Introduction

In the beginning the world was ruled by demons! Leng and Tesk, both alike, slaved beneath the gazes of the Demon Gods Ishok and Talok, cursed be their names. Then the Younger Gods rose up in rebellion against them. There was bloody battle; the world was devastated; but at last the Demon Gods were overthrown, and their bodies were severed, part from part, lest they rise up again. Their limbs became the hills, their blood the seas, their bones the mountains. Those of the Leng and Tesk who had sided with their masters were driven howling from the new lands.

Then the Younger Gods were weary, and sore from their wounds, and knew that they could not live any longer in the world they had made. Instead they sought amongst the races of men to choose Guardians to protect the land in their stead. They gave the north to Thalor, bookish and learned. They gave the east to Somecar, master of magics. They gave the south to Elphas, hunter of the marshes. And last of all they gave the centre of the world to Lycaster, wisest of men. Thus were our holy nations brought into being, and woe betide the man who thinks to tear them asunder.

High Priest Kaal

This is a time of chaos. The Empire of Lycastria is old and fading. Some might even call it sick. The Empress sits on her throne in grand Conai, issuing pronouncements, but her Strategos dare not march their legions beyond the Lycastrian plains to enforce them. Elphas, Lanorn, and Benden squabble over the southern trade routes, while Thalor vanishes into rheumatic isolation. And Somecar, ahh Somecar, flouts the ancient laws against dark magic and prepares to put its own prince on the throne.

Do I sound pessimistic? Far from it! Chaos equals opportunity, profit, wealth! The princes are manoeuvring themselves for war, and I plan to become fantastically rich from it!

Makar, Merchant Prince

My time has come.

Prince Laslo of Somecar

Welcome to The Prince

The Prince is a game of rival Kingdoms at war. The Princes and Princesses of the Lycastrian Empire have set their sights on the Empress' throne, and will stop at nothing to see their rivals crushed.

The object of the Prince is to put yourself on the throne, by reaching 50 Standing, or to destroy your opponents, by running them out of cards.

Your Deck

A Prince deck consists of your Retinue, which contains 25 Puppet cards common to all decks, and your Kingdom, which contains 50 Kingdom cards or your choice. You may not have more than 3 of any one Kingdom card in your deck, unless a rule on a card says otherwise. For more details see the rules on deck construction.

Overview of Play

The Prince is a game for two or more players, each of which has their own deck.

All players take their turns simultaneously, moving through four phases : Start, Build, Conflict, End. During the Start phase players draw cards. During the Build phase players put cards into play. During the Conflict phase they engage in conflicts, gaining or losing Standing, or taking damage. During the End phase cards are put into play, and special actions used.

In each phase players take it in turns to take actions, using cards from their hand, or from cards which they have in play. Costs for these cards are payed by discarding cards, or by paying Standing. This Rulebook also provides Rulebook Actions which are always available.

Winning and Losing

A player loses the game immediately if at any time their Kingdom deck is empty (revolt), or their Retinue deck is empty (coup). If any player reaches 50 Standing at the end of a turn, then they win. Otherwise a new turn begins.

Game Layout

Below is an example of a game in play.

Your two decks, Retinue and Kingdom, are placed to your left and right respectively. The cards in these decks are face down. The discard piles for each deck (Graveyard for Retinue, and History for Kingdom), are placed beside them. The cards in these decks are face up. Between the two is your Court, where Puppets who have been in conflicts are placed until they are ready to return to your hand.

Above the Court you can see some cards which are in play: Locations, which represent physical parts of your Kingdom; and Edicts, which represent political gambits. A Puppet is Stationed at one of the Locations.

Retinue
Your Retinue deck contains Puppets. Every deck has the same set of Puppets (Soldiers, Sergeants, Lords, Generals, Count, Bishop, Princes, Duchess, Emperor). If you are in need of a Puppet, you can draw from this deck.
When a Retinue card is destroyed or discarded it goes to your Graveyard, the discard pile for the Retinue.
Kingdom
Your Kingdom deck contains all sorts of cards (Puppets, Actions, Combinations, Enhancements, Locations, Objects, Edicts). Each player's Kingdom is different — you construct your Kingdom deck yourself. You can draw from this deck instead of from your Retinue.
When a Kingdom card is destroyed or discarded it goes to your History, the discard pile for the Kingdom.
Court
Your Court is the area where Puppets go to recover after being involved in conflicts. Your Court has four sections, numbered (left to right) from 1-4. When we refer to "Court (4)" we mean the 4th section. At the start of each turn Puppets in the Court are moved one space left; puppets that move off the left end are returned to your hand. Puppets can also be moved right by various cards, but you can't move more right than the 4th space.
Puppets in your Court are in play, but they can't use their abilities, because they are resting (or occupied with court duties), unless the ability specifically says so.
Standing
You also have a Standing score, which measures how close you are to winning. Your standing is not an area of the game, but you may wish to use dice, counters, or some other method to record your standing.

Anatomy of a Card

Unlikely Scout
Puppet • Setup
Setup Pay this card's cost to start with it in play
Scout (END : Pay 1c when this card is in your Court, and return it to your hand, to look at any one face down card)
Without knowledge, we are blind.
Arum, mystic
3c
3
3

This is a Puppet. Puppets are minions that work for you, and help further your aims. Puppets come from both your Retinue Deck (all Puppets) and your Kingdom Deck (which has Puppets if you choose to include them).

Its name (Unlikely Scout) is shown in the box at the top. Under the title are two icons. The top icon shows that the card has an ability that allows you to start with it in play. The second icon indicates that the card is unique, you can only have one in your deck.

Under the card image are the Keywords, in this case Puppet • Setup. These keywords remind you of the card type, and the main phase it is used in. You may see other Keywords like Demonic, Ishok, or Mercenary. These tell you more about the card, and may allow you to use certain actions.

Below the Keywords is the action section, containing any actions that the card allows you to use. This card has two actions. The first can be used in the Setup phase. The second, Scout, can be used in the end phase. The Scout ability has reminder text (in parenthesis) to tell you what Scout means.

At the bottom of the card are three numbers. The Military Strength (left hand corner, outlined in red) and the Political Strength (right hand corner, outlined in blue), are used in conflicts. The number in the diamond is the Cost. A cost always consists of a number (3) and a type (c). In this case 3c means that to play this card you must discard 3 other cards from your hand or deck. Other costs are described in the rules on costs.

If a Puppet ends up in play without being played, put it in your Court (4).

Collos Taal
Puppet • Political • PrincePrince of leaves
Faction Benden
Glory 2 (REACTION : When this Puppet wins a conflict, gain 2s)
Hand Start If Collos Taal is in your hand, put him in your Court (2). Search your Kingdom or Retinue for a card with Glory and put it in your hand.
"I do not need to claim titles to acknowledge my power. The trees and vales of Benden know my name."
1c
7
7

This Puppet is different from the one above. The top icon indicates that this Puppet is placed in your Retinue, rather than your Kingdom, replacing a card there. Since this card has the Prince keyword, it replaces a Prince from your Retinue. For more details see the rules on deck construction.

