- 60 character cards
- 20 law cards
- 4 auction cards
- 64 gemstones
- 33 double-sided magic/science tokens
- 17 double-sided attack/defense tokens
- 54 power point tokens of different values
- 24 bonus tokens for magic
- 12 bonus tokens for circles
- 4 players' screens
Object of the Game
As players struggle for control over the fantasy world of Laar, players recruit a variety of allies, from a wanderer to a prince, and enact various laws.
As the game progresses, each player builds their own pyramid of power by developing their state's military and magical might, increasing their own authority, and gaining the precious gemstones they need to continue expanding their nation.
The player who has the most power points at the end of the game becomes the ruler of all Laar-and the winner!
Place four auction cards in the middle of the table to form a long line. The order of the cards in this line does not matter, but all arrows should face the same direction
Place the magic/science, attack/defense, power point, and bonus tokens in separate piles in the middle of the table
Set up the gemstone reserve. The reserve should contain 32 gemstones (8 of each color) in a two-player game; 48 gemstones (12 of each color) in a three-player game; and all 64 gemstones in a four-player game.
In other words, use 4 gemstones of each color per player. Place the gemstone reserve in the middle of the table
3 and return the unused gemstones to the game box.
Each player takes a screen
4. During the game, the players keep their gemstones behind their screens. None of the players should know which gemstones are hidden behind their opponents' screens.
Each player takes 2 gemstones of each color (8 in total), places them behind their screen and returns 2 random gemstones to the reserve. There should therefore be 6 gemstones
5 behind each player's screen when the game begins.
Shuffle the character cards and deal each player 2 cards. Each player selects one of the cards, places it face-up in front of him and receives the reward shown in the selected card's lower row
6. This card is the first card in the player's pyramid. The second character card is added to the player's hand.
Randomly divide the deck of character cards into two stacks: the large deck of 48 cards and the small deck of all remaining cards. Place the large deck face-down next to the auction cards
7. Place the small deck face-down on the other side of the auction cards 8.
Reveal four cards from the large deck and place them face-up next to the auction cards, at the bases of the arrows
9. The first revealed card is placed next to the leftmost auction card, the second next to the following one, and so on.
Shuffle the law deck and deal each player three cards from it
10. Place the law deck face-down next to the small deck 11 The players add their law cards to their hands and do not show them to their opponents.
Color Independent Tokens
Your goal in Viceroy is to get the most power points by the end of the game. You should try to get the most out of your cards - usually, by playing them at higher levels of your power pyramid.
The game continues for exactly 12 turns, until no cards are left in the large deck. Each turn is divided into two phases. During each phase, all players act at the same time.
- Auction Phase. Each player can receive one auctioned character card.
- Development Phase. Each player can play up to 3 cards from their hand.
All cards played during the game by a player are placed face-up in their pyramid. The player's pyramids are not hidden behind the screens: they are always visible to all players. All cards in the pyramid should be placed side by side.
The bottom row of cards is called the first level, the next one is called the second level, and so on up to the fifth level. Each card of the next level has to rest on two cards of the previous level in such a way that the colored sections of all three cards form a circle (the circle does not have to be of a single color).
At the beginning of the game, your power pyramid contains only one card on the first level. When you play your first card, you can place it to the right or to the left of this card.
The next card you play can go either to the right or to the left of those you have already played, or it can form the second level of the pyramid by "standing" on two first-level cards.
During the game, you cannot move or remove cards that are already part of the pyramid, unless the text of a law card permits you to do so. The pyramid cannot have more than five levels, although the length of its base is unlimited.
Cards are considered to be adjacent even if they are placed on different levels. A card can be adjacent to up to six other cards.
Some of the law cards may instruct you to put a card underneath another card. This is not considered as playing a card. You do not have to pay any cost for a card that goes underneath another card and you do not get a reward for this card either.
The outermost card in a row is considered a free card if there are no higher-level cards resting on this card and no cards put underneath this card.
I. Auction Phase
During this phase, the players bid on the character cards lying face-up in the middle of the table. Each of these cards is next to an auction card of a certain color. In order to receive a character card, a player has to bid a gemstone of the same color as the corresponding auction card.
Example: the Captain card is next to the yellow auction card. To obtain the Captain, you have to bid a yellow gemstone.
Each player decides which of the auctioned character cards they would like to receive, then takes one gemstone of the corresponding color from behind their screen and holds it in their fist. All players do this on their own at the same time. Then the players simultaneously reveal their bids.
If a certain color has been selected by only one player, that player receives the corresponding character card and returns the bidden gemstone to the reserve. The auction phase ends for this player.
If two or more players have chosen the same color, they all return the bidden gemstones to the reserve without receiving any cards. These players can participate in the second auction. Exception: if two players choose a color that corresponds to two cards, they can agree among themselves who will receive which card (see further).
