Long ago, the villages of Shangri-La were inhabited by the wisest people in the world. One day, however, these wise people all disappeared mysteriously with only one remaining - the Invisible Bridge Blaster.
As soon as the news of the disappearance spread, the mountain people of the surrounding high valleys sent their most astute masters and their most knowledgeable students on a great pilgrimage to the villages. They were to ensure that in the future, their own culture would prevail in Shangri-La.
- 1 Game board
- 23 Wooden bridges
- 168 Master tiles
(in 4 colors with 6 x 7 Master symbols)
- 12 Stones of the Wise Men
Object of the Game
To begin, each player places seven different Masters of his color into the villages of Shangri-La. Throughout the course of the game, new Masters will be placed and will take on Students to learn their disciplines.
Once the time is right, the Students will journey across a bridge away from their Masters' village into a neighboring village.
If the village from which the Student came is stronger than the new village, then the Student may be placed under the watch of a new Master, or he may even become a Master himself, if there is no Master present in his discipline.
Whenever Students make such a journey, it will destroy the bridge on the followed path. At the end of the game, whoever has placed the most Masters of his color in the villages of Shangri-La will win!
Game board - The game board is placed in the middle of the table. It displays a mountain area with 13 villages connected by paths. Each of these paths connects 2 villages and has a break in the middle. In addition, each village has a group of 7 Master symbols.
To the right of the game board lies a village with red walls. In a 3- player game, this village is not used. At the beginning of the game mark this with a "Stone of the Wise Men".
Wooden bridges - Place one of the 23 wooden bridges on each of the broken paths. In a 3-player game, use only 20 wooden bridges, as the red village is not in play.
Master tiles - Before the first game, punch out the tiles from the tile sheet. Each player takes all tiles of one color. In each color there are 6 sets of 7 different symbols denoting the 7 Master types. It is advisable for players to separate their tiles into groups by symbol so they will be easy to count during play.
Stones of the Wise Men - The 12 colored glass stones ("Stones of the Wise Men") are placed near the side of the game board. In a 3-player game, place one of these atop the unused red village.
Each player represents a clan of folk from the mountains of Shangri-La.
These four peoples are called:
- Ro-Tarya - player color Red
- Ba-Lao - player color Blue
- Gyl-Den - player color Yellow
- Li-Lamas - player color Violet
The Masters of the mountain folk of Shangri-La are trained in 7 different disciplines: Rainmaker, Priest, Yeti-whisperer, Astrologer, Dragonbreeder, Healer and Firekeeper.
Each player has 6 Masters available to him for each of these 7 different disciplines.
To begin the game, players place 7 Master tiles of their color into villages of their choice, 1 for each of the 7 different Master types.
Players place one at a time, in clockwise order, until all are placed on the board. Master tiles may only be placed atop village spaces displaying the matching symbol. In addition, the following limit restrictions apply (in this initial phase only):
There may not be more than 2 tiles of a color in any one village
There may not be more than 3 tiles total in any one village For a 3-player game, no more than 1 tile of a color in any one village is allowed, and no more than 2 tiles total.
This limitation applies only during the placement phase. Also note that the 7 different Masters in the placement phase all need to belong to different disciplines.
After the phase is complete, each player should have 5 of each type of Master left in his supply.
Setup for the first game
Strategy for the initial Master placement may not be apparent during your first game. Included on the reverse sides of the Rules Summary sheets are suggested starting positions for 3- and 4-player games.
By your second game, you can instead rely on good strategy and planning for the placement phase.
Whoever has last reached the peak of Mount Everest using nothing but blue and white checkered stilts carved from the wood of a Mammoth tree is declared the Starting Player. In case of a tie, the wisest player of the group begins the game.
The player whose turn it is always choosing one of the following three actions:
Place a master tile
Place up to two Master tiles from your supply atop two matching Masters of your color. These are the Masters' "Students" - a Master may have no more than one student at any time. -or -
Begin the journey of the students
Once a player has completed one of the above three actions, the turn passes clockwise to the next player.
1. Place a master tile
When a player chooses this action, he takes any one Master tile from his supply and places it on any open space of the matching symbol, in a village where there already lies at least one other Master of the same color.
It is player Yellow's turn. He places one Dragonbreeder onto the free "Dragonbreeder" space.
Player Red's turn is next. He would like to place one of his Rainmakers into this village. He may not, because the space is already filled by a yellow Rainmaker. Red decides instead to place a Yeti- whisperer on the open matching symbol space in the village.
Red would also like to play one of his Healers onto the open Healer space in the village.... Stop! He may not do this! Each turn you may play only one new Master tile onto the board. Feeling rather sheepish, Player Red returns his Healer back to his supply.
Player Blue takes his turn, though he chooses one of the other 2 actions available to him on his turn.
Player Violet would like to place a Master into this village, but he may not, as he does not yet have any Masters present already.
2. Recruit Students
By using this action, players may bring additional tiles onto the board. The active player may take any 2 tiles from his supply and place them atop 2 already-placed Masters of the matching symbol in any village on the board.
These placed tiles are called "Students". A Master may never have more than one Student at any time. The 2 Students may be placed in the same village or in two different villages.
If a player has only one Master eligible to take a student, he may still choose this action, instead placing only one student onto the board.
An important part of Shangri-La lies in the recruiting of these "Students". It is an important decision to determine when the right time and the right place to bring Students into the game.
Player Yellow places two Students in Village A. He places a Rainmaker tile atop his already-placed yellow Rainmaker tile, and a Yeti- whisperer atop his Master Yeti-whisperer. This concludes Yellow's turn.
Now it is Blue's turn, who has also chosen the action "Recruit Students". Blue places a Healer as a Student in Village A atop his Master Healer and a Firekeeper atop his Master Firekeeper in Village B.