This Puppet also has an Epithet which is the keyword in italics "Prince of leaves". This distinguishes unique cards with the same name from one another, so if you had another unique "Collos Taal" card with a different Epithet, you could have both in your deck.

Finally, this Puppet belongs to a Faction (in this case Benden), which means it cannot be in the same deck as a card from a different Faction. The second icon is a reminder that this is a Faction card.

Crushing Blow
Action • Tactic • Military
Tactic +4 Military Strength
Half measures are for the weak
Count Talos
0c

This is an Action card. Action cards are played from your hand to take an action, then discarded to your History. This particular action is a Tactic. Other types of actions include: Start, Declaration, End and Reaction. For more details see the rules on actions.

If an Action card ends up in play, put it in your History.

Ally
Combination
Any Puppet+ any Puppet
Together... victory, apart defeat, this is the lesson that the Grand Empire itself should have taught us long ago.
Duke Faragos
0c

This is a Combination card, which allows you to include multiple Puppets in a Conflict Hand. It lists a Required Puppet in bold at the top of its action box — you must have this sort of puppet in your Conflict Hand to activate the Combination. Below, following the + sign, it then lists one or more Combined Puppets which have their conflict cost waived by the Combination.

For more details see the rules for combinations.

If a Combination card ends up in play without being played, return it to your hand.

Eye of Ishok
Placed • Object • Demonic • Ishok
While the Eye is in play all cards have their costs increased by 1c
Those who stare into the eye are infected with the dead God's madness; and mistake it for wisdom.
Arum, Mystic
3c
0
0

This is a Placed card. Placed cards are put into play in the End phase, and then stay in play for the rest of the game, unless some effect removes them. This particular card is an Object. Other types of placed card include: Locations and Edicts. For more details see the rules for placed cards.

If a Placed card ends up in play without being played, put it in your Graveyard.

Starting the Game

At the start of the game each player first uses any Setup Actions that may put cards into play.

They they then shuffle each of their decks, draw 5 cards from their Retinue and 7 from their Kingdom to form a hand (which you keep face down from other players) and set their Standing to 10.

If they wish each player may mulligan. To mulligan: set aside any number of the cards you drew from your retinue, shuffle the remaining cards back into the Retinue, and then draw back to 5 (including the set aside cards). Then, do the same with your Kingdom cards.

Finally they pay for any Setup Actions that they used.

Note that after the start of the game you may not shuffle your Retinue, Kingdom, History or Graveyard, unless a rule or card effect tells you to.

You are now ready to begin the game! Read the Anatomy of a Turn section below.

Anatomy of a Turn

Turns of The Prince are taken simultaneously (i.e. all players take their turns at one), and are made up of a series of phases. In each phase players take turns to act or pass until everyone has passed consecutively, at which point you move on to the next phase. A detailed summary of every phase and action appears at the end of this Rulebook in the summary section.

The main phases of a turn, and their functions, are as follows:

The rest of this section outlines these phases in a little more detail.

Start Phase

In each Start Phase players do the following steps in order:

The Court is the area between your two decks where Puppets are placed after conflicts. Puppets with higher Strengths are placed more to the right, and so take longer to return to your hand. Here's an example of using your Court in the Start Phase.

Build Phase

During the Build Phase, players enlarge their Kingdom by putting into play Locations, Objects and Edicts (collectively Placed cards). Placed cards stay in play for multiple turns, and can give you powerful effects. See rules on placed cards for more information.

In the Build Phase players do the following steps in order:

Conflict Phase

During the Conflict Phase players use Declaration actions to start conflicts with each other. They invade Locations, vote down Edicts, steal Objects and engage in open war. This is where you directly try to knock your opponents out of the game.

Every turn may have many conflicts - the Rulebook Main Conflicts are always available. Conflicts cause players to take damage, gain and lose standing, and more.

In the Conflict Phase players do the following steps in order:

End Phase

During the End Phase players use End actions, which often represent natural disasters or desperate ploys.

At the start of the End Phase you check for Peace. If no conflicts were declared in the Conflict Phase, then your Kingdoms are temporarily at Peace. Peace is a good time for a cunning Prince to lay their future plans - all Players may Draw a Kingdom card.

In the End Phase players do the following steps in order:

Victory Phase

After the End Phase is over, you check to see if anyone has won. If any player has 50 or more Total Standing, and has the highest Total Standing, that player wins. If two or more players are all tied for the highest Total Standing, and all have more than 50, then the game is a draw.

Some placed cards are worth standing, (i.e. marked "this card is worth 5s"). You add this to your Standing score to arrive at your Total Standing, but you cannot spend this Standing.

Costs and Damage

When you pay for a card or an action, or when you take damage, you must lose Standing, or discard cards. Costs and Damage come in the following types:

For example if you must take 5c damage you must discard a total of five cards from your hand, from your court, from the top of either of your decks or from play.

If you are asked to pay a cost of a particular kind, but cannot, you cannot pay the cost. If you take damage, on the other hand, and cannot take the specific type of damage required, you take card damage instead.

Bob has 2 cards in his hand. He tries to take an action with a cost of 3h, but he can't, because he does not have 3 cards in his hand to pay the cost. Later another action makes him take 3h damage. In this case he discards two cards from his hand (2h), and because he does not have any cards left in his hand, takes the last point of damage as 1c, discarding a card from either of his decks.

Discarding cards in play

When playing a (p) or (c) cost you may choose to discard puppet cards which you have in play. In this case in play means a puppet you own stationed at any placed card you control, or any puppet in your court.

Some cards are Worth Standing. They increase your Total Standing for purposes of determining if you win, but you cannot spend that Standing.

You have 4 Standing and a card in play that is 'worth 4s'. Your Total Standing is 8, however you only have 4s to spend. If you need to pay a 5s cost you cannot. If you take 5s damage you are reduced to 0 Standing, and take 1c damage.

Remember, running out of cards in either deck means you lose the game, so be careful when paying costs!

Rules for Actions

During each of the game's phases (Setup, Start, Build, Conflict, Tactic, End) players take turns to play actions. Actions come from action cards in your hand (which you play, and then discard), or are printed on cards you have in play (Locations; Edicts; Objects; Puppets stationed at Locations or Edicts; Puppets in your Court; Puppets, Combinations and Enhancements in a conflict hand).

Actions printed on Puppets and Placed cards cannot be used when they are in your hand, unless they have the hand or absent keywords.

Each time you have the option of taking an action, you can use an action of the appropriate type, or pass. When everyone has passed consecutively the phase ends.

