You're a kid! And like many kids, you want to grow your circle of friends, grab a bunch of pizza and toys, and build the best fort. Naturally, by doing this cool stuff you'll score victory points, and at the end of the game, the player with the most victory points is the winner!
Fort is a deckbuilding game with a twist-your cards not only let you take actions on your own turn, but also let you follow the other players' actions on their turns. Will you devote yourself to your own posse or copy what the other kids are doing?
Keep an eye out, though if you don't actually use all the cards in your hand, the other players will get a chance to nab them. After all, if you don't play with your friends, why should they hang out with you anymore?
- 4 double layer player boards
- 60 wooden resource tokens
- 70 cards
- Turn Summary Cards
Play this for your first game as you learn the cards and actions.
Determine the starting player and seating order randomly. Give the first player card to the starting player.
Collect supplies of all 30 pizza tokens and 30 toys tokens.
Each player takes a player board, the 2 Best Friend kid cards (marked to left of kid's name) listed on the back of their player board, and the score marker and fort level marker matching their board's color. Return the rest of these pieces to the box.
Each player places their score marker on the "0" space of the Victory Track and their fort level marker on the "0" space of their Fort Level track on their player board.
Place the macaroni sculpture card next to the Victory Track.
Shuffle all 11 made-up rule cards and deal them into a facedown stack equal to the number of players plus one.
Return the rest to the box.
Shuffle all 9 perk cards and deal them into a face-up row equal to the number of players plus one. Return the rest to the box.
Shuffle all 60 kid cards into a facedown Park deck, placing it near the Victory Track. Deal 3 kid cards from the Park deck into the Park below the Victory Track, making a face-up row.
Each player draws 8 kid cards from the Park deck. (Players may look at their own cards).
Each player shuffles their 8 kid cards with their 2 Best Friend kid cards to form their own facedown deck.
Each player draws 5 kid cards from their own deck. (From now on, kid cards are simply called "cards").
After your first game, draft your starting cards instead of drawing them.
Replace step 9 of Basic Setup with this: Each player draws 8 kid cards from the Park deck. Simultaneously, each player looks at their cards (not Best Friends) and keeps one card of their choice facedown in front of them.
Once every player has chosen a card, each player passes their unchosen cards to the player to their left. Do this eight times in total, keeping one card each pass, until each player has kept eight cards. You cannot pass cards that you kept in an earlier pass.
Example Setup for Two Players
Every card has one of six suits or the wild coin suit. Some cards show two of the same suit or mix one suit with the wild coin suit.
B Public Action
The action in this box can be followed by other players. Basically, following means that they can discard a card matching the suit of this card to copy its public action. You'll learn more about this later.
C Private Action
The action in this box cannot be followed by other players.
D Best Friend Icon
Each player starts with 2 Best Friends (). You'll never lose your Best Friends unless you choose to use specific actions, while other cards might get nabbed by the other players.
Cards in Fort have many actions, which you will learn more about gradually.
It's just that.
Player Board Anatomy
Cards you do not use are placed here face up at the end of your turn.
Some actions let you add cards here from your hand. It can hold cards up to your Fort Level plus one. They cannot be replaced or removed.
When you gather pizza or toys tokens (collectively called resources), they go in your Stuff. It can hold up to four of each.
Some actions let you add resources here from your Stuff. Your Pack can hold resources up to your Fort Level plus one.
E Fort Level
Your Fort starts at Level 0. Its Level will score you victory points at the end of the game and boost your Pack and Lookout capacities.
F Cost to Increase Fort Level
Whenever you increase your Fort Level, you must pay the resources shown here from your Stuff, Pack, or both. Blue is toys, orange is pizza, and white is either.
G Prompt to Gain Card
When you reach Fort Level 1, 2, or 5, you get a made-up rule, perk, or macaroni sculpture.
Fort is played in a series of turns, starting with the first player and going clockwise around the table until the game ends.
The player taking the current turn is called the leader. The leader's turn has five phases in the following order:
The leader completes all of these steps, then ends their turn. In this chapter, "you" refers to the leader except where noted otherwise.
Phase 1: Cleanup
Let's see which friends are sticking around
Skip this phase during your first turn.
Discard all the cards in your Yard (above your player board), placing them face up in your discard pile (to the right of your player board).
Phase 2: Play
Playtime! You'll play one card and use one or both of its actions, and the other players might follow your action.
Play one card from your hand. (This is called the played card). If you cannot or choose not to play a card, you may skip this phase and continue to the Recruit phase.
Use one or both actions. You may use the card's public action, private action, or both in either order. You must finish one action before starting the other action.
You may add suits to improve some actions. If an action on your played card shows an x sign followed by a suit icon, you may improve it by playing more cards showing that suit. (These are called added cards). You may also add any matching suits shown on cards in your Lookout. You cannot use the action on the added cards.
The leader, Eleanor, plays Bug and uses his public (top) action to get pizza equal to . To improve Bug's action, she adds The Moles for two , and she also adds one from her Lookout. With her total of four, she gains four pizza tokens and adds them to her Stuff!
