NOBLES & GLORY
AN EPIC CARD GAME BY JONATHAN HINSON
Welcome to a land of rival kingdoms, where only one can emerge victorious. As the ruler of your kingdom, you will control a Royal Court made up of powerful factions, each with its own unique culture and ideology. Will you lead the agrarian Spades to glory through bountiful harvests and a strong economy? Or will you guide the Hearts on a path of enlightenment and artistic expression? Perhaps you will command the powerful military of the Clubs to conquer and expand your kingdom, or lead the Diamonds on a quest for wealth and economic dominance.
Your subjects and peasants will play a crucial role in your quest for glory. It is important to manage them effectively to outshine your opponents. As your kingdom grows, you will have access to more opportunities in politics, violence, intrigue, and schemes.
The suits that make up your Royal Court will change the way you attain and grow your Glory. With four distinct factions to choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, the choices you make will shape the course of the game. This is a competition of one against one, where you must defeat your opponent to claim victory. The fate of the land is in your hands.
You can read a Review of this Card Game by “The Card Connoisseur” here: READ THE REVIEW
Spade nobles value hard work and self-sufficiency. They believe that a strong agrarian society is the key to prosperity and glory. Led by knowledgeable leaders, the Spade Subjects work tirelessly to improve their farming and fishing techniques, resulting in bountiful harvests and a steady supply of food and materials for their kingdom. For the Spades, the land is not only a source of wealth, but also a source of pride and identity.
Heart nobles prioritize wisdom and artistic expression in their quest for glory. They reject traditional beliefs and social structures, instead embracing progressive and egalitarian ideas. Led by enlightened leaders, the Heart Subjects seek knowledge and personal growth through spirituality and romanticism. They believe that breaking free from outdated customs and hierarchies is the path to true glory.
Club nobles are a powerful military elite. Their society is built upon the principles of strength and expansion, using their formidable military might to conquer and expand their kingdom. Led by nobles with a martial mindset, Club Subjects fight for glory on the battlefield, valuing the honor and prestige that comes with victory. While not inherently aggressive, they understand the benefits of conquest and the need to eliminate weakness in the world.
Diamond nobles are driven by wealth and economic power. Led by entrepreneurial leaders, their subjects, mostly miners and merchants, embrace capitalist ideals and value material riches above all else. They have a money-based economy where workers are employed for profit, rather than a traditional serf-based system. They focus on expanding their economic influence through trade and geographic exploration, always seeking new opportunities for profit.
How to play in brief
In this game, played with a standard deck of 54 Playing cards (including the 2 Jokers ), players are tasked with managing their Royal Court and expanding their Population, all while trying to accumulate the most Glory.
Each player begins the game by assigning their Jacks, Queens, and Kings as members of their Royal Court. These royal figures guide the player’s strategy and provide special abilities throughout the game.
Players also build their Population by placing numbered cards, known as ‘Subjects’, from their hand onto the table. Players may also have ‘Peasant cards’ among their Population.
On each turn, a player can take a variety of actions to manipulate their Population, bolster their Royal Court, or accumulate Glory. The specific actions available depend on the Regnant – the leading member of their Royal Court.
As players gather Glory, they may unlock the special abilities of their Consort (second-in-command) or even enhance their Glory cards through the services of their Chamberlain (third-in-command).
While a larger Population can offer strategic advantages, it also presents unique challenges that players must navigate.
The game concludes instantly when any player amasses 7 cards in their Glory pile. The player with the highest total card value in their Glory pile is then declared the winner.
A Regnant can be:
A Jack, when there is no Queen or King in the Royal Court.
A Queen, when there is no King in the Royal Court.
A King is always Regnant when in the Royal Court.
A Consort can be:
A Queen, when there is a King in the Royal Court.
A Jack, when there is a Queen Regnant or a King Regnant.
When there is a Queen and a King; the Jack becomes a Chamberlain.
(White is Face Up, Black is Face Down)
Re = Regnant
Co = Consort
Ch = Chamberlain
Before play, remove all 10s, 9s and Aces from the Deck. They are shuffled and placed face down to the side of the play area. No one may look at the cards in the Renown Deck.
During the course of the game, there will be opportunities to draw from this deck. This will be noted in the relevant rules.
Each player is dealt 7 cards. If you are dealt seven cards without a Royal Card, or without at least 2 Subject Cards; you must declare a Mulligan – show your cards. Both players must put all cards back into the deck. Shuffle the Deck, and deal 7 new cads to each player.
Who has the first turn?
Each player plays a Royal Card face down in the Regnant position, and a Subject (Numbered Card) from their hand face down.
Each player then turns over both of their cards. These are the players starting cards, and whoever has the lowest Subject card will go first.
If both players turn over the same value card, Diamonds beats Clubs, Clubs beats Hearts, and Hearts beats Spades.
On each players first turn, they will skip straight to the Population Phase.
- “Serf” means you move a Subject into the Peasant Pile
- “Ennoble” means you convert a Peasant into a Subject
- “Royal Court” is the Regnant, Consort, and Chamberlain or Eunuch collectively.
- “Population” the Subjects and Peasants collectively.