Actions have the following types:

Any action may be Forced. If you have a forced action you must take it before you can pass. e.g. if you have a Forced Start ability you must use if before you can pass in the Start phase.

An action has the following format

Action Type Restrictions on play, Extra Costs. Effect

For example, consider the following action:

End Target an Edict you do not control and pay 3s. Destroy it. Take 3s damage

This action is taken in the End phase. When you use it you must target an Edict you do not control, and pay 3 Standing, if you cannot target such an Edict, or pay the 3s, you cannot take the action. When the action resolves you destroy the Edict, and lose 3 Standing. The second loss is part of the effect, so you can take the action even if you don't have 3 Standing left after paying the cost.

When using an action, always follow these rules:

Actions can only be performed once a turn
Abilities on Placed cards can only be used once per turn. Start, Declaration, Any and End actions printed on Puppets can only be used once per turn. Tactics (or conflict reactions) printed on Puppets can be used once per Conflict. i.e. if a Puppet somehow participates in two conflicts in one turn it may use its conflict abilities again.
Any action may be marked Repeatable. A repeatable action can be used more than once per turn. e.g. a Repeatable End action can be used each time you have the chance to take an End action.
Reactions can only be performed once per trigger
Each printed copy of an action can only be used once per trigger. If a card has a reaction to an event, you can only use that reaction once when that event occurs, even if the card it is on remains in play.
If a new event happens, you can use a reaction again, if appropriate. For example a reaction that says "When paying a cost, discard a card" could be used each time you pay a cost.
Actions can only be played from an action card in your hand, or a card in play:
You can use an action printed on an action card in your hand, by playing it, and paying the card's cost. If the card has more than one action, you can only use one. Once you have played it, the card is discarded.
You can use an action printed on a card in play (e.g. a Placed card, a Puppet at a Location, a Puppet at an Edict, a card in a conflict hand). You do not need to pay the card's cost when you do this.
You can only use Tactic actions on action cards, or cards in your conflict hand.
You can only use an action printed on a Puppet if it is in play, unless it has the hand keyword (or is a tactic with the absent keyword)

You must pay an action's cost to use it
If an action is printed on an action card, you must pay the action card's cost to play it.
If an action has an additional cost you must pay the cost to use it.
If you cannot (or will not) pay the cost of an action, you cannot use it.
You pay an action's cost, even if a reaction later Negates it
You cannot use actions printed on cards in your court, or in a deck or discard pile
If an action says that you may use it in one of these locations, then you can ignore this rule.

Types of Actions

Setup Actions

Setup actions allow you to put cards into play, or into your hand, as the game begins. If you have a card with a Setup ability in your deck, you can use it in the Setup phase, but you do not have to. You will commonly keep Setup cards separate from the rest of your deck (e.g. face up in the card box) to make this easy.

If a card has a forced setup action then you must take that action, and start with the card in play, if it is in your deck. Faction cards, for example, must start in play, or your deck is illegal.

Start Actions

Start actions are used during the start phase of each turn. They usually (but not always) draw cards.

Build Actions

Build actions are used during the build phase of each turn, where you establish your Kingdom's resources by claiming Locations, issuing political Edicts, and putting Objects into play.

The following Rulebook Build Actions are always available:

Place
Repeatable Build Put a Placed card into play from your hand, paying its cost, and following the placement rules.
Station
Repeatable Build Place a Puppet from your hand at a Location or Edict you control, paying that Puppet's cost (if any).
Recall
Repeatable Build Move a Puppet you have stationed at a Location or Edict to your Court, in the slot corresponding to its lowest Strength / 2 (rounding up).

Declaration Actions

Declaration actions declare conflicts. They have the following general form:

Declaration keywords Declare a conflict with a target. Conditions for winning and losing.

For more detail on Declarations, see the next section.

Combination Actions

Combination actions let you put extra Puppets into a conflict hand at reduced (or no) cost. Each Combination specifies the cards that must already be in your conflict hand to use it, and the cards that you can then add for free. For example:

Combination Castellan + up to 3 Soldiers

This combination is active if you have a Castellan in your conflict hand. If you do you may include up to 3 Soldiers in the hand without paying the standard 1c cost.

Combination action cards are included in your conflict hand. You pay their cost (if any) when the conflict hand is revealed. If a card in your hand has a Combination action, you include it in your conflict hand, then use the action when the hand is revealed.

Many combination actions will say 'Combines for free with something'. For example:

Combination Combines for free with Hierarchs of Somecar

If you already have a 'Hierarchs of Somecar' Puppet in your conflict hand, you can use this action to add the card it is printed on to your conflict hand without paying the standard 1c cost.

Tactic Actions

Tactic actions are used after conflict hands have been revealed in a conflict, and before the conflict resolves. They generally modify the conflict hands, or add / subtract strength.

Tactics have an additional restriction. During a given conflict, you may only use a tactics printed on an action card in your hand, or printed on a card present at the conflict. For example consider the following card:

Cornered Sentry
Puppet • Military
Tactic If Cornered Sentry is in a defending conflict hand, pay 1c. Give Sentry +3 Military
When your back is against the wall, fight harder!
0c
3
3

If you are resolving a conflict, and Cornered Sentry is in your conflict hand, you can use its action to give it +3 Military Strength. If Cornered Sentry is in your hand, you cannot use its ability, because it is not an Action card. If Cornered Sentry is stationed at a Location you cannot use its ability, because it is not at the current conflict.

An Absent Tactic action printed on a card that is not located at the current conflict (e.g. Stationed, in Court, or in your hand) is an exception to this rule, as is a Hand Tactic action printed on a card in your hand, however an Absent Tactic on a card in your Court can only be used if the action specifically allows its use while in Court

If a tactic gives "+X Strength" then add the bonus to whichever stat (Military or Political) is being used in the current conflict.

Strength bonuses from tactics go away after the end of the conflict, unless they say otherwise.

End Actions

End actions are used during the end phase. They may come from action cards in your hand, or any card in play (A Location, Object, Edict, stationed Puppet or Puppet in your Court), although End abilities on cards in your Court can only be used if they say "when this card is in your court". End actions on Puppets in your hand can only be used if they have the hand tag.

Reactions

Reactions are used in response to a triggering event. This event can be one of the following:

After any triggering event each player has the opportunity to play a reaction, or pass, starting with the player who took the action, or triggered the event, and continuing clockwise. Players can continue taking reactions, or passing, until all players have passed. The Reactions played then resolve in reverse order. Finally, the triggering event happens, if it has not been cancelled by one of those reactions.

For example imagine that Alice, Bob and Charlie each have a card with the following reaction:

Reaction When an action is played, negate it

Alice plays an action. Now there is an opportunity to play reactions. Alice has the first opportunity, and passes. Now Bob has an opportunity to play a reaction or pass, and uses his reaction to target the action that Alice played. Now Charlie has an opportunity to play a reaction or pass, he passes. It is Alice's turn again, and she uses her reaction to target Bob's reaction.

