Road to power rules

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ROAD to POWER By Frederik Berg og Rasmus Høgdall

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Content Welcome to Road to Power.............................................................................................3 Elements of the Game......................................................................................................4 The City..................................................................................................................................4 Seasonal Tracker...................................................................................................................4 Score Tracker.........................................................................................................................5 Adversary Area......................................................................................................................5 Domains....................................................................................................................5 Ally Cards..............................................................................................................................6 • Using Ally Cards...............................................................................................6 • Using Ally Cards for Effects..............................................................................6 • Using Ally Cards for Scoring..............................................................................6 • Trading Ally Cards...........................................................................................7 • Next-in-Line................................................................................................7 Council Cards........................................................................................................................7 Initiative Cards......................................................................................................................7 House of Nobles....................................................................................................................8

Set up the game................................................................................................................9 • Table 1: Number of players and tokens.........................................................................9 • Table 2: Number of players and Adversary Area positions..........................................9

Play the game..................................................................................................................10 1. Ally Phase - Draw new Ally Cards...............................................................................10 2. Council Phase - Draw and resolve Council Card.........................................................10 3. Initiative Phase - Determine play order.........................................................................10 4. Influence Phase - Place your Influence tokens.................................................................11 • Placing influence Tokens...............................................................................11 • Collecting an Ally Card...................................................................................11 • Unresolved Ally Cards.................................................................................12 5. Power Phase - Commit your Power Tokens.....................................................................12 6. Scoring Phase - Tally your points from Domains...........................................................12 • Table 1: List of Points from Domains.....................................................................13 7. Crowning Event (end of game) - Crown the future King ..................................................13

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Welcome to Road to Power The King is Dead. The town criers let the truth, you all had known for weeks, spill to the City. Killed. By an assassin, in his underwear. Crying like a baby. You all knew this. Weeks in advance. You all ordered the assassin. This is Road to Power: a game about political maneuvering, backstabbing, and being the force behind the throne, and not the fool that rests upon it. The players are all playing a house of nobles, who has enough influence to make its will known around the court, maybe even be crowned King. But who wants to be King? Why not rule in the shadows, letting his Royal Highness taste the inevitable poison, feel the blade in his back, or having an unfortunate “hunting accident” after a few years. Road to Power is a game about coming in second, leaving the first place to the King. A king that will be one of you. The goal of the game is to gather just enough points, so that you’ll be number two in the final score, having out-maneuvered all your rivals. You will cast your net of power in the Church, in the ranks of the Garrison, among the spellcasting wizards in The Tower and on the Markets, all the while gathering important allies you can use to further your agenda – if they do not turn on you, barring your influence in the city. If you dare, you can even become integral to the Court, but be wary, as getting too close to the throne, might place you on it. This game is for 3-5 adult players and play time is approximately 2-4 hours, depending of number of players.

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Components 1 Game Board 5 Player Aids with 10 different House of Nobles. 80 Ally Cards 15 Council Cards 5 sets of initiative Cards (numbered 1-12) Power Tokens (Square) Influence Tokens (Round) Turn Markers (1-5)


Elements of the Game The City The board is the royal City, seat of the empire, home of the King. The City is divided into five separate domains, which represents the various power centers in the Kingdom. The Garrison is home to the military power, The Tower houses the arcane sorcerers, The Markets is where everything is sold or bought and the seat of religious Power is The Church. Finally, there is the Court, where the nobles play out each other.

Seasonal Tracker On the game board there is a Seasonal tracker which is used to track the game’s progress towards the Crowning Event. The Seasonal tracker is divided into 8 rounds spanning Summer, Autumn x 2, Winter x 2, Spring x 2 and Summer. In the middle of Autumn, Winter and Spring theres a Scoring Phase where the Houses’ score is tallied. At the end there is the final scoring phase which leads up to the Crowning Event, where the winners and losers are found.

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Score Tracker To better be able to keep track of who is ĂŠn route to becoming King, use the score tracker on the board. Every player uses their colour as identifier (their chosen Power Token colour).

Starting Position Adversary Area An area marked Adversary Area is where uncontrolled Allies Cards are placed after failed attempts to control them. This area consists of 3-5 positions depending on the number of players (see table 2).

Domains On the board there is 5 domains marked Garrison, Church, The Tower, The Markets and The Court. They are important areas to control as they are the main source of points in the game. Depending on the number of influence tokens you will receive a different amount of points for having control of the domain.

