Like the computer game that inspired it, Crusader Kings: The Board Game puts players in control of a royal dynasty during the era of the Crusades. Over a number of generations, players rule their kingdoms, arrange marriages, and try to raise suitable heirs to perpetuate their line.
The game uses a secret action selection mechanic in which players choose cards to determine which actions they take each round. Actions are resolved through “trait checks,” which are resolved by drawing tokens from the player’s “trait bag.” The tokens in the bag evolve during the game based on the qualities of each dynasty’s rulers and heirs. Random events and historical themes also play an important element in the game.
Free League funded the development of the game through a Kickstarter campaign in May 2018 that attracted 4,660,842 Swedish Krona (about $493,643) from 6,170 backers (an average of $80.00 per backer).
Paradox Interactive is working with a number of publishers to produce board game adaptations of its catalog of titles (see “Paradox Interactive Unplugs”).