Your family is one of the most prestigious in this tumultuous kingdom. You know that the King is looking for help to govern this sprawling land in these dire days. The competition for power and influence within the kingdom's many regions has begun...
- 1 game board
- 55 cards
- 100 Influence markers
- 1 King marker
Place the game board in the center of the table. It depicts the kingdom, divided into eight Regions. Around the outside of the board is a scoring track, numbered 0-40.
Each player chooses a player color and receives the corresponding 20 Influence markers, and 11 cards.
Each player places one Influence marker on the 0/40 space of the scoring track, and sets their remaining Influence markers on the table in front of him or herself. At this stage, each player should hold their deck of eleven cards in their hands.
Finally, place the large King marker in Zin Kai's Deep - the Region with a number 1 at the top of its banner.
The game is ready to begin.
A note on the Influence markers: Each marker has a family crest on one side, and is blank on the other.
We suggest that players place their markers crest -down when placing them on the board, and crest -up when establishing a Noble (see later ).
To aid players with color-blindness, players may decide to play all the markers crest-up.
Object of the Game
King's Road is an area-majority game. Each player has an identical deck of eleven cards. In each round of the game, players will simultaneously select three cards to play.
These cards allow players to place Influence markers on the board and affect the game in other ways. At the end of each round, at least one Region will score, awarding points to the player with the most influence there.
The player who has the most Influence points at the end of the game will win.
The game is played in rounds. Each round is divided into four phases:
- The players choose three cards to play.
- The players resolve their cards.
- The players adjust their scores.
- The King travels.
1. Choosing Cards
At the beginning of each round, players simultaneously choose three of their eleven cards to play. Their remaining cards are then placed in a facedown pile on the table in front of them.
A player must always select exactly three cards, unless they have less than three Influence markers available, in which case he or she must play a number of cards equal to their available Influence markers.
(For example, if a player only has two Influence markers available, they may only play two cards of any kind).
2. Revealing Cards
Once each player has selected their three cards for the round, they reveal them simultaneously, and their effects are applied.
There are two types of cards: Region cards, and Special cards.
By selecting a Region card, the player indicates that he or she wants to add Influence to the Region depicted on the card.
When a Region card is revealed, the player must place one Influence marker of their color on the corresponding Region on the board. After the round, these cards are returned to the player's deck.
If chosen, the Knight must be the final card played in a round.
When revealed, the player may add an Influence marker to the Region card that was played previously (the second of their three cards).
That Region will, therefore, gain a second Influence marker that round. After the round, this card is returned to the player's deck.
When this card is revealed, the number of Regions scored this round is increased by one (see Scoring, below).
Place the card by the game board as a reminder. The effects are cumulative.
Therefore, if two players play Dragon cards in the same round, then a total of three Regions will be scored that round. The Dragon card may be played once per player; remove it from the game after its use.
When chosen, the Witch card should be revealed first. When it is revealed, the player places their two remaining cards back into their deck.
Players who played the Witch card will re-select and reveal their three cards again, AFTER all other players have finished resolving their cards. If more than one player uses the Witch card in the same round, these players will re-select and reveal their new three cards simultaneously.
The Witch card may be played once per player; remove it from the game after its use.
Once all players have resolved their three cards and placed their Influence markers on the board, scores are adjusted. Each round, the Region containing the King marker will be scored.
Each Dragon card that was played, mandates scoring the next Region in order as well. Regions are scored in clockwise order around the board: first Zin Kai's Deep (1), then Wizard's Tower (6), Savage Hills (4), King's Altar (7), Temple Ruins (3), Dark Tower (5)), Dragon's Lair (2)) and King's Castle (8)).
Then scoring continues to Zin Kai's Deep (1), and so on. Note that the King does not travel along the road between Regions (3) and (1).
Example: In the current round, the King marker is located in the Region of the Dark Tower (value 5). Two Dragon cards are played, mandating scoring Dragon's Lair (2), and King's Castle (8) as well.
To score, first count the number of Influence markers for each player in the Region that the King marker is currently in. Points are awarded to players equal to the values listed on the banner depicted in each Region.
Some Regions award points from first to third place (three values), and other Regions award points up to the fourth place (four values).
