The Inca called their empire "Tahuantinsuyu" which is their word for "Land of the Four Regions". In this game, you assume the role of an "Apu" - a leader of one of the four regions or "Suyus".
Your job as an Apu is to increase your status in the eyes of the divine emperor ("Sapa Inca") by doing the best job of expanding and improving the empire. Each Apu begins with the manpower of their region of the original empire.
They build roads and conquer neighboring Regions increasing the manpower and resources available to them. Apus are rewarded for each new Region they add to the empire and for improvements such as Terraces, Garrisons, Cities, and Temples.
- 1 Game board
- 32 Sun Event cards
- 4 Construction Cost cards
- 4 Turn Order tiles
- 240 Wooden sticks
- 4 colored Inca figures
- 1 black Inca figure
- 45 Local Culture markers
- 73 Labor Tokens
- 20 City markers
- 20 Garrison markers
- 20 Terrace markers
- 20 Inca temples
- 1 Sun Event board
- 4 Invasion markers
Object of the Game
The player who has the most victory points (VP) at the moment Pizarro arrives in the Inca capital at Cuzco wins the game.
Place the Game board with the side that matches the number of players face up in the center of the table.
Place the Sun Event board with the side that matches the number of players face up next to the Game board.
Place the Labor tokens, City, Garrison and Terrace markers and wooden temples in a bank near the board.
Shuffle the Construction Cost cards and deal one to each player. The card indicates the starting region of the player and that player's color. The players place the Construction Cost card in front of them. This card gives an overview of the cost of improvements and the number of victory points to be gained.
Each player takes the game components (wooden sticks and Inca figure) of their color.
All players place their Inca on the start space of the scoring track, and then place one of their wooden sticks on the road in their starting region (the road between Cuzco and their start location).
Place one Local Culture marker face down in each region except for the starting regions around Cuzco.
Now reveal each Local Culture marker adjacent to a starting region.
Shuffle the Sun Event cards. Each player receives 3 cards face down and takes them in their hand. Place the remaining cards face down in a pile on the corresponding field on the game board.
Place the black Inca figure on the first field of the Era track: the upper field of the first era.
Shuffle the Turn Order tiles. Each player gets one tile face down. The players then turn their tiles face up and place the tiles clearly visible in front of them.
Changes for a game with three players:
- Use the side of the game board that matches 3 players
- Use the side of the Sun Event board that matches 3 players
- Only use the Turn Order tiles with numbers 1-3
- Remove the following Sun Event cards from the game: 1x Annual Pilgrimage, 1x Great Pilgrimage, 1x Local Pilgrimage, 1x Rural Unrest and 1x Wilderness Road.
- Remove the 6 local cultural markers (one of each type) from the game.
- For the rest, the game is set up as described above.
Historically, the Inca had three facets to life: Government (represented by the Inca Phase), Religion (represented by the Sun Phase), and the People (represented by the People Phase).
The Sapa Inca is the divine emperor. He distributes points during the scoring phase.
- The game is divided into 4 eras.
- Each era is divided into a number of rounds.
- Each round consists of a number of phases.
The black Inca figure indicates which round and which phase is being played. If all players have completed a phase, the Inca figure moves down one field. When the bottom-most field is reached, the Inca figure is returned to the top-most field of the next column and a new round begins.
Note: It is possible that certain phases are played several times or not at all during one round. The position of the black Inca figure determines which phase is played.
A description of the individual phases:
Each round is played in the following order:
- Sun Phase
- People Phase
- Sapainca Phase
The Inca Phase represents the activity and production of the empire. Labor tokens represent the labor each individual provides the empire. This labor tax or "mit'a" was usually a specific amount of time each year.
The diminishing supply of new labor tokens at the start of each era represents the fact that, early in the history of the empire, the local resources were made available for growth.
As the empire expanded, more resources were required to maintain the empire and, consequently, fewer were available for growth.
Players Receive Labor Tokens In Accordance With The Current Era
Each player receives a number of Labor tokens from the bank equal to the number indicated in the box of the current era.
Players Receive Labor Tokens From Conquered Regions And Terraces
Each player receives the number of Labor tokens that is indicated on the Local Culture markers conquered by the player. Each player also receives one Labor token for every terrace he has built.
