Components

  • Game Board
  • 8 Hero Character Cards
  • 8 Hero Miniatures
  • 4 General Character Cards
  • 4 General Miniatures
  • 100 Minions
  • War Status Board
  • Deck of Darkness Spreads Cards
  • Deck of Hero Cards
  • Deck of Quest Cards
  • 12 Tainted Crystals
  • 5 Magic Gate Tokens
  • 12 Dice - 3 per color
  • 7 Status Tokens
  • -42 Life Tokens

Object of the Game

Players win by defeating all 4 Generals.

Players lose if any of the following occurs:

  • Any of the 4 Generals move into Monarch City
  • If a Darkness Spreads Card identifies minions to be placed on the board and you do not have enough minions to meet the requirements of the card.
  • The last of the 12 Tainted Crystals is added to the board.
  • If 5 enemy minions are in Monarch City at any time.

The King's Champion: While the players win or lose as a group, there is also an overall winner that is hailed as the legendary King's Champion.

To determine the King's Champion, each player adds all of their completed Quest Cards and General Character Cards (meaning the player struck the decisive blow when fighting that General) together.

The player with the most points is the winner. If there is a tie, it is the player with the most quests completed. If there is still a tie, congratulations, you are both, The King's Champion!


Setup

  1. Place the game board in the center of the table. Place the War Status Board and General Character Cards beside the board.

  2. Place a Status Token on the highest number of the Wound Track on each General's Character Card. Place a Status Token in the Early War space of the War Status Board.

  3. Set the minions and Tainted Crystals beside the board for easy access during play..".You will need them soon enough, hero".

  4. Each player takes 1 Hero Character Card and its matching hero miniature (hereafter called hero). Place the hero in Monarch City. Take the number of Life Tokens identified on the Hero Character Card and place them on the card.

    Note: Heroes may be chosen or dealt face down at random depending on the desire of the players. If two or more players want the same hero, the most heroic among them chooses first.

  5. Shuffle the Hero Cards and deal 2 to each player.

  6. Shuffle the Quest Cards and deal 1 to each player.

  7. Place one Magic Gate token on the gate icon in the Dancing Stone location. Take the other Magic Gate tokens and place them near the board for easy access during play.

  8. Enemy Set Up (The Generals and their minions arrive!):

    • Place each of the four Generals on the board in the spaces marked with their respective pictures. Place 3 appropriately colored minions with each General.

      Also, place a Tainted Crystal on the space with Balazarg, the Demon General, since demons taint the land with only 3 minions instead of the usual 4.

    • Draw 3 Darkness Spreads Cards: Discard any card that does not show 2 locations, and draw another card(s). For each of the three cards, place 2 minions on the 2 locations pictured (12 total minions) - and ignore the minions identified on the card.

      The minions placed will be the same colors as the locations on the card. For example, if Father Oak Forest (a Green location) was a location on one of the drawn cards, it would receive 2 Green minions.

      Note: If you draw a special card such as All is Quiet or Orc Patrols, discard it and draw another card. The 3 Cards drawn must be cards that show 6 different locations.

    • Draw 3 More Darkness Spreads Cards: Place 1 minion in the same manner as before on both locations of the 3 cards (6 total minions). As above, the 3 cards drawn must be cards that show 2 locations.

      Note: In this phase, minions can be added to a location that already has minions as long as any additions do not take the total number of minions to 4.

      If you draw a card that would cause this to occur, discard that card and draw another. As with Balazarg's location, if a third demon is added to a location, place a Tainted Crystal on that space.

    • Reshuffle the Darkness Spreads deck: After placing the minions, shuffle all the cards drawn back into the Darkness Spreads deck and place the deck beside the board.

      Note: After Enemy Set Up there should be a total of 4 Generals and 30 minions , on the board: 4 locations, each with a General and 3 minions, and then 18 more minions distributed among 6 to 12 other locations.

You are now ready to Defend the Realm!



Game Play

The most aggressive player..".You all know who that is"....goes first and play moves clockwise (to the player's left) around the table. If you cannot decide who is the most aggressive, take it outside, or roll dice to see who goes first".Wimps".

During her turn, the player completes each of the following 3 steps (divided into times of day) prior to the next player taking his turn:

  1. Daytime (Perform Actions)
  2. Evening (Draw Hero Cards)
  3. Nighttime (Draw Darkness Spreads Cards).

Step 1- Daytime

Refresh active Life Tokens by returning all Life Tokens that were face down on the character card back to their designated location on the card, face up.