- “Discard” place a card into the Discard Pile
- “Opponent” is the other player, you only interact with cards on the other players Kingdom, when the word “Opponent” or “Opponents” is used.
- Peasant Phase
- Action Phase
- Population Phase
- Inauguration Phase
- Migration Phase
Note: It might be easiest to learn the game by reading the Population, Inauguration, and Migration Phases first, and then looping back to the Peasant, and Action Phases.
In the throbbing heart of your medieval kingdom, the Peasant Phase sets the stage for a captivating play of power, ambition, and survival. This stage unfurls as a testament to the constant struggle between the nobility and the peasantry, the haves and the have-nots, and the inherent interdependence within the social hierarchy.
Firstly, You may replace one Subject in your Population with a higher value Subject of the same Suit from your hand, and Discard a Peasant. OR if able, you may simply Discard a Subject and replace with a higher value Peasant of the same suit.
Secondly, If the amount of cards in your Peasant Pile currently outnumbers the Subject Cards in your Kingdom, there are consequences if a suit is not represented in your Subjects (and an action to take if all suits are represented).
Perform each of these in order once (do not proceed to the next one if you no longer have more Peasants than Subjects)
(Note: You only need to perform each of these if able to do so in it’s entirety.)
No Spades among your Subjects = Famine
Discard one Peasant, then Serf your highest (or equal highest) Subject and Ennoble your lowest value (or equal lowest) Peasant.
If Famine activated and your Opponent does not have any Heart Subjects (Healthcare), the famine spreads and they must also discard a Peasant.
No Hearts among your Subjects = Disease
Discard one Subject and two Peasants.
If Disease activated and your Opponent does not have any Spade Subjects (Sustenance), the famine spreads and they must also discard a Peasant.
No Clubs among your Subjects = Revolt
Discard one Subject and Ennoble one Peasant.
If Revolt activated and your Opponent does not have any Diamond Subjects (Prosperity), the famine spreads and they must also discard a Peasant.
No Diamonds among your Subjects = Poverty
Serf one Subject.
If Poverty activated and your Opponent does not have any Club Subjects (Sentinels), the poor cross the border and they must take your “Serfed” Subject.
All Suits are represented among your Subjects = Ascension
Serf a Subject and Draw a card from the Renown Deck. (This is optional)
You may perform as many Actions as possible before moving on from the Action Phase.
Each Action can only be performed once.
Available actions are (in no particular order):
- Intrigue (Scandal or Treason or Revolt.)
- No Consort Ascendancy
- Regnant Ability / Consort Ability
- Chamberlain Declaration
- Battle Action
- Polity Action
- Duel Action
- Treaties Action
- Decree & Enact
In the hushed corridors of power, the whisper of Intrigue rustles like a silk cloak in the wind. Here, in the shadow-draped alcoves of your court, alliances are formed in hushed whispers, secret deals brokered under moonlit balconies, and betrayals devised over jeweled goblets of wine.
If the Opponent has One Royal Card that does not share a suit with any of their Subjects you may invoke once:
Place one of the Opponents Population into the Opponents Glory.
If the Opponent has Two Royal Cards that do not share a suit with any of their Subjects you may invoke once:
Place any one of the Opponents Subjects into the Opponents Peasant Pile.
If the Opponent has Three Royal Cards that do not share a suit with any of their Subjects you may invoke once:
Take one Subject or Peasant from the Opponents Population and and place anywhere into Your Population.
If any of the conditions above are met, you may instead request a bribe from the opponent. They can pass you any card from their hand, and the intrigue Action is finished. If they choose not to give a bribe, perform the one of the other Intrigue Actions if the conditions are met.
No Consort Ascendancy
If you have no Consort you may Discard a Number card from your hand for the following effect according to the Suit of the Card Discarded.
Regnant AbilityDuring your Action Phase, you may activate a Regnant Ability if you also have a subject of the same suit. Based on the Suit of your Regnant you may do one of the following. (You must be able to complete an action to start the action). (Note: “Lower value” below, always refers to “lower than the Card that was initially Discarded”)
In the heart of the realm sits the Regnant, an embodiment of supreme authority and wisdom. Their command sways the course of the kingdom, their judgement echoes in the halls of power. With every decree, they weave the destiny of their subjects, instilling order amidst chaos, and prosperity amidst uncertainty. Their rule is not just a test of power, but a testament to their sagacity. Their reign, a symphony of strength and wisdom, resounds through the annals of the kingdom’s history.
Conspiracy Rule:When a Regnant Ability places a card into Your Glory which does not share a suit with any card in Your Royal Court – you may also Discard any one card from your Glory.
Sedition Rule:When a Regnant Ability places a card into Your Glory which does not share a suit with any card in Your Royal Court, and is the the same suit as your Opponents Regnant. You must also Discard any one card from your Glory (if available).
If you have a Consort. These are optional abilities that you may activate as you place a card into Your Glory due to a Regnant Action.
Spade Consort – “Reap”
Discard a Subject, and replace with a lower value Subject of the same suit from your hand.
Heart Consort – “Campaign” –
Discard an Opponents Peasant. and replace with a card from your hand.
Club Consort – “Champion”
Take a Club Peasant from any Peasant Pile, and place into your hand.
