19 November 2008

Take Command

An Intro To Warrior Knights

In Warrior Knights, each player takes on the role of a Baron vying for control of the Kingdom. Each Baron commands four faithful Nobles who lead his armies into battle. Each Baron seeks to capture cities in order to gain Influence, which is used to measure his claim to the throne. Barons may also seek to gain advantage by increasing their income, gathering Votes to use at the Assembly, or by amassing Faith, which can be used to gain a measure of control over chance events. Only through cunning strategy and careful diplomacy can a Baron hope to attain victory. Players2-6. Each player takes the role of a Baron vying for control of the throne. Although each Baron begins the game commanding the same number of nobles and soldiers, only one will be crowned king! GameplayAfter placing their Stronghold, assigning their starting forces to their nobles, and placing their armies on the board, the Barons begin their struggle for the throne! Each game round is broken up in to three phases: Planning, Actions, and Upkeep. In the Planning phase the Barons choose which Action cards they will play during the game round; during the Actions phase these Action cards are resolved; and during the Upkeep phase Barons are awarded Influence for the cities they control. Depending on which Action cards the Barons choose to play, one or more of the four special phases – Taxation, Wages, the Assembly, and the Mercenary Draft – may also take place within the Actions phase. 

PlanningDuring the Planning phase, each Baron chooses six Action cards that he wants to play that round and places them, facedown, onto the three Action card areas at the bottom of the game board. (Each Baron places up to two Action cards into each of the three areas.) Two Neutral Action cards are also dealt into each of the three Action card piles. Thus, three separate Action piles will be created. A Baron might place Action cards that allow him to draft soldiers in the first stack of Actions, and place cards that allow him to attack in the second stack. During the Actions phase, these decks will be shuffled separately and then the Actions contained within them will be revealed and resolved one by one. Since the order in which the Actions are resolved is semi-random, Barons must choose their actions very carefully indeed - all the more so because Action cards placed in the stacks are not necessarily returned to their hands right away! ActionsOne by one, the cards from the first Action stack are revealed and resolved. Once they are all gone, the process continues with the second and finally the third stack of cards. A Baron can be sure that he will perform the Actions he placed in the first Action card area before he performs his other Actions, but he cannot be sure of exactly when his Action cards will be resolved relative to the other Barons. After each action is resolved, the Action card is allocated to one of the three Special Phase areas of the board, based on the colored flags printed at the bottom of the Action cards. When enough cards build up in a Special Phase area, a Special Phase (Taxation, Wages, the Assembly, or the Mercenary Draft) is triggered. By choosing which Actions to take, Barons can influence when the Special Phases occur, hastening or delaying them in order to further his own strategies. The Special Phases During Taxation, each city yields income to its controlling Baron. During Wages, Barons must pay all of their troops, and unpaid mercenaries desert. During the Assembly, Agendas are voted upon by all Barons who attend. These Agendas may give special benefits to particular Barons, or they may affect all Barons by altering the rules of the game. A Baron who is unwilling to honor the decision of the Assembly is able to storm out, barring himself from any future voting on Agendas, but also allowing himself to ignore all future Assembly decisions! BattlesAs Barons use the "Mobilize Forces" and "Versatile Strategy" Action cards, their armies will march across the map and eventually do battle with either neutral forces or enemy soldiers. Barons may choose to lay siege to a city, hoping to take it without any losses to their own armies, or they choose to assault a city or engage in an open-field battle. If one of these options is chosen, the Barons draw Fate cards based on the number of troops they have and whether or not they are led by a Noble. These Fate cards determine how many casualties each side takes, and who scored the most battlefield victories. After casualties have been assigned, the army that has the highest number of battlefield victories is the winner. UpkeepFinally, during the Upkeep step, each city held by a Baron provides him with Influence. Play continues until all the Influence available in the pool has been exhausted, at which point whoever has the most Influence is the winner. VictoryUltimately, only one Baron can be crowned king. Victory will go to the Baron who controls the most Influence at the end of the game. Alternatively, if any Baron can ever seize control of more than half of the Kingdom's cities, then he will be crowned at the end of the game round.  

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