KingArthursCourtTextVersion

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King Arthur’s CourtVersion 1.2Version Date 2-Jan-2003Number of Players 2-4Game Length
45-90 minutesAuthor Phillip LercheCopyright © 2003 Phillip LercheEquipment to play: 1
piecepack (see http://www.piecepack.org) Design note: The role-choosing game mechanic
is similar to that seen in games such asPuerto Rico and Citadels, the bidding
mechanism has some similarities to Ra and thescoring mechanism is similar to that
seen in Tigris and Euphrates. However, I think thereare enough original aspects to
King Arthur’s Court to make it a different game entirely. IntroductionTired of the
constant stress of running his kingdom and worrying about the backstabbingof
supposedly faithful knights such as Lancelot, King Arthur has decided to delegate
theday to day affairs of royal life to a Grand Vizier. Each potential Grand Vizier
must demonstrate his or her ability to attract courtiers to hisor her court. The
successful candidate will have the largest and most balanced court at theend of the
game. Setup (see diagram below) The rules for setup and play assume that 4 players
are playing. Where the rules differ for* 2- and ** 3-players this is noted in
Italics.The ace and numbered tiles represent money with aces counting as 1. Each
player takesthree tiles with values 3, 4 and 5 placing them face up on the table to
form his or herstarting treasury. Money tiles are always visible to all players. The
suits on the tiles haveno game relevance. The coins represent courtiers. They are
always played with the suit facing up, the numericvalues having no relevance in the
game. Each suit represents a different type of courtier: Moon – jesterSun –
maidenCrown – king’s guardArms – knight All the courtiers are placed suit side up in
a pile to one side known as the peasantry. Each player then chooses any 1 courtier
from the peasantry and places it in his or hercourt.

A set of one of each type of courtier is removed from the peasantry and placed in
themiddle of the play area forming a row of four aspirants. Roll all four dice. Place
anadditional courtier in the row of aspirants corresponding to the suit of the
highest valuedie. Roll again if two or more dice share the high value. In a 4-player
game there are fiveaspirants at the start. (*2-player game – instead of adding a
courtier to the row ofaspirants, remove one instead. Therefore in a 2-player game
there are three aspirants atthe start of the game) (** 3-player game – do not roll
the dice or add a courtier. In a 3-player game there are four aspirants). The
aspirants are courtiers who are available to join the players’ courts. The red, blue
and black dice are set aside and not used in the game. (**In a 3-playergame the red
and blue dice are now set aside and the green and black dice are used inthe game.)
The pawns represent the main characters and are placed on the appropriate playing
cardnear the aspirants:  Black pawn (on moon null tile) – Merlin the MagicianRed pawn
(on sun null tile) – Lady GuinevereGreen pawn (on crown null tile) – King ArthurBlue
pawn (on arms null tile) – Sir Lancelot Place two money tiles with values 1 and 2
next to all of the characters. The money tilesnext to a character are referred to as
that character’s purse. The characters and theirpurses form the castle. Any remaining
tiles are set aside and are not used in the game. Each player rolls the green die and
the player with the highest roll gains the King’sFavor. Roll again to break any ties.
The green die is placed in the court of the player withthe King’s Favor during the
game. Setup for a 4-player game of King Arthur’s Court (playing pieces not to scale):



Game play The game is played in several rounds. In each round a player will take the
role of one ofthe characters from the castle (* In a 2-player game each player takes
two roles perround). Therefore in each round all four roles will be chosen, although
the order in whichthey are chosen is not necessarily the same. (** In a 3-player game
only three roles arechosen per round). Bidding for character roles  Players must
first bid for the privilege of choosing a character using the money tiles intheir
treasuries. Bidding starts with the player who has the King’s Favor (green die), and
progressesclockwise. If the player who has the King’s favor has already successfully
bid for andselected one character this round (* two characters in a 2-player game)
then the firstplayer to his or her left who is eligible to bid starts the bidding for
the next character. The first player who can bid MUST make a bid by playing at least
one tile, even if it isthat player’s last tile; the player may not pass. A player
placing a bid may bid any amountthey can make from their tiles. e.g. Player A has a
3, 4 and 5 tile. That player’s bids arelimited to 3, 4, 5, 7 (3+4), 8 (3+5), 9 (4+5)
and 12 (3+4+5). After the first bid has been made all players have the option to bid
or pass. A bid must behigher than the previous one otherwise a player is forced to
pass. Once a player passes heor she may not rejoin the bidding. Once all players pass
in succession bidding ends.The player with the successful high bid then chooses one
of the available characters fromthe castle and takes the character’s pawn as well as
the purse of money tiles next to it.The pawn is placed in the player’s court, and the
purse is added to the player’s treasury.The money tiles that were bid then replace
the purse that was taken, forming the purse forthe next round. Unsuccessful bidders
keep their money for the next auction. All moneytiles in the purses are visible to
all players at all times. Then the player who chose the character carries out the
character’s special role (seebelow). Once the player carries out the role another
bidding session starts. Any player who hasalready chosen one character in a round
does not participate in subsequent bidding (* In a2-player game, once a player has
chosen two characters he or she does not participate infurther bidding). This
continues until all four characters have been chosen (** In a 3-player game
thiscontinues until 3 characters have been chosen). The round then ends. (** In a 3-
playergame, one character will not be chosen in each round. Place the black die on
thecharacter that was not chosen this round before replacing the pawns). The pawns
are