Now each reaction resolves in reverse order:

  1. Alice's reaction resolves, and Negates Bob's reaction
  2. Bob's reaction would now resolve, but it has been Negated and does not happen
  3. Finally the original action resolves.

Rules for Conflicts

The following are rules that apply to the use of Conflicts.

Declaring Conflicts

Conflicts are declared during the Declaration phase. When an conflict is declared the player designates all the targets, each target may refuse (if possible), and then each other player involved (in an open action) may pass or ally with one of the involved players. Once this has happened, if there is still at least one player invovled, there is a Tactics phase. When the Tactics phase ends the conflict is resolved.

The process is summarised as follows:

  1. The conflict is declared (a player uses a Declaration action)
  2. The targets are chosen
  3. The target(s) may refuse (if the conflict is Refusable)
  4. If at least one target does not Refuse, other players may pass or ally (if the conflict is Open)
  5. Each player involved constructs a conflict hand in secret, then places it face down
  6. All conflict hands are revealed simultaneously
  7. There is a Tactics phase
  8. The conflict is resolved

Declaring a Conflict

You Declare a conflict by using a Declaration action. If it is printed on an Action card then you pay the action's cost when you make the Declaration.

The following Rulebook Declaration actions are always available:

Main Military
Declaration Open Military Declare a conflict with all other players. You may only take this action if you have not yet used a main action this turn, and the Main Military action has not been declared by any player this turn. Losers take 3c damage
Main Political
Declaration Open Political Declare a conflict with all other players. You may only take this action if you have not yet used a main action this turn, and the Main Political action has not been declared by any player this turn. The winner gains 3s
Invasion
Declaration Open Military Declare a conflict at a location controlled by another player. The target's conflict hand automatically includes the Location, and any puppets stationed at the location (their owner need not pay these cards' costs to include them). If you win the conflict, then the location, and any items it contains are destroyed.
Theft
Declaration Open Military Declare a conflict with an item controlled by another player. The target's conflict hand automatically includes the item, the Location the item is at, and any puppets stationed at the location (their owner need not pay these cards' costs to include them). If you win you may destroy the item and gain its cost in Standing.
Vote
Declaration Open Political Declare a conflict at an edict controlled by another player. The target's conflict hand automatically includes the edict, and any puppets stationed at the edict (their owner need not pay these cards' costs to include them). If you win the conflict, then the edict is destroyed.

Choosing Targets

When you declare a conflict, you must choose at least one other player to be the target. A conflict may either target another player directly, or one of their cards, in which case both the card and the card's owner are targets. For example consider the following Declaration:

Declaration Closed Military Declare a conflict at a Location controlled by another player

In this case the targets are the Location, and the player who controls the Location.

Many conflicts will target all other players. In this case every other player is a target.

Refusing a Conflict

If you are the target of a conflict marked Refusable you may choose to refuse the conflict. Normally there is a cost associated with doing so, you must pay that cost to refuse. If all targets of a conflict refuse, then the conflict does not happen.

Passing or Allying

If a conflict is marked Open then players who are neither the initiator or the target may get involved. Starting with the player to the left of the initiator, each other player has an option to Pass or Ally. Either of these actions may have a cost associated, in which case the player must pay the cost to Pass or Ally.

If you pass, you are not involved in the conflict. If you Ally you choose one of the participants (either the initiator or a target) and ally with them. Your conflict hand's Strength will be added to theirs when the conflict resolves.

For example consider the following Declaration:

Declaration Open Military Declare a conflict with a player. Those who pass gain 1s

Because this is an Open conflict, players other than the target can participate. Each other player can choose to Pass (and gain 1s), or Ally with either player involved.

Constructing your Conflict Hand

Each player participating in the action now constructs a conflict hand in secret. The cards from the conflict hand must come from the player's hand, unless some other effect allows them to come from elsewhere. The conflict hand must contain either no cards at all (a null hand) or at least one puppet and other cards. Cards can be included in conflict hands as follows.

Puppets
Your conflict hand may include zero or more Puppets from your hand. Their cost must be paid when the hand is revealed. You must pay an additional cost of 1c for each Puppet after the first unless this cost is altered by a Combination action.
A conflict hand with no Puppets is a Null Hand and cannot win a conflict.
Enhancements
One or more enhancement cards can be included. Their cost must be paid when the hand is revealed. There must be at least one puppet before you can use an enhancement.
Combination
One or more combination cards can be included in the hand. Their cost must be paid when the hand is revealed. Combination cards reduce or alter the cost of Puppets included in your conflict hand. For more details see the Combination Action section.

Revealing Conflict Hands

When each player has constructed their conflict hands they are all revealed at the same time.

At this point all costs for the cards in the hand are paid, plus the cost required for each additional Puppet which has not had its cost reduced or altered by a Combination action.

If you do not pay the cost for any card, or any card is illegal (i.e. a cost cannot be paid, or a combination does not allow the card) then the whole hand is discarded and the player counts as playing a null hand.

For example consider the following conflict hand:

Scout
Puppet
Scout (END : Pay 1c when this card is in your Court, and return it to your hand, to look at any one face down card)
Recycle (REACTION : When this card is discarded to pay a cost, move the bottom card of your history to the bottom of your kingdom)
Without knowledge, we are blind.
Arum, mystic
0c
3
3
Ally
Combination
Any Puppet+ any Puppet
Together... victory, apart defeat, this is the lesson that the Grand Empire itself should have taught us long ago.
Duke Faragos
0c
Count Menos
Puppet • Military • Count
Absent Tactic Add Menos to the current conflict, if it targets an Object or Location you control
Menos is the strong right arm of the Thalor Military. His duty is to guard the great books from harm.
1c
4
6

First, add the individual costs of each card, then increase the cost by 1c for each Puppet after the first, unless a combination action changes that cost. In this case the individual costs of the cards are 0c + 0c + 1c = 1c. The Ally Combination allows you to include any one puppet — Count Menos is that Puppet, so you do not need to pay the additional 1c for Menos. The total cost of this conflict hand is 1c.

Scout
Puppet
Scout (END : Pay 1c when this card is in your Court, and return it to your hand, to look at any one face down card)
Recycle (REACTION : When this card is discarded to pay a cost, move the bottom card of your history to the bottom of your kingdom)
Without knowledge, we are blind.
Arum, mystic
0c
3
3
Ally
Combination
Any Puppet+ any Puppet
Together... victory, apart defeat, this is the lesson that the Grand Empire itself should have taught us long ago.
Duke Faragos
0c
Count Menos
Puppet • Military • Count
Absent Tactic Add Menos to the current conflict, if it targets an Object or Location you control
Menos is the strong right arm of the Thalor Military. His duty is to guard the great books from harm.
1c
4
6
Soldier
Puppet • Military
0c
1
3

Applying the same procedure to the second hand we see that the total cost of the cards is 0c + 0c + 1c + 0c = 1c. As before we do not pay an additional 1c for Count Menos because of the Ally, however the Ally only allows one additional card, so we must pay an additional 1c for the Soldier. The total cost of the second conflict hand is 2c.

