I. Kingdom Missions Play Variant
This section explains how to add secret missions to your game as an additional play option. When adding missions to the game, use the following modifications.
Kingdom Missions Added to Crown Cards
Players can no longer purchase crown cards when using a spend order; players only receive a permanent crown once a mission on a crown card has been completed.
Before the game starts, shuffle the crown cards and place them in a deck near the board.
When you reveal the King Me bonus action, immediately draw the top two crown cards from the crown card deck and review the missions on the back of each. Secretly choose one of those two missions to keep and return the other to the bottom of the crown card deck.
Place the mission you've selected face down in front of you and keep it secret from your opponents (you may look at it as often as you like).
When you complete a mission, you may turn over your card and reveal it to all players.
Your completed mission adds a permanent crown to your kingdom and gives your kingdom an additional bonus that stays in effect for the remainder of the game. Each unique bonus can be found at the bottom of each crown card.
The crown value is applied to your War Banner immediately, but the bonus takes effect at the start of the next round.
Saved By the Crown
A player must have completed a mission on a crown card to avoid elimination after losing all of his or her city territories. That player still has only one additional round to try to reclaim a city territory to stay in the game, regardless of how many completed Kingdom Mission cards that player possesses.
A. Three-Player Variant
Set-up for the game is the same as the 4-player game with the following modifications:
Players select one of the four armies to be the Mercenary Army and give that army two City Bonus Tiles chosen at random. These City Bonus Tiles represent which Gold Crown City territories the Mercenary Army will occupy at the beginning of the game.
The first Gold Crown City the Mercenary Army receives is its starting city and the second is its outpost.
Place ten Mercenary Footmen and one crown in each of the two cities, but only the starting city receives a castle.
The Mercenary Army starts with five coins plus the Tax Value of each of the two cities it controls.
Next, players bid for turn order. as in the 4-player game. They will then draft two starting cities each by doing the following:
The first player chooses a Gold Crown City territory and places a crown and a castle on that territory. The first player also places five Footmen, divided in any way he or she chooses, between the selected city territory and one adjacent non-city territory.
The remaining two players do the same in turn order.
The first player then chooses a second Gold Crown City and places a crown on that territory. The first player then places five Footmen, divided in any way he or she chooses, between the second Gold Crown City territory and one adjacent non-city territory. The second city does not receive a castle.
The remaining two players do the same in turn order.
Players start the first round with five coins plus the Tax Value of each of the two cities they've selected.
Note: Each player should start the game with two Gold Crown City territories and two non-city territories; the Mercenary Army starts with only two Gold Crown City territories.
Shuffle the Mercenary Army's cards and place them face down in a deck to the right of the first player. The Mercenary Army will go last during the first round and remain in this turn-order position for the remainder of the game.
Players will bid for control of the Mercenary Army at the beginning of each round (after players have selected and placed their King's Orders cards face down).
The highest bidder pays his or her bid coins to the Mercenary Army, not the reserve. Players who did not win the bid keep their coins.
If there are any tied bids, players will roll dice to decide who controls the Mercenary Army.
Each time the Mercenary Army's turn comes up in the turn order, the player who won the bid to control the Mercenary Army turns over the top card of that army's deck and plays the turns for the Mercenary Army during the round.
Shuffle the Mercenary Army's deck each time it runs out of cards.
To win, a player must control eight or more crowns at the end of a round. The Mercenary Army's crowns are not tracked as the Mercenary Army cannot win the game. However, they can be eliminated from the game in the same way as players are eliminated.
B. Two-Player Variant
The 2-player variant is the same as the 3-player variant with the following modifications:
In the 2-player variant, players select two armies to be used as Mercenary Armies. Each Mercenary Army receives only one City Bonus Tile, chosen at random.
Each Mercenary Army receives one castle, one crown and ten Footmen, placed in the city territory named on their City Bonus Tile.
At the beginning of the game, both players draft three city territories in turn order. All three city territories receive a crown and five Footmen, split between the city territory and one adjacent non-city territory.
Each player places a castle in the first two city territories they've selected, but not the third.
At the beginning of each round, players will bid twice: once for control of one Mercenary Army, and once to control the other Mercenary Army. The order in which the Mercenary Armies are bid on is chosen by the player who starts the round with the First Player Marker.
Note: It is possible for one player to win both bids.
Shuffle the King's Orders decks for both Mercenary Armies and place one deck to the left of the first player and the other deck to the right. The Mercenary Armies' positions will remain in between the player positions for the remainder of the game.
Each time a Mercenary Army's turn comes up in the turn order, the player who won the bid to control that army turns over the top card of that army's deck and plays the turn for that army.
A player must control ten or more crowns at the end of a round to win.