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In a remote land there lies a region with undulating hills and fertile valleys. Widely-travelled settlers have laid the foundation stone for the city of Arkadia.

In addition to several other buildings they want to construct a magnificent castle on a hill. Four wealthy families - the cloth merchants, the spice merchants, the carpenters and the silversmiths - want to enhance prestige and augment their influence.

For this reason, they compete for the major contribution to the castle's construction. Players act as architects. The four families commission them to plan and realize the build-up of the town and the castle.


  • 1 game board
  • 1 building lot for the castle
  • 4 screens in the players' colors
  • 16 architect banners
  • 40 building cards
  • 40 buildings
  • 88 seals of the 4 families
  • 44 workers
  • 24 neutral workers
  • 28 castle pieces
  • Gold coins with the values 1,5 and 10

Object of the Game

Players build houses and the central castle in the town of Arkadia. For constructing houses, they get seals of the four families. Whenever a house is completed, castle construction is continued.

Subject to the family's contribution to the castle construction, the value of the family's seal changes. In the course of the game, each player can convert his seals into gold - he may decide when to do this himself. The player with the most gold wins the game.


If you are playing for the first time, punch out the elements carefully.

Stick one of the 28 square seal tiles in each castle piece as shown in the illustration.

For the first game we recommend the set-up shown on page 7 of these rules. This will make it easier to learn the game. Set the game board up as described and then continue reading here.

Now proceed as follows for the preparation of the game:

  • Place the game board in the center of the table.

  • The building lot for the castle is placed in the grid so that no square with a tent camp is covered.

  • Each player gets a screen (construction tent) as well as the 4 architect banners and 3 workers of their color. The four banners are suspended on the top of the screen facing outwards. Place the 3 workers behind your screen.

  • The remaining workers (including the neutral beige ones) form the general pool that is placed next to the game board.

  • The castle pieces are distributed on the three pool areas at the border of the game board as follows: Place 12 pieces (3 red ones, 3 olive ones, 3 silver ones and 3 black ones) on the pool areas for the first and second floor of the castle respectively. Since there are only 8 squares, you stack up 2 pieces of the same color on the squares at the border of the game board.

    The remaining 4 castle pieces are placed on the 4 colored pool squares for the third floor. The 4 neutral pool squares for the third floor remain empty at the moment. They will be used in the course of the game.

  • Sort the buildings by their forms and place them next to the game board.

  • The seals and the gold are placed next to the game board, too.

  • Shuffle the building cards thoroughly. Each player gets 4 cards, face down. Place 3 additional cards face-up next to the game board. Form a stack with the remaining cards and place it on the table, face down.

Game Play

The youngest player starts. Then, play continues in a clockwise direction.

A player's turn is divided into two parts:

  1. Must

    The player chooses one of the following possibilities:

    1. Playing a building card and laying out the corresponding building or
    2. Introducing one or several workers
  2. Can

    Afterwards, the player may use one of their architect banners.

The possibilities in detail:

1. Must

A. Laying out a building

The player chooses a building card from his hand, takes the building shown on this card and places it on the game board so that it

  • is horizontally or vertically adjacent to any building alrea- dy placed (the building lot for the castle is also considered as a building) and / or

  • is adjacent to any worker already placed (independent of its color).

The squares covered by the building must be vacant, that is without any other building or worker on it.

Place a seal of the color shown on your played building card on the building. The seal indicates that the building is still under construction and which family has placed the order.

The played building card is placed on a discard pile and is thus out of game. Then the player adds a new card to their hand so that they have four cards again. He either chooses one of the three face-up cards or draws the top card from the face-down stack.

If the player has chosen one of the three face-up cards, he immediately turns over a new card from the stack in order to replenish the face-up cards.

Neutral Workers:

On the game board, some squares show tent camps in which players can recruit migrant (= neutral) workers. These tent camps are not considered as buildings so they can be covered.

If a player places a building on the game board hereby covering a tent camp, he may immediately take neutral workers from the pool - one neutral worker per square showing a tent camp that he has just covered.The neutral workers are placed behind the player's screen.

Example for laying out a building (see illustrations below):

Green plays a building card that shows a trade center and the cloth merchants' red seal. Green takes a trade center from the pool and places it on the game board.

llustration 1 shows four of many possible places to lay out the building: In possibility 1 the trade center is adjacent to an already placed worker.

In both possibilities 2 and 3 it touches another building. And in possibility 4 it is even adjacent to two buildings and one worker.

Illustration 2 shows three possibilities how the building may not be laid out. In possibility 5 the trade center covers part of the already constructed monastery.In the possibilities 6 and 7 it neither touches a worker nor a building (diagonally is not enough).

The player chooses possibility 4 and places the building accordingly on the game board (ill. 3).

Illustration 3. Since the trade center covers a tent camp, Green takes a neutral worker from the general pool and places it behind his screen. Then, he places a red seal (shown on the played building card) on the trade center.

Afterwards, he draws a new building card and finishes his turn.

B. Introducing Workers

The player chooses any building on the game board. He places any number of his own and / or neutral workers from their pool behind the screen on vacant squares that are horizontally or vertically adjacent to this building.