A player can refuse to participate in the auction. If he decides to skip the auction, the player does not bid a gemstone, although they still hold out their hand as though they had. When all bids have been made, such player opens their empty hand and declares that they are passing (see further).
They do not receive any cards and do not participate in any further auctions during this phase.
Once the first auction is complete, all players who received no cards and did not pass continue to the second auction. If, at the end of the second auction, there are still players who have neither passed not taken a card, the third and final auction begins.
Any players who have not received a card by the end of the third auction are considered to have passed.
A player cannot bid on a card if there are no gemstones of corresponding color behind their screen.
A player cannot receive a card during an auction without bidding any gemstones (exception: attack tokens, see further).
All bidden gemstones are returned to the reserve even if their owners were unable to receive any cards with them.
A player can only receive one card at the auction per turn.
If a player receives a card or passes, they cannot participate in any more auctions during the current turn.
There can be no more than three auctions per turn.
A player cannot bid a gemstone of a certain color if there are no character cards next to the auction card of this color.
Cards received during the auction are added to corresponding players hands and are not considered to have been played yet. The players can play these cards (by adding them to their pyramids and getting a reward) during the development phase.
As long as all players agree, they can decide who will play which color before the auction. However, these agreements are not compulsory. Players cannot trade gemstones, tokens and cards or show their opponents what they have behind their screen, unless the text of a law card tells them to do so.
From the second turn onwards, it is possible that two character cards are lying next to the same auction card (one card at the base of the arrow, the other one at the tip).
If only one player bids on this color, they can receive whichever of the two cards they choose (but not both). If two players bid on this color, they can decide among themselves who will take which card. If this happens, they receive their cards and do not participate in any further auctions this turn.
However, if both players claim the same card, neither of them receives a card, and they continue to the next auction. Finally, if three or four players bid on a color with two character cards, none of them takes a card and next auction begins.
When each player has either received a card or passed (after the third auction, anyone who has not received a card automatically passes), the auction phase ends. All character cards located at the tips of the arrows on the auction cards are discarded.
All cards located at the bases of those arrows are placed on the other side of the auction cards along the arrows. Four new character cards are revealed from the large deck and placed at the bases of the arrows as during setup.
If the last four character cards are revealed from the deck, this means that the next turn will be the last one in the game.
If a Player Passes
A player is considered to have passed in two cases:
- during the auction, they refuse to bid a gemstone, opening their hand to reveal that it is empty (this can happen during any auction);
- at the conclusion of three auctions, the player has not been able to receive a character card.
Immediately after passing, the player takes three gemstones of their choosing from the reserve. They can also take an extra gemstone for every science token in their pyramid (see further). The player places taken gemstones behind their screen.
If several players pass at the same time, they take gemstones in increasing numerical order, beginning with the player who has the card with the lowest number in their pyramid, then whoever has the next lowest number, and so on. Each player in order takes all tokens they should take.
If there are no gemstones of a certain color left in the reserve, the player cannot take gemstones of that color.
If there are not enough gemstones in the reserve, the player takes as many as they can.
If there are no gemstones in the reserve, the player takes nothing.
A player cannot pass twice in the same turn.
II. Development Phase
This phase consists of three rounds of playing cards.
In the beginning of a round, each player chooses a card to play and lays it on a table face down. If a player does not want to play a card, he passes. A player who passed, can not play cards in the remaining rounds of this phase. Players do not get any gemstones for passing in this phase.
Players who want to play a card select them independently. Then they simultaneously reveal their chosen cards and play them in increasing numerical order, beginning with the player who selected the card with the lowest number. Each player in order places their card in their pyramid and resolves its effect.
To play a character card, the player chooses an available space in their pyramid and pays the cost of playing this card, which depends on the level where they want to place it.
In the left part of every character card there are four horizontal rows corresponding to the four levels of the pyramid (bottom row is for the first level, the next one is for the second level, the next one is for the third level, and top row is for the fourth level).
Preceding the colon in each row there is a gemstone symbol indicating the cost of playing the card into the given level. Note that you have to pay cost not just for the level on which you play the card, but also for all previous levels.
Playing a law card costs nothing, and it can be placed in any available space in the players pyramid except for the fifth level. Immediately after a law card is played, its effect is resolved. Depending on the law card, its effect can be one-shot, continuous or triggered at the end of the game. In any case, the law card remains in the player s pyramid.
Example: if you play the Captain on the first level of the pyramid, you have to pay one green gemstone (depicted in the bottom row of the card).
If you play the same card on the second level, you should pay one green gemstone (the bottom row) and one blue gemstone (the second row from the bottom). Playing the Captain on the third level will cost you one green, one blue, and one yellow gemstone, and the fourth level will cost one green, one blue, and two yellow gemstones.
