Sunday, January 08, 2012

Knights Templar - Rules outline

The Knights Templar
A game of influence and scandal for 2-4 Crusaders


  • 64 Building tiles (16 in each of 4 player colors)
    • 16 Churches
    • 16 Castles
    • 16 Farms
    • 16 Banks
  • 4 Player boards
  • 48 Action cubes (12 in each of 4 player colors)
  • 16 Knight figures (4 in each of 4 player colors)
  • 1 Game board
  • XX Enemy tokens
    • XX Slav
    • XX Saracen
    • XX Prussians
  • XX Troop tiles
  • XX Influence tokens
  • XX Gold coins
  • Each player receives the following in their player color:
    • Player board
    • 4 Knight figures
    • 16 Building tiles (place them in the indicated spaces on the player board)
      • 4 Churches
      • 4 Castles
      • 4 Farms
      • 4 Banks
    • 12 Action cubes (place 2 in each Action bin on the Player board)
  • Lay out the Game board and distribute the Enemy tokens to the regions indicated by icons. Each player takes their Level 1 Castle building and places it on their indicated starting region along with one of their Knight figures.

  • Place the Gold coins, Influence tokens and Troop tiles in supply piles. Choose a starting player at random and you are ready to begin!

    Game Play
    Starting with the Start player, play will progress clockwise throughout the game. A player's turn consists of the following sequence:

    1. Choose any one Action bin on your player board.
    2. Resolve the action associated with that Action bin.
    3. Distribute the Action cubes from the chosen bin.

    1. Choose an Action
    Select any one of the six Actions on the Rondel that has at least 1 Action cube in its bin.

    2. Resolve the Action
    There are six Action spaces on the Rondel, though 2 of them are the same. Each of the Actions resolves differently. In each of the following descriptions, "X" refers to the number of Action cubes in the Action bin.
    • MOVE: There are 2 different MOVE spaces on the Rondel. The move action allows you to move your Knights on the game board, and it also adds gold to the Communal Coffer as your Knights collect charity.
      • Add X Gold coins to the Communal Coffer space on the board.
      • Move your Knight figure(s) up to X regions total.
    • BUILD: The build action allows you to erect buildings worth influence. Buildings confer benefits when resolving the various actions in the game.
      • Erect a Building tile of level X or less from your player board onto a region on the board occupied by one of your Knights. You must be able to afford this (see below).
      • Each Bank you have built increases the maximum level of building you may erect.
      • Remove Gold coins from the Communal Coffers equal to the level of the building.
      • Each Bank you have built reduces the number of Gold coins you must spend.
      • Only the lowest un-built level of each building may be erected.
      • Only 1 building can occupy each region.
      • Collect Influence tokens according to the level of the building erected.
        • Building Types:
          • Bank: Pay less Gold when using the build action.
          • Farm: Collect additional Troops when using the muster action.
          • Castle: Place an additional Knight token into play at the new Castle.
          • Church: Collect additional Influence when using the influence action.
    • MUSTER: The muster action allows you to muster troops to take crusading with your knights.
      • Collect up to X Troop tokens from the supply. You must be able to afford each (see below).
      • Remove 1 Gold coin from the Communal Coffer for each Troop tile collected.
      • Collect 1 additional Troop token for each Farm you have erected (you need not pay for these additional Troops).
    • CRUSADE: The crusade action allows you to fight Enemies, scoring influence and clearing regions to make space for more buildings.
      • Choose 1 region containing one of your (any player's?) Knight figures and an Enemy token.
      • Determine the Enemy Strength by checking the Enemy Strength track for the appropriate enemy type.
      • Each Knight figure (no matter which player's) in the region reduces the Enemy Strength by 1.
      • If the Enemy Strength is less than X, then discard Troop tokens equal to the Enemy Strength.
      • Collect Influence tokens equal to the Enemy Strength.
      • Move the Enemy token to the appropriate Enemy Strength track.
    • INFLUENCE: The influence action allows you to gain Influence tokens by spreading the word of the Order.
      • Collect X Influence tokens from the supply.
      • Collect 1 additional Influence token for each Church you have erected.
    3. Distribute Action cubes
    Take all Action cubes from the bin associated with the chosen Action and distribute them, 1 at a time, clockwise around the Rondel. See example diagram

    End Game Phase
    "God is not pleased. We have enemies of the faith in the kingdom"
    When the last Influence token is taken from the supply, finish out the round so that each player has had the same number of turns*. At this point, the Order of the Temple has become so powerful that King Philip, threatened by the Order and deeply in debt to it, issues an arrest order for all Templar Knights and begins to have the Order disbanded.

    * Players may still collect influence after the supply runs out. Keep track of this influence using Troop tokens.

    After all players have finished their turn in the round in which the Influence supply runs out, the End Game phase begins. Flip the starting Castle buildings (in the Paris region) face down - they are considered destroyed. Whenever a building is destroyed, each player collects 1 Influence for each building of that type they still have in play.

    At the end of each round during the End Game Phase, destroy all buildings in regions adjacent to a region that's already been destroyed. Flip the destroyed buildings face down (simultaneously) and collect influence for like buildings each time.

    During the End Game Phase the Community Coffers are emptied, and Gold Coins are no longer added during move actions. [The build action turns into a third move action (?)] The build, muster, and crusade actions no longer have any effect.

    Game End
    The game ends when one of two things happens:
    • All Knights on the board have reached Portugal (or Scotland?)
    • The wave of destruction reaches Portugal (6 rounds after the End Game Phase begins).
    When one of these triggers occurs, the game ends. Any player without at least 1 Knight figure safely in Portugal (or Scotland?) (ALL Knight figures?) is disqualified from winning. Of players reaching safety, the player with the most Influence is the winner.


    vicky said...

    This is a neat game. I am all over the theme. What a great choice. Rules suggestions:
    1. Choose an Action
    Select any one of the six Actions on the Rondel that has at least 1 Action cube in its bin. -- There are no Action cubes on the Rondel at the start. Where does the start player place?
    In the Build action rules, put the Bank actions together for clarity. Move the Building Types to the beginning of the Build rules.
    Crusade Action - how you actually win a fight is not clear.
    It's implied but not clear that during End Game Phase normal play continues as before with the addition of the destruction at the end of each round. And that only Influence and Move are really used.
    I'm really excited about this. The theme is fantastic and the game play sounds complex enough to burn my brain in that good game way.

    Clive said...

    I love the theme for this game. Definitely a game I would try. Well thought out and I look forward to seeing the prototype on Google+ :)

    Seth Jaffee said...

    @Tom - each player has their own personal Rondel (a la Trajan), and during setup you place 2 Action cubes in each bin on your Rondel.

    Regarding the Crusade action, it's not a matter of winning or losing - you automatically won, it just costs you some number of Troops to do so. The Knights Templar were bad asses, they didn't lose fights ;)

    You are right about the End Game Phase, turns will continue as normal. I'm not 100% sure how this will work exactly, but I think it's pretty obvious you can't build anymore, and since Mustering costs money maybe you cannot do that either (does it make sense to?) And Crusading, does that make sense?

    Maybe you can still muster 1 troop per farm (since you have no Gold to buy more) and therefore you can still fight enemies for some VP as you flee... making Muster and Crusade viable actions in the End Game Phase. Influence might not make a TON of sense after the Arrest order is put out, but maybe it's an OK abstraction (I'd wager not all common folk herd of the scandal and arrest orders right away).

    Thanks for the comments!