Diamond Consort – “Treasurer”
Discard a Subject, and replace with a higher value Subject of the same suit from your hand.
In the shadow of the throne, the Consort subtly steers the tide of power. Often overlooked, they bear the unsung influence that shapes the kingdom’s destiny. The Regnant’s glory is incomplete without their silent counsel and unwavering support. In their quiet influence lies the unspoken strength of the realm.
A Chamberlain Declaration is a way to steal an opponent’s Chamberlain and all Subjects currently on that Chamberlain (Subjects must be taken).
If the opponent has a Chamberlain, and you are eligible to have one, (and you don’t currently have one) – You can activate a Chamberlain Declaration under the following conditions:
“Estate” – If the Other Kingdom has a Chamberlain of the same suit as your King
– and you discard one Spade from Your Glory.
“Paramour” – If the Other Kingdom has a Chamberlain of the same suit as your Consort
– and you discard one Heart from Your Glory.
“Depose” – If the Other Kingdom has a Chamberlain not of the same suit as their King
– and you discard one Club from Your Glory.
“Greed” – If the Other Kingdom has a Chamberlain not of the same suit as their Consort
– and you discard one Diamond from Your Glory.
When a Jack shares the Royal Court with a Queen and a King, it becomes a Chamberlain.
If you also have two Subjects the same suit as your Chamberlain, you may perform Eminence once per Action Phase.
Note: If the Chamberlain is the same suit as the Consort, it is referred to as a “Eunuch” and cannot activate Eminence.
Based on the Suit of your Chamberlain you may:
“Transhumance” – Convert an Opponents Peasant into Glory, and convert a Glory into a Peasant.
“Apostle“– Convert a Subject into Glory, and convert a Glory into your Opponents Peasant.
“Levy” – Convert a Peasant into Glory, and convert a Club Glory into a Subject.
“Merchant” – Convert an Opponents Subject into Glory, and place a Glory into the opponents Subjects. (Equipoise Rule applies)
Battle Action / Crusade
In a single turn, you may only execute either the Battle Action or Crusade, but not both. You cannot perform Battle Action, if a Crusade you imitated is still active.
If you have two Spade Subjects. You may once declare a Battle by pointing at one of your Army Cards and stating “Battle Action!”
- If the opponent has any Army Cards, they must choose one to turn over, and you then turn over the Army Card you pointed at. Whoever has the highest card wins the battle. (If a draw, the Defender wins) The highest card is immediately Discarded. The lowest card is now face-up and becomes a part of the victors Population (They can choose Subject or Peasant)
- If the opponent does not have an Army Card. You discard your Army Card, and take any card from the Opponents Population of a Lower or Same Value and add it to your Population (choose Subject or Peasant).
- If the opponent does not have any Army or Subject Cards. You discard your Army Card, and Discard the Lowest Ranking Card from the Opponents Royal Court (Chamberlain/Eunuch, then Consort, then Regnant)
- Army and Subject Cards that share the same suit as their Regnant gain a +1 bonus in Battle.
- Army and Subject Cards that are of the Clubs suit, gain a +1 in Battle
- Army and Subject Cards gain a +1 in Battle if the Regnant is a Club
(Example – It is possible to gain a +3 bonus if you have a Club Army Card and a Club Regnant)
An army marches not on courage alone, but on the provisions and strategic planning that enable it to face the foe. The lifeblood of your forces lies in the resources harvested from the earth, providing sustenance and logistical support. Without them, even the mightiest warriors would falter. This is the essence of the Battle action: it is not the raw strength of arms that determines victory, but the ability to sustain and maneuver your forces with precision and foresight.
The Crusade action is initiated during your action phase but takes place over three turns.
Note: The Crusade action represents a significant gamble. While it has the potential to bring substantial rewards, it also carries the risk of significant losses. Moreover, it requires a strong initial commitment and leaves your Kingdom potentially vulnerable for a turn. Plan your Crusade carefully, taking into account not only the potential rewards but also the risks and the actions of other players.
Turn 1: Take one of your Spade Subjects and one Army and temporarily remove them from your Kingdom (place to the side of the play area).
Turn 2: Continue the Crusade action by revealing the top card of the draw deck and revealing your Crusade Army Card. If the Army Card is the same or lower value (or you draw a Joker, Jack, Queen, or King), your Crusade fails and ends immediately, and you discard the Army Card and Spade Subject. Do not perform step 3 next turn (you may start a new crusade next turn though).
If the Army Card is higher, your Crusade might be a success and you will discover the outcome next turn.
Turn 3: During the turn’s Action Phase, you will announce that you are “Returning from the Crusade” – and draw the top two cards from the deck. These cards represent the outcomes of the Crusade.
For each Spade card drawn, Draw cards and place into discard pile, until you get a number card, you may place this as a Subject or Peasant in your Kingdom. If not able to place as a Subject, place as a Peasant.
For each Heart card drawn, Draw cards and place into discard pile until you get a number card and place it in your Glory Pile.
For each Club card, discard a card used in the Crusade (the Army or Spade Subject).
For each Diamond card, draw a card and add it to your hand.
For each Joker, Draw another 2 Cards.