Players Red and Violet decided on different actions during this example.
3. The Journey of the Students
The "Journey of the Students" is a crucial element of the competition of "Shangri-La".
Important: Only through the "Journey of the Students" can a player spread his clan into the villages where he does not already have a Master.
Where may a Journey take place? - A "Journey" takes place across an unbroken path between two villages. The Journey may span only one path between two directly neighboring villages.
Who may begin a Journey? - A "Journey" may be started only by a player who has at least one Student in the village where the Journey will begin.
Who comes along for the Journey? - When a player sends the Students in a village on a Journey, he sends all the Students in the village on a Journey simultaneously - including those of his opponents. The Masters of these Students remain in their position. The active player decides which unbroken path the Students will take, leading to one of the adjacent neighboring villages.
When does a bridge break? - As soon as the "Journey of the Students" occurs, the bridge traveled across immediately breaks. The bridge is taken from the board and out of the game. There may no longer be any more Journeys across this path for the remainder of the game.
When is a "Stone of the Wise Men" placed? - A Stone is placed on a village if all its extending paths have been broken. No actions may take place in a village with a Stone in place.
When students journey from a village
One of two situations can occur:
The village traveled from is stronger than the village traveled to.
Note: A village's "Strength" is determined by the total number of all tiles (Masters and Students) of all players (active player and opponents) present in the village.
Normally a player will perform a "Journey of the Students" action from a stronger village into a weaker one. Only in this case are Students able to displace rival Master tiles in the destination village.
If after a journey, a Student enters a village with an empty symbol space of his discipline, (for example, a Student Rainmaker encounters an empty Rainmaker space), simply place the Student in the open space - he has become a Master.
If after a journey, a Student enters a village with his matching symbol space occupied by a Master tile of his own color (for example, a red Student Rainmaker encounters a red Master Rainmaker in this space of the destination village), the Student is placed atop the Master tile, and the Student remains a Student.
If the Student enters a village where the symbol space is occupied by both a Master and a Student of his own color, then the journeying Student is taken from the board and returned to the owner's supply.
If after a journey, a Student enters a village with his matching symbol space occupied by a tile or tiles of another player (for example, a red Student Rainmaker encounters a Rainmaker of another color) then the opposing tile(s) of that symbol are removed from the board and placed back in the owner's supply.
Note that tiles removed in this way are not lost forever - they may be played back to the board as normal on subsequent turns
The village traveled from is weaker than the village traveled to.
If after a journey, a Student enters a village with an empty symbol space of his discipline, (for example, a Student Rainmaker encounters an empty Rainmaker space), simply place the Student in the space - he has become a Master, just as in Situation 1.
If after a journey, a Student enters a village with an occupied space of his discipline, (for example, a Student Rainmaker encounters a Rainmaker space occupied by a tile of his own or an opposing color), the Student is removed from the board and placed back in the owner's supply.
It is rather seldom that a player will choose to journey from a weaker village to a stronger one. Any player who chooses to take this path must be doing so as a finely calculated tactical play.
In the case where villages are of equal strength, the village with the greatest number of Master tiles (do not count Students), is considered the stronger of the two. In the case of a further tie, then the destination village is considered the stronger of the two.
Example of "The Journey of the Students"
The village traveled from is stronger than the village traveled to.
In Village B there are a total of 5 Master and Student tiles combined. In Village A there are a total of 8. Village A is, therefore, the stronger of the two.
Player Red, who has 2 Masters and 2 Students in Village A, chooses the action "Journey of the Students". He has determined Village B to be the best destination for the Village A Students.
Red begins: He removes the Student tile from the red Master Dragonbreeder in Village A, and places it on the open Dragonbreeder space in Village B. Now consider the Rainmakers.
Unfortunately for the yellow Master and Student in village B, they both will be displaced by the Red Student Rainmaker from Village A. Since Village A is stronger, these opposing Rainmaker tiles are placed back in the supply, and the resulting open space is filled by the Red Rainmaker, who thus becomes a Master.
Violet's Student travels. Violet has a Student Healer in village A, and Blue has a Master Healer in Village B. As Village A was determined to be stronger, Blue's Healer will be removed from the board and replaced with the Violet Student, who thus becomes a Master.
Players Yellow and Blue do not move any tiles to Village B, because they only possess Masters in Village A, and no Students. Note: Only Students may Journey, never Masters.
To conclude the Journey: Once the Students have traveled from Village A to B, the connecting bridge immediately breaks and is removed from the game.
The village traveled from is weaker than the village traveled to.
There are a total of 9 Master and Student tiles combined in Village B. In Village A there are a total of 7.
Though Village A is the weaker of the two, Violet chooses to have the "Journey of the Students" from Village A to B - quite a wise maneuver!
Violet must be thinking: "I can sit here and wait until Village B journeys to Village A and knocks out 2 of my Masters - or, I can act first, and prevent that incident from ever happening".
And so it is done - Violet takes his only Student from Village A, the Healer, and moves it to the open Healer space in Village B, where it becomes a Master.
This isn't good news for the Red Student Rainmaker, however, as he is faced with an occupied Rainmaker space, and must be removed from the board.
End of the Game
The game ends when the last (twelfth) Stone of the Wise Men is placed on the board (One village in play will be left without a Stone).
Now the players count up how many Master tiles they have on the board - whoever has the most is declared the winner.
Ties are broken by the number of villages occupied by the tied players.
Note: Only the Masters are counted, not the Students.
For example: Player Red and Player Blue both have 17 Master tiles on the board. Player Red, however, has his Masters spread across 7 different villages, while Blue only occupies 6. In this case, Red is the winner.