All cards are played according to the following rules:
A card played on the first level is placed either to the left or to the right of other cards on that level.
A card played on the second level (or higher) has to rest on two cards of the previous level in such a way that the colored sections of all three cards form a circle (the circle does not have to be of a single color).
If, after playing a card in your pyramid, you form a single-color circle, you immediately take a gemstone of the same color from the reserve (if there are any left).
To play a character card on the fifth level, you need to pay the cost required to play it on the fourth level, as well the extra gemstone shown in the top row on the card. For example, if you play the Captain on the fifth level, you pay one green, one blue, and three yellow gemstones.
The gemstones spent for recieving cards during the auction phase have no relation to the gemstones you have to spend to play the cards. These are different expenses and have nothing to do with each other.
When paying to play a card, the player takes the necessary gemstones from behind their screen and returns them to the reserve.
After you play a card, you get a reward for it immediately. The reward, as well as the cost of playing the card, depends on the level of your pyramid in which you play it. However, unlike payment, you get no reward for the previous levels, just for the level where you have placed the card.
Example: if you play the Captain on the first level of your pyramid, you take one card from the law deck or the small deck (as shown in the bottom row on the card).
If you play the same card on the second level, you get five gemstones (the second row from the bottom). On the third level, the Captain gives you a magic token, and on the fourth, 12 power points.
If you play a character on the fifth level, you either get the rewards indicated in the first three rows of the card or put a 15 power points token on the card.
Example: if you play the Captain on the fifth level, you choose either to draw one card, take 5 gemstones and put a magic token on the card, or to put a 15 points token on the card.
Once all players have received their rewards for the cards they played, the next round of development phase starts.
After three rounds of development phase or after all players have passed, the next turn begins with the Auction Phase.
The player takes the indicated number of gemstones (in the colors of their choosing) from the reserve. If there are not enough gemstones in the reserve, the player takes as many as they can.
If the reserve is completely exhausted, the player takes no gemstones. The player places taken gemstones behind their screen.
The player places the power point token of the indicated value on this card. At the end of the game, these points will be added to the players total score.
In the unlikely event that there is no token of the necessary value in the reserve, you can replace it with several tokens of lesser value, but keep in mind that this combination will still count as one power point token.
Cards from the small deck or the law deck
The player draws the indicated number of cards from the law deck or the small deck (he chooses). If the player is supposed to draw two cards, they can draw both from the same deck or one from each deck.
The player adds these cards to their hand. The player can play cards from his hand (whether laws of characters) during the development phase.
The player places a science token on this card (some cards give 2 science tokens on the fourth level). Keep in mind that science and magic are two sides of the same token, and in this case the token is placed with science side up.
Science tokens allow their owner to take additional gemstones if they pass. For example, if a player has 4 science tokens in their pyramid, they can take 3 + 4 = 7 gemstones if they pass. In addition, these tokens can give points during the final scoring.
The player places a magic token on this card (some cards give 2 magic tokens on the fourth level).
Keep in mind that science and magic are two sides of the same token, and in this case the token is placed with magic side up. Magic tokens have no use during the game, but they can give a lot of points during the final scoring.
The player places a defense token on this card. Keep in mind that attack and defense are two sides of the same token, and in this case the tokenis placed with defense side up.
Defense tokens have no use during the game, but they can give points and defend against enemy attacks during the final scoring.
The player takes an attack token and puts it behind their screen. Despite the fact that attack and defense are two sides of the same token, it makes no difference which side is up while the token is behind a screen, since defense tokens can only be located in the pyramid.
If you have an attack token behind your screen, you can use it during the auction phase instead of the regular bid by holding one in your fist. In this case, you immediately take any one card at the beginning of the Auction Phase, before any other players.
Once used, the attack token is returned to the reserve. You do not participate in any further auctions this turn (since you have already received a card). If you have taken the last card corresponding to a color, all other players who bid on this color lose their bid and get nothing in this auction round.
If several players used attack tokens at the auction, the first player to get a card is the one who has the card with the lowest number in their pyramid. At the end of the game, any leftover attack tokens in your possession take points away from your opponents.
Bonus Token (for Magic or Circles)
The player places the indicated token on this card (keep in mind that bonus tokens have various values as well as symbols). Bonus tokens have no use during the game, but they can give points during the final score.
The player takes a gemstone of the indicated color from the reserve and places it on this card. If there are no gemstones of this color in the reserve, they can take one from behind their own screen.
If they have no gemstones of the appropriate color there, either, they do not place a gemstone. If you have an infinite gemstone of any color, once per turn you can declare that you are using it when you need to spend gems during the development phase.
In this case, you reduce the current payment by one gemstone of this color. For example, if you need to spend one yellow and two blue gemstones and you have blue infinite gemstone, you can declare that you are using it and spend only one blue and one yellow gemstones.