Important: All workers that a player introduces during their turn have to touch one and the same building. Once the workers are placed on the board, they remain on the square on which they have been introduced for the whole game. They are never moved or removed.

Note: If a player places a worker on a tent camp, he does not get any neutral worker.

An example for introducing a worker is shown at the bottom on the right.

A building is completed:

If a building is completely enclosed because of an action (either "A: Laying out a building" or "B: Introducing workers"), it is completed. Consequently the payout and the continuation of the castle construction are triggered.

A building is completely enclosed if all horizontally and vertically adjacent squares are occupied (either by workers, by other buildings or by the border of the game board).

Payout: All players who have introduced workers next to this building receive seals.For each of his own workers who is (horizontally or vertically) adjacent to the enclosed building,the respective player gets a seal of the color of the seal lying on the building.The player whose turn it is gets the seal of the completed building in addition (as he has triggered the payout). Players place their seals behind their screen.

Important: You do not get any seals for neutral workers!

Note: It is possible for several buildings to be completed at the same time. In this case, each building is evaluated separately, so that one worker can earn several seals.

Besides, it can happen that a building is placed so that it is immediately enclosed itself. In this case a normal payout is triggered. If there are not enough normal seals, players can exchange 5 seals for a bigger seal with the value 5.

Continuation of castle construction: Afterwards, the player whose turn it is places one castle piece per newly enclosed building on the building lot for the castle.

Note: The castle indicates the value of the family's seals. The building lot consists of 10 squares that show 2 seals of each family. At the beginning of the game, each seal is thus worth 2 pieces of gold.

In the course of the game, castle pieces are placed on the 10 squares of the building lot - next to each other and on top of each other. For this reason, the value of the individual seals changes, since it depends on the number of family seals that is actually visible on the 10 squares of the castle when looking at the castle from a bird's-eye view.

When placing a castle piece,players have to observe the fol- lowing rules:

At first,the castle's first floor has to be constructed,before beginning the second floor.The player chooses any castle piece from the building material for the first floor and places it on any still vacant square of the building lot.

As soon as all 10 squares of the lowest floor are occupied in this way,the remaining 2 pieces of the pool for the first floor are added to the pool for the third floor (and placed on two of the four vacant neutral squares on the border of the game board).

Afterwards, the second floor is constructed in the same way with the pieces of the second pool.As soon as the second floor is completed, the remaining 2 pieces are again added to the pool for the third floor.

Attention: When the second floor is completed, the end of the game has begun.

Example for introducing workers and a following payout:

Violet chooses possibility 1 B) "Introducing workers". He selects the trade center. Next to this trade center, he may now place any number of workers of his pool.He introduces two of his own workers (violet) and a neutral one. So both the trade center and the monastery are completely enclosed.

The payout is triggered:

Orange receives a red seal from the general pool, since one of his workers participated in constructing the trade center. Violet has two workers next to the trade center and thus gets two red seals from the general pool. In addition, he receives the red seal lying on the trade center.

Yellow and Green both get two olive seals from the general pool for the monastery's construction.Violet receives an olive seal from the general pool and again the seal that lies on the monastery.

Then Violet may place any two castle pieces from the pool for the first floor on the building lot for the castle.He chooses the two black pieces since he has already collected many black seals in previous rounds.

2. Can: Use The Architect Banner

At the end of each of their turns, players may decide if they want to use one of their 4 architect banners. If they play it, they get two workers of their color from the general pool for it (the banner is then out of game).

In addition, after having played their banner, players can execute an evaluation only for themselves:

The player can convert any number of their collected seals (even from different families). They return them to the general pool and receive gold in exchange. A seal's value depends on the current state of the castle. The number of the castle squares of the corresponding color visible from a bird's-eye view determines a seal's value.

The player may decide himself which seals he wants to exchange and gets the corresponding number of gold coins for it. So during each game, each player can execute a maximum of 4 evaluations for himself in order to get gold. In addition, there is one final evaluation at the end of the game.

Example: At the end of his turn, Green plays one of his architect banners and gets 2 green workers from the general pool for it.

Then he executes an evaluation for himself: He exchanges 7 seals of the cloth merchants (red) and 5 seals of the silversmiths (silver).

From a bird's- eye view on the castle, 3 red and 4 silver squares are visible. Green gets 7 red seals x 3 red squares = 21 gold coins, 5 silver seals x 4 silver squares = 20 gold coins

End of the Game

The end of the game begins as soon as a player places the last castle piece on the second floor of the castle. The remaining two castle pieces are added to the pool for the third floor. The player ends his turn as usual (he can for example execute one more evaluation if he still has an architect ban- ner).

Note: If a player has completed several buildings during their turn, so that they may place several castle pieces, the two last pieces from the pool for the second floor are always added to the pool for the third floor first.

If the player may then place further pieces, they take them from the pool for the third floor (that now consists of 8 pieces) and places them in the third floor.

At this stage of play, each player may still execute one last turn. The player who has begun the end of the game will be the last to play. If during this last round buildings are completely enclosed, players use castle pieces from the pool for the third floor.

After this last round the game is over. Each player evaluates their remaining seals. This final evaluation is executed as described above.

The player who has now the most gold wins the game.

If two or more players tie for first place, these players can all delight in their wealth - there are several winners.

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