The Tactics Phase

The players now enter the tactics phase. Each player may play a tactic in turn, or pass. Players with a null hand must pass. In an action with one target the target gets the first option to play or pass, followed by the player to his left. In an action with multiple targets the first target to the right of the initiator has the first option.

When playing a tactic a player may use a Tactic action on an Action card in their hand, or a Tactic action written on a card in their conflict hand, or an Absent Tactic on any other card they own. For more information see the rules on tactic actions.

When all players in the action have passed consecutively the tactics phase ends.

Resolution

When the tactics phase ends each player counts the total strength of their conflict hand. In a Military conflict this is the total of all Military strengths and bonues, plus all general bonuses. The same is true of a Political conflict with Political strengths. Players with a null hand have no strength.

If a player has one or more allies (see open conflicts) then they add their allies strength to their own. An ally's strength must be added to the player they allied with at the start of the conflict.

If one player has at least 0 strength, and the highest total strength they are the winner. Players who allied with him are the winner's allies. All other players who were targets are losers, and their allies are the looser's allies. If a card does not specify a benefit, or penalty, for allies, then there are none.

If more than one player has the highest total then all players are losers, and all allies are looser's allies.

If one player is the only player in the conflict then they are automatically the winner (though there are no losers) as long as they have at least one puppet in the conflict and at least 0 strength.

Cleanup

After the resolution all Enhancement cards in your conflict hand are discarded (placed in your History). All combinations are set to one side, and return to their owner's hand when the action phase ends. In a non-fatal conflict (see below) all puppets go to their owner's Court in a slot equal to their final strength divided by two (rounding up). Values higher than 4 go in slot 4.

In a fatal conflict all Puppets are killed (placed in your Graveyard) unless the player decides to retreat them. Retreating is done by paying 1c and placing the card in the player's court as above. You may retreat some Puppets and allow others to be destroyed as you wish.

Types of Conflict

The following Declaration Keywords govern how a particular conflict works.

Closed
A closed conflict involves only the player who declares it (the initiator) and the targets. A closed conflict cannot be passed, but may be refused (if it is also marked Refusable).
Open
The opposite of closed. An open conflict has an initiator and one or more targets, but all players who are not targets can also participate. When a player participates in this way they nominate the initiator or a target to ally with.
If a player who is not a target declines to take part then they have passed (they are a Passer). Targets may not pass, only refuse.
Refusable
The targets of a Refusable conflict may refuse, by paying the Refuse cost (if any). If all targets refuse, the conflict does not happen.
Fatal
In a fatal conflict, all puppets on the losing side (Losers and Losers Allies) are destroyed (placed in the Graveyard or History) unless retreated.
Military
A Military conflict counts the Military strength of the cards involved. A Military conflict is Fatal by default.
Political
A Political conflict counts the Political strength of the cards involved. A Political conflict is non-fatal by default.

Example Declarations

The following are some example declarations which help elucidate who is a target and who is not, and who can refuse or pass.

Declaration Closed Political Declare a conflict with your Kingdom deck, if you win you may draw a card

This conflict targets your own deck, therefore you are both the initiator and target. Since it is closed no other players are involved. So long as you put at least one puppet into your conflict hand (i.e. it is not null) you will win and draw a card.

Declaration Closed Political Declare a conflict with another player's Kingdom deck, if you win you may draw a card

This conflict targets another player's deck, so the deck and the player are targets. The target player may not refuse. Since it is closed no other players are involved. If you win, you draw a card.

Declaration Open Political Declare a conflict with another player's Kingdom deck, if you win you may draw a card

This conflict targets another player's deck, so the deck and the player are targets. The target player may not refuse. Any other player may choose to participate as an ally, allying with either you or the targeted player. If you win, you draw a card.

Declaration Refusable Open Political Declare a conflict with another player's Kingdom deck, if you win you may draw a card

This conflict targets another player's deck, so the deck and the player are targets. The target player may refuse, and there is no penalty for doing so. Any other player may choose to participate as an ally, allying with either you or the targeted player. If you win, you draw a card.

Declaration Refusable Closed Political Declare a conflict with all players. The winner gains 5s

This conflict targets all other players. Any player may refuse without penalty, but they cannot ally or pass, since they are targets. If all other players refuse the conflict does not happen. If at least one target does not pass, then the winner gets 5 standing.

Declaration Refusable Open Military Declare a conflict on another player with more Standing than you. If he refuses he takes 5c damage. The winner gsins 5s, the winner's allues gain 2s, the loser's allies take 2c damage. Passers gain 1s.

This conflict targets one other player, who must have more standing than you. That player may refuse by taking 5c damage, and if she does so, the conflict does not happen.

If she does not refuse, other players may choose to ally with either you, or the target. If they choose not to ally then they pass, and gain 1 standing. If they do participate, and the player they support wins, then they gain 2 standing, otherwise they take 2c damage. The winner gains 5 standing.

Sally and Tom are playing a game of The Prince. It is the Conflict Phase and Sally is the First player.

Sally's Cards

Sally has the following cards in hand:

Scout
Puppet
Scout (END : Pay 1c when this card is in your Court, and return it to your hand, to look at any one face down card)
Recycle (REACTION : When this card is discarded to pay a cost, move the bottom card of your history to the bottom of your kingdom)
Without knowledge, we are blind.
Arum, mystic
0c
3
3
Furious Lancer
Puppet • Military
Tactic Pay 1c to give the Lancer +3 Military
"Charge!"
0c
2
4
War Cleric
Puppet • Religious
War Cleric has +1 Strength when opposed by a Demonic card
Tactic Pay 1c to exhort your allies. Give each other Puppet in your conflict hand +1 Strength
The Younger Gods may sleep, but the church is ever vigilant.
High Priest Kaal
1c
4
4
Ally
Combination
Any Puppet+ any Puppet
Together... victory, apart defeat, this is the lesson that the Grand Empire itself should have taught us long ago.
Duke Faragos
0c
Crushing Blow
Action • Tactic • Military
Tactic +4 Military Strength
Half measures are for the weak
Count Talos
0c

She also has the following cards in play (The Refractive Shard is placed at the Fields and Forests):