Players Aid Each Other
After all players have received their Labor tokens, the leading players on the scoring track must give support to trailing players in the form of Labor tokens.
In the Second Era (Early Empire, 1471-1493) the first place player must give the last place player one of their Labor tokens.
In the Third (Middle Empire, 1493-1528) and Fourth Era (Late Empire, 1528-1533), the first place player must give two Labor tokens to the last place player, and the second place player must give one Labor token to the third place player (ignore the second place support in a 3-player game).
The Sun Phase represents the religious effects on Inca life. The land of the Inca was a land of extremes. There were coastal deserts only a few miles from incredibly high mountains. The climate had a great impact on everyday life, especially on the success of farming and fishing. The Sun Events represent these extremes, both positive and negative.
Determine the turn order
Distribute the Turn Order tiles among the players. Start with the player who is in last position on the scoring track and proceed towards the first place player. The player who is in last position gets number one, the player in front number 2 and so on.
Mind: in case of a tie the Turn Order is determined by the position of the Inca figures. An Inca figure on the outside comes behind an Inca figure on the inside.
Note: the Turn Order does not change in the first era (1438- 1471) because there is no Sun Phase.
The Turn Order tiles are distributed as follows: Blue gets "1" because he is in last position. Green and Brown have the same number of points, but as Brown is on the outside, he comes behind Green on the scoring track. Brown gets tile "2" and Green gets tile "3". Orange gets tile "4".
Play Sun Event Cards
In turn order, each player chooses one of his Sun Event cards and places it face down in the quadrant of his choice on the Sun Event board. The player then immediately draws a replacement from the Sun Event deck and takes it into his hand.
Note: During one Sun Phase only one new card can be placed in each quadrant. This card is added to cards from a previous Sun Phase, if there are any. If the Sun Event deck is exhausted, shuffle the discard pile and form a new draw pile.
Reveal and resolve all Sun Event Cards
After all players have placed a card, the cards are revealed. The events remain in effect until the next Sapa Inca Phase.
The cards on both sides of the line in the color of a player influence this player's actions. These cards may have a positive or negative effect on actions. For an overview of the effect of these cards please refer to pages 6 and 7 of this rulebook.
During the game, there will be multiple Sun Events in play at the same time. Events are cumulative unless otherwise indicated in the rules.
If the cards "Rural Unrest" and/or "Popular Support" are face up on the Sun Event board, they are resolved immediately. It does not matter whether these cards were placed on the board in the current or in a previous Sun Phase.
Note: Cards are always located between two lines in the color of a player. This means they influence the actions of both players!
The People Phase represents the work your people do to directly improve the empire. The mit'a collected during the Inca Phase is now put to use building Roads, Terraces, Garrisons, Cities, Temples, or conquering new Regions.
In Turn Order, each player takes the following actions in any desired order. The player may build up to two Roads at no Labor cost.
All roads of a player need to be connected to his starting region and constitute one interconnected road system (see example 2).
The player places one of his wooden sticks on a connection between two locations.
Note: While the two actions may be played in any order, you must complete one action before proceeding to the next. You may not build one Road of your Road Building Action, interrupt that Action with a Construction Action, then build your second Road.
Each connection can only be claimed by one player.
Exception: Using the "Wilderness Road" Sun Event, a player may connect the same two Sites as an established Road.
It is allowed to build a road in an unconquered region provided one of the two end points border a conquered region.
Reveal undisclosed Local Culture Markers in regions bordering a site connecting to the road system.
All roads of a player should be connected to his starting region. Branches are allowed.
A road can't be built between two sites bordering a non conquered region.
The player takes one of the following actions.
Found a City
Inca Cities were almost always built on the sites of previously existing cities. Th at is why most of the City sites in the game have names that are ultimately derived from pre-Inca civilizations.
The player turns in six Labor tokens and places a City tile on a city site (blue) on the game board that is connected to his road system and is only in a conquered Region.
Founding a city immediately scores the player 4 VP.
Build a Garrison
A Garrison was a small outpost along the Road system with stores of food and drink.
