- 100 Statues
- 39 Commodity tiles
- 37 Supporter tokens
- 10 Region tiles
- 6 Frame pieces
- 4 Castle boards
- 4 Nobility cards
- 4 Mercy cards
- 1 Tumult spinner
- 1 Hourglass
Object of the Game
You are royals, and you have just one thing in mind: Placing statues of yourselves everywhere across your country to delight the common people with your stunning good looks and reaffirm your ascendancy throughout the land.
Erecting statues costs commodities, which you must rob from your subjects in the form of taxes. If too few commodities are leftover for the people after tax collection, a tumult ensues, and the people punish the greediest royal.
In your role as a selfish royal, maybe you turn out to be a wise and benevolent ruler and find the right balance when collecting taxes. If you do, the people are well-disposed toward you, and you are not punished for your greed. But will this strategy allow you to erect more statues than your opponents?
The player who has placed the most statues at the end of the game wins.
Before your first game, carefully remove all of the parts from the die-cut sheets. Insert the arrow from above into the hole in the tumult spinner card and then into the anchor piece on the underside of the card.
Each player chooses a color and receives 25 statues and a castle board in this color. Each player places his or her statues on the die-cut tracks of his or her castle board.
Each player receives one mercy card and places it to the left of his or her castle board, with the side showing "The people show no mercy" facing up.
Each player receives an assortment of supporters of different denominations: 30 in a 2-player game, 20 in a 3-player game, and 15 in a 4-player game. Place your supporters to the right of your castle board, separate from each other and visible to all players.
Only in a 4-player game are all commodity tiles used. In a 3-player game, remove the 9 black-framed commodity tiles from play; in a 2-player game, in addition to the 9 blackframed tiles also remove the 9 gray-framed tiles. Put the removed tiles back into the box.
Place the remaining commodity tiles face down - and preferably without overlapping each other - in the center of the table; they are the "people's commodities".
Place the remaining supporters to the right of the people's commodities. This is the supply of supporters who have not yet declared their allegiance to a royal.
Only in a 4-player game are all nobility cards used. In a 3-player game, remove the fourth-rank card from play; in a 2-player game, also remove the third-rank card. The king or queen is the highest rank (1), while the earl or countess is the lowest rank (4).
The oldest player shuffles the nobility cards under the table, places them in a stack on the table, and takes the top card. Afterwards, in a clockwise direction each of the other players takes a nobility card from the top of the stack.
Each player places his or her nobility card with either its masculine or feminine side up between the towers of his or her castle board. This way, each player starts the game with a randomly assigned nobility rank.
Note: While the masculine sides of the cards (e.g., king and duke) are generally referred to in these instructions, both sides of the same card are equal and interchangeable. You can choose whichever side you want to show.
Assemble the frame according to the number of players. In a 2-player game, use only the two large frame pieces; in a 3-player game, add 2 center pieces, and in a 4-player game, add all 4 center pieces.
Place the assembled frame next to the people's commodities. The frame is not in the center of the table - the commodities are.
Shuffle the 10 region tiles face down. Choose 4 tiles for a 2-player game, 6 for a 3-player game, and 8 for a 4-player game. Insert half of the chosen region tiles face down and the other half face up into the frame, as shown.
The remaining region tiles (6 in a 2-player game, 4 in a 3-player game, and 2 in a 4-player game) are not used for the current game. Put them box.
The highest-ranking player (king or queen) receives the hourglass. (It times approximately 20 seconds).
The highest-ranking player places the tumult spinner next to himself or herself.
Placing the First Statue
Each region tile consists of 9 fields. There are 5 different field types: the uninhabited pasture, forest, and mountain fields and the inhabited village and palace fields. The lowest-ranking player (in a 4-player game, that would be the player with the fourth- rank card) starts the game.
He or she takes the statue above number "1" from his or her castle board's track and places it on any unoccupied pasture field. Then the other players follow in the order of their ranks.
