The King is desperate! The whole court is attending the joust and no one is working in the castle. The King really needs a helper! Figaro would like to help, but he is a goofy guy that always gets into mischief! Can you help him get the job while avoiding the dirty tricks of other players?
- 60 cards
- 15 road pieces
- castle wall
- King figure with wooden base
- linen bag
Before the first game, carefully remove the pieces from their frames. Insert the King into his wooden base. Put the road pieces in the bag.
The game is played in three rounds. Before the game, you will randomly pull road pieces out of the bag for all three rounds. You will need a number of road pieces equal to one less than the number of players in the game for each of the three rounds.
Example: Road Pieces For A 5-player Game.
Draw the road pieces from the bag, and place them in three groups (one group for each round). In each group, sort the road pieces by length. Set the castle wall aside for now, you won't need it until the end of the third round of play.
To begin the first round of play, shuffle all of the cards together and deal them evenly to all the players.
Special Rule for Three Players: Only use 45 cards in a three-player game. Put any one of the five colors back into the box, along with two of the jester cards (1 x 1 and 1 x 2) and three of the "ring-around-the-rosey" cards.
The owner of the game chooses a starting player, or you can choose at random. The starting player gets the King figure.
The game is played in turns, in clockwise order. On your turn, you must choose one card from your hand and play it face up in front of any player (including yourself). It shows something foolish Figaro has done to upset the King! The following rules apply when you play your card:
There can only be cards of one single color in front of each player. Once a color card has been played in front of a player, any other cards played in front of him must be the same color (or a joker).
No two players may have cards of the same color in front of them. Each player must have a separate color in front of him.
As soon as one player has cards with a total value of 6 or more in front of him, the King has had enough! That player must take all face-up cards from all players and keep them in a face-down stack in front of him.
It doesn't matter who played the last card. The player who collected the face-up cards takes the next turn and plays one card from his hand. Then play continues clockwise.
The King has had enough!
If you are unable to play a card on your turn (for example: because all players have a color in front of them, and you have no cards that match those colors), you must instead take all the face-up cards and place them in your face-down stack.
Also, on your turn, you can choose to take all the face-up cards instead of playing a card normally. (Sometimes it's best to accept your fate before it gets worse..).
End of the Round
The round ends when a player starts his turn with no cards in his hand. (You must announce when you play your last card to indicate the approaching end of the round). This player takes the King figure.
Each player counts the cards in his stack (ignore the card values during this step). Ignore any face-up cards in front of you and any cards still in your hand.
The player with the most cards in his stack takes the longest road piece for the round and displays it in front of him. The player with the second most cards takes the second-longest road piece, and so on.
The player with the fewest cards (which may be zero) does not take a road piece (if there are multiple players with no cards, none of them take a road piece-the remaining pieces from this round are returned to the bag).
If there is a tie for the number of cards, the tied player closest to the King in clockwise order (starting from the player on the King's left) takes the longer road piece.
The cards are shuffled together and dealt out again for the next round. The player with the King takes his turn first.
Special Rule for the Third Round: At the end of the third round, before assigning the road pieces, the player with the fewest cards (in case of a tie, the player with the King, or the player closest to him in clockwise order) exchanges his longest piece of road with the shortest road piece for the current round.
Note: If all of your road pieces are shorter than the shortest road available, you do not make the exchange.
Important: You may not count the cards in the stacks during the round! Also, you may not compare your road pieces with the other players. But, you may try to convince the other players to turn against the leader...
When you play a "ring-around-the-rosey" card, place it face up in front of you. Then each player passes the face-up cards in front of himself to the player on his left! This includes the just-played ring-around-the-rosy card.
Jesters are wild cards that can represent any color. With six players, jester cards may even be played in front of the sixth player when all five colors are used in front of the other players.
If you only have jesters and ring-around-the-rosey cards in front of you, your color is undetermined. Any color card can be played on you (if it doesn't match a color already in front of another player, of course).
End of the Game
The game ends at the end of the third round. Now each player joins his road pieces and lines them up against the castle wall.
If you are the player with the shortest road, you are closest to the castle and your Figaro gets the job. You are the winner!
In case of a tie, the winner among tied players is the player with the King, or the closest to the King in clockwise order.