At a Glance: Medieval Academy is a game of balance and chivalry for squires in training.
Medieval Academy is a card-drafting game for 2-5 players where everyone tries to strike a balance earning Chivalry points in 7 different medieval training categories. The categories are Service, Jousting, Tournaments, Quests, Education, Charity, and Gallantry. Players try to advance their disks along the 7 different tracks by drafting cards and playing them. Each track functions a bit differently, but most either award or subtract Chivalry points. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Instead of playing the drafted cards right away, players build their whole 5-Card hand first then alternate playing the cards. This is a bit different than a lot of drafting games where you play one card, and pass the others, and so on. This means that the order in which you play your cards can be important. Some tracks are more of a straightforward race, Gallantry lets you move your other disks extra spaces, and on a couple tracks you just want to make sure you are not dead last in order to avoid being penalized. Also, some boards reset halfway through the game, and not all boards are actually scored every round. All this creates a game of balance that is “thinkier” than expected. You can put a greater emphasis on getting the big points that are scored at the end, but that can backfire if you neglect the smaller, more consistent opportunities. Ultimately there are several paths to victory, and weighing the wide range of options is the thing I love most about this game.
The aesthetics are probably my least favorite part of this game, but it works. It is more of a caricatured, cartoony style. The components are pretty good though, just nothing special. The strong point of this game really is the gameplay. The game fits a good niche because the concepts are something kids can understand, but there are so many choices and decisions, that even players who prefer deep strategy can enjoy it. Definitely recommend this under-the-radar game.
Check it out: https://amzn.to/2S2uQIx
Card Drafting – This is a mechanic where players typically pass cards around the table, choose one, then continue passing the cards around. This means that players will see the same cards, for the most part.