The player with the most Influence markers is awarded points equal to the highest number listed for the Region. Move that player's Scoring marker forward the corresponding number of spaces on the scoring track.
The player with the second-highest number of markers in the Region is awarded points equal to the second-highest number listed for the Region, and so on. Players must have at least one Influence marker in a Region to be considered for scoring.
However, the number of players able to score in a Region is limited to a maximum of one fewer than the number of players in the game. For example, in a 3-player game, points are only awarded for the highest and second-highest values in the Region.
The third-highest player receives no points, even if they had Influence markers in the Region being scored.
Example: In the current round, the King marker is located in the Region of the Dark Tower (which awards 5-4-2-1 points). It is a 4-player game.
At the time of Scoring, Jen has four Influence markers in the Region, Phil has three, Chris has two and Simon has one.
For having the most, Jen receives 5 points. Phil receives 4, and Chris receives 2. Simon receives 0 points because fourth place is not awarded points in a 4-player game.
Once a Region has been scored, all players take back their Influence markers from that Region, except for any Noble which was created (see below), and place them in front of them to use in future rounds.
If players are tied with the same number of Influence markers when a Region scores, the tied players are all awarded the lowest points value of the tied placings.
Example: Two players tied for the most Influence in Dark Tower would both receive 4 points (the award for second place).
In particular, if there is a tie among the lowest-placed players, they will not receive any points.
Example: If three players tied for the most Influence in Dark Tower (in a 4-player game), they would all receive points for third place: 2 points. If it had been a 3-player game, they would all receive 0 points, because only two players can score in a Region in a 3-player game.
When a single player has the most Influence in a Region when it is scored, they leave one of their markers on the Region, crest-up and in the space provided for it beneath the banner.
This marker represents a Noble governing that Region in the King's stead. This counts as one Influence marker should the Region be scored again in a future round. If there was a Noble already in the Region, it is removed and replaced with the new one.
If players are tied for the most Influence in a Region, no new Noble is placed. In this case, if there is an old Noble already in the Region, it remains.
After scoring a Region's Influence, the player with a Noble in that Region scores one bonus point, AND one additional bonus point for each connected Region (following the roads on the board) where he or she has a Noble.
Score points for Nobles as long as the chain of Nobles is uninterrupted in any direction along the road. Note that two Regions (Temple Ruins & Zin Kai's Deep) are connected to three other Regions by roads, while all other Regions are only connected to two.
Example: A player gaining the Noble in Dark Tower, who also has the Noble in Temple Ruins and Dragon's Lair, will receive three bonus points.
4. The King Travels
Once scoring is completed, the King marker is moved to the next Region in clockwise order along the road.
If more than one Region was scored (due to one or more Dragon Cards being played), move the King to the next Region in order, after the Region that was scored last.
Then the round ends. The players return all their cards to their hand, except for previously played Dragon and Witch cards, which are removed from the game.
End of the Game
The game ends at the end of a round when at least one player has 40 or more points.
When players score more than 40 points, simply continue moving scoring markers around the track, remembering to add 40 to their final scores.
Now a final scoring of Influence takes place. All Regions, that were NOT scored in the final round of the game, are now scored for Influence. Nobles are NOT created or scored at this time, but Nobles already on the board still count towards the influence of their Region.
Example: The game is going to end as one player has scored over 40 points. In the final round, Regions 7 and 3 were scored, due to a Dragon being played. Now, Regions 5, 2, 8, 1, 6, and 4 will all have their Influence markers scored as well.
After the final Scoring, the player with the most points wins. They have gained the most influence and favor with the King, and will be awarded with power and prestige second only to the King himself!
If there is a tie, the tied player who ended the game with the most Nobles, wins. If a tie remains, the players share the victory.
Variant - Permanent Nobles
Players experienced with the game may wish to try the following variant which strengthens the Nobles by making them permanent.
Play the game to the above rules, with the following change: Once a Noble is placed, it remains in the Region until the end of the game.
This means that when a Region that already contains a Noble is scored again, the Noble cannot be removed, but a second Noble may be added by another player to the same Region. If this occurs, simply stack the Nobles on top of each other.
Each player may only have one Noble in each Region. If he or she has the most Influence in a Region for a second time, then the act of placing a Noble is simply ignored.
After scoring a Region, all Nobles in the Region score as usual.