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Ally Cards The Ally Cards represent the Houses of Nobles direct way to influence the game, by using the cards special powers to further their progress behind the throne. An Ally card consists of several elements. Every card is unique, and has the following elements as shown on figure 1. Card Name

House-symbol

Influence-cost

Score Value

Effect headline Flavour text Card effect

All cards have different cost to acquire. The round influence-markers just under the cards title is the amount of resource tokens required. All cards are colored according to a Domain (blue for Garrison, green for The Tower, orange for The Markets and red for The Church). Using Ally Cards You can play an Ally Card any time. The card will state when you can play it. You can at any time have a maximum of three cards on your hand. If you in any way get more than 3 cards, you have to play one. Using Ally Cards for Effects The most common way of using Ally Cards is by using them for their effect. This is the text that is located on the lower half of the card. An effect takes place immediately. Cards can be used anytime (depending on their effects and the current phase). Using Ally Cards for Scoring An important way to use the Ally cards is using them for their point value. The point value can be seen under the Coat of Arms. You can play a card on a player, by placing it on their Player Aid. Only one card can be placed there. The cards are resolved during each scoring 6


round and removed afterwards. The value is then added to that players score. If you play a card on yourself, you can either subtract or add the value to your score. Trading Ally Cards You can also trade Ally Cards in between players. They can themselves set the terms. No one is obliged to do what was agreed upon, unless it is traded during the Council Phase. The only thing lost is trust. Next-in-Line On select Ally Cards you you a technique called Next-in-Line. It generally works this way: The first player does what the card says, then points to the next player that has to do the same (or whatever the card specifies), then this player points to the next player (who cannot be the same twice), until every player or condition of the card has been fulfilled. Council Cards Council cards are special cards that the Houses of Nobles will have to resolve before the game can continue. They typically describe a problem that no matter what they choose will have some kind of impact on the game. They are colored purple for easy recognition.

Initiative Cards To determine who goes first in each round, initiative cards are used. They determine when during the round you go, but also determines how many power tokens you will receive. The earlier in the turn you go, the fewer tokens you will get.

Initiative No.

No. of Power tokens

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House of Nobles The Player Aid contains the name of your house and its coat of arms and a handy overview of the game round. The Player aid contains room for 1 Ally Card that on the card specifies, that it is placed in front of you. You can only have one (1) card in front of you. You cannot discard or replace this card, but must wait for the conditions for its removal to be fulfilled.

House-symbol

During the each round you can also place a card face down on any players Player Aid if the cards Coat of Arms corresponds with that players House. The Coat of Arms is shown on the Player aid and on the Ally Card.

House-symbol Score Value

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Set up the game • Assemble the two the board pieces, and put an number of influence tokens (round) of each colour (red, blue, green, and orange) on the board corresponding to the number of players evenly divided between the four colors (see table 1). Table 1: Number of players and tokens 5 players

20 tokens (5 of each color)

4 players

16 tokens (4 of each color)

3 players

12 tokens (3 of each color)

• Place the Round Tracker on the first season (Summer). • Place an Ally Card Face down on any unused Adversary Area positions as per number of players (see Table 2) Table 2: Number of players and Adversary Area positions 5 players

5 positions

4 players

4 positions

3 players

3 positions

• Each player selects a Player Aid combined House Profile and a favourite color of Power Tokens (square). The different houses are identical, so it is up to your personal preference. Place a Power Token on the score tracker. • Set aside and shuffle the Council Cards and Ally Cards. Place them separately and within reach. Now you are ready to play!

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Play of the Game The game consists of 8 rounds or seasons, spanning from Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer again. At the end of summer a King is crowned and the winner of the game is found. Each round follows the same pattern and consists of 5 phases. After every second round there is a Scoring Phase. This is shown on the game boards seasonal tracker.

1. Ally Phase - Draw new Ally Cards Draw a number of Ally Cards corresponding to the number of players and which Season you are in, and place them on the playing space, where everyone can see them. The number of cards can be seen on the Seasonal Tracker. Read the card aloud if necessary.

2. Council Phase - Draw and resolve Council Card After the Ally Phase has been resolved, you draw a Council Card. Read the event text out loud and after an appropriate amount of discussion, place your hands over the board, and on the count of 3, turn your thumb up or down. The majority wins and the card effect takes place. In case of a tie, use a House Draw to determine who has the deciding vote.

3. Initiative Phase - Determine play order. Players must select a initiative card. The value on the initiative card decides the order of play. The players take turns on selecting an initiative card, clockwise. Two players cannot select the same value. The player with the highest value goes first in all the next phases, second highest value goes second and so forth. The player with the lowest initiative value starts the next round’s initiative phase. The selected initative card is discarded after the round is over and cannot be played again. To ease the identification of the play order, divide turn markers among the players from 1 to lowest, depending on the amount of players. Also, before discarding the initiative card, collect the shown amount of Power Tokens as marked on the initiative card. In the first round, do a house draw to see who selects an initiative card first. 10

House Draw Draw a card from the unused pile of Ally Cards, the house indicator decides which house is affected, or when it comes to ties in the Council Phase, who has the deciding vote.