The king thus places the last statue. That way, each player starts with one statue of his or her color. Important: The first statue of each player may only be placed on a pasture field.
Hint: You should place your first statue on a pasture field near inhabited fields (village or palace) because you can place more statues on these fields.
The game is played over several rounds. Each round consists of 7 consecutive phases:
- Gauge the People's Sentiment
- Collect Taxes
- Resolve Potential Tumults
- Place Statues
- Redistribute Ranks
- Crown the New King
- Receive the People's Mercy
1. Gauge the People's Sentiment
It's always good to know what the people want. Whether you want to act accordingly, however, is another matter.
The king takes the tumult spinner and spins the arrow. The number of the area where the arrow stops indicates the number of commodities of each type that must remain for the people after the phase in which you collect taxes.
For example, if the arrow stops in the area marked with a "3", the people demand at least 3 bread, 3 marble, and 3 tools.
Please note: If the arrow stops right in between two areas, the smaller number counts.
2. Collect Taxes
Since you build the statues for the good of the people, it is only fair that you take from the people's commodities in return.
Remove some of the commodity tiles: From the people's commodities in the center of the table, each player takes any 3 commodity tiles without looking at their values and places them in a face-down stack beside the frame containing the region tiles.
These commodity tiles are not used in this round. The remaining face-down people's commodities should be placed in the center of the table. Preferably the tiles should not overlap each other, so that all players can easily reach them.
Robbing commodities: To build statues, you need certain commodities. The required combinations of bread, marble, and tools are indicated on the left side of the castle board.
Before a tax collection phase begins, you should carefully consider which commodities you want to rob (ahem ... "tax"), and how many of them. The king (or queen) asks his or her opponents whether they are ready to play. If everyone is ready, the king flips the hourglass and says, "Collect taxes!"
While the hourglass runs (for approximately 20 seconds), all players simultaneously have the opportunity to bring any number of commodities from the center of the table (people's commodities) to their castles. The following rules must be observed:
Keep one hand under the table at all times. You may use the other hand to view any 1 commodity tile of your choice at a time. To speed things up, briefly lifting up the tile will do.
When you have viewed 1 tile, you either return it face down to the center of the table or you place it face down on your castle board. Afterwards, you may view any number of other commodity tiles, always 1 at a time, and either return them face down or place them on your castle board.
As soon as the hourglass has run out and a player shouts, "Stop", no new commodity tiles may be picked up. If, at that moment, you still have a tile in your hand, you either return it or place it face down on your castle board. Afterwards, all commodity tiles (on the table and on the castle boards) are revealed.
In addition, the following rules apply:
- Once you have placed a commodity tile on your castle board, you may not return it to the center of the table.
- At any given moment, you may only have 1 commodity tile in your hand - that is, you are not allowed to pick up and view various tiles at the same time.
- Only the commodity tiles on your castle board are safe. All commodity tiles outside your castle board can be viewed and taken by your opponents.
3. Resolve Potential Tumults
Now you check whether tumults take place. To this end, for each commodity type count the commodities depicted on the commodity tiles that haven't been stolen by the players and, therefore, are still in the center of the table.
These are the commodities left for the people. If, for a certain commodity type, the number of commodities depicted on the tiles is equal to or greater than the number on the tumult spinner determined by the king at the beginning of the round, no tumult ensues for that commodity type.
If the number of commodities of a commodity type is smaller than the determined number on the tumult spinner, the people are not happy and a tumult ensues for that commodity type.
Resolving A Tumult
If a commodity type is affected by a tumult, each player tallies the commodities depicted on the tiles of this type that he or she has robbed and placed on his or her castle board.
The greediest player: The player who robbed the most commodities of a certain type is the greediest player. If several players robbed an equal number of commodities of this type, the higher-ranking player is the greediest player. The higher the royal's rank, the more the people dislike him. It's not easy being king!
