Kingdom Builder is a game of putting pieces on a board. It's an engine-building game; that engine is pieces on a board. Your pieces do three things for you at once: they score for you; they gain you abilities; and they limit where you (and other players) can go in the future. That last part is because, when you play on say grass, if you aren't next to grass, you can take any grass on the board; if you are next to grass, you have to take that grass. So you want to develop in a way that keeps your options open, or at least gives you good options.
There are ten ways to score and you use three each game, so your objectives vary from game to game. The set of possible abilities also varies, with the board quadrants (they are printed on the boards). It's easy to learn; on your turn you put three pieces on the terrain you drew and use your abilities and that's it. You gain abilities by playing next to certain hexes. The game is low on politics, although one of the scoring methods is area control. In general you get chances to screw other players over, but not chances to pick who to screw over. You can take hexes that were better for another player, or good for both of you, and you can block other players, but you can't remove their pieces from the board.
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