The player then executes a number of actions equal to her active Life Tokens (turning each token face down on her Character Card once it has been used).

Each Life Token grants 1 action that may be spent in any way the player wishes. The only way active Life Tokens are reduced is by Suffering Woundsor losing a battle to a General.

Note: With the exception of the Rumors at the Inn action, there is no limit to the number of times a player can perform the same action in a turn. Players may spend no more than 2 actions each turn performing the Rumors at the Inn action.

Actions

(all Actions require the use of 1 Life Token unless otherwise noted):

Movement by Foot: Move 1 space to an adjacent location (connected by a line).


Movement by Horse: Move up to 2 locations away (connected by lines) by discarding a Hero Card with a Horse Icon on the top.


Movement by Eagle: Move up to 4 locations away (connected by lines) by discarding a Hero Card with an Eagle Icon on the top.


Movement by Magic Gate: There are two ways to move by Magic Gate: a) Discard a Hero Card with a Magic Gate icon and move to the location on the card or to any Magic Gate on the board. b) When there are multiple Magic Gates on the board, you may move from one Magic Gate to any other Magic Gate for a single action and no card is required.

Perform a Special Skill: Some heroes have unique skills that may require 1 or more actions to perform. If a skill requires an action, it will be noted on the Hero Character Card. Otherwise, the skill can be executed without the use of an action.


Build a Magic Gate: When a hero is on a location and also has a card matching that location, he may discard that card to build a Magic Gate. Place a Magic Gate token on that location to show that the gate has been built.


Rumors at the Inn: A hero may spend up to 2 actions at an Inn to listen for rumors. When doing so, call out a card color (Red, Green, Blue, or Black) and draw 2 cards for each action spent listening for rumors. Keep all cards that match the called color, as well as any Purple (Special) cards that were drawn.


Heal the Land: If the hero is on a tainted location, discard a Hero Card that matches the location color and roll 2 dice. If a 5 or more is rolled on either die, the hero removes 1 Tainted Crystal from that location. Only 1 Tainted Crystal may be removed per action.


Healing Wounds: Heroes may heal themselves. The number of Life Tokens recovered depends on the location.



  • In Monarch City and Inns, the hero is completely healed (all Life Tokens are restored).

  • At any other location that does not have enemy minions, heal 2 Life Tokens.

Note: Heroes may not heal above their starting number of Life Tokens. Heroes may not heal on a location with enemy minions or Generals. Life Tokens regained by healing may not be used until the following turn.

Engage Minions in Combat:

Roll a die for each enemy minion in the same location as the hero. The dice rolled should match their target's color.


Note: It takes only 1 Action to attack all minions at the same location.

Enemy Minions: There are 4 different races that make up the forces of the Dark Lord's Army invading the Realm. Each race is represented on the board by colored minions and a General of the same color. Below is a brief description of each enemy race and its color.

Note: The term "Minions" and the enemies' race (Demon, Orc, Dragonkin and Undead) are used interchangeably and both refer to the basic units of the invading armies.

Demons (Red): These Creatures from another plane of existence Taint the Land more rapidly than the other armies. A roll of 4 or more is required to defeat a Demon minion.


Orcs (Green): The Orcs are plentiful in number and spread faster than other enemy units, fortunately they are easier to defeat. A roll of 3 or more is required to defeat an Orc minion.


Dragonkin (Blue): These powerful creatures are the most difficult enemy to defeat. A roll of 5 or more is required to defeat each Dragonkin minion.


Undead (Black): The minions of the Undead army are terrifying to behold and cause Fear among even the bravest of heroes. A roll of 4 or more is required to defeat an Undead minion.



Suffering Wounds: If a hero ends a turn in a location that contains enemy minions, then he suffers a wound for each minion in that location. In addition, if one or more Undead minions are present, one additional wound is inflicted from Fear.

If the hero suffers any wounds, the number of Life Tokens equal to the number of wounds received is turned face down and set beside the Hero Character Card. Heroes must choose the Healing Wounds Action (see page 6) to restore Life Tokens lost to wounds. Lost Life Tokens reduce the number of actions the hero may take on his turn.