now moved back to the castle unless it is the last round, in which case they remain
as partof the players’ courts. (** Special rule in a 3-player game: A character with
the black die MUST be chosen inthe next bidding round by one of the players.
Frequently the last player to choose a rolewill be forced into choosing the character
with the die assigned. The black die is notplaced in the first round.) Character
roles:Merlin – Master of magic and wizardry, things are not necessarily what they
seem!
• Exchange up to three of the courtiers in your court with the aspirants. Guinevere –
Lady of grace and beauty, she attracts aspirants to the court!
• Take any TWO aspirants and place them in your court. Each remainingplayer in
clockwise order takes ONE aspirant and places it in his or her court.
• After each player has taken an aspirant, you choose any 5 courtiers from
thepeasantry and form a new row of aspirants. (* choose 3 courtiers in a 2-
playergame)(** choose 4 courtiers in a 3-player game). If there are not enough
courtiersleft in the peasantry, place all that remain in the row of aspirants (if
there are nocourtiers left in the peasantry then the aspirant row is left empty). The
game endsat the end of the round that the row of aspirants could not be completely
filled. Arthur – King of England, he rakes in the taxes!
• Each opponent gives you one money tile. If an opponent has only one tileremaining
he or she does not give it to you. Place the tiles in your treasury.
• At the end of the complete round, the King’s Favor is transferred to you. (**If
King Arthur is not chosen in a round in a 3-player game then the player  who has the
King’s Favor keeps it for the next round.)Lancelot – Knight of the Round Table, Knave
of Treachery!
• Starting with the player to your left and moving clockwise exchange one of
yourcourtiers with one courtier belonging to each opponent. ‘Exchange’ ALWAYS means
take one courtier and swap it with one of a DIFFERENTtype. If this action is not
possible for a player then that player does nothing. Ending the game  The game ends
in the round that it was not possible to fill the aspirant row. At the end ofthe
round, when all players have bid for and chosen a character (* two characters in
2player game) the game ends. Each player should now have one character pawn (*
twocharacter pawns in 2-player) and a number of courtiers in their court. Scoring
nowcommences.
Scoring

Sort the courtiers into three groups: maidens, knights and king’s guard. Jesters are
wildand are placed as each player wishes into any of the groups, but may not be moved
toother groups once scoring has started. A group may not consist entirely of jesters.
The groups are modified by the pawn(s) each player has as follows:

• Merlin the Magician: any group may consist entirely of jesters; Merlin also acts
asone additional jester.
• Guinevere: acts as two additional maidens.
• Arthur: acts as two additional King’s Guard.
• Lancelot: acts as two additional knights. Each player’s score is equal to the
number of courtiers in the smallest of the three groups.The highest score wins. If
there are ties, the next smallest groups are compared. In thecase of an overall tie,
the player with the King’s Favor wins. Scoring example of a 4-player game  Andrew
ends the game with 2 King’s Guard, 1 Knight, 1 Maiden, 2 Jesters and KingArthurHe
sorts out his courtiers as follows:2 King’s guard + 0 Jesters + Arthur = 41 Knight +
1 Jesters = 21 Maiden + 1 Jesters = 2Score = 2  Phillip ends the game with 1 King’s
Guard, 3 Knights, 2 Maidens, 0 Jesters and SirLancelot.He sorts out his courtiers as
follows:1 King’s guard + 0 Jesters = 13 Knights + 0 Jesters + Lancelot = 52 Maidens +
0 Jesters = 2Score = 1  Jacky ends the game with 1 King’s Guard, 1 Knight, 3 Maidens,
2 Jesters and GuinevereShe sorts out her courtiers as follows:1 King’s guard + 1
Jesters = 21 Knight + 1 Jesters = 23 Maidens + Guinevere = 5Score = 2  Irene ends the
game with 2 King’s Guard, 1 Knight, 0 Maidens, 2 Jesters and MerlinShe sorts out her
courtiers as follows:

2 King’s guard + 0 Jesters = 21 Knight + Merlin = 20 Maidens + 2 Jesters = 2 (a group
may not consist of entirely jesters, butMerlin’s end-game ability allows Irene to do
this)Score =2  Andrew, Jacky and Irene are tied at 2Comparing the next smallest
groups, Andrew scores 2, Jacky scores 2 and Irene scores 2,so the players are still
tied.Comparing the last group, Andrew scores 4, Jacky scores 5 and Irene scores 2.
Jacky wins the game!