Fields and Forests
Placed • Location • Earth • Resource
Place 5 counters on Fields and Forests when you play it.
Repeatable Reaction When paying a cost, you may pay 1c of that cost by removing a counter from Fields and Forests
The Kingdoms of the Empire are mighty in war and its Lords learned in art, yet it is the Farmer in the field that is its true heart.
Empress Maud
0c
0
1
Refractive Shard
Placed • Object • Orb • Crystal
Put 5 counters on Refractive Shard when it is put into play.
Repeatable Absent Tactic Remove 1 counter from Shard to gain +1 Strength. Discard shard if it has no counters.
Don't look into it! Fool ...
Marissa, mercenary
1c
1
1

Tom's Cards

Tom has the following cards in hand:

General
Puppet • Military
0c
4
6
Soldier
Puppet • Military
0c
1
3
Imperial Privilige
Action • Tactic
Tactic If all Puppets in your conflict are drawn from your Retinue, +5 Strength.
There are mercenaries by the hundreds, upstart lords by the thousand, but Imperial Blood rules Imperial Realms.
Duke Faragos
1c
House Guard
Enhancement • Troop
You may have 4 copies of this card in your deck
Use only in a Military conflict, in which you have a Military Puppet
Many noble houses maintain their own soldiers, who serve their masters the year round
Annals of the Empire
0c
2
2

He also has the following cards in play (The Sergeant is stationed at the Marshes):

Marshes of Zumm
5s
Placed • Location • Earth
Faction Elphas
Build Place a secret counter on Marshes. Marsh is worth 5s while it has a counter
Tactic Remove a counter from Marshes. Send a Puppet at this conflict to its owner's Court
Many brave men have met their ends lost in the Marshes
Lord Ygeny
2c
2
4
Sergeant
Puppet • Military
0c
3
4

Declaration

Sally decides to use the Rulebook Main Military Action to declare an Open Military Conflict with all other players. This makes Tom a target. The Main Military action is not Refusable, so he has to participate.

Construct Conflict Hands

Both players now construct conflict hands in secret and place them face down in front of them.

Sally could include the Scout, Furious Lancer, and War Cleric in her hand, optionally using the Ally to reduce the cost of the hand. She cannot include the Crushing Blow because it is a Tactic. She decides to make the following Conflict Hand:

Scout
Puppet
Scout (END : Pay 1c when this card is in your Court, and return it to your hand, to look at any one face down card)
Recycle (REACTION : When this card is discarded to pay a cost, move the bottom card of your history to the bottom of your kingdom)
Without knowledge, we are blind.
Arum, mystic
0c
3
3
Ally
Combination
Any Puppet+ any Puppet
Together... victory, apart defeat, this is the lesson that the Grand Empire itself should have taught us long ago.
Duke Faragos
0c
Furious Lancer
Puppet • Military
Tactic Pay 1c to give the Lancer +3 Military
"Charge!"
0c
2
4

Tom could include the General and Soldier in his hand. As long as he includes at least one of them he can include the House Guard. He cannot include his Sergeant because it is stationed at the Marshes and the Marshes are not a target of the conflict. He decides to make the following Conflict Hand:

General
Puppet • Military
0c
4
6
Soldier
Puppet • Military
0c
1
3
House Guard
Enhancement • Troop
You may have 4 copies of this card in your deck
Use only in a Military conflict, in which you have a Military Puppet
Many noble houses maintain their own soldiers, who serve their masters the year round
Annals of the Empire
0c
2
2

Reveal Hands

Sally and Tom now reveal their conflict hands at the same time, and pay the cost for them. Sally's total cost is 0c (no cost for her second puppet because of the Ally). Tom's total cost is 1c — each of his cards is free, but he has two puppets and no combinations, so he must pay 1c for the second puppet. He decides to pay this costs by discarding the top card of his Kingdom deck. He could have paid by discarding a card from his hand (or from the top of his Retinue, or by discarding his Soldier or Marshes), but prefers not to.

The two players now compare initial Strength scores, using Military Strength since this is a Military conflict. Sally's Strength is 7 (3+4). Tom's Strength is 11 (3+6+2). Tom may have overcommitted, and is definitely winning.

Tactics Phase

Tom is the target of this conflict, so he has the first option to play a tactic action or pass. He chooses to pass, as he is already winning.

Sally now has the option to play a tactic action or pass. She chooses to play Crushing Blow from her hand, using its action, and then discarding it to her History. This adds +4 Strength. Her total strength is now 11, so the result will be a draw and both players will lose.

Tom now has the option to play a tactic action or pass, he passes.

Sally now has the option to play a tactic action or pass. She uses the Absent Tactic on Refractive Shard, removing a counter from it to gain +1 Strength. She can do this even though Refractive Shard is not in her conflict hand because of the Absent keyword. Her total strength is now 12, so she is winning.

Tom now has the option to play a tactic action or pass. He was happy to draw, but doesn't want to lose. He would like to use the tactic on Marshes to send Sally's Lancer home, but Marshes is not in his conflict hand, and the action doesn't have the absent keyword, so he can't. Instead he plays Imperial Privilige from his hand, using its action, and then discarding it to his History. Since all puppets in his hand are from his retinue this gives him +5 Strength. His total strength is now 16.

Sally now has the option to play a tactic action or pass. She could use the Shard again because it has the Repeatable keyword, but she would still be losing. She could use the Furious Lancer's tactic to gain +3 as well, and return the conflict to a draw, but it would cost her 1c and she decides not to. She passes.

Tom now has the option to play a tactic action or pass, he passes.

Resolution Phase

Since all players involved have passed in succession the tactics phase ends, and the conflict is resolved. Sally is the loser, so she takes 3c damage as specified by the Main Military Action.

Cleanup Phase

Since this is a Military conflict, all losing puppets involved are now destroyed, unless their player chooses to Retreat them. Sally allows her Furious Lancer to be destroyed (it is discarded to her History) but chooses toe retreat her Scout. She pays 1c and places it in her Court in a slot equal to its Military Strength / 2 (rounding down). She places it in her Court (1).

Finally, Sally's Ally combination is placed to one side, it will return to her hand at the end of the conflict phase, but until then is out of play.

It is now Tom's turn to take a Declaration action or pass.

Placed Cards

Placed cards are the 4th type of card in The Prince (along with Puppets, Combinations, and Actions). Unlike Puppets — which go to your Court after use, before returning to your hand, or Actions — which are discarded after use, Placed cards stay in play after they have been played and have continuing effects.

The major types of placed cards are:

Like Puppets, Placed cards have a Military and Political Strength, which are used in conflicts that target the card. Here is an example Placed Card:

Fields and Forests
Placed • Location • Earth • Resource
Place 5 counters on Fields and Forests when you play it.
Repeatable Reaction When paying a cost, you may pay 1c of that cost by removing a counter from Fields and Forests
The Kingdoms of the Empire are mighty in war and its Lords learned in art, yet it is the Farmer in the field that is its true heart.
Empress Maud
0c
0
1

To put a Place card into play you use the Rulebook Place Build Action. When you do this, you pay the card's cost.

