Agents Byrd and Hyde are off the board. All active assets are burnt. Dr. Solomon in Rio di Janeiro on Operation Black Box. Estimate arrival tomorrow soonest.

Last-known on the case is a dead drop at Wien Hbf. New assets in play. Codenames: Beacon, Magician, Roulette, Spyglass, Tempest, Vagabond. Suggest enlistment for immediate retrieval of case


Components

  • Game board
  • 6 agent figures
  • 4 payoff boards
  • 4 player shields
  • 4 restricted markers
  • 120 gold sovereigns
  • 20 burn tokens
  • dr. solomon standee
  • 1 briefcase miniature
  • 6 starting payoff tokens
  • dr. solomon die



This icon represents Dr. Solomon. He has advice for you on how to play the game. Be sure to pass this advice on to all the players.



Setup

1 Place the game board on the table.

2 Place the briefcase miniature in Vienna (marked with a ).

3 Randomly place 1 agent figure on the game board in the following cities: Belgrade, Berlin, Marseille, Paris, Rome, and Warsaw.

4 Place the Dr. Solomon die on the Dr. Solomon track on the board. For four players, place it on the "20" space; for two or three players, place it on the "15" space. (It doesn't matter which die face is showing).

5 Place the burn tokens in a pile to the side of the board.

6 Each player takes the player shield matching the icon on the HQ city they are sitting nearest to on the game board and sets it up in front of them.



7 Each player places a random payoff board behind their shield, 30 gold sovereign coins on the "Reserve" space on their payoff board, and a restricted marker behind their shield.

8 Shuffle the 6 starting payoff tokens and deal one, face down, to each player.

9 Using the gold sovereigns in their reserve, each player places 3 sovereigns on their payoff board on the agent shown on their starting payoff token, and then places 1 coin on two other agents of their choice. (You cannot place sovereigns on Dr. Solomon during setup). Then, return all of the starting payoff tokens to the box without looking at them.

10 Choose a random start player. Place the Dr. Solomon standee to their immediate right, as if Dr. Solomon has the last turn in the round.



Overview

Your agency is trying to gain control of the top-secret briefcase using the six freelance agents, who aren't controlled by any one player. You can try to move any of them and use them to bring the briefcase to your HQ.

Each of the agents also has a special ability you can use after you move them. You can even try to burn an agent, which removes them from the game completely.

The other agencies will use these agents too. They might try to stop you from moving or burning an agent. You can gain influence over an agent by paying them off. When someone challenges your action or you challenge theirs, how much you each paid off will determine who wins the challenge.



Sometimes spies need to work together against a common enemy. Feel free to talk strategy with the other players or point out when you see someone close to winning.



Game Play

Play starts with the first player and proceeds clockwise until the game ends.

On your turn, you must announce one of these three actions:



If your RESTRICTED marker is on your player shield at the start of your turn, you may only make a payoff and may not move or burn an agent.

After each player has taken one turn, Dr. Solomon goes.

  • If the Dr. Solomon die is still on a numbered track space, advance it one space, then begin the new round, starting with the first player.



  • If the die is already at the end of the track, roll the die instead. If the rolled die shows the image of Dr. Solomon, the game ends immediately - Dr. Solomon has recovered the briefcase.

    If the die does not show Dr. Solomon, return it to the last space on the track, and play continues with the next round.



When you take this action, you do the following: Announce the Payoff. Say "I am making a payoff". Do not say who you are paying or how much.

Do not pay off too many sovereigns too early in the game, especially to one agent, which can make them a target to get burnt. Make sure you have some sovereigns left toward the end of the game, so you can respond when someone is about to win.

You may pay off one agent or Dr. Solomon. Take sovereigns from your Reserve and place them on the payoff space for an agent or Dr. Solomon, following these rules:

  • If you pay off Dr. Solomon, you may only take one coin from your Reserve and put it on Dr. Solomon's space on your payoff board.

  • If you pay off an agent, you may take any number of sovereigns from your Reserve and put them on any one agent's space on your payoff board.

  • You may pay off no one if you want to bluff or if you have no more sovereigns in your Reserve.

    You cannot move sovereigns that have already been paid off to an agent or Dr. Solomon for any reason. You cannot show your payoff board to the other players for any reason.


