- game board
- 60 Action cards
- 18 Leader cards
- 48 Wonder cards
- 35 Advisor cards
- 7 A.I. cards
- 12 Event cards.
- 1 turn marker
- 1 era marker 6 Development discs
- 6 turn order tokens
- 6 point markers,
- 54 Power cubes
- 16 territory tiles.
- 6 player reference sheets.
Place the board in the middle of the table.
Flip an Ecu and place the Theater's needle on one of the two central spaces: tails represents tragedy, heads comedy. Then change the backdrop depending on the mood of the King.
Each player chooses a color. They take the corresponding deck of Travel cards, the 8 Caravels, and the 3 Managers.
Shuffle the Secret Request deck of cards and place it face-down next to the Theater.
Shuffle the Encounter deck of cards and place it face-down near the board.
Draw and place an Encounter card face-up in front of each City space of the board.
Each player takes 3 Ecus. The rest of the Ecus are set aside and will form the Treasury.
A season is made up of multiple game turns. Each game turn, the players choose a City as their destination, which are then resolved one by one. To finish a turn, an Encounter card is placed in front of each City. Play proceeds this way from turn to turn until the end of the season.
Each turn is composed of three phases:
- New Opportunities
Each player secretly and simultaneously chooses a Travel card and places it in front of them, face-down.
Once everyone has chosen, the selected Travel cards are revealed.
Each player places one of their Caravels in front of the Encounter cards of the City corresponding to their choice and places their Travel card in their own discard pile, face-up. The Caravels are placed in front of the cards to show the players' choices more easily.
From the first to the last, the Cities visited by one or more Caravel are resolved:
If a player is alone on a City, they resolve all of the Encounter cards one by one, from the last one played to the first. No other effects from an Acrobat can be played during this resolution.
Depending on the Encounter card, the player applies the following effect:
Bonus: they gain from the Treasury the amount shown, then place the Bonus card on the Encounter card discard pile (next to the Encounter card deck).
Acrobat: they place it face-up in front of themselves and will be able to use it as soon as this phase is over.
Experience level 1 Actor (Comedians or Tragedians): they add to their hand the discarded Travel cards and all of their Caravels.
Experience level 2 Actor: steals an Ecu from an opponent of their choice.
Experience level 3 Actor: they place one of their Managers on the Theater's set and gain from the Treasury as many Ecus as there are Managers at the Theater, no matter what the color of the Managers is.
Experience level 4 Actor: no effect.
Experience level 5 Actor: pays an Ecu to the Treasury. If the player can't pay, the Actor is discarded with no effect.
As the resolution takes place, the player temporarily takes into their hand any Actor cards they have not been forced to discard.
After having resolved all of the cards in the City, they can choose to discard one of the Actors they have in hand. They send him to Court to influence the King... The needle of the Theater is moved based on the experience and the nature of the Actor, Comedian or Tragedian.
Finally, the player places the Actors remaining in their hand in front of them, face-up. These are added to their troupe, which must always remain face-up.
Example: the player has obtained an Experience level 3 Tragedian and an Experience level 2 Comedian. They choose to keep the Tragedian and place him in front of themselves. They discard the Comedian to turn the needle 2 spaces towards the yellow.
The King's Mood
At the forefront of the Theater, the position of the needle on the red or the yellow indicates whether the King would rather watch a tragedy or a comedy.
Events, which are detailed later, will move the needle. For example, a Tragedian (red) can push it towards red a number of spaces equal to his experience. When the needle goes from red to yellow or vice versa, the King's mood changes.
At that point, turn the Theater's backdrop to match! Each time the King's mood changes, the Theater's backdrop also changes, returning all of the Managers to their respective players.
If multiple players have chosen the same City, all of the City's Encounter cards are discarded, but they still trigger the following effects:
The Acrobats and the Bonuses are discarded with no effect.
The Actors change the King's mood, each depending on their experience and talent (Comedian or Tragedian). Unable to find a place in a troupe, they headed directly to the Court!
Example: if 2 Tragedians with level 2 and 3 experience, and a Comedian with level 4 experience are going to the Court, the needle is moved one space (5 - 4 = 1) towards red.
The Secret Requests
The troupe's leader is secretly contacted by someone from the Court who asks for a favor in exchange for a few Ecus.
When multiple players end up in the same City, each draws a Secret Request. These cards are kept face-down by the players. They will be able to play one at the end of each season to earn extra Ecus if they fulfill the objectives given.
If a player has more than 3 Secret Requests in their hand, they must discard one of their choice. If the Secret Request deck is empty, shuffle the discard pile to make a new deck.
