The king tarries in a far-off land. In his absence, the kingdom falls into chaos and disorder. Each duke seeks to build up his own power and influence. Borders will be redrawn, the kingdom divided. Who will control the most valuable regions when the king returns?


Components

Before your first game, you will have to remove all of the pieces from the cardboard frames.

  • 4 Board Edge Pieces and connectors
  • 9 Land Tiles
  • 60 Action Cards
  • 60 Knights and 16 Castles in 4 colors
  • 100 Border Markers
  • 47 Gold Ducats
  • 4 Siegpunktanzelger
  • 1 Crest Tokens (victory point markers) and one King Token

Object of the Game

Each player builds castles and encloses them with borders. When a castle is completely enclosed, the castle owner controls that Domaine.

Forests and villages in controlled areas are worth victory points, and the player with the most victory points wins.


Setup



Assemble the board edge as shown. Always place the land tile with the royal city (with the walls and cathedral) In the center of the board. Shuffle the other tiles and place them face up in any order to fill in the board. It does not matter which direction the tiles are facing. Each tile is divided into sixteen territories of various types.

Each player chooses a color and takes all the matching pieces and (he crest token of that color: Each player receives 15 knights and 4 castles (3 castles when playing with four players)

Sort the action cards Into four piles by (the letters on the back. Shuffle each pile separately and then stack them up in alphabetical order with A on the top.



  • Place the action cards on one of the two boxes at the top of the board. This forms the action deck. The other box will hold the action cards that have been used.

  • Each player draws three action cards from this deck. You must always keep your hand of action cards hidden from your opponents.

  • Each player places his crest token on the starting space of the scoring track (with an arrow).

  • Set the border markers off to one side of the board.

  • Put the gold ducats on the other side of the board. Each player starts with 7 ducats.

Place the king token on the scoring track. In a four-player game, place the token on the space with the number "30", in a three-player game on "40" .and with two players on "50".


Building Castles

The oldest player begins by placing a castle on any unoccupied meadow space and a knight on an adjacent forest or meadow space. (Spaces touching only at a comer are not adjacent). Castle building continues with the player to the left and continues until each player has placed his 4 castles and 4 knights (3 each if playing in a four-player game).

Note: Castles of the same color must be at least 6 spaces apart (not counting diagonally). The blue castles In this Illustration are spaced correctly.

Where should you place castles?

Your goal is to take control of areas by surrounding your castles with border markers. Once a lone castle has been completely surrounded, it will create a Domaine.

The mountains and the seas surrounding the board serve as natural borders. At the beginning of the game, it will require fewer border markers to create a Domaine around a castle In one of the corners of the board. Castles closer to the center will require more border markers to surround.

Therefore, it is recommended that you build your first castle in one of the corners of the kingdom. The more forests, villages and mines you can enclose, the more valuable your Domaine will be.

Forests and villages bring victory points, whereas mines yield more ducats. So, you should place your castles as close to these territories as possible. The following example shows a typical situation during game play.



Example: Blue created a Domaine with a village, a forest, and a mine in the right comer using only 6 borders. Orange is still 2 borders short of enclosing a Domaine Red does not control a Domaine.

Two of his castles completely surrounded by borders, but an enclosed region only counts as a Domaine if exactly one castle is inside. Red would therefore have to separate his two castles with borders and create two Domaines.


This example shows a legal starting position. Castles of the same color are at least 6 spaces apart and are on meadows. Knights are on meadows or forests.


Special rule for two players:

The two-player game uses 3 colors. Each player chooses a color. The third color is neutral. Both players take turns placing their own 4 castles and 4 knights on the board. Afterwards they take (urns placing the neutral castles and knights. The neutral castles also have to be 6 spaces apart.


Game Play

The last player to place a castle and knight plays first.

Begin your turn by collecting your ducats if you control any mines. Then you must take one of two actions. You can either:

  1. Sell an action card to the Chancery, or
  2. Play an action card.

At the end of your turn refill your hand to 3 cards, either by drawing the top card of the action deck or by taking a card from the Chancery. Play continues clockwise.


Sell an action card to the chancery

Take this action to build up your ducal reserves. To sell an action card, place It face-up In the Chancery row and take a number of ducats equal to the number shown in brackets on the card.

Note: If you sell an action card, you may not choose to draw that card when you refill your hand to 3 cards at the end of your turn. You may choose any other card In the Chancery, or draw from the action deck.


Play an action Card

To play an action card, place it face-up on the discard pile beside the action deck and pay (the price on the card (the red number not in (the brackets).

Then take the action Indicated by the symbol on the card. There are 5 different types of actions:



Some cards have two different symbols. When you play one of these cards, you may choose which of those two actions to take. You do not get to take both actions shown on the card.

A. Place Borders

You can use tills action to place border markers to create Domaines around your castles. When you place a border you should remember that:

  • borders are neutral, so you might be helping create Domaines for neighboring castles.

  • The surrounding seas and mountains serve as natural borders. You do not need to place border markers along the edges of the board.

Depending on how many borders are depicted on the card, you may place 1,2, or 3 border markers. Take the appropriate number of border markers from the supply. Borders must be placed according to these rules:

  • Borders are always placed between two territories.

  • Borders may not be placed between adjacent figures (castles and knights) of the same color.

  • Borders may never be placed within a Domaine.