Return any surviving cards to your Population (Army Card card as a Subject)
You may now draw the top card from the Renown Deck.
Embarking on a Crusade, marching forth with faith and determination. As the campaign unfolds, the promise of Glory and conquest beckons, but the path ahead is fraught with peril. Choose wisely, for the fate of your Kingdom rests in your hands.
Polity Action / Festival & Feast
In a single turn, you may only execute either the Polity Action or Festival, but not both. You cannot perform Polity Action, if a Festival you imitated is still in place.
If you have 2 Heart Subjects AND You have less Glory Cards than your opponent AND Each player has 5 or more cards in their hand.
You may declare “Polity” during your Action Phase.
Turn over the top card of the Draw Pile, Discard if not a Number Card – there will be no Polity this turn, end the Polity Action.
If you turn over a Number Card (now called a Glory Card) begin the Polity Rounds:
Take a Number Card from your hand and place it face down in front of you. Tell your Opponent only the Number on the card.
The Opponent may now: “Abstain” (not place a card and instantly lose this Round) OR Place a higher value Number Card face up in front of them. (Note, it must be higher than the value you stated).
At this point the opponent can optionally reveal a “Manipulation Card” hidden under their Regnant (See ‘Population – Preparations’ rule).
It is then your turn to optionally reveal a ‘Manipulation Card’ if you have one.
Apply the following bonuses to each card: +1 when it is the same suit as the Polity Card, and +1 if it is the same value as the players Regnant, and add on the value of each players optional ‘Manipulation Card’ if revealed (bonuses are not applied to the Manipulation Card itself).
The highest total after bonuses and Manipulation wins the round. If a Draw, you (the player initiating the Polity) wins the Round.
Discard the cards used in this Polity Round.
If you won the first round – Repeat the process for another round, but with your Opponent now going first. However, Note that they can abstain immediately at the start of this round and lose this round.
Determine the winner of Polity:
If the Initiator of Polity won both Rounds they Win the Polity Action. If they didn’t win both rounds the Opponent Wins the Polity Action.
If the initiator of the Polity wins. They must now take the Glory Card. If the Initiator of the Polity Loses, the other player may take the Glory Card, but only if they give you a different Glory Card in return.
Festival & Feast
The Festival action is initiated during your Action phase but takes place over three turns.
You initiate a grand Festival, spending a number of Hearts Subjects to do so. Over the following two turns, your Kingdom is more attractive to migrating Subjects, giving you a bonus during the Migration phase.
Turn 1: Take one of your Spade Subjects and one Heart Subjects and temporarily remove them from your Kingdom (place to the side of the play area). Place one Diamond Number card from you had onto these cards. (These cards do continue to count towards your Subjects, but cannot be used for any other purpose until the Festival concludes).
Turn 2: (Festival) During the Action Phase, Announce you are revealing the “Fruits of the Festival” draw the top card from the deck.
If it is a Spade, Move any Subject from the opponents Peasant Pile into your Subjects if able to to so (Equipoise and Administration rules apply)
If it is a Heart and it is lower than your Festival Diamond, place it in your Glory Pile. If it is Higher, place your Diamond Card into the Glory Pile.
If it is a Club, discard a Subject from your Kingdom.
If it is a Diamond card, you may add it to your hand.
For each Joker, Draw another 2 Cards.
Turn 3: (Feast) You may also draw the top card from the Renown Deck.. Return the Heart and Spade Subjects to your Population Proper.
Joy and celebration fill the air as you declare a grand Festival. This is a time for your Kingdom’s inhabitants to forget their worries and partake in the merriment. The Festival not only boosts morale and strengthens bonds within your Kingdom, but also offers an opportunity to impress visiting dignitaries and form new alliances.
Duel Action / Tournament
In a single turn, you may only execute either the Duel Action or Tournament, but not both. You cannot perform Duel Action, if a Tournament you initiated is still active.
To qualify for a Duel, you must meet the following conditions:
- Have at least 2 Club Subjects in your Population.
- Both you and your opponent must have 5 or more cards in hand.
- You have no “Recovery Cards” beneath your Regnant.
- Only a Regnant can challenge and be challenged to a Duel.
To initiate a Duel, announce “I challenge you to a Duel”. The Duel then takes place over two rounds….
Round One: Each player selects a number card from their hand and places it face-down in front of them. Upon revealing the cards, the player with the higher card value wins the first round. In the case of a tie, the player who initiated the Duel is considered the loser of this round. All cards played in this round are then discarded.
Round Two: The player who lost the first round begins by placing a number card face up. The other player then places a number card face down. Following this, the first player places another number card face down, and then the second player places a number card face up.
The face-down cards are then revealed, and the player with the lower total value from their two cards in this round loses the Duel. In the case of a tie, the player who initiated the Duel is considered the loser.
Consequences of a Duel: The loser of the Duel has two options: either discard their Regnant, or offer compensation by gifting the winner a Glory Card,
If the loser has no Glory Cards, the winner can take up to two cards from the loser’s Population to add to their own.
Yielding The player being challenged can opt to ‘Yield’ instead of playing a card in either round, resulting in an immediate loss of the Duel.
Running out of Number Cards If you are unable to place a number card from your hand during the Duel, you instantly lose the Duel.
