In addition to this short introduction you can also watch a detailed interactive tutorial at www.profeasy.com.
The King is staying in a faraway country. During his absence, his empire plunges into anarchy and chaos. In the role of the country’s princes, the players try to strengthen their power and influence. New borders are drawn, and countries are redistributed. When the King returns, who will have secured the most valuable territories for himself/herself?
In front of us lies the empire King Lionheart has left behind. The country is surrounded by borders and consists of pastures, forests, mountains with mines, villages, and the Royal City.
In each game, the terrains are arranged differently. That way, the starting situation is always new.
Two, three, or four players can play the game.
We will explain the game rules based on a two-player game. The character you are using is always depicted on the bottom left. In a two-player game, the character used by your opponent appears in the upper right corner.
The goal of the game is to surround each of your own castles with borders, in such a way that domains with forests and villages with the highest possible value are formed.
Placing Castles and Knights
Before the actual game starts, the players take turns placing 4 castles and one knight next to each castle. Castles can only be placed on pasture, knights can be placed on forest or pasture.
And: Castles of the same color must be at least 6 spaces apart.
The left player in our example has placed his/her red castles and the right player has placed his/her blue castles, with one knight per castle. Since this is a two-player game, each player may afterwards place 2 additional “neutral” castles with their adjacent knights. These “neutral” castles are omitted in a three- or four-player game. In a three-player game, each player places 4 castles; in a four-player game, each player places 3 castles. That way, there’s always a total of 12 castles in the game area. The left player (red) has a hand of 3 cards.
The “red” player starts the game. He/she decides to play the card “2 Borders” and clicks on it. Playing this card costs 3 ducats (red number on the left side of the card). At the beginning of the game, each player has 7 gold coins. The ducat reserves of the “red” player are thus reduced to 4 ducats. The player places the 2 borders above his/her red castle.
By clicking on the card supply stack, the player then replenishes his/her hand until holding 3 cards. In doing so, his/her turn ends automatically and his/her opponent continues. On his/her next turn, the “red” player has only 4 ducats left. So he/she decides to sell his/her right card “Place Knight” to the Chancery; a click on the card, and the action is performed. Then he/she selects the option “Sell Card” instead of the option “Play Card.” The blue number on the lower right of the card indicates how many ducats are earned through the sale. The “red” player has received 3 ducats, raising his/her balance to 7 ducats.
The sold card appears in the Chancery. The “red” player clicks on the supply stack to replenish his/her hand until holding 3 cards. Automatically, it is the next player’s turn.
A turn, therefore, is quite straightforward:
- Play or sell a card
- Replenish your hand until holding 3 cards
When you replenish your hand, you may also take a card of your choice from the Chancery instead of drawing a card from the supply stack. Just click on the card.
If you have sold a card to the Chancery, you are not allowed to draw this card during the same turn to replenish your hand.
Building a Domain
If - with the help of your borders - you can create an enclosed Domain around one of your castles (using the borders of your opponent and, of course, the margin of the game area), this Domain receives a score. Every forest in a Domain is worth 1 victory point and every village 3 victory points. (The Royal City at the center is worth 5 victory points.) But since Domains can change, these points are not assured. You can, therefore, lose your points again.
Apart from placing one, two, or three borders, there are another four card actions that will be introduced next.
1. Expand Your Domain
The symbol for “Expand Your Domain” consists of a coat of arms with two diamond shapes. You can only play it if you already own a developed Domain. If you decide to take this action, you will be asked to click on one of your Domains. After doing so, adjacent spaces that you could incorporate into your Domain appear brightened. Clicking on a space annexes it to the Domain. You can incorporate up to two adjacent spacesinto your own Domain that way.
2. Place Knights
When you select this action, you can place a knight. A knight can only be placed on pasture or in a forest. Placing him in a forest costs 1 ducat more. Moreover, a knight always has to be adjacent to one of your own castles or knights. Allowed spaces also appear brightened.
What are knights good for?
You can expand into the adjacent Domain of an opponent only if that Domain has fewer knights than your own. Therefore, it is recommendable to secure - in due time - a valuable Domain with a sufficient number of knights, so that you are protected from losing valuable spaces or able to expand into adjacent Domains belonging to your opponents.
3. Play Deserter
This action has the effect that a knight changes fronts. It can only be carried out if you have at least one developed Domain with a knight of your own. When you click on a Deserter card, you first have to select a Domain of your own own and then an adjacent Domain of an opponent. Now your opponent has to remove a knight from his/her Domain, and you can place a knight there. Placing the knight in a forest costs 1 additional ducat.
When clicking on this card, you select one Domain of your own and one adjacent Domain of an opponent. From now on until the end of the game, no expansions into adjacent Domains can be made from either one of these two Domains. Brightened borders between the two Domains visually represent this “alliance.”
A Deserter can still be played between allied Domains.
Cards with Double Symbols
Some cards allow a choice between two actions. If you click on such a card, you must select one of the two actions. If you click on the card depicted on the left, you could either set 2 borders or expand one of your own Domains by two spaces.
Income from Mines
The four different mine types are shown below. At the beginning of his/her turn, each player receives as many ducats as mine types owned in his/her Domains.
As soon as you own 3 or 4 mines of the same type in your Domain, you have the monopoly of this mine type. You receive 5 victory points for it. If you lose your monopoly due to an expansion made by an opponent, the 5 victory Points are discounted again.
End of the Game
The game ends as soon as a player reaches 50 victory points in a two-player game, 40 victory points in a three-player game, and 30 victory points in four-player game.
If the card supply stack is used up and none of the players has reached the number of victory poinst required for victory, each player can sell or play his/her three cards. No more cards can be drawn from the Chancery.
A player who has sold or played a card clicks on the Continue arrow on the bottom left and thus finishes his/her turn.
The game ends once the last card has been played or sold. The player or players with the most ducats receive another 5 victory points and the player or players with the second most ducats 3 victory points. The player with the most victory points wins. In case of a tie, the ducat reserves determine the winner.