Crown and Council gets royally updated, still free

Hello your majesties. Crown and Council is the Mojang-made freebie that popped up unannounced last year, like a gatecrashing mole. I made a light snack of it plenty of times that week – a teeny weeny boardgamish strategy that felt like a single player version of Eight Minute Empire. Now I might be snacking on it again, because it has recently received an update, increasing the levels, generating new ones and tweaking some of the land-bashing mechanics to make it less frustratingly random.

It’s mostly unchanged. There’s still gold and towns and mines and universities and castles and ships, and you still pepper the map with your buildings and advance across the land as strategically as possible. But now there’s more maps. A generator will create a 99-map campaign which is “procedurally balanced” but there’s also some hand-made maps thrown in for good measure. The most important cog that’s been oiled, however, is the process of attacking and defending.

In the first version, you see, attacking an adjacent territory was often a roll of the dice, and you would throw wave after wave of “troops” at a castle only to face the same odds every time. Now, this has been changed to take away the annoying rando numbo vibe.

“I added the attrition mechanic,” says Henrik Pettersson, Mojang’s Councilman, “so that failed attacks wear down resistance for the next attack”. He’s also made a Mac and Linux version which are “not very tested” and added some “barely noticeable tweaks” to the AI. Hurrah!

So there you are. A decent mini war game that costs zero gold on Steam and is now slightly better than before. I hope this pleases your majesties.


  1. Jason Lefkowitz says:

    Hrm. It looks interesting, so I just went and grabbed the Linux version on Steam. Launching it just throws a “Failed to start game (missing executable)” error message, though.

    I guess when they say the Linux version was “not very tested,” they really mean it! :-D

    • nearly says:

      It still also doesn’t scale well on less than 720p displays. I discovered when trying it on an old laptop this weekend (I saw that it had been updated and figured I’d see what changed while messing with some old hardware) that you have to move the Windows taskbar out of the way or else have a couple buttons on the bottom of the screen cut-off since there’s no full screen or resolution options. Even with the taskbar out of the way, you still can’t see the very bottom edge.

      Anyway, there were lots of forum posts about it and even a dev response. I was a little disappointed that this was a known issue not addressed in the update (this is actually the first info I’ve even been able to find on the update) but it’s clearly being developed as a hobby and not a day job. I also can’t really fault a surprisingly engaging free game for having issues. Given the issues from not testing enough resolutions, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that Linux functionality is probably pretty iffy, and I doubt it was tested on a variety of hardware.

    • Shar_ds says:

      That’s usually an issue with the Steam depot setup, rather than the game per se. If you look in the install folder you’ll probably be able to find the executable and just run it directly

  2. ButteringSundays says:

    This looks great, thanks for posting about it!