After having resolved the effects of the cards in a City, each player takes their Caravel (which had been placed in front of the City) and moves it ONTO the board, on the corresponding City. The Caravel thus placed on the board allow players to easily see the possibilities offered to them without having to check their Travel card discard piles.
If a player has only one Travel card in their hand, the player recovers all of them, as well as all of their Caravels.
These cards can be used once per season. When a player decides to use one of their Acrobats, they follow the instructions of the card, which state when it can be played, and what its effect is.
It is then turned to show that it has already been used that season and that it will not be able to be played again until the next season.
The Chameleon is an Acrobat. At the end of a season, when calculating the difference, this card counts as a Comedian or a Tragedian with Experience level 1.
3. New Opportunities
If the deck of Encounter cards is empty, the season ends.
Otherwise, draw and place a new Encounter card in front of each City, from the first to the last, while leaving visible the top of the cards which are already there. Players may inspect the contents of the card stacks, but may not change the order of the cards.
If there are not enough cards to add one to each City, the turn is still played normally with the available cards, and then the season ends.
During the last turn of the second season, it is possible that a player will be forced to go to an empty City. In that situation, they gain no Encounter cards but do draw a Secret Request card.
End of a Season
All of the troupes gather at the Court to take part in the Munificent festival and perform in front of the King Leonus XIV.
Totaling The Ecus
The players receive 1 Ecu per Actor in their troop matching the King's mood (example: if the King wants a comedy, each player gets 1 Ecu per Comedian). Be careful: the Chameleon is not an Actor and the players thus do not get 1 Ecu per Chameleon.
All of the players whose show pleases the King earn a reward of 3 Ecus for season 1, or 5 Ecus for season 2. A show pleases the King when the difference in experience between the Tragedians and Comedians of a player matches the King's mood.
This reward is doubled for the player (or players in case of a tie) presenting the best show. Meaning the pleasing show in which the experience difference between Tragedians and Comedians is the greatest.
Each player can then play a single Secret Request card of their choice. The card used during the first season remains face-up in front of the player. It can earn the player Ecus again during the totaling at the end of the second season.
These will be added to those of the second Secret Request card which can be played then.
Example of totaling: the Kings mood is pointing towards comedy at the end of the first season.
Valere gains 3 Ecus as he has 3 Comedians.
His 3 Comedians have a total value of 8, and he owns 2 Tragedians for a total value of 3, so a difference of 5 towards comedy. His show 1^2 pleases the King!
Hippolyte has 4 Comedians for a total value of 6, and 3 Tragedians for a total value of 5, so a difference of 1 towards comedy. His show also pleases the King. Valere has the biggest gap, and so his show is the better one.
Hippolyte thus gains 3 Ecus as his show pleases the King, and Valere 6 Ecus, as his show, in addition to pleasing the King, is the best one.
Valere plays a Secret Request, the Favored, which earns him 4 Ecus.
In total, Valere has earned 3 + 6 + 4 = 13 Ecus.
Preparation of the Second Season
The players discard all of their Actors. They keep in front of themselves their Acrobats, their unplayed Secret Requests, as well as, face-up, the Secret Request which they have played (if any).
The Acrobats of all players are straightened and may be used again.
The Travel cards used during the season are however not regained. The Caravels remain where they are on the board.
All of the Encounter cards in front of the Cities are discarded.
The Encounter card discard pile becomes the draw deck and one Encounter card is placed in front of each City, starting from the first and going to the last.
Flip an Ecu again to figure out the starting position of the needle at the Theater.
End of the Game
The game ends at the end of the second season.
The player with the most Ecus is the winner. In case of a tie, the victory is shared.
Variant For 2 Players
The game plays out as previously described, but with the following additions:
During setup, each player takes the 8 Travel cards, the 8 Caravels, and the 3 Managers of a second color. This one isn't played normally but introduces constraints and elements of uncertainty. It is called an "allied Troupe".
Each player shuffles the Travel cards of their allied troupe and makes a face-down draw deck with them, separate from the Travel cards of their main troupe.
On each turn, during the Travel phase, each player draws the top card of their allied Troupe and secretly looks at it. Each player is thus the only one to know where it will go. The players then choose the destination of their main troupe normally. Finally, each player reveals their two Travel cards (their own and that of their allied Troupe) and places their Caravels accordingly.
Allied Troupes never take Encounter cards or Secret Requests. During the resolution phase, all of the cards normally taken by an allied Troupe are discarded with no effect.
In a situation where two allied troupes end up on the same City, the cards are discarded, and the King's mood is changed accordingly.
The allied Troupes recover, as the players do, their Travel cards when they only have one remaining. These new draw deck.