El Grande: King and Villain

El Grande: Koenig & Intrigant
El Grande: King and Villain

Invented by Wolfgang Kremer and Richard Ulrich
Translation by John Webley
Distributed from The Rules Bank by Mike Siggins

Koenig & Intrigant is a variant of the game El Grande, and can only be played with a set of El Grande. With the exception of the rules laid out here, the game is played according to the normal rules for El Grande.


The power (1 - 13), and action cards from El Grande are replaced by the cards in this set. This means that all the rules of El Grande that pertain to the power and action cards are replaced by these rules. This set of cards includes:

Starting Position

Each player recives all 18 Action cards in their colour. Since the game is played with only 13 cards, the first action is for the player to discard 5 of their cards secretly, these play no further part in the game. The correct Caballero cards are sorted out, depending on the number of players. (See the overview card). The rest of the preparation for the game follows the normal rules for El Grande, with the addition that each player uses their disc to choose a region, and then places one caballero from their personal stock (Hof) in the chosen region.

The Cards

Action Cards

The large number at the top of the card is the value of the card. This determines the order of play. The number of caballero's heads on the card, determines the maximum number of caballeros that the player may move from the general stock (Provinz) into their personal stock (Hof). The writing on the rest of the card is the special action allowed by the card.

Caballero Card

This shows the maximum number of Caballeros that that player may take from their personal stock and place on the board.

Game Rounds

Each of the 9 rounds of the game contains the following phases, which must be carried out in the order given.

1) Move the turn counter on one space.

2) Each player in turn plays a card. In the first round the youngest player plays the first card, in subsequent rounds, the player who played the lowest value card in the previous round decides who should play the first card in this round. Play then proceeds clockwise. As in a normal game of El Grande, no player may play the same card as has already been played by another player.

3) Give out the King (Koenig), card, the Villain (Intrigant) card and the Caballero cards. The player who has played the highest card always gets the King card and the highest Caballero card, the player who played the next highest card gets the next Caballero card, and so on, down to the player who played the lowest card, who gets the lowest Caballero card and the Villain (Intrigant) card.

4) Each player takes their turn: Beginning with the player who played the highest value action card, followed by the player who played the second highest value action card and so on, each player takes their turn. A turn consists of one or more of the following actions:

Move up to the number of caballeros pictured on the action card you played from the Provinz (general stock) to your Hof (personal stock).

Carry out the special action allowed by the card.

Move up to the number of cabelleros on your caballero card from your personal stock to the board.

These actions may be carried out in whatever order the player prefers.

The player who played the highest value card is always the King and may not carry out the special action on the card they played but may instead carry out the action on the King (Koenig) card. The player who played the lowest value action card is always the Villain. They may not carry out the special action on the card they played, but must instead carry out the action on the Villain (Intrigant) card.

All other players must carry out the special action dictated by the card they played, unless the special action starts with the words "you may" or "you can", in which case they may choose whether to carry out the action or not.

All players, including the holders of the King and Villain cards may draw as up to as many caballeros as are shown on their original action card, from the general stock (Provinz) into their personal stock (Hof).

At the end of the round, all the action cards that have been played are removed from play. The King, Villain and Caballero cards are returned to the centre of the table, ready for the next round.

If only 2 or 3 player are playing, the players who get the King and Villain cards may choose whether to carry out the special action on the card that they played, or the action on the card they have received.

Notes on New Cards

Several of the cards in this new version are not identical to the original game. These may need some further explanation:

Card 10) Since the 10 is the lowest card in the game, the player who plays it automatically gets the Villain card.

Card 20) You need not place the Caballeros allowed by your Caballero card in a neighbouring region to the King, they may be placed anywhere you wish, except in the King's region.

Card 130) Take the Region cards, and secretly choose one of them, placing it face down in front of you. At the next general scoring round (rounds 3, 6, or 9), reveal this card, the region shown is scored twice.

Card 170) Special scoring round. After discussion with your fellow players, each player secretly chooses a region on their decision disc. Any region which is chosen by more than one player are scored. Any sort of deal is allowed, but offers made, are in no way binding on players.

Card 180) