The primeval Monoliths, older than the oldest chronicles and songs. These holy stones' thirst for the blood of warriors is never quenched.
Whenever the blood-red comet adorns the sky, the greatest warriors from the distant corners of the world gather to fight in the deadly olympics. Whoever you are, however far you've traveled, you are free to join the competition with your team and challenge the champions of the arena.
Win for glory, for your leaders and gods, or for the power of the Monolith itself - or relinquish your place to someone better!
- 35 Lords of the Abyss tiles
- 35 Dragon Empire tiles
- 35 Harbingers of the Forest tiles
- 35 Guardians of the Realm tiles
- 1 board
- 22 Wound markers
- 30 Initiative markers
- 6 Net markers
- 4 Disarmament markers
- 4 Alliance tiles
- 5 Poison markers
- 2 Alliance Hit Point markers
- 12 plastic Monolith segments
- 1 Entrenchment marker
- 1 Net marker
- 1 Active Player tile
- 8 Hit Point markers
- 4 faction reference sheets
Object of the Game
Monolith Arena is a tactical game in which champions from different factions clash with one another upon the arena grounds. During the game players attack the Champions and Banner of the enemy faction.
The goal of the game is to eliminate the other player's Banner. The player who decreases the enemy Banner Hit Points to o wins the game.
If at the end of the game (see the Ending the of Game section on page 9) none of the Banners have been eliminated, the players compare the current Hit Point levels of their Banners.
The player whose Banner received the least damage (has the highest Hit Point level) wins the game.
1 Place the board in the middle of the table. 19 hexagonal spaces in the middle of the board create the Game Area. The numbered track around the edge of the board is called the Damage track.
2 Each player selects (or draws randomly) one of the factions, taking the 35 tiles along with all additional small markers belonging to the faction (a detailed list of faction tiles and their abilities can be found on the faction reference sheets).
3 Players place the Hit Point marker of their Banner on number 20 of the Damage track. Banner Hit Points will be lowered when the Banner receives Wounds. 4 From the 35 tiles, each player places the Banner tile aside and shuffles the • remaining tiles. The Banner can be distinguished from the other tiles as it is identical on the front and back. 5 Mix the tiles well, this is extremely important! 6 When the tiles have been shuffled sufficiently well, they should be • placed in a stack face down in front of each player. 7 Randomly choose a starting player. 8 The starting player places his Banner anywhere on the board. Then the • opponent subsequently does the same. Now everything is ready, and the players can start the game.
The game consists of a series of turns. Players perform their turns one after another, starting with the player who first placed a Banner on the board.
On their turn, the players draw tiles, discard one tile, and then decide what to do with the other tiles (play, save for later, or discard). Players can also use the Features of their tiles on the board.
After the end of one player's turn, the next player's turn starts. The game continues this way until the Final Battle (details on page 9) or the moment any player's Banner Hit Points drop to zero.
Start of the Game
The starting player (Player 1) draws one face down tile from his stack and places it in front of himself, face up (not on the board yet). The player may now use the tile (see the Using Tiles section on page 6), save it for later, or discard it.
The other player (Player 2) then draws two tiles from her pile and puts them face up in front of herself. Like with Player 1, each of these tiles can be used, saved for later, or discarded.
Next, Player 1 draws up to three tiles. This means that if he saved a tile in front of himself in the previous turn, he will now only draw TWO tiles. However, if he played or discarded his one tile on the previous turn, he will now draw three tiles. Of these three tiles, one must be discarded, and each of the other two can be used, saved for next turn, or discarded.
Player 2 follows the same procedure and the rest of the game continues according to the rules in the Game Sequence section to the right.
After the initial turns, during a regular turn a player draws up to three tiles and puts them face up in front of himself. Under no condition may a player have more than three tiles.
Then, after the tiles have been drawn, the player must discard one of the three tiles into the discard pile.
Then he decides what to do with the remaining two tiles - he can use them, keep them for the following turns, or discard them.
The player may discard any number of tiles he drew. The drawn tiles should be visible to both players, hence they are placed face-up in front of the player who draws them.
If towards the end of the game any of the players draws his last tile, but still has fewer tiles in front of him than three, he does not have to discard any.
When the player completes his turn (draws, uses, or discards tiles, and use all of his tiles' Features, if possible) he informs the other player, who then takes her turn in the same sequence.
Example: The player draws 3 tiles. One Move Order tile, the Arquebusier Champion, and the Rune of Minor Acceleration. After short consideration, he decides to discard the Move Order tile and places the other two tiles on the hoard.
