for one of its actions, as it sounded like it hurt you more than it helped, but upon further research from the Kickstarter page, I found that we just misunderstood what the card did. So the wording was confusing, but I was able to find out how the card should be used which was good.


I would probably rate both the base game and the Gold expansion at a 2.5 out of 5. It’s not overly complex because it’s a lot of luck in what cards come out, and then what you roll, but there is some planning and strategy to be done in collecting materials, and when to bite the bullet and completely trash dice in order to get better ones, so it’s got some challenge as well.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think that King’s Forge is a pretty cool dice game that is great for  wide range of gamers; it’s fairly easy to learn and also plays quickly. The Gold expansion adds a lot of great stuff to the game and I think I’ll probably always choose to play with it unless I’m teaching new players the game.  I’m also definitely excited to try the other expansions as well to see what else I can add to this one. If you like a pretty game with plenty of dice, this one might be for you! Let’s see who can become the best forge in the land!

Happy Gaming~

Additional Information:
King’s Forge Designer – Nick Sibicky
King’s Forge Artist – Jonathan Kirtz
King’s Forge Publisher – Starling Games
Gold Designer – Chris Schreiber
Gold Artist – Jacqui Davis
Gold Publisher – Starling Games

*I was provided a copy of this game and this expansion to do this review*

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