If you have several infinite gemstones, you can use any of them during each expenditure, although each infinite gemstone may only be used once per turn. The gemstone remains on the card in your pyramid and can be used in future turns according to the same rules.
The cards are never returned to the decks. If a card is discarded for some reason, it is never returned to the current game. If a deck runs out, none of the players can take cards from it.
The number of gemstones is also strictly limited and depends on the number of players. If there are no gemstones of a certain color left in the reserve, the players cannot take any gemstones of that color until someone spends one and returns it to the reserve. You cannot add gemstones during the game or use any placeholders for them.
All other tokens are included in the game in sufficient quantities, but in very rare circumstances it can turn out that there are not enough. In this case, the players can use coins or other placeholders to stand for them.
A player can have any number of cards in hand and any number of gemstones behind their screen. A pyramid can contain any number of cards, but it can only have five levels.
Most of the actions players take in Viceroy are performed simultaneously. However, sometimes it will happen that the order in which the actions are to be taken needs to be determined (for example, when only a few gemstones are left in the reserve, and several players are claiming them).
In this case, the players have to act in the order of the numbers on their cards, from the lowest to the highest.
The first player to act is the one who has the card with the lowest number in their pyramid (among all players involved in the dispute). They complete the entire action in question, followed by the player whose lowest card in the pyramid is the next lowest one etc.
Particularly, this method becomes necessary if several players use attack tokens during the auction phase. In this case, the player who has the card with the lowest number becomes the first one to pick a card from the auction.
The only dispute that cannot be resolved in accordance with the order numbers on the cards is when several players play the same color during an auction. When this happens, these players hold an additional auction as described in the rules.
End of the Game
If the last four character cards are dealt from the large deck at the end of the auction phase, the next turn will be the last one in the game. This final turn is played to the end, whereupon the players determine the winner.
First, the players remove their screens and discard all unplayed law and character cards from their hands. They can then use their remaining gemstones to "paint" sections of the circles formed where three cards touch.
To change the color of a section, the player places on it a gemstone of whatever color they wish to "paint" that section. Keep in mind that every circle has four sections: two along the top corners of the lower cards, and two along the bottom side of the top card.
By "painting" sections, a player can make circles comprised of various colors into single-color circles (however, in this case they do not take a gemstone of that color, since the single-color circle was not formed as the result of playing a card).
Once a player has "painted" all sections they wanted (and were able) to paint, they tally their victory points in this order:
Points for single-color circles
For every single-color circle in their pyramid, a player receives power points equal to the level where the top card forming this circle rests. In addition, certain bonus tokens give extra points for every circle of a specific color.
For example, if you have a green circle between first and second levels (with base value of 2 points) and a bonus token that gives you +4 points for a green circle, this circle gives you 2 + 4 = 6 points.
Points for infinite gemstones
For every infinite gemstone in their pyramid, a player receives power points equal to the level where this gemstone is located. In addition, bonus tokens for circles give extra points for every infinite gemstone of its color.
For example, if you have a yellow infinite gemstone on the third level (with base value of 3 points) and a bonus token that gives you +4 points for a yellow circle, this gemstone gives you 3 + 4 = 7 points.
Points for law cards
The text of every law card that provides power points at the end of the game indicates exactly how many points it provides and for what. Law cards give points only if they are part of the pyramid.
Points for power point tokens
Every power point token in a player's pyramid gives them the equivalent of its value in points.
Points for magic
Every magic token in a player's pyramid gives this player the number of points equal to the total bonus for all bonus tokens for magic in their pyramid.
For example, if your pyramid contains 3 magic tokens, one bonus token that gives +5 points for magic, and one bonus token that gives +2 points for magic, you gain 5 + 2 = 7 points for each magic token, for a total of 21 points.
To gain points for magic, a player must have both magic tokens and bonus tokens for magic in their pyramid. If they only have tokens of a single kind, a player gains no points for magic.
Points for completed sets
A player gains 12 power points for every set of three tokens (defense, magic, and science) in their pyramid. Each set must include one defense token, one magic token, and one science token.
The same token cannot be included in multiple sets. For example, if your pyramid contains 2 defense tokens, 5 magic tokens, and 3 science tokens, you get 24 points for 2 sets.
Penalty points for attack tokens
The player counts how many unused attack tokens their opponents still have at the end of the game. The player loses 4 power points for each such token. However, every defense token a player has neutralizes one enemy attack token.
For example, if one of your opponents has 2 attack tokens remaining and another has 3 attack tokens, you lose 4 x (2 + 3) = 20 points. If, in the same situation, you had 2 defense tokens, you would lose 4 x (2 + 3 - 2) = 12 points.
The player who has the most power points after the final scoring is the winner of the game.