If ALL of the tiles that a player possess after the draw are Order tiles (even if it is only 1 or 2 tiles at the beginning of the game), he may discard them and draw new tiles.
The player can use this rule multiple times during the game, even during the same turn.
Using Tile Features
Some of the Board tiles have Features that the player can use once per turn (for a detailed description of the tile Features, see page 13). The player may use the Features of his tiles present on the board at any point during his turn, even after using the newly drawn tiles (but never during the opponent's turn).
If a tile has multiple Features, each may be used once per turn.
Overview of the hoard at the beginning of the Harbingers of the Forest player's turn. The Lords of the Abyss Banner is protected from the Harbingers Champion Heme by the Mygalomorph.
The Player controlling the Harbingers draws 3 tiles from his pile - one Champion Sorcerer and two Order tiles (Battle and Precise Shot). He has to discard one of them. The Battle Order goes to the discard pile.
Using the Precise Shot he removes the Mygalomorph and next, thanks to Heme's Maneuver Feature, he moves it into the space previously occupied by the Mygalomorph.
Finally he places the Sorcerer tile behind the Heme. If the Battle were to be resolved at this moment, the Lords of the Abyss Banner would be attacked by both Harbinger Champions.
After drawing tiles, placing them face up, and discarding at least one, the remaining two can be put into play.
There are two kinds of tiles in the game: Order tiles (see more on page 16) and Board tiles. Each tile is clearly marked so it is easy to identify its function.
Here are some examples of the two tile types:
Both types of tiles can only be used during a player's own turn. Under no circumstances can tiles be played during any other player's turn.
The Order tiles represent specific actions (like moving tiles on the board, wounding enemy tiles, etc).. They are not placed on the game board to take effect.
Instead, they are shown to the opponent, their effects are applied to the game, and then the tile used is discarded.
Board tiles represent your faction's units. Each faction consists of 3 types of Board tiles: Banner, Champions, and Runes. In order to be used, players must place them on an unoccupied hexagonal space on the board, facing any chosen direction.
Board tiles cannot be placed on other tiles on the board.
After a Board tile has been placed, it may not be moved or turned in any way, unless its Feature or the effect of another tile will allow this. Otherwise, the tile remains in its position until the end of the game, or until the tile is eliminated and removed from the board.
If at any time during the game the board is completely filled, with no unoccupied space upon which to place a tile, a Battle begins. Battle can also begin before the board is full, when a player uses the Battle Order tile.
Among the 35 tiles that make up a player's faction, there are several Battle tiles which are a special kind of Order. As soon as a Battle tile is used, the current turn ends and a Battle begins.
Battle also begins automatically when the board is full, as described on the previous page. Both instances are resolved in the same way.
During a Battle, the players must check the effects of each tile on the board. Battles are divided into phases according to the Initiative values present on the tiles. If the number printed on the tile is 3, this tile is the first to act. It is followed by those with an Initiative of 2, then I, and finally 0.
Example: Battle resolution starts with Initiative Phase 3. Then the attacks of tiles with an Initiative of 2 should he resolved, hut due to the lack of such tiles on the hoard, this phase is skipped and we go to Initiative Phase 1, and then the Initiative 0 tiles are resolved last.
Some tiles can have an Initiative of 4, or even higher, due to the support of a Rune. During Battles involving such tiles, more than 3 phases may be resolved. Start at the highest Initiative and proceed in descending order.
Example: This Champion's Initiative has been increased to 4 due to the effect of the Rune of Minor Acceleration. Battle resolution will start from Initiative Phase 4.
Important: There are game effects (triggered by some Features or special attacks) that are resolved at the beginning of Battle.
The results of such effects are resolved immediately after a Battle is initiated, even before resolution of the Battle phases.
If there are several effects that need to be resolved at the beginning of Battle, they happen simultaneously.
Example: The Morlock tile has no printed Initiative, its attack is resolved at the beginning of Battle instead - it will attack earlier than the adjacent Mygalomorph, which attacks in Initiative Phase 3.
In each phase of Battle, tiles of the same Initiative attack simultaneously. For example, if two tiles with an Initiative of 3 shoot at each other, they both take a Wound.
Also, if two tiles fire at the same target in the same phase, they hit the target simultaneously; both attacks strike home and none of the hits pass through to other tiles.