The people show mercy: When the greediest player is determined, you may subtract 1 from the number of commodities for each type of commodity you have robbed if your mercy card's "The people show mercy" side is face up. Please note: In the first round, none of the players receive the people's mercy.
The consequences for the greediest player:
The greediest player loses 3 supporters and must return them to the supply of unaffiliated supporters. Some of your supporters definitely want nothing to do with this kind of behavior.
The greediest player may only keep the lowest-value commodity tile of the commodity type affected by a tumult. He or she returns the remaining commodity tiles of this type to the people by placing them face up in the center of the table. Note: If the player has only 1 commodity tile of the affected type, he or she may therefore keep it - even if it shows 3 commodities.
Since a tumult may ensue for each commodity type, up to 3 tumults per round can be resolved.
Example: Prior to the tax collection phase, the king had spun the arrow of the tumult spinner. The arrow had stopped in the area marked with a "4". Consequently, the people want at least 4 bread, 4 marble, and 4 tools.
After robbing commodities, the players first determine whether a bread tumult takes place
A. Since the players have left only 2 bread for the people, a bread tumult ensues. The duchess (Blue) robbed 5 bread. However, because the people show her mercy, only 4 of her bread count as robbed - which is exactly the same number of bread robbed by the prince (Yellow).
Since the prince has a lower rank (and, therefore, is closer to the people), the duchess is nevertheless the greediest player. She loses 3 supporters and must discard the two bread tiles marked with red arrows.
Then the players determine whether a marble tumult ensues
B. The players have left 4 marble for the people. The people are comfortable with that, and no marble tumult takes place.
Finally, the players check whether there is a tool tumult
C. Since the players have only left 3 tools for the people, a tumult arises. The duchess and the prince each robbed 4 tools.
Only 3 of the duchess' tools count as robbed because the people show her mercy this time too; therefore, the prince is the greediest player. He also loses 3 supporters and must discard the tool tile marked with a red arrow.
Hint: During your first game, allow yourself and your opponents a practice run of the tax collection phase. Then everyone knows how it works, and there will be fewer unpleasant surprises during the next, valid tax collection phase.
4. Place Statues
Starting with the king, in the order of their ranks the players place 1, 2, or 3 of their respective statues on one unoccupied field (the number of statues placed depends on the field type).
The corresponding costs are indicated on the left side of the castle board. For example, placing a statue on a pasture field costs 1 bread and 1 marble, and placing 3 statues on a palace field costs 2 marble and 3 tools.
You may only place statues on an unoccupied field that is horizontally or vertically (not diagonally) adjacent to a field where you already have placed 1 or several of your own statues. (Exception: "Placing statues on any pastures or forests" - see page 5).
You place 1 statue on an uninhabited field (pasture, forest, or mountain). On an inhabited field (village or palace) you place more: you place exactly 2 statues on a village field and exactly 3 statues on a palace field.
When placing a statue, take the leftmost statue (the one above the lowest number) from your castle board.
If you can't place a statue because you didn't rob the required commodities, you must pass.
Paying costs: To pay the cost of placing statues, you discard commodity tiles depicting the commodities required. The following rules apply:
Splitting is not allowed: You are not allowed to use the commodities depicted on a commodity tile to place statues on various fields. For example, you may not use 1 of the 3 marble depicted on a marble tile to place a statue on a pasture field and, later, use the remaining 2 marble to place 2 statues on a village field.
Receiving supporters for overpaid commodities: If you prove to be particularly generous, you gain new support.
You receive 1 supporter for each overpaid commodity on a commodity tile.
If, for example, you discard 1 commodity tile depicting 3 marble and 1 commodity tile depicting 2 bread to place a statue on a pasture, you receive 3 supporters (2 for the two overpaid marble and 1 for the one overpaid bread).
You cannot use more commodity tiles for payment than necessary: You are not allowed to use more commodity tiles for payment than necessary. For example, you may not pay 1 marble tile and 2 bread tiles for 1 statue on a pasture, in order to receive more supporters.