  • If a new Domaine is created, the Domaine Score is awarded immediately. The territories in the Domaine are worth victory points based on the type:

    • Forest: 1 victory point
    • Village: 3 victory points
    • Royal City: 5 victory points
    • Mine, Meadow: 0 victory points

The owner of the area totals the victory points and moves his crest token on the scoring track accordingly. Any extra border markers In the Domaine are removed.

Example: Orange places a border to create 2 Domaines A. Orange gains 7 victory points, Blue only one. The two extra borders in the Domaine are removed B.



B. Place Knights

Depending on how many knights are depicted, you may place one or two knights on the board. You must follow these rules:

  • Knights may be placed only on meadow or forest territories. Placing a knight in a forest costs 1 additional ducat (You do not have to pay this in the set-up phase of the game).

  • Knights may be placed only on meadow or forest territories. Placing a knight In a forest costs 1 additional ducat (You do not have to pay this in the set-up phase of the game).

  • Knights may not be placed on the city, villages, or mines.

  • A knight may only be placed in a territory that is horizontally or vertically adjacent to a castle or a knight of the same color. The new knight may not be separated from the neighboring figure by a border marker.

  • If you have no more knights in your supply, you cannot place anymore on the board.

Example: Red would like to place a knight. Only the spaces indicated with arrows are legal. The spaces below the castle and knight are not legal because of the borders.


C. Expand Your Domaine

You may expand one of the Domaines you control by one or two spaces by using border markers from the supply. You must follow these rules:

  • The first territory you expand Into must be adjacent to the Domaine vertically or horizontally (not diagonally).

  • The second territory may be directly beyond that one or border another territory in your domaine.

  • You may never expand into a territory that is occupied by an opposing figure (castle or knight).

  • You may expand into territories that are not part of any Domaine regardless of the number of knights you have.

  • You may never expand into another one of your own Domaines.

  • You may only expand into an adjacent domaine that belongs to an opponent if you have more knights in your domaine than your opponent has in his. .You may expand in completely different directions, even if that means that you are expanding into two different domaines.


Scoring after an Expansion:

When you expand a Domaine, you may move your crest token up on the scoring track. You get 1 victory point for each forest territory you gained, and 3 points for each village (5 points for the royal city).

If you expanded into another player's Domaine, then he must move his crest token down the scoring track for any territories he lost. Your expansion can also create "neutral zones", regions enclosed by borders but not part of any Domaine, because there are no castles Inside them. Neutral zones can always be taken over by expansion from a neighboring Domaine.

Example: Orange expanded into Blue s Domaine. Orange gains 4 victory points. Purple loses 6 victory points since two forests were lost to the neutral zone just created,



D. Deserter

This action allows you to force a knight to change sides! Select any one of your Domaines, and an adjacent one that belongs to an opponent. Both Domaines must have at least one knight in them. A knight then changes sides between those two Domaines. Choose one of your opponent's knights. He must return that knight to his supply.

You may not choose a knight In the middle of a line. The connection between a knight to his castle may never be broken.

Then place one of your own knights in your Domaine. Remember: if you place a knight in a forest, you must pay one extra ducat.

Example: Orange plays Deserter and places a knight. He chooses which knight Blue must remove. He may not remove the knight to the right of the castle since that would isolate a knight.


E. Alliance

When you play this action, select one Domaine of your own and an adjacent Domaine of an opponent. Rotate a border marker between these two Domaines 90 degrees. For the rest of the game, neither of these Domaines may expand into one another. Only the two allied Domaines are affected.



Example: Alter the alliance is formed, Orange may not expand into the lower Domaine controlled by Blue. However Orange may still expand into Blue's Domaine on the right since no alliance exists between these two areas.




Income From Mines

There are four different kinds of mines in Domaine: gold, silver, copper, and diamond. At the beginning of your turn, you collect one ducat for each different type of mine you control. For example, if you have 2 copper, 3 diamond, and 1 gold mine, you have 3 different types of mines and collect 3 ducats.


Mine Monopoly

If you control 3 or 4 mines of the same type, you have a "monopoly" on that type of mine. A mine monopoly is worth 5 victory points. Move your crest token immediately when you gain your third mine of the same type.

Note: If you lose your monopoly because of an opponent's expansion, you must Immediately decrease your score on the track by 5 spaces.




In this example, Orange has 1 copper, 1 diamond, and 3 silver mines in his Domaines. For the 3 different mine types he collects 3 ducats at the beginning of his turn. The 3 silver mines are worth S victory points. However, if Red (3 knights) should expand into the left Domaine of Orange (2 knights) and take the silver mine indicated by the arrow. Orange must immediately move back 5 spaces on the scoring track.


End of the Game

The game can end in two ways:

  1. If any player moves his crest token onto the space with the king token (a player reaches 30 victory points In a four-player game, 40 In a three-player game, or 50 in a two-player game). That player wins immediately.

  2. If a player draws the last card from the action deck. Once the action deck Is gone, players may no longer draw cards from the Chancery. You may still sell action cards on your turn.

    Once the last action card has been played or sold, all players count any ducats they have remaining. The player (or players If there is a tie) with the most ducats advances his crest token 5 spaces on the scoring track.

    The player (or players) with the second largest number of ducats advances his marker 3 spaces. The player with the most points is the winner. If there is a tie, then the tied player with the most ducats remaining is the winner.


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