Move An Agent

When you take this action, you do the following:

Announce which agent you are moving and which city you are moving them to. You can move any agent, even one you haven't paid off. Do not announce whether you are going to move the briefcase or going to use that agent's ability.

Example: "Spyglass to Zurich".

You may move an agent following these rules:

  • An agent may move to any adjacent city (connected by a red line).

  • An agent in a city with a train station may move to another city with a train station as if they were adjacent.

  • If the briefcase is in the same city as the agent when you move them, you may move the briefcase to the new city with them.

  • Cities may contain any number of agents.

Before you can move the agent, other players may challenge you.

If you win the challenge, you must move the agent to the city you announced.

If you lose the challenge, the agent does not move, and your turn ends immediately.


Agent Abilities

After moving an agent, you may use their ability. You may not use an agent's ability if your move was successfully challenged. Agent abilities cannot be challenged; the only way to prevent an agent from using their ability is to challenge the move.

When using an ability, cities with train stations are not considered adjacent cities.



Burn an agent

When you take this action, you do the following:

Announce which agent is doing the burning and which agent is the target. You can only have an agent burn another if they are in the same city.

You must have at least 5 sovereigns paid off to the acting agent (the agent doing the burning) as you will have to remove that many sovereigns from that agent if the burn succeeds.

Example: "Spyglass is going to burn Tempest".

Before you can burn an agent, other players may challenge you.

If you win the challenge, remove the target agent's figure from the board. Each player places a burn token on the burnt agent's space on their payoff board. (Any sovereigns on that space remain there).

Then, you must take 5 sovereigns from the acting agent's payoff (not from your Reserve) and remove those sovereigns from the game. If you lose the challenge, the target is not burned, and your turn ends.You do not remove any sovereigns.



Challenges



When you direct an agent to move or to burn another agent, the other players have an opportunity to challenge you.

In a challenge, you and the person challenging will reveal how many sovereigns you have paid off on the acting agent (the agent that is moving or the agent attempting to burn another agent - not the target of the burn attempt).

Starting to your left, each player in clockwise order may challenge or pass. A player may challenge even if their RESTRICTED marker is on their player shield.

If a player passes, go to the next player to see if they want to challenge or pass, and so on. A player who passes cannot rhallpnnp latpr on \/n11r turn

If a player challenges you, resolve the challenge following these rules:

  1. The challenger starts by announcing any number of sovereigns they have paid off on that agent. When challenging a burn (since the player must have at least 5 sovereigns paid off on that agent), the challenger must announce a number 5 or higher to start the challenge.

  2. You may then announce a number at least one higher than the challenger's number, up to the amount paid off on that agent.

  3. You and the challenger go back and forth announcing higher numbers until one of you cannot or chooses not to do so.

  4. Players may not announce a number higher than the amount of sovereigns paid off on the active agent. They are limited by the amount of sovereigns previously paid off to that agent before the challenge.


If the challenger announced the higher number, the challenge succeeds. The agent's action does not happen, and your turn ends.

If you announced the higher number, the challenge fails. The challenging player hangs their RESTRICTED marker on their player shield (and will only be able to make a payoff on their next turn).

The next player may then challenge or pass, until all of the other players have had a chance to challenge or pass.

You do not lose any sovereigns in a challenge. You are not actually bidding sovereigns, just revealing how many sovereigns you previously paid off to the agent.

If all other players have failed their challenge or passed, the agent's action succeeds.


Bluffing is a big part of the game. You want to misdirect the other players about who you've paid off and how much and what your plans are.

It's acceptable - good play, even - to decline to challenge an action you could prevent, to forfeit a challenge you could win, or to give up on a challenge even when you could announce a higher number.

You can tell players you're going to do one thing on your turn and then do something else. Just remember: You cannot lie by announcing a higher number for an agent than your real payoff.


End of the Game

If a player moves the briefcase to their HQ city, they win immediately.

If the image of Dr. Solomon is rolled on the Dr. Solomon die at the end of a round, all of the players lift their player shields and reveal their payoff to Dr. Solomon. Whoever has the highest payoff to Dr. Solomon wins the game. If there is a tie, the tied player with the most sovereigns in their Reserve wins the game.

If there is still a tie, the tied players share the victory.


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