Recovery after a Duel After a Duel concludes, any surviving combatants enter a recovery period during which they cannot participate in Training or another Duel. Place the used cards (including any revealed Training Cards) face up beneath your combatant as “Recovery Cards”. During each Migration Phase, remove one Recovery Card from beneath your combatant.
The Tournament action is initiated during your Action Phase but takes place over two turns. This action represents a grand contest of skill, where the finest warriors and knights of the realm gather to compete for honor, prestige, and the favor of the regnant.
Note: You cannot the Tournament has the potential to bring glory and prosperity to your Kingdom, it also requires substantial resources and can attract attention from rival Kingdoms. Plan your Tournament carefully, taking into account the possible gains and the strategic implications of hosting such a high-profile event.
Turn 1: Choose one of your Club Subjects and place a Diamond Number card from you had onto this card sideways. (The Diamond does not count as a Subject. The Club Subject is counted as a Subject for all purposes, but Tournament will end immediately if removed from play, and the Diamond card will be discarded).
Turn 2: Continue Tournament Discarding the Diamond card from the Club Subject. Draw and Discard the top card of the Draw Pile.
If a Spade card is drawn that is lower than your Tournament Diamond card; visiting spectators are inspired to join your military. Take a Club from your opponents Population (Subject or Peasant) and place into your Population (Subject or Peasant). You may now Draw the top card from the Renown Deck.
If a Heart card is drawn that is lower than your Tournament Club card, your champions’ performance and the spectacle of the event has captivated the hearts of the spectators. Take a number card from your hand that is lower than you Tournament Club card. place it in your Glory Pile as a testament to their skill and bravery of your Champions. You may now Draw the top card from the Renown Deck.
If a Club is drawn, your Kingdom’s champions were mostly bested by formidable rivals, earning the respect of their peers, but costing you dearly in might.
If a Diamond is drawn, the Tournament has attracted wealthy patrons and merchants, boosting your Kingdom’s economy. Return the Tournament Diamond to your Hand. You may now Draw the top card from the Renown Deck.
If a Joker was drawn, the Tournament suffers from unfavorable circumstances or bad weather, return your Club Subject to the population and discard the Diamond.
As the Kingdom buzzes with excitement, the grand Tournament unfolds. Warriors clash, and champions rise and fall, while the people cheer in anticipation of witnessing legendary feats of skill and courage. The outcome of the Tournament can bring honor, prestige, and prosperity to your Kingdom, but the stakes are high, and the eyes of rival Kingdoms are watching closely.
Accord Action / Treaty
In a single turn, you may only execute either the Accord Action or Treaty, but not both. You cannot perform Accord Action, if a Treaty you imitated is still in place.
If you have two Diamond Subjects in your Population, and no current Treaty Card.
During the Action Phase you may place any Number Card from Your Hand onto the Opponents Court Jester (or Court Jester Space if no Court Jester is present)- this becomes a “Accord Card”.
This prevents Both Kingdoms from using any Assassins, Army, or Regnant Ability of the same suit as the Accord Card during their Action Phase.
During your next Migration Phase, the Accord Card is Discarded.
Through diplomacy, you extend an olive branch to your opponent, forming a pact of non-aggression. As the treaty ink dries, certain actions by your kingdoms are restrained, encouraging a fleeting peace. Yet, all agreements are as transient as the whims of those in power.
Turn 1: Choose one of your Heart Subjects and place a Diamond Number card from you had onto this card sideways. (The Diamond does not count as a Subject. The Heart Subject is counted as a Subject for all purposes, but Treaty will fail immediately if removed from play, and the Diamond card will be discarded).
Turn 2: Continue Treaty by Discarding the Diamond card from the Heart Subject. Draw and Discard the top card of the Draw Pile.
If the card Drawn is the same or higher value than the Heart Subject, your negotiations fail and end Treaty immediately,
If a Joker, Jack, Queen, or King is drawn, the Treaty negotiations are beneficial for both players. Both players will gain the same benefit from the outcomes below.
If the Drawn card is lower, your Treaty negotiations are successful, The suit of the card determines in what way:
If a Spade, your Kingdom’s agriculture and harvests prosper from an Agrarian Pact. You may Ennoble as many non spade Peasants as you like. Draw cards one at a time until you find one you want to keep, you can draw up to 5 cards, stop when you take a card.
If a Heart, The positive outcome of the treaty also brings prosperity and stability to the kingdom, further enhancing its reputation and influence. Draw cards until you get a number card and place it in your Glory Pile. Draw the top card from the Renown Deck.
If a Club, an armistice is formed. No Battles can take place until after a player places a card into their Glory Pile (this status is shown by turning the Draw Pile sideways). You may now choose which player must flip over one Army Card in their population, and the other player must give any card from their hand to the other player to put into their hand). (If no Army Cards are flipped, no Card is exchanged).
If a Diamond, your Kingdom’s benefits from an economic alliance. You may a) Take any card from the discard pile (show this card to the opponent before placing into your hand).
If a Joker is drawn, the Treaty negotiations take an unexpectedly favorable turn for your opponent. Draw and discard another card from the top of the Draw Pile – The opponent will instead gain Treaty benefits listed above.