Types of Placed Cards

Locations
Locations represent key physical parts of your Kingdom: Castles, Palaces, inaccessible caves, farmlands and roads. They are placed in a row in front of your court and decks (the order doesn't matter, feel free to reorder them when you like).
Locations can be attacked with the Rulebook Invasion Declaration Action.
Locations can have Puppets stationed at them, using the Rulebook Station Build Action. These Puppets will get to automatically oppose any conflict at the Location.
Edicts
Edicts represent key political strategies: Laws, Pronouncements, Alliances, Plots and Plans. They are placed in a row to the right of your Locations (the order doesn't matter, feel free to reorder them when you like).
Edicts can be attacked with the Rulebook Vote Declaration Action.
Edicts can have Puppets stationed at them, using the Rulebook Station Build Action. These Puppets will get to automatically oppose any conflict at the Edicts.
Objects
Objects represent priceless artefacts and magical objects with powers that you can use. Objects must be placed in a Location that you control using the Rulebook Place Build Action. If the Location is destroyed the Object is destroyed too, unless some card effect protects it. Objects may be the target of Theft conflicts, which allow your opponents to destroy them and gain Standing, but the Location and any Puppets stationed there will automatically defend against this.
Attachments
Attachments are enhancements that are connected to an existing placed card, making it stronger in some way, such as a fortification, or a legal protection. Attachments are played using the Rulebook Place Build Action. You will only want to use Attachments in a deck with a lot of Placed cards, since they are otherwise useless. If the card an attachment is attached to is destroyed, so is the attachment.

Tom has two Edicts in play. One has an Attachment, and a Puppet Stationed at it.

Many Favours
Placed • Edict
Put 5 counters on Many Favours when you play it
Absent Tactic Remove a counter from Favours to gain +2 Political Strength
People owe me many favours for many things
Makar, merchant Prince
2c
3
0
Matter of Import
3s
Placed • Attachment
Attach to an Edict you control
Matter of Import is worth 3s
It didn't seem important at first ...
Alastor, functionary
0c
1
0
The Astronomers
Placed • Edict • Celestial
Repeatable Reaction When you play a Celestial card, increase a printed number on that card by one. Use this reaction only once per card
Reaction Once per turn, when you play a Celestial card, gain 3s
We watch the sky with care, awaiting the signs in the dragon's claw, or the fire bear's ever turning eye.
Arum, mystic
3c
2
2
Lord
Puppet • Political
0c
5
2

Deck Construction

A playable deck of The Prince consists of two parts, the Retinue and the Kingdom. Rules for both are below.

Retinue

The Retinue deck consists of a standard set of 25 Puppets, the same for every deck, as follows:

You can play with a plain Retinue, or you can customise it by swapping some of the Puppets with others. You can do this as long as the replacement Puppet has the Retinue Icon. Each Puppet with a Retinue icon will have keyword matching one of the standard Retinue Puppets, which it replaces. These replacements generally have interesting abilities, but will have a cost or different stats from the free ones.

If a Retinue Puppet is Unique then it may only replace one card in the Retinue, otherwise you may replace as many Puppets as there are matching ones in the Retinue. e.g. a Puppet with the Lord keyword could be placed up to four times in your Retinue.

Kingdom

Your Kingdom deck consists of 50 cards. Unlike your Retinue, there are no standard cards in your Kingdom, you can add what you like. The only restrictions are as follows:

Only one of each Unique card
You may only include one copy of each Unique card
Only three of each non-unique card
You may only include three copies of each non-unique card, unless a rule on the card says otherwise
Only one Faction
You may only have one Faction card (though you can have no faction if you wish)
Only matching Faction cards
If a card has a Faction trait, it must match your Faction card (If you have no Faction card, you cannot include cards with Faction traits)

Factions

Factions represent the major powers of the Empire, such as the Kingdoms of Thalor, Lycastria, Elphas and Somecar. If you include a Faction card in your deck, then you can also include cards with the matching Faction trait. You are free to play a Prince deck with no Faction, of course, one of the many minor nations or Princedoms, but in this case you cannot include any Faction cards in your decks.

Alternatively you can include a Faction card, which starts in play. In this case you can include cards in your Kingdom and Retinue that have the matching Faction trait.

Faction cards look like this:

Elphas
Faction • Elphas
Forced Setup Pay 0c to start with this in play
Faction (This card cannot be attacked, destroyed, discarded or altered. You may include cards that match this Faction in your deck. You may only have one Faction in your deck)
Elphas is a land of mists and mysteries. Its well known cities cleave to the edges of the Marshes of Zumm, but its real secrets lie deep within where the fog hides them.
0c

This Faction card is included in your Kingdom deck, but begins the game in play, and lets you include cards with the matching Faction trait in your decks.

Note that Factions cannot be attacked, destroyed or otherwise interacted with once they are in play.