However, you may pay the required number of commodities of a certain type by means of multiple commodity tiles of that type, up to the point of covering the cost of placing one or multiple statues on a field.
Example: You want to place 1 statue on a mountain field. You must pay at least 1 bread, 1 marble, and 2 tools.
If you discard the commodity tiles shown under "A", you receive 1 supporter for each overpaid commodity - that is, a total of 5 supporters. If you pay with the tiles shown under " B", you receive 2 supporters. The crossed-out tools tile under "C", is not required to cover the cost, which is why you are not allowed to use it. Here you receive 2 supporters.
Additional placement rounds: After each player has had the opportunity to place one or multiple statues on a field or to pass, and there are still players with enough commodities to place another statue, then - starting again with the king - a second placement round begins (and perhaps further placement rounds thereafter).
Commodity tiles that can't be used for placing a statue expire and are returned to the center of the table. Important: You do not obtain supporters by returning commodity tiles.
Placing statues on any pastures or forests: You may place one statue on any unoccupied pasture or any unoccupied forest, even if that field isn't directly adjacent to a field already occupied by 1 or more of your statues. To do so, however, you must pay twice the cost; for example, to place a statue on a forest field, you pay 2 marble, 2 bread, and 2 tools.
You are not allowed to place statues on a nonadjacent inhabited field (village or palace) or on a nonadjacent mountain field. As with regular placement of statues, you receive supporters if you overpay when placing statues on nonadjacent pastures or forests.
A small consolation: If in a round you can't place any statues (for example, because you robbed the wrong commodity tiles or didn't find what you needed), at the end of this phase you receive 2 supporters. However, this doesn't apply if you were affected by a tumult and were deemed the greediest player for any commodity in this round.
5. Redistribute Ranks
After the players have placed their statues, the player with the most supporters receives (or keeps) the king/queen card and gives his or her nobility card to the previous king/queen. After determining the king/queen, first the duke/duchess and then the prince/princess is determined in the same fashion.
The player with the second most supporters becomes duke/duchess and exchanges his or her nobility card with the previous duke/duchess. The player with the third most supporters becomes prince/princess and the player with the least supporters becomes earl/countess.
In case of a tie: If 2 or more players have an equal number of supporters, the player whose previous rank (i.e., his rank before redistribution) was higher receives the higher-ranking nobility card.
Important: You must place your supporter tokens in such a way that your opponents are always able to see your total number of supporters.
ADetermining the king: Blue has 25 - and therefore, the most - supporters. He gives his duke card to Purple (21 supporters) and receives Purple's king card in exchange.
Had both players tied for supporters, Purple would have remained king.
BDetermining the duke: Yellow has the second most supporters (23) and exchanges his prince card for Purple's duke card. CDetermining the prince: Purple and Gray both have the same number of supporters (21).
Purple keeps his rank of prince because it is higher than the rank of earl and Purple was higher-ranking than Gray in the previous round (king vs. earl).
6. Crown the New King
The new king ...
must return 5 supporters to the supply.
It's not popular to be king. This much power is actually too much for some supporters.
takes the leftmost statue from his or her castle board (the one above the lowest number) and places it, starting on the left, on the next unoccupied space in the royal chronicle.
Important: After the first five individual spaces are occupied, new kings place 2 statues at once in the dual spaces after the sixth through tenth rounds.
receives the hourglass and the tumult spinner.
Example: In the second round, Blue became king. He places 1 blue statue in the royal chronicle.
7. Receive the People's Mercy
The player who, cumulatively over the entire game thus far, has placed the fewest statues turns his or her mercy card so that its "The people show mercy" side is face up. If multiple players (but not all players) tie for fewest statues, they all receive the people's mercy.
All other players turn their mercy cards so that their "The people show no mercy" sides are face up or they leave them with this side up. If all players have placed an equal number of statues, the side "The people show no mercy" of each player's mercy card must be face up.