As your emissaries travel to distant lands, your Kingdom’s reputation precedes them. The prospect of a Treaty with neighboring realms is enticing, but only skillful negotiation and mutual trust will secure lasting alliances. Choose your partners wisely, for the fate of your Kingdom rests on your ability to navigate the complex world of diplomacy.
If you have a Chamberlain AND if there is at least a Regnant and a Consort in the target Kingdom – you may perform the Assassination Action.
If the opponent doesn’t have a Court Jester – then you may discard an Ace from your hand to target the lowest member of any Royal Court.
The target must be the same suit as the Assassin. Discard the Assassin and place the Assassinated card on top.
When a Royal Card is assassinated, the player losing their Royal Card, may rearrange their Subjects, before placing any excess Subjects in their Peasant Pile.
Any Ace can also be used to kill a Court Jester.
Note: You can also play an Ace into a Population (value of 1) – it cannot be used as an Assassin once placed into the population.
Aces can also be used as normal Number Cards during other Actions (value of 1).
You may Discard one member of your Royal Court. To do so, there must not be any Subjects of the same suit in the Population.
You must always leave at least one Royal Card in your Royal Court.
When dethroning, any Preparation Cards are placed beneath your discarded Royal Card.
When you dethroned, you may rearrange your Subjects, before placing any excess Subjects into the Peasant Pile.
The active player draws a card from the deck. This card represents the goods that a merchant / warehouse is offering.
The active player has the first opportunity to negotiate with the merchant. They do this by offering a card from their hand (of a different suit but higher value than the item on offer). This card represents the goods, they’re offering to exchange.
The non-active player then has an opportunity to outbid the active player by offering
a) A card the same suit as the card the active player offered, but higher. or higher card of the same suit than the card the active player using to offer. Or
b.) A card of a higher value than the resource on offer that is a different suit (that also isn’t the suit the the active player offered).
If the non-active player chooses to outbid, the active player has one final chance to increase their offer. by either
a.) playing a higher value card of the same suit as the non-active player. Or
b.) Playing a higher value card of the same suit as the last card they offered.
The winning player adds the goods card to their hand, and their bid card(s) is discarded.
If the active player wins the goods, this represents them successfully negotiating a beneficial trade deal. If the non-active player wins, this represents them successfully tempting the merchants away from the active player’s kingdom.
Commerce is thriving in your kingdom as foreign merchants and local artisans alike present their exquisite goods. From intricate trinkets of distant lands to our own kingdom’s specialties, these items promise not only novelty but also prosperity. However, acquiring such riches is no simple task; it requires shrewd negotiation and a keen sense of value.
Decree and Enact
(You can’t earn more progress to your Decree, or perform this action if your don’t already have Face Up Glory Cards to place on your Decree Card)
You may place Subjects (Number Cards) from your hand into your Kingdom, if there is space available.
Subjects are placed beside a member of the Royal Court.
Next to a King you may place up to 3 Subjects. Or up to 4 Subjects when the King has a Consort.
Next to a Queen you may place up to 3 Subjects.
Next to a Jack you may place up to 2 Subjects. Or up to 3 Subjects when the Jack is a Regnant.
You may re-arrange Subjects between the Regnant, Consort, and Chamberlain rows during this Phase.
Note: If you only have one Subject in your Population – you must place at least one Subject into Your Population from your hand if able during Your Population Phase. If you cannot place a Subject Card – Show your hand to the opponent, discard the entire hand, and draw the same number of cards, and immediately place a Subject into your population. (Repeat as necessary).
To place a Subject into the Population during the Population Phase….
The Total value of Subjects in your Population of the “Previous” suit must be lower than the value of the Subject (and any existing Subjects of the same suit), your are placing.
The Total value of Subjects in your Population of the “Next ” suit must be lower than the value of the Subject (and any existing Subjects of the same suit), your are placing.
“Previous” and “Next” means that Suits are in the order…Spade, Heart, Club, Diamond, Spade etc. (it wraps around).
So, Spade would be “Previous” to Heart, and “Next” to Heart would be Club.
Example: If I want to place a 5 of Spades into your Kingdom, there needs to be a lower total value of all existing Diamond Subjects, or a higher total value of Heart Subjects already in the Population.
Note: Sometimes the Equipoise Rule applies outside of the Population Phase (will be noted in the rules)
In a nutshell – To place a Subject into your Kingdom, where there is already a Subject of that suit – you must already have one of each other suit represented in within the Subjects and Royal Court of the Kingdom. To place a third card of the same suit you would need two of each other suit already represented.
For example, if you were to place a 3rd Club into a population. then that population would need at least 2 Hearts, 2 Clubs, 2 Spades, and 2 Diamonds in it.
If you are ever forced to place a card into a Population, and can’t due to the Equipoise Rule, the card is always placed into the Kingdoms Peasant Pile instead.
Note: Sometimes the Administration Rule applies outside of the Population Phase (will be noted in the rules)
During Your Population Phase, If you don’t currently have a Court Jester (Joker), you may place one into Your Royal Court from your hand. Having a Court Jester makes you immune to Chamberlain Declarations and Regnant, Consort, and Chamberlain/Eunuch Assassinations.
