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To set up a game of Century, follow these steps in order:

  1. Shuffle the Point cards (Golem back) to form a deck A, then draw 5 cards and place them face up in a row to the left of that deck B.

  2. Place a pile of copper tokens equal to the number of players x2 above the first (leftmost) Point card C.

    Then place a pile of silver tokens equal to the number of players x2 above the second Point card D.

  3. Among the Merchant cards (Crystal back) E, there are 10 cards with a purple border on the face up side. These are the starting cards. Among them, each player gets one 'Create 2' and one 'Upgrade 2' card to form their starting hand, as shown here. Any remaining starting cards are returned into the box.

  4. Shuffle the remaining Merchant cards to form a deck E. Draw 6 cards and place them face up in a row to the left of that deck F.

  5. Separate the crystals by color and place them into their diamond-shaped bowls G.

    Note: Make sure the order of the colored crystals matches the order shown above: Yellow > Green > Turquoise > Magenta.

  6. Take a Caravan card (brown back) for each player in the game, being sure to include the card with the first player symbol on it , shuffle them and deal each player one card in front of them M. The player with the symbol on his Caravan card is the first player.

  7. Place yellow and green crystals according to the table below on each player's Caravan card I.

    • 1st player gets 3 yellow crystals
    • 2nd player gets 4 yellow crystals
    • 3rd player gets 4 yellow crystals
    • 4th player gets 3 yellow crystals and 1 green crystal
    • 5th player gets 3 yellow crystals and 1 green crystal

Game Turn

Century is played over a series of rounds. Each player will take one turn each round (starting with the first player and going clockwise).

On a player's turn, he must perform 1 of the following actions:

  1. Play: Play a card from his hand
  2. Acquire: Acquire a Merchant card
  3. Rest: Take all previously played cards back to his hand
  4. Claim: Claim a Point card

A. Play

To play a card from your hand, place the card face up in front of you and execute the card's effect. There are 3 types of Merchant cards that can be played in this way:

Crystal Cards

When playing a Crystal card, take the number and color of crystal(s) shown on the card J from the diamond-shaped bowls and place them on your caravan.

In this example, a player would place 1 green crystal and 1 yellow crystal on his caravan.

Upgrade Cards

When playing an 'Upgrade 2' card, you MAY upgrade a crystal on your caravan 1 level and then upgrade a crystal 1 level again. It is not mandatory to upgrade all crystals from an Upgrade card.

For example, you may upgrade a yellow crystal to a green crystal and then upgrade another yellow crystal to a green crystal, or you can upgrade a yellow crystal to a green crystal and then upgrade that green crystal to a turquoise crystal.

Trade Cards

When playing a Trade card, return the number and color of crystal(s) shown above the arrow K from your caravan to the diamond-shaped bowls, then take the number and color of crystal(s) shown below the arrow L from the bowls and add them to your caravan. A trade can be done any number of times in a row as long as you have the appropriate crystals available.

Example: Chris has 6 yellow crystals and plays a Trade card that allows him to trade 2 yellow crystals for 1 blue crystal. Chris may trade 2, 4, or 6 yellow crystals for 1, 2, or 3 blue crystals.

B. Acquire

To acquire a Merchant card, first pay for it by placing ANY crystals from your caravan on each Merchant card to the left of the card you are acquiring and then take that Merchant card into your hand.

Note: When acquiring the leftmost Merchant card, no crystals are placed. The card is for free.

Example: Chris wants to acquire the fourth Merchant card in the row M, so he places 1 crystal on each of the 3 cards to the left of it N.

C. Rest

To rest, take all of the cards you played face up in front of you back into your hand. This allows players to build their Merchant cards hand as the game evolves; a mechanism called "hand-building".

D. Claim

To claim a Point card, you must have all of the crystals shown on the Point card in your caravan. Return those crystals to the diamond-shaped bowls. Take the Point card and place it face down in front of you.

After claiming a Point card, fill the empty slot by sliding the cards to the left, creating an empty slot just to the left of the point deck; then draw a card from the deck to fill that empty slot.

If you claim the leftmost or second leftmost Point card, take one copper or silver token from above that card. If you take the last copper token, slide the pile of silver tokens so it is now above the leftmost Point card.

Caravan Limit

A player's caravan can hold up to 10 crystals.

At the end of a player's turn, if that player has more than 10 crystals on his caravan, he must return the exceeding crystals of his choice to the diamond-shaped bowls.

Crystal Limit

The crystal supply is not limited. If a supply is exhausted, use a substitute material (e.g. players run out of yellow crystals and use candy to track additional yellow crystals).

End of the Game

Once a player has taken his fifth Point card (or sixth in a 2-3 player game), the game will end after players finish out the current round of play.

At that point, each player counts all his points on his Point cards, his copper/silver tokens, and the remaining crystals on his caravan.

Each copper token is worth 3 points. Each silver token is worth 1 point. Each non-yellow crystal is worth 1 point.

The player with the most points wins.

If there is a tie, the last player to take a turn wins the tie.

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