Keyword Reference

absent
An absent tactic action can be taken in a conflict even if the card it is on is not present
action
An ability printed on the card, or in the rulebook, that you can take when is your turn to act. Each given printed action can only be used once per turn unless they are marked repeatable
ally
In an open conflict players who are not the initiator or target can choose to be involved by allying with one of the targets (or the initiator). There may be a cost (or reward) for allying. The opposite of pass
attachment
A type of placed card that is attached to another placed card
closed
A type of conflict. In a Closed conflict players who are not the initiator or target cannot participate
combination
A type of card, used to put multiple puppets in a conflict hand. A Combination has a required puppet or puppets marked in bold — these puppets must be in the conflict hand or the combination is invalid. It then lists one or more combined puppets which, if included, do not incur the normal 1c cost.
conflict
A core action of the game, where players directly face off. Conflicts are created by declarations. Conflicts can be political or military
conflict hand
The hand of cards that you play when participating in a conflict. A conflict hand is at least one puppet, plus any enhancements or combinations. A conflict hand is face down until revealed at the start of the conflict
copy
A 'copy of an action', is the same printed action on a different card. By default only identically worded actions on cards with the same names are copies. If an action says 'use only one copy of this action per turn', it means that even if you have two cards of the same name in play, only one of those actions can be used. A card can also be a copy of another card. In this case the second card is treated as if it had the same printed name, keywords, actions, and stats as the card it copies.
cost
Something you have to pay to take an action or play a card. e.g. 1c (card), 1p (puppet), 1h (hand), 1s (standing). If you don't pay the cost you can't play the card or take the action. Compare damage
counter
A counter is a token placed on a card. Counters may have names, but are interchangeable. If you move a counter from one card to another (with an effect) then it counts as whatever type of counter that card might have. If a counter is moved to a card that does not have a counter-related action, trait, or effect, then it becomes a blank counter, with no effect.
court
The place where puppets go after the end of a conflict. Puppets in your court eventually return to your hand
damage
Damage is inflicted on you as the result of losing a conflict or from an action. Damage has the same types as a cost, but you can't choose not to take it. If you can't take the damage (e.g. you are out of cards), you lose. When you are at 0 Standing, standing damage becomes card damage
declaration
A kind of action. Declarations are used to start conflicts
destroyed
A destroyed card is placed in the appropriate discard pile (graveyard or history) face up
dies
See destroyed
draw
Draw a card from your kingdom or retinue deck. If the effect doesn't say which, you may draw from either
edict
A type of placed card that represents a political decision
end
A kind of action. End actions are taken during the end phase
enhancement
A type of card, played in a conflict hand. There must be at least one puppet in the hand to play an enhancement
epithet
A name that distinguishes one version of a unique card from another one with the same name. Appears following the card's keywords
face down
A face down card is one that cannot be seen by all players. The following cards are face down: cards in a player's hand, the top card of any deck, cards in a conflict hand that has not yet been revealed, any card that instructs you to play it face down. If such a card is physically turned face up by some ability, it is no longer face down.
faction
A faction represents one of the Imperial nations. You can only have cards from one faction in your deck, and only if you have a faction card in play at the start of the game. Your deck does not have to have a faction card
fatal
A type of conflict. In a fatal conflict all puppets involved are destroyed during resolution unless retreated
forced
If an action is forced, you must take it. If it is on a card you own, you cannot pass that action's phase until you have taken the action. If the action's phase is ended by a card effect before the forced action is taken, you do not need to take it that phase
graveyard
The discard pile for your retinue deck
history
The discard pile for your kingdom deck
initiator
The player who starts a conflict by playing the declaration action
killed
See destroyed
kingdom
One of your two decks, containing kingdom cards that you have picked. The other is the retinue deck. Cards discarded from the kingdom go into the history
location
A type of placed card that represents a physical location
military
One of the two primary strengths on a card, representing combat ability and defence. Also a type of conflict in which military strengths determine victory. Military conflicts are fatal by default. Compare political
negate
A negated card is destroyed, and any pending effects it has are cancelled. If an action is negated by a reaction then it does not resolve. If a card in a conflict hand is negated, it does not contribute strength to the conflict. If a placed card is negated then it, and anything attached to it, or placed in it, is also destroyed (stationed puppets are not destroyed).
non-fatal
A non-fatal conflict is one that would be fatal by default (such as a military conflict) but in which losing puppets are sent to your court instead of being destroyed. Compare fatal.
object
A type of placed card that represents an item. Objects must be placed in locations
open
A type of conflict. In an Open conflict all players who are not the initiator or target can participate by allying. If they do not do so they have passed
pass
In an open conflict players who are not the initiator or target can choose not to be involved. If they do not they have Passed. There may be a cost (or reward) for passing. The opposite of ally. Can also mean to not take an action when it is your turn to do so
placed
A type of card. Placed cards are played, and then stay in play. Types include location, edict, object, attachment
political
One of the two primary strengths on a card, representing political acumen and influence. Also a type of conflict in which political strengths determine victory. Compare military
printed number
Some cards 'increase a printed number' on a card. A printed number is anything marked using a numeral, including the political and military strength, the cost, and any numbers in any traits or actions
puppet
A type of card. Puppets represent minions and allies that you command in your bid for the throne
reaction
A kind of action. Reactions are played in response to other actions
refusable
A type of conflict. In a Refusable conflict the targeted players may decline to participate (refuse), usually by paying some cost
refuse
A player refuses when they decline a refusable conflict
repeatable
A repeatable action can be used more than once per turn
resolution
The final step in a conflict, when you decide who has won, and resolve any effects
retinue
One of your two decks, containing a standard set of puppets. The other is the kingdom deck. Cards discarded from the retinue go into the graveyard. Puppets with the retinue symbol go in your Retinue
retreat
When a puppet is dying because it is on the losing side of a fatal conflict you may pay 1c to put it in your court instead
setup
A kind of action. Setup actions are taken before the game starts and put cards into play from your deck
standing
Your standing score measures how close you are to winning by acclaim. You may spend standing when playing an Xs cost
start
A kind of action. Start actions are taken during the start phase
station
To place a puppet at a location, using the station Rulebook action. The puppet is stationed there. If the location is destroyed the puppet goes to the court
strength
Cards have a military and a political strength, which measures their abilities in combat and politics. When a card refers just to Strength, it means to add to both
tactic
A kind of action. Tactics are taken during conflicts
target
The player or placed card that is the target of a conflict
trait
A named rule, such as Scout or Vengeful, with a rule reminder in parenthesis
unique
You can only have one copy of a Unique card in play
worth
If a card is 'worth 1s' it means your total standing, for the purposes of winning the game, is counted as 1 higher. You cannot spend this standing. If the card leaves play you no longer have this increase

Game Setup

Turn Summary

Start Phase

Build Phase

Conflict Phase

Conflict Resolution

  1. The target(s) of a Refusable conflict may refuse by paying any refusal cost. If all targets refuse the conflict does not happen.
  2. If the conflict is Open, any player not already involved may Ally with a player involved, or pass (paying any cost for passing).
  3. Each involved player creates a Conflict hand, following these rules:
    • Any one Puppet +
      • 0 or more Puppets with valid combination abilities
      • 0 or more combination cards
      • 0 or more Puppets allowed by those combinations
      • 0 or more other Puppets at a cost of 1c each
      • 0 or more Enhancements
    • A Null Hand with no cards
  4. Each player plays their conflict hands, face down.
  5. All conflict hands are revealed at once
  6. Starting with the player who declared the conflict, each player may use a Tactic ability, or pass. Tatics may come from one of the following locations:
    • Any card you control in the conflict with a Tactic ability
    • Any card you have in play (in Court, at a Placed card) with an 'Absent Tactic' ability
    • Any action card in your hand with a Tactic ability
    • Any puppet card in your hand with a 'Hand Tactic' or 'Absent Tactic' ability
  7. When all players have passed, resolve the conflict
    • Add the current Strengths of all your cards in the conflict, as follows:
      • In a Military conflict, add Military strength.
      • In a Political conflict, add Political strength.
      • Add any general Strength bonuses.
      • If a card has a bonus trait (e.g. Vote(2)), add the trait bonus if it matches a keyword on the conflict
    • If you are an Ally, add your total Strength to that of the player you Allied with
    • The player with the highest total wins, all other targets lose.
    • If there is a tie for highest total, all players lose.
    • Allies of the winner are Winner's allies. Allies of the loser are Looser's allies.
  8. Resolve the effects of the conflict.
  9. In a Fatal conflict all Puppets are destroyed unless retreated
  10. Set aside any Combinations from used in the conflict
  11. All surviving Puppets are placed in their owner's Court
  12. Discard any other cards that were included in a conflict hand

End Phase

Victory Check