Hint: The number of statues a player has placed can quickly be determined on the number track of the player's castle board.
Preparing the Next Round
All commodity tiles - including the 3 tiles each player set aside before the tax collection phase started - are placed face down in the center of the table. Shuffle the tiles by sliding them around on the table to mix them up.
Afterwards, each player once again removes 3 tiles and sets them aside for the next round. Then continue with phase 1 of the next round ("Gauge the People's Sentiment" by means of the tumult spinner).
Special Features of the Royal Chronicle
The Third and Fifth Space: Revealing New Region Tiles
If the king/queen places 1 of his or her statues in the third space of the royal chronicle, he or she reveals either 1 face-down region tile (in a 2- or 3-player game) or 2 face-down region tiles (in a 4-player game) of his or her choice. If the king/queen places 1 of his or her statues in the fifth space of the royal chronicle, he or she reveals the remaining face-down region tiles.
Important: The king/queen is not allowed to preview the region tiles in order to rotate them in a direction that is convenient for him or her. He or she must always flip them over toward himself or herself.
In the following rounds, the players may place statues on the fields of the newly revealed region tiles.
Example: In the third round Yellow became king. He places 1 yellow statue in the royal chronicle and reveals 1 or 2 new region tiles (according to the number of players). Since this is a 3-player game, he reveals 1 region tile.
The Dual Spaces: Placing 2 Statues and Determining the End of the Game
In rounds six through ten, the new kings place 2 statues on the dual spaces. In addition, each time this happens the players check whether the game ends.
End of the Game
After each placement of 2 statues on dual spaces, the game might be over.
To determine if this is the case, subtract the number of statues placed by the player(s) who lags the furthest behind (the player or players who have placed the fewest statues) from the number of statues placed by the player(s) in the lead (the player or players who have placed the most statues).
If the difference is greater than the number below the statues most recently placed in the royal chronicle, the game ends and the player who placed the most statues wins.
In case of a tie, the higher-ranking player wins.
If the difference is less than or equal to the number below the statues most recently placed in the royal chronicle, the game continues to the next round.
Example: Blue was crowned king in the seventh round. He places 2 blue statues. Purple has placed a total of 15 statues on the fields and in the royal chronicle, Yellow 19, and Blue 21.
The difference between the number of statues placed by Blue and Purple is 6, i.e., greater than 5. Therefore, the game ends immediately and Blue is the winner.
However, after 2 statues have been placed in the tenth round (above the "0") the game is definitely over. The player who placed the most statues wins. Here, too, the higher-ranking player wins in case of a tie.
When a player places his or her 25th statue, the game ends immediately; the round is not completed and this player wins.
After the first round, please read the following hints aloud to all players.
Before the tax collection phase, take your time to examine which fields you want to place statues on, and which and how many commodities you need for it.
For overpaid commodities, you receive supporters. The more supporters you get, the better, because they make you king.
When placing the statues, remember that you also may place a statue on any pasture or forest field. Although this costs twice as much, it may give you access to new, valuable village and palace fields.
Don't underestimate your mercy card's "The people show mercy" side. If you have this advantage, it's a little less risky for you to rob many commodities.
The more rounds it takes to complete the game, the more likely it is to end because with each round, the number that triggers the end of the game (the difference between the number of statues placed by the player(s) in the lead and the number of statues placed by the player(s) who lags the furthest behind) becomes smaller.
Variant: Tax collection that's tailored to royals who like to gamble
If you like to gamble, you can play according to the following rule: To determine the number of commodities of each type claimed by the people, the king spins the arrow of the tumult spinner after the tax collection phase, not before it.
He spins the arrow not just once for all commodity types but once for each commodity type - first for bread, then for marble, and finally for tools. Hence, the people may, for example, be satisfied with 2 bread and 3 marble, but need 5 tools.