Note: If a hero loses all of his Life Tokens, then that character has been lost in battle and is out for the rest of the game. The player chooses a new hero, places the hero in Monarch City and starts with 1 Quest Card and 2 Hero Cards.




Attack an Enemy General:

"Bring it on little one". If a hero is in the same location as an Enemy General and all enemy minions there have been eliminated (or no minions were present to begin with), the hero can attack the General by playing any number of Hero Cards bearing that General's portrait.

The hero rolls one die for each die on the played Hero Cards (shown next to the General at the bottom of the Hero Card, some cards have 2 dice, most have 1).

Note: Multiple hits are required to defeat Generals and players should not attack a General unless they have a good chance of success because the penalties related to failure can be crippling. Additionally, success against the Generals often requires that more than one hero attack the General at the same time.

General Character Card:


Step-by-step Guide to Attacking a General

"You will need it soft skin".

  1. Be on the space with the General and eliminate all of the minions present.

  2. Spend 1 action to initiate combat. This will also activate all other heroes in the location to join in the attack. (See Group Attacking a General page 10)

  3. Play Hero Cards that have the General's portrait to establish the total number of dice to be rolled.

  4. Check the General's Combat Skill - some (like the Demon's) take place prior to rolling the dice.

  5. Roll dice equal to the number of dice on the cards played and advance the Wound Marker (towards the defeated space) 1 space for each hit. The number required to hit is shown on the General's Character Card.

  6. Defeating the General - "Not gonna happen". If the successful attacks move the Wound Marker down to the skull space, the General is defeated.

  7. If the General is defeated, do the following:

    1. The hero receives the General's Character Card and turns it over (this identifies the hero as a Slayer).

      The card represents both a Victory Point and the special Slayer ability - when the Slayer is in the same location as the minions of the defeated General, he may spend 1 action and defeat all the minions in that location without rolling dice.

    2. The hero gains 3 Hero Cards as a reward.

    3. Advance the War Status Token to the next box.

  8. If the hero fails to defeat the General, do the following:

    1. The hero must suffer the Hero Defeated Penalties on the General's Character Card.

    2. The hero is moved to Monarch City, his bleeding body carried back to the King to heal and fight another day.

    3. The General begins to heal its wounds based on the color of the space the Wound Marker was advanced to.



Minor Wound:

If the Wound Marker is on a light space, the General has only received minor wounds and will start healing at the end of the next player's turn (the turn after the hero's that attacked the General).

Major Wound:

If the Wound Marker is on a Red Space (a Major Wound), the General will not begin healing until a full round of turns by the heroes has been completed, with the player that attacked (or initiated a group attack on) the General completing a new turn prior to the General healing.

Note: A General with a Major Wound will not advance if a Darkness Spreads Card is drawn while its Wound Marker is on a Red Space.

Generals' Healing

Once a General is healing, it will heal at the rate of 1 point at the end of each player's turn.

Note: Sapphire heals all wounds immediately unless defeated, or unless her skill is negated by a quest card.

Each General has different combat skills as described below:

Lord Balazarg:

When heroes are facing Lord Balazarg, the corruption of this creature is so great that it pulls at the very soul of the heroes. After deciding how many Red Cards will be used in battle, players must roll a die for each of those cards.

A card is corrupted and lost (discarded without contributing to the attack) each time a 1 is rolled.


Gorgutt The Savage

"Gonna squash you under my heel as I lay waste to Monarch City". Gorggut goes into a savage frenzy in combat, parrying blows and dealing death with two monstrous axes

In combat, any 1's rolled by the heroes become parries for Gorgutt, each blocking a successful attack (regardless of the hero who rolled the 1 or the successful attack).


Sapphire:

The Dragon General can regenerate, making her difficult to defeat in battle. If not defeated, she immediately returns to full health.



Varkolak:

No re-rolls are allowed in battle with the Champion of the Undead.



Group Attacking A General

The best way to defeat a General is to attack it as a group. The way to do this is for multiple heroes to move onto the General's location at the end of their turn and not initiate combat with the General.

Keep in mind that if minions are present, they will attack and inflict wounds, reducing the hero's number of active Life Tokens. When the current player moves his hero onto a space with a General that has other heroes present and spends an action to attack the General, the player "activates" the other heroes present on that location as well.