4. Influence Phase - Place your Influence tokens Start by replenishing the number of influence tokens on the board, so there is the same amount of each color as there are players. In a five player game there is 5 tokens of each color. The four colors are red, green, blue and orange. Each corresponding to a domain. They player with the highest initiative starts by collecting a influence token of any color on the board, then the player with the next highest initiative and so forth. This continues until all tokens have been collected. Placing influence Tokens When all the Influence Tokens have been collected, the player with the highest initiative, starts by placing one influence token on one of the ally cards. The token placed has to correspond with a not already placed influence-cost on the card. A player must place an influence token if he or she can. You continue placing influence tokens until all tokens have been spent or it is not possible to place any more tokens. Collecting an Ally Card If the card has the correct amount of influence tokens on it the player who places the last token, collects the card. Example: The Seer. 2G+1R Player 1 places a green influence token on The Seer, player 2 places a red influence token on The Seer, Player 3 doesn’t have a green token, and places something a token elsewhere. By spending one green token Player 1 receives the Ally Card. Ally cards can be played for their effect anytime (including during other players turns) except during the scoring phase. An ally card can also be used for their Score Value anytime (including the scoring phase), by placing it, face down, on the House Board corresponding with the House symbol on the card, unless the area is already occupied. The Score Value is added to the player’s score, unless the player plays it on him or herself, then the Score Value can either be added or subtracted.

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During the Crowning Phase, a player can only play an ally card for its Score Value on him or herself. Unresolved Ally Cards Any remaining ally cards, that the players are unable to pay for in full are moved to an empty spot in the Adversary Area and discard any tokens on the card. Once the Adversary Area is full, immediately resolve this (see below). You place the last drawn Ally card first, then the second and so on. If there is one or more Ally cards left and the Adversary Area is filled, then resolve the Adversary Area, and place the remaining cards afterwards. If there are unused Influence Tokens, they are put in the Treasury for later use. If the adversary area fills up during the influence phase, instantly resolve this. Place each Ally card in the Adversary Area on the Domains, corresponding with the color of the Ally Card. If a domain is filled, place the cards in The Court. If ever The Court is filled the players have lost.

5. Power Phase - Commit your Power Tokens In order of initiative the players commit their Power Tokens to the Board. The number of Power Tokens is shown on your initiative card for the round. If you haven’t already taken the tokens, do so now. When it is your turn, you must place all your tokens as you see fit on any of the four Domains (Garrison, The Tower, The Church and The Markets). If you at any time are leading in a Domain (ie. having the most tokens on any of the four domains), you can also place tokens on the Court. Once the last player has committed it’s Power Tokens, continue to either the Scoring Phase or start a new round. The Scoring Phase is clearly marked on the Seasonal Tracker.

6. Scoring Phase - Tally your points from Domains. At four select occasions you add points to your total score. Use the scoring tracker on the board to track who is leading and who is lagging. For each domain there are three positions that give points. The player with the most Power Tokens gets the highest number of points

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Treasury The treasury is where you set aside unused Influence Tokens on your Player Aid. These tokens are carried over to the next round or can be used during the Power Phase to buy extra Power Tokens. Influence Tokens in the treasury must be used if possible during the Influence Phase.


as specified on the Domain, and so forth. There is no points for 4-5th place.

Table 1: List of Points from Domains First Place

Second Place

Third Place

The Garrison

5

4

3

The Church

8

3

1

The Markets

7

4

1

The Tower

6

4

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In case of a tie, two players sharing a place, move them down the the next place Example: Player 1 and 2 are tied for first place on The Garrison Domain with 8 Power Tokens each. No Player gets 1st place, but are both getting the points awarded to 2nd place. Player 3 with 4 Power tokens gets the points awarded to 3rd place. Player 4-5 with 2 and 1 Power token gets no points. In the case of uncontrolled Ally Cards blocking the Domain, the 3rd, 2nd or 1st position awards no points in this order. So only when three cards are blocking a Domain, that Domain yields no points for the first place. 7. Crowning Event (end of game) - Crown the future King After the last scoring in round 8 proceed to the Crowning Event. Players are allowed to place one Ally Card on one the Players Aids if not already occupied if the Ally Card has the corresponding Coat of Arms. The player with the most points is crowned King, but the player with the second most points is the winner. In case of a tie, the player with the highest number of Power Tokens on the 5 domains wins.

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