If you have a Diamond Subject in your Population – You can also place one Number Card from your hand, face down next to Your Regnant – these are referred to as Army Cards. (The opponent does not get to see what this card is until it is revealed later in battle)
Note: Army Cards fill up available Subject spaces.
These cards are used for Battle – and cannot be used for any other purpose. You may however turn these cards face up during your Migration Phase for use on your next turn as a Subject.
The Population Phase is also the time to place a number card face down beneath your Regnant (if there isn’t one present) these cards can be used on a subsequent turn. Be warned, you can’t change this card (though, it is removed if the Regnant discarded) and you can only use these cards if you currently have a Royal Court Card of the same suit.
Reveal the card and discard it for the following effects.
When the Battle Action is declared against you; and you have an Army Card, you may add the total of the “Fortification” card to your revealed Army Card.
Your foresight ensures your defenses are robust. With secure fortifications, your kingdom stands ready to resist the fiercest of assaults.
At the end of Round 2 of a Duel, you can optionally reveal and discard this card to boost your final total. This card is not counted as a “Recovery Card”.
Steeled in resolve, your champions find strength in compassion and wisdom, readying their hearts for the duels that lie ahead.
At any point during Polity, reveal and discard this card to add it’s the value to any card passed.
Through a display of military prowess, you make your strength known, swaying political decisions under the looming shadow of your army’s might. An intimidating force, indeed.
At any point during “Commerce”, you can optionally reveal and discard this card. The value of this card will be added to your bids during the “Commerce”.
Anticipating the bustling markets, you’ve amassed a wealth of resources, ready to seize the most enticing opportunities.
You may place one Royal Card into your Royal Court, if you have space available.
You may only have one King, one Queen, and one Jack in a Royal Court.
You may only place a Consort, Chamberlain or Eunuch if there is currently a Subject in your Kingdom of the same suit.
Note: When placing a new Royal Card, just slide the previous Regnant or Consort into their new positions, and all their Subjects move with them.
If you place a King into your Royal Court that already has a Jack of a different suit, You must immediately Discard the Jack.
The Migration Phase happens in 4 steps.
- You may Discard one card from your hand directly onto the Discard Pile or Peasant Pile.
- You may Serf one Subject.
- Turn over the next card on the draw pile and place on the Discard Pile (if it is a Face Card or a Joker an “Event” has happened., skip this step and perform the “Events” below). This is the “Refugee Card” and whichever Kingdom is “Most Aligned” with this card (see below) becomes the “Destination“, and must take an Opponents Subject of the same suit and place amongst their own Subjects if able (Equipoise Rule applies). If not able to take it, place into the Destinations Peasant Pile. If the Destinations Opponent doesn’t have a card of that suit amongst their Subjects, take one from the Opponents Peasant Pile. If the Destinations Opponent doesn’t have any in their Peasant Pile either, then the Destination takes the Refugee Card and places into their Peasant Pile.
- If you have less than 7 cards in your hand. Draw 1 card per different suit amongst your Subjects from the Draw Pile (Up to a maximum hand limit of 7). You may also Draw one of these cards from the Opponents Peasant Pile (Peasant Piles are always in no particular order) if you have a Regnant or Consort of the same suit as the card being taken.
“Most Aligned” – Is whoever has the most cards in their Royal Court with the same suit as the “Refugee Card”. If it is a draw, whoever has the most cards of the same suit including their Subjects. If a draw, whoever has the highest value Subject of the same suit. If a Draw, the player who turned it over must take it.
Note: During this Phase, you remove one face up “Recovery Card” from each of your Royal Cards.
King of Spades: Bandit Raids. Outlaws from the wilderness invade, causing havoc and stealing resources. The player with the most Spade subjects must discard one. In case of a tie, both players discard one Spade subject.
King of Hearts: Corruption Scandal. A major scandal rocks both kingdom, leading to the fall of prominent individuals. The player with the most Diamond subjects must discard one. In case of a tie, both players discard one Diamond subject.
King of Clubs: Foreign Invasion: Both players must discard a card from their hand or population (their choice), representing resources diverted to deal with the threat.
King of Diamonds: Pirate Embargo The trade routes are blocked, impacting the kingdom’s wealth. Each player discards a Diamond card from their Population, starting with the current player. If they don’t have a Diamond card, they discard any Subject of their choice.
Queen of Spades: Drought. The dry spell affects the agricultural sector. The player with the most Spade subjects must discard one. In case of a tie, both players discard one Spade subject.
Queen of Hearts: Plague. A devastating disease sweeps through the kingdom, mainly affecting the citizenry. The player with the most Heart subjects must discard one. In case of a tie, both players discard one Heart subject.
Queen of Clubs: Flood. The flood damages the kingdom’s infrastructure. The player with the most Club subjects must discard one. In case of a tie, both players discard one Club subject.
Queen of Diamonds: Market Crash. The economic disruption primarily affects the wealthy. The player with the most Diamond subjects must discard one. In case of a tie, both players discard one Diamond subject.
Spades Jack: Astral Alignment. A once-in-a-lifetime alignment of the stars bestows newfound wisdom and understanding. Each player can upgrade one of their Spade Subjects to a higher value Spade card from their hand, representing the insight gained from this celestial event.