She could have just added the second from her Lookout to get three pizza, but if she hadn't played The Moles, then they would have been kicked out to her Yard later in her turn. She doesn't want that!
Then, she uses Bug's private (bottom) action, "Score victory points equal to Fort Level" so she scores 1 point because her Fort Level is 1.
You must use at least one action on your card fully. This includes any suits you add to improve your action. If you use one of the actions fully, though, you can use the other action partially or fully, in either order. (No, using a blank action fully doesn't count).
Later in the game, Eleanor plays Bud, who has a public action of "gain two pizza or two toys" and a private action of "trash one of your cards" However, at this point her Stuff can only hold one more pizza.
In this case, she cannot use Bud's public action alone, because she cannot use it fully. However, if she uses the private action fully by trashing one of her cards, she can use the public action partially to gain one pizza-either action first.
You cannot add a card if none of its suits serve a purpose.
Whenever you add a card to improve your played card, at least one of its suits must change the effect of at least one action that you use.
Muhammad plays Doodles and uses the private (bottom) action fully. He also wants to use the public (top) action. He wants to add one card with and one with , using the wild as .
However, he can only hold two more toys in his Stuff, so adding both of those cards doesn't do anything different from adding just one of them. Because of this, he can add either of these cards, but not both.
Following the Leader
After the leader resolves their card, the other players in turn order may follow the public action on the leader's played card. (Doesn't matter whether the leader used the public action or not). These players are called followers. In this section, "you" refers to followers.
To follow the leader's public action, you must discard one card from your hand with a suit matching their played card.
- You cannot discard more than one card.
- You cannot discard a card in your Lookout.
- You must use the action in full.
If the leader played a t.s coin card, the leader declares its suit, which is the suit you must discard to follow the leader.
If the leader gathered a choice of toys or pizza, you must gather the chosen resource. (If the leader chose to get two pizza, for example, you must get two pizza).
You may follow by discarding a card with multiple suits, as long as at least one suit matches the leader's played card. If it has two matching suits, count both if the action shows an x sign followed by the suit.
Yes, you can follow as many leaders as you wish before it gets back to your turn, as long as you discard a matching card each time.
Phase 3: Recruit
Time to make a new friend! Maybe you'll take someone else's?
You must recruit one card, placing it in your discard pile. You may recruit in one of three ways:
Take any card from the Park. Immediately draw a new card from the Park deck to replace it.
Take any card from any player's Yard. They do not draw a new card.
Draw a card from the Park deck.
Phase 4: Discard
Didn't play with some of your friends? Maybe they'll go hang out with someone else.
Discard all of your played cards, added cards, and any Best Friends cards left in your hand into your own discard pile. (Do not discard from your Lookout). Discard piles are face up and public information.
Then, place any cards left in your hand into your Yard, face up and facing away from you. (Rivals may recruit them until your next Cleanup phase).
Phase 5: Draw
Your old friends show up to play again.
Draw five cards from your own deck. If you cannot draw a card because your deck is empty, shuffle your discard pile to form a new deck and continue drawing.
This is the only time you draw cards in Fort! You do not draw cards if you discard a card to follow, for example.
Each player has a Fort, which starts at Level 0. You can increase your Fort Level by one with the Advance Fort action (page 12), spending the resources listed between your current Level and the next level.
At Level 0, your Lookout can hold up to one card, and your Pack can hold up to one resource. Each Level lets you hold one more card in your Lookout and one more resource in your Pack.
When you reach Level 1, privately choose a made-up rule card (page 15) from the central stack and put it in front of you facedown.
Your made-up rule will score you points at the end of the game.
When you reach Level 2, choose a face-up perk card (page 16) from the central row and put it in front of you. Some perks have persistent effects that you will have for the entire game, while other perks can only be used once per game.
When you reach Level 5, take the macaroni sculpture card, unless another player already has it. This triggers the end of the game, and it scores you 4 victory points at the end.
End of the Game
The end of the game triggers in any one of these three ways:
- Any player has 25 or more victory points on the Victory Track
- Any player reaches Fort Level 5
- The Park deck is empty (even if the Park still has cards)
When the end of the game triggers, the leader finishes their turn, then the players finish the current round of turns (so that all the players have taken the same number of turns).
At the end of that round, each player reveals their made-up rule (if any) and adds up their victory points from their:
- Victory Track
- Fort Level
- Made-Up Rule (if any)
- Macaroni Sculpture (if any)
The player with the most victory points is the winner. If there is a tie, the tied player with the highest Fort Level wins. If still tied, share the victory.
End of Game Example:
Shawna reaches Fort Level 5 first and takes the macaroni sculpture, triggering the end of the game. Since she was the first player, all the other players take a turn, then everyone counts up their final scores.
First, she checks the Victory Track. She's scored 17points throughout the game.
She adds 23 points for her Fort Level of 5. She adds 4 points because she has the macaroni sculpture.
Finally, she adds points for her made-up rule: Popularity. This card scores 1 point for each card she has in her Lookout. She has 4 cards in her Lookout, so she scores 4 points.
In total, her score is 48 points. She ends up tied at 48 points with Muhammad, but she has the higher Fort Level, so she wins!