Example: The Pikeman and the Arquehusier both attack in Initiative Phase 2, so their attacks are resolved and hit the Wraith simultaneously.
Since the Wraith also has an Initiative of 2, its attack will he resolved as well.
After all attacks of the current phase have been resolved, move to the next Initiative in descending order.
Most of the Board tiles have only 1 Hit Point (except for the Banners and tiles with the Toughness Feature), so after receiving 1 Wound they will be eliminated.
Toughness icon and two tiles
with this Feature.
Eliminated tiles remain on the board until the end of the phase in which they are destroyed. After all actions of the phase have been carried out, eliminated tiles are removed from the board and put in the discard pile.
Tiles with automatic effects (for example Runes and Champions with Nets) do not stop affecting other tiles upon taking a Wound.
It is not until they are removed from the board at the end of the Initiative Phase in which they lost their last Hit Point that they stop affecting other tiles.
Example: The Champion Pikeman acts in Initiative Phase 2. The connected Rune increases the strength of his Melee attack.
Although this Rune is eliminated in Initiative Phase 2 by the opposing Chaos tile, the Pikeman's attack still has a strength of 2 because the Rune is still in play, until it is removed at the end of the current Initiative Phase.
Example: The Champion Pikeman is netted by the Nightmare, which means that it will not be able to attack during Initiative Phase 2.
Although the Netting Nightmare is eliminated in Initiative Phase 2 by the opposing Arquebusier, the Pikeman will not get the chance to attack as the Nightmare Net is still in play until the end of Initiative Phase 2, at which point the Nightmare is removed from the board.
When a tile is wounded but not destroyed (because it has the Toughness Feature - see page 13 for more details), put a Wound marker on it to indicate that it has been hit. The Banner is the only exception, as its damage is marked on the Hit Point track.
A Wound marker placed
on a wounded Board tile
The player who starts a Battle (by playing a Battle Order or filling up the board) ends his turn regardless of the number of tiles he has left in front of him. As soon as Battle starts, the player cannot use any tile Features.
It is also not possible to play any Order tiles, or even to discard a remaining unused tile that was drawn this turn.
A Battle tile cannot be used if the other player has drawn the last tile from her pile.
End of the Game
If the player draws the last tile from his pile, he will finish his turn as usual. Next, the opposing player finishes her turn. Then, the Final Battle commences.
Once any of the players have drawn their last tile, Battle tiles cannot be used.
If a player has drawn his last tile AND filled in the last unoccupied hex on the board, Battle commences. Then, after the Battle, the opposing player plays one more turn, after which the Final Battle commences.
The same goes for the opposing player's last turn - if she fills the last unoccupied hex on her last turn, it triggers Battle as usual due to the lack of free hexes. After resolving this Battle, the Final Battle commences.
The game ends after one of two conditions: the Final Battle has concluded or a Banner's Hit Points are reduced to zero.
If one of the Banners is destroyed, the game ends and the player whose Banner survived wins.
If any of the Banners are destroyed during a battle, the Battle goes on as usual until the Initiative Phase 0 has been resolved. If during the Battle the other Banner is destroyed as well, the game ends in a draw.
If none of the Banners are destroyed and the Final Battle has been fought, the player whose Banner has more Hit Points left is the winner.
If both Banners have the same number of Hit Points remaining, each player takes one more turn.
If a player has no more tiles left to draw, he can only use the Features of the tiles he has on the board, for example, a Maneuver.
Then, an additional Battle begins. If both Banners still have the same number of Hit Points remaining after this additional Battle, the game ends in a draw.
Example: The final turn of a game.The current player has not saved any tiles from his previous turn. He draws his last two tiles from his stack.
Since he has less than 3 tiles, there is no need to discard any of them. His last tiles are a Battle/Charge Order and a Champion Pikeman.
Of the two, the Battle Order cannot be played (the opposing player drew her last tiles in the previous turn), but the player places the Champion on the board, filling the last unoccupied hex.
This triggers Battle. After resolving it, the Final Battle commences - once that has concluded, the game ends.
More Tactical Game
If you think there is too much randomness in the game and you want to reduce it, you can play with the following Reinforcement rule: during your turn, draw up to six tiles instead of up to three.
Discard one and play a maximum of two tiles, all other tiles can be saved for later.
This variant also modifies the start of the game sequence: players draw up to six tiles starting from the first turn. In his first turn, the first player has to discard one tile and may only play one tile.
After the first turn, the game is played using normal rules with the exception of the change to the number of tiles drawn as described above.