The active player most likely will maneuver to land the final blow that fells the General and become the Slayer of that race, as it is worth a victory point for the player who achieves this. In addition to the Step-by-step Guide to Attacking a General, the following rules apply to Group Combat:

  1. The Player that activates combat determines the order in which each hero present will attack (heroes resolve their attack 1 hero at a time). That player can identify who attacks next after seeing the results of the attack by another player.

  2. All players must discard all the attack cards they have committed to the battle, even if they do not engage the General directly in combat.

  3. The hero that lands the final blow (advancing the Wound Marker to the skull on the General's Wound Track) becomes the Slayer of that General's race and takes the General's Character Card and turns it over to reveal descriptions of the Slayer Ability and the General's Defeat.

  4. If the heroes win, all players present gain a bonus of 3 Hero Cards and the War Status advances 1 space.

  5. If the heroes lose, all heroes suffer the Hero Defeated penalty noted on the General's Character Card and are moved to Monarch City.


Step 2 - Evening

The active player draws 2 Hero Cards and adds them to her hand. Note: If she has more than 10 cards, she must discard down to 10 cards after drawing.


Step 3 - Night

Draw 1, 2 or 3 (depending on the War Status) Darkness Spreads Cards and perform the following actions:

Place Minions

The top portion of the typical (there are special cards as well) Darkness Spreads Card shows 1 or 2 colored minions in each of two locations. Add the appropriate number and color minions to the locations identified. This placement may create an Overrun and Taint the Land.

A General Advances

After placing minions, look at the Movement Section (the bottom half) of the Darkness Spreads Card to determine if a General advances along its path to Monarch City.

If the General shown is one space away from the location shown, then the General advances to the location on the card and gains new minions (equal to the number shown next to its portrait) at that location. Placement of these minions may also cause an Overrun and Taint the Land condition.

Note: Generals always advance along their path toward Monarch City, they never move away from the city.


Overruns And Tainted Land

YES!!!! This is my favorite part! This land is MY land".

The maximum number of minions that may exist in any location outside of Monarch City is 3. When a 4th minion is to be added to a location, the location becomes too destroyed for humanity to survive in that area and the land becomes Overrun and Tainted. Instead of adding the 4th minion, a Tainted Crystal is placed on that location and minions advance to surrounding locations.

Add 1 minion of the same color that caused the overrun (which will also be the same color that is on the Darkness Spreads Card) to all adjacent (connected by a line) locations.

A General does not count as a minion when determining Overruns and Tainted Land. During an overrun, any "overrun minions" that would increase the number of minions in an adjacent location beyond 3, Taint the land but they do NOT cause any additional overruns and no minions are added to the overrun locations that become Tainted.

Important: It is possible for more than 1 Tainted Crystal to be added to a location and a Tainted location can still be the source of an Overrun.

If a land has been Tainted and, during the Place Minions or A General Advances phase, a 4th minion is to be added to the Tainted location, another overrun occurs and another Tainted Crystal is added to the location.

Therefore, the heroes cannot ignore the build-up of minions on a location after it has become Tainted, as it can be Tainted again and again. Inns may not be overrun or tainted.

Note: Demons cause land to Taint when a 3rd Demon minion is added to a location. All 3 must be Demon (Red) minions, not a mix with other enemy minions.

Note: Monarch City does not cause overruns or Tainting, but if 5 minions are ever in Monarch City at the same time, the city falls and the heroes lose the game. ".Plan on it hero meat, your fabled city is falling to me!"


War Status

As the war progresses and the heroes defeat Enemy Generals, the remaining Generals press the attack even harder. The Game starts with the War Status Token in the first box - Early War.

Early War: In the early war, 1 Darkness Spreads Card is drawn in the Night Phase of the player's turn and minions are placed and Generals advanced as indicated. When the first General is defeated, the War Status Token will be advanced to the 2nd box - Mid War.

Mid War: In the Mid War, the players draw 2 Darkness Spreads Cards in the Night Phase; the 1st card is used to place minions and advance a General, the second card is used only to advance a General.

When the 2nd General is defeated, the token is advanced to the third box (the second box of Mid War). Card play remains the same as the players are still in Mid War. When the 3rd General is defeated, the token is advanced to the 4th box - Late War.

Late War: In the Late War, 3 Darkness Spreads Cards are drawn each turn. The first 2 cards are used to place minions and advance the remaining General. The 3rd card is used only to advance the General.


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