These stores were kept as provisions for military activity or to provide support to the population in case of a disaster such as crop failure or El Nino.
The player turns in four Labor tokens and places a Garrison marker on a Garrison site (orange) on the game board that is connected to his road system and borders at least one conquered region.
Building a Garrison immediately scores the player 3 VP.
Conquer a Region
The Inca expanded their empire to its greatest size within the span of 100 years. As many people were conquered through coercion as warfare.
Coercion often took the form of negotiations brokered within sight of as many as 20,000 Inca warriors.
The player turns in Labor tokens equal to the resistance on the Local Culture marker. He then takes the Local Culture marker and places it in front of him on the table. Upon conquering a Region, all Local Culture markers in adjacent Regions are revealed.
Conquering a region immediately scores the player VP equal to the VP number listed on the Local Culture marker.
Condition: in order to conquer a Region, you must have at least one Road connected to a site adjacent to the unconquered Region.
Build a Temple
While conquered Regions were allowed to keep their own deities, the Inca required them to add the Sun god to the top of the religious hierarchy.
Temples to the Sun God were raised at Cities as they were added to the empire. The Significant City Sites have important temples left from previous empires.
The player turns in five Labor tokens and places a Temple marker on a City marker on the game board that is connected to his road system. The player does not need to have founded the city himself.
Building a temple immediately scores the player 4 VP.
If the player builds a temple on a Significant City Site, he receives the number of bonus points indicated on the board next to this location.
Build a Terrace
Terraces are probably the most visible legacy of the Inca. While they did not invent Terraces, they perfected their construction throughout the Andes.
The terraces increased viable farmland by as much as 100%. Terraces contributed to what is referred to as the vertical economy of the Inca and are still in use today.
The player turns in two Labor tokens and places a Terrace marker next to one of his conquered Local Culture markers. There can be only one Terrace marker next to each Local Culture marker.
Building a terrace immediately scores the player 1 VP.
Build an additional Road
A player may turn in one Labor token to build one Road according to the road placement rules.
Note: The Roads on the game board are all located in specific Regions, even if they follow a border. Place the wooden sticks on the game board in such a way that it is clear to everyone in which region the road is located.
The player passes and does not take an action.
Sapa Inca Phase
The Sapa Inca is the supreme Inca. During the Sapa Inca Phase, victory points are awarded for the maintenance of the improvements built in the empire.
Discard All Sun Event Cards On The Sun Event Board
All cards on the Sun Event board should be discarded.
Players Score Victory Points
Players score in order of the Inca figures on the scoring track (first place player is awarded points first).
- Each terrace built by the player 1 VP
- Each garrison connected to the player's road system 2 VP
- Each city connected to the player's road system 3 VP
- Each temple connected to the player's road system 1 VP
Unused Labor Tokens return to the Bank
The players may keep Labor tokens equal to amount indicated in the box of the current Era. The players return unused Labor tokens to the bank.
Note: the players also receive VP for cities, temples and garrisons built by other players that are connected to their road system.
The card "Rural Unrest" may cause part of a player's road system to be disconnected from Cuzco. If this is the case, the player is only awarded points for improvements connected by roads to Cuzco.
End of the Game
The game ends immediately after the Sapa Inca Phase of the Late Empire. It's the arrival of Pizarro.
At the end of the game, the person in the lead on the Scoring track wins the game. There are no ties - the marker closest to the center of the board is ahead.
Pizarro's Arrival: There is a variable ending (the uncertainty of Pizarro's arrival).
Shuffle the Invasion markers face down and place one next to each of the People Phases of the Late Empire. At the end of each People
Phase in the Late Empire, turn over the Invasion marker next to that phase. When 'Pizarro's Arrival' is revealed, go directly to the Sapa Inca Phase. The game is over.
Early Downfall: If you want a shorter, 4-player game, remove the following cards: Annual Pilgrimage, Great Pilgrimage, and Local Pilgrimage. Skip the third column of the Early Empire and the second column of the Middle Empire.
The Gods Agree: During the setup place 4 Local Culture markers that provide 3 Labor face up in de regions marked with a Hand of God symbol.
Place the remaining markers according to the rules.