The king is dead. The throne is left bloodied, without a rightful heir. As the land hinges on the brink of anarchy, six barons arise to stake their royal claim. Voices shall be heard, blades shall be drawn, and, eventually, a king shall be crowned...
You are one of six rivaling barons vying for the throne. Only through political finesse or military might do you stand a chance to prove your rightful claim to the throne. Gather your nobles, muster your forces, and prepare for war!
Warrior Knights is a board game of medieval warfare and diplomacy designed for 2-6 players. Originally published in 1985, this Games Workshop classic has been redesigned with a gorgeous graphic overhaul, elegant new rules, and stunning components, all while maintaing the spirit of the original. Only one baron will sit the throne and all that stands in your way are false usurpers. Can you legitimize your claim?
Play begins by each player choosing a baron. These barons play similarly to each other and are distinguishable by their color and heraldry. Barons begin the game with four plastic nobles, a small number of troop and mercenary cards, 15 crowns (currency), and a stronghold. Each player also receives 12 action cards, which are used to command your forces, influence the Assembly, gain the church’s favor, draft mercenaries, and levy taxes. Most of your decisions in Warrior Knights will be decided through strategic use of these action cards.
In games with less than six players, certain Kingdom cities are razed to facilitate balanced gameplay. Once this is done, and nobles have been placed around the map, the game can begin. The core objective of Warrior Knights is to become king, and this can be done either by conquest or by gaining more influence than your rivals while preventing them from achieving military dominance.
To start things off, each baron choses where to place their stronghold. This will be your baron’s base of operations, so location is important. All the locations have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, a stronghold across sea is harder for opponents to get to, but also harder for you to defend should it get attacked.
The barons have all made their claim, and now is the time for action. Gameplay is broken up into rounds. Each round consists of three phases: Planning, Actions, and Upkeep. During the Planning phase, each player chooses 6 actions he wishes to perform over the course of this round. Those 6 actions are then paired into 3 different stacks and placed in the areas designated on the board, representing the stages of the Actions phase.
To add another layer of unpredictability, neutral action cards are shuffled into each stack of action cards belonging to the barons. These stacks are each shuffled individually. As actions are carried out, certain action cards will be allocated to three separate stacks on the board, meaning you will not always receive your actions at the end of the round. Those discard piles will only release the discarded actions when the number of cards equals twice the number of players. So plan ahead and be ready for limited options on later turns.
Discarded action cards will also eventually trigger a Special phase. These Special phases are: Taxation, Wages, Assembly, and Mercenary Draft. These phases will result in gaining crowns, paying for troops, voting on an agenda, and gaining new mercenaries.
Combat in Warrior Knights is resolved without dice. Warring barons will draw cards from the fate deck to determine the outcome of battles. These fate cards serve many functions in Warrior Knights in addition to battle. All random outcomes are resolved by drawing a card from the fate deck and consulting the appropriate icons on the card.
Once you’ve got a taste for politics and battle, pick up the Crown and Glory expansion to add to your Warrior Knights experience. Adding new technologies like Black Powder and the Compass, as well as new action cards and two new positions (the Scholar and the King), Crown and Glory opens new paths to nobility - do you have the courage to tread them?
*text from the publisher's web site