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In Crimson Company two opposing players take on the roles of adventurous noblemen in a cut-throat fantasy world.

In a battle of wits they assemble armies of sellswords - from hardened warriors, to shady merchants, to mythical creatures as old as time. Who will outsmart their rival and gain control over the castles of a forgotten kingdom?


  • 30 unique sellsword cards
  • 40 coin tokens
  • three castle cards
  • two overview/setup cards
  • "active player" marker
  • Rulebook


Your goal in a match of Crimson Company is to conquer two of the three castles in the center. You conquer a castle by amassing more strength than your opponent in the castle's lane by the time when that lane is scored. A lane is scored once a player owns at least four cards in it.

Cards represent a large variety of characters, all of which have specific strength values and unique effects. The latter are either one-time instant effects that happen when a card is played, or they are triggered in specific phases of the game.

Four randomly drawn cards from the character deck are on offer. You may only bid coins on one of those at a time. Then your opponent decides to either pay you off, doubling the coins you bid, or pass and let you play the card.


Place three regular castle cards (without text) representing the three lanes between both players. Lanes are separated into two sides (your side and your opponent's side). Optionally, place the miniature castles on the castle cards.

Put the coin supply of 40 coins next to the three lanes.

Shuffle the deck of all the 30 character cards and place it next to the three lanes, facing up (so the upcoming card is always visible at the top).

Draw four cards from the deck and place them down next to the three lanes. Those cards are on offer initially.

Flip a coin to decide who goes first. The first player starts with 3 coins. The second player starts with 4 coins.

The starting player may now begin the game in the Income phase (see Phases).

Game Play

Phase 1 - Income

Gain 3 coins. Be aware that some cards' effects can generate additional income in this phase.

Check: In the first turn, the starting player should have 6 coins in total after this phase.

Phase 2 - Recruitment

Put at least one of your coins on exactly one card currently on offer.

Your opponent then chooses one of two options:

  • Match: Your opponent has to put coins of the same total value on the card as you did. In this case you get all the coins on the card (worth twice the original value). Your opponent however recruits the card, placing it in front of them (but not yet playing it into one of the lanes).

  • Pass: The coins you put on the card go into the coin supply. You recruit the card, placing it in front of you (but not yet playing it into one of the lanes). Afterwards you continue with phase 3.

Important: Whenever there are fewer than 4 cards on offer, draw from the deck to refill the offer immediately.

Phase 3 - Deployment

Play all the cards you have in front of you (i.e. the ones you recruited previously) in any order and into any lanes of your choice (see Playing a Card).

Check: Players can have a maximum of two cards in front of them at a time.

Phase 4 - Score

Check all lanes from left to right (from the view of the player whose turn it is). If any player has 4 or more cards in a lane (including face-down cards), score that lane (see Scoring and Winning). Then, do another scoring phase (i.e. check all lanes again).

It is then your opponent's turn, starting with the Income phase again.

Playing a Card

When playing a card, you are free to choose which active lane you want to play in, but you can only play cards on your own side of a lane.

Cards are always played below all other cards already in a lane (i.e. into the furthest position from the castle).

Playing a card activates its effect (see Card Effects).

Card Effects

There are five types of effects on cards:

  • Deployment effects happen once when a card is played (in the Deployment phase), and each time a face-down card is flipped, i.e. turned face-up again. If no phase is specified in a card's text, it's always a Deployment effect.

  • Income effects on cards in any lane happen every turn at the beginning of the Income phase of their owner's turn, as long as the card stays in play.

  • Recruitment effects on cards in any lane apply every turn during the Recruitment phase of their owner, as long as the card stays in play.

  • Destruction effects happen every time a card is destroyed (either via another card's effect or after a lane was scored).

  • Score effects on cards in a lane only apply when that lane is scored (not before). Note: Card effects must be resolved if at all possible (even to the player's detriment). This is also the case if an effect can only be resolved partially.


  • Remove a card from the game.
  • Put destroyed cards onto a separate discard pile.


  • Turn a face-up card face-down, or a face-down card face-up. Players may freely look at face-down cards anytime.
  • Face-down cards have 0 strength and no effect.

Important: Whenever a face-down card with a Deployment effect is turned face- up, the effect is resolved again immediately. Phase effects are active again.


  • Change a card's lane. Just like when playing a card, after moving your own cards they are always placed at the bottom of a lane, and your opponent's cards at the top (i.e. always as far away from the castle card as possible).

  • You can only move cards between lanes on their side, but not change which side the card is on.

  • Moving a card does not trigger its effect.


  • Exchange the positions of two cards. This does not trigger effects.

Order of Resolution

If multiple card effects trigger in the same phase for a player, resolve them in this order (from their owner's point of view):

  1. From top (close to castle) to bottom (far from castle) in the left lane
  2. From top to bottom in the middle lane
  3. From top to bottom in the right lane

Note: This includes flip effects happening at the same time (e.g. Clumsy Ogre).

End of the Game

To score a lane, follow these steps:

  1. Resolve any Score effects of cards in this lane from top (close to castle) to bottom (far from castle). The player whose turn it is resolves the Score effects of all cards on their own side of the lane first.

  2. Add up all the strength values on each player's side. Face-down cards have 0 strength (unless affected by other cards' effects).

  3. The player with the higher strength total wins the lane, gaining the castle card (and the castle miniature) in its center.

After a player won a lane, all the cards in the lane are destroyed (triggering Destruction effects). The lane is then removed from the game (i.e. cards cannot be played or moved into it anymore).

As soon as one player owns 2 castle cards, that player immediately wins the game. Note: The destruction of cards at the end of the scoring phase can immediately trigger another scoring (e.g. if the Undead becomes the fourth card in another lane).

Resolving Ties

In case scoring a lane results in a tie, the lane stays in the game. Score effects do not apply any longer (until scoring happens again). Continue to play out the next turn as usual and check if the tie was broken in the next Score phase.

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