An unusual, complex, yet tightly balanced board/card game for two from the prolific Reiner Knizia.
Near the center of a 17-space track start the 5 characters which the players compete to attract to their opposite ends of the board. You play as many cards of the same character on your turn as you wish, and much of the movement is a direct result of card play: e.g., by playing a Jester 4 you bring the Jester 4 spaces closer to your end of the board.
However, there are special tricks and restrictions which must be learned and held firmly in mind before the sense of the game begins to emerge. The King which wins for you if the game ends with him on your half of the board, for example, can only move within the bounds of his Guards. The Wizard can summon, without benefit of a card played, any of these three figures to his square. The Crown which can also win the game if you get him into one of the two spaces at your end of the board (your “castle”), only moves toward you if the board situation at the end of your turn involves both Guards on your half of the board and/or one (or more) of the other figures in your castle. And so on.
The game, part of the Kosmos two-player series, is one of attack and counterattack, defense and forward thinking, and can be won early or on the turn of the last card on the second time through the deck. At 10-20 minutes, it begs to be played again immediately.