Hearts Jack: Elixir of Life. A legendary elixir is discovered, promoting health and longevity. Each player can upgrade one of their Heart Subjects to a higher value Heart card from their hand, signifying the revitalizing effects of the elixir.
Clubs Jack: Invention Boom. A sudden wave of ingenuity leads to numerous groundbreaking inventions. Each player can upgrade one of their Club Subjects to a higher value Club card from their hand, symbolizing the rapid advancement in technology.
Diamonds Jack: Hidden Treasure. A vast treasure trove is unearthed, leading to a sudden influx of wealth. Each player can upgrade one of their Diamond Subjects to a higher value Diamond card from their hand, representing the newfound wealth from the treasure.
Joker: Festival of Fools. A moment of levity descends upon both kingdoms as the jester takes the throne for a day. The strict rules of the court are momentarily relaxed as the kingdom indulges in a day of silliness and fun.
As a result, both players may choose to swap one subject card with an opponent’s subject card of the same suit, but only if both players agree to the swap. If no swap is agreed upon, the moment passes without incident, and the game continues as usual.
After the Event is resolved, continue with step 4 of the Migration Phase.
Prestigious Royal Court
A Royal Court with a Regnant, Consort, and a Eunuch of the same suit attracts an extra effect in the fourth step of the Migration Phase.
Overmighty Noble Rule:
If you have a Subject with a value of 10 of a different suit to the Regnant, this is called an “Overmighty Noble”, and prevents the Prestigious Court action.
During your opponents turn, you can perform various “Counter Actions” – these prevent the opponent from performing Actions as usual. If an Action is Countered, the opponent cannot attempt to perform that action again during that turn.
Note: Actions that have a Counter Action have the word “Action” in their name, these Actions must be announced if you are taking the Action, and the opponent must reply with “No Counter” before you can proceed with the action.
Treaties Counter – “Diplomacy”
You may use a Heart card to counter a Treaties Action. If the value of your Heart card is higher than the highest Diamond card in the opponent’s population, the treaty is avoided.
By appealing to the shared values and experiences of your people, you manage to prevent the signing of a potentially unfavorable treaty.
Battle Counter – “Armistice”
You may use a Spade card to counter a Battle Action. If the value of your Spade card is higher the highest Club card in the opponent’s population, the battle is avoided.
As your enemy rallies for war, you reveal a surplus of resources and provisions that could be theirs, should they lay down their arms. The promise of abundance sways them from their course, as they realize that peace can be far more profitable than battle. The power of prosperity thus averts the horrors of war.
Polity Counter – “Espionage”
You may use a Club card to counter a Polity Action. If the value of your Club card is higher than the highest Heart card in the opponent’s population, the battle is avoided.
Deploying your network of spies, you infiltrate your opponent’s court, intercepting crucial information and thwarting their political maneuvers. In the shadows of power, your silent agents tilt the balance of the polity, proving that knowledge, indeed, is power.
Duel Counter – “Compensation”
You may use a Diamond card to counter a Duel Action. If the value of your Diamond card is higher than the highest Club card in the opponent’s population, the Duel is avoided.
In the face of impending violence, wise leaders know that not all battles are fought with swords. As tensions rise and a duel becomes imminent, you leverage your wealth and influence to broker a peaceful resolution. By offering a satisfactory compensation, you convince the would-be combatants to lay down their arms and settle their dispute in a more civilized manner. Sometimes, the pen can indeed be mightier than the sword.
Immediately when a player has 7 cards in a Glory Pile, the game ends. Whoever has the highest total (by counting the value of all cards in their Glory), plus the “Regnant Bonus” wins the Game.
If you have a Spade Regnant. From your Kingdom – Take the total number of Subject Cards and deduct the total number of Peasant Cards.
eg. There are 8 Subjects and 4 Peasants. your Bonus would be 4.
If you have a Heart Regnant, From your Kingdom – take the total number of Subjects, and deduct the number of Club Subjects (including Army) twice. The remaining number is your Bonus.
eg. There are 8 Subjects and 2 clubs. You Bonus would be 4.
If you have a Club regnant, From both Kingdom – Take the total number of Army Cards.
eg. There are 4 Army Cards, You Bonus would be 4.
If you have a Diamond Regnant. Take the total number of Diamond Cards in your Glory Pile.
eg. You have 4 Diamonds Glory Cards, Your Bonus would be 4.
- You must not perform any action that will result in either Kingdom having no Subjects.
- When there are no more cards available in the Draw Pile, immediately reshuffle the Discard Pile, and the top card from each Peasant Pile (if available), Shuffle and place face down to create a fresh Draw Pile.
- All Face Up Piles (Discard, each Glory Pile, and each Peasant Pile), can be picked up and looked at by either player at any time.
- Whenever a Kingdom has one of their Royal Cards placed into the Discard Pile – that Kingdom may immediately rearrange their current Population in any way, including converting Army Cards into Subject Cards – before placing any surplus Subject Cards into their Peasant Pile.
- When a Regnant changes, any Preparation Cards beneath the old Regnant remain under that card (potentially to be used if that card becomes Regnant again)