Kingdom is a turn-based card game that uses a regular set of playing cards. Up to 4 players can play with each deck of cards. You can increase the number of players simply by adding more decks.
Starting the Game
Start the game with a freshly shuffled deck. Each player draws 7 cards from the fresh deck. At the start of the game, determine who goes first via dice roll, scissors-paper-stone, etc. After completing each turn, the next turn goes to the player on the left.
Each player's kingdom starts with 20 territories. The goal is to defend your territories from other kingdoms with your people (cards). Use a sheet of paper, die, or any other means to keep track of the number of territories you have. A kingdom falls and is eliminated from the game when it loses all its territories. The goal is to defeat all other kingdoms in the game to become the one ruling kingdom.
During your turn, you can put cards into play that are in your hand and/or use cards that are in play in your kingdom. Whether you can play or use a card during your turn depends on the card type (described later). When you use a card that is in play, turn the card side-ways to indicate that it is preoccupied. A card that is preoccupied during a turn can not be used again during that same turn, except through other rules that modify the card's behavior.
At the start of your turn, turn all of your preoccupied cards up-right. Next, draw a card from the fresh deck into your hand.
At the end of the turn, if you have more than 7 cards in your hand, you have to discard cards in your hand into the discard pile until you have only 7 cards in your hand.
King, Queen, and Jack are noble cards. You can do several things with these noblemen (noble cards): 1) play other types of cards; 2) attack another kingdom; 3) defend your kingdom. When a noblemen is used for any of these purposes, it becomes preoccupied (turn side-ways).
You can put 1 noble card into play in your kingdom on your turn. Each player can have only one of each type of noble cards in play at any one time. That means if you put a King into play from your hand, you can't put another King into play until the first King is no longer in play.
If you have two noblemen of the same suit, you can use one of them to turn the other one into a different suit for the duration of a turn. You can do this during any player's turn.
A King is ranked higher than a Queen and a Queen is ranked higher than a Jack. During combat, noblemen rank lower than any other soldier.
Cards numbered from 2 through 10 are soldier cards. The number represents the ranking. The higher number card represents a higher ranking soldier. Higher ranked soldiers will destroy lower ranking soldiers in battle. Soldiers of the same strength (number) facing each other in combat will perish together.
Noblemen can bring soldier cards, of the same suit, from your hand into your kingdom. When you use the noble card this way, turn the noble card side-ways and put a soldier card into your kingdom. For example, you can use the Queen of Hearts to bring a 5 of Hearts into play.
Ace card can be used in several different ways: 1) Ace Champion; 2) Assassination.
The Ace Champion is the highest ranking soldier. When the Ace card is being used this way, all of the rules from the "Soldier Cards" applies.
The Ace card can be played as an assassination attempt on any other card currently in play. The Assassin can come into play at any time during the game, even if it is not on your turn. However, to bring in the assassin, you must use a noble card that isn't preoccupied. And the noble card must be of the same suit as the Ace card.
Assassination attempts can only be countered by another assassination attempt. Otherwise, the assassination attempt is successful. The person (card) that is being assassinated goes into the discard pile, along with the assassin (the Ace card used for assassination).
Joker cards can be used in several different ways: 1) Pick a Card; 2) Spy; 3) Expose; 4) Recruit.
Pick a Card
When you play the Joker this way, you can pick any card from the discard pile or from the freshly shuffled deck. You do not have to show the card you picked to any other players. This effect can be countered by an Assassin. The Joker card you played, goes into the discard pile after you have picked your card or after an assassination attempt. Like the Assassin, you can play the Joker in this manner at any time during a game.
You can play the Joker card as a Spy. You can spy on any other player. When you do, that player has to show you his/her hand. The Spy can be countered by an Assassin. Place the Joker card into the discard pile after it has done its work. You can play the Joker in this manner at any time during a game.
You can use the Joker card to expose another player's hand to everyone else in the game. When you do, that player has to show his/her hand to everyone. The Exposure can be countered by an Assassin. Place the Joker card into the discard pile after it has done its work. You can play the Joker in this manner at any time during a game.
You can use the Joker card as a recruiter. If you do, a card that is in play in another kingdom is recruited into your kingdom under your control. You can recruit any card that is in play from any other kingdom. However, you must still follow rules that may apply. For example, if you already have a Jack in play, you cannot recruit another Jack. You can play the Joker in this manner only during your turn. The card you recruit comes into your kingdom preoccupied.
Combat cannot occur until all players have taken at least one turn.
On your turn, you can declare to attack another kingdom. You can only attack one kingdom per turn. During combat, you declare which Soldiers and Noblemen you want to attack with. Turn them side-ways to indicate you are attacking with them. You cannot attack with preoccupied cards.
The defender declares whether to defend against the attack using Soldiers and Noblemen in the defender's kingdom. The defender declares which defender cards to defend against which attacker cards during combat. Each defending card can only block only one attacking card. However, two defending cards can block the same attacking card.
Any unblocked attacking card causes one or more territories to fall in the defending kingdom. The number of territories depends on the card. Soldiers cause the same number of territories to fall as its ranking. King, Queen, Jack, and Ace Champion each cause one territory to fall.
In a one-on-one battle, the lower ranking card loses and is placed into the discard pile. The higher ranking card becomes preoccupied. If the two cards are the same rank, then both cards are placed into the discard pile.
When the defender uses multiple cards to block one attacking soldier, then the number on each card is the damage rating of the card. For example, 3 of Clubs has 3 damage points and can inflict 3 points of damage. The defending cards does combined damage to the attacking card. The attacker distributes the amount of damage its attack card inflicts among the two defending cards. If the damage inflicting any card is equal or greater than the damage rating of the card, then send that card to the discard pile at the end of combat. King, Queen, Jack each have a damage rating of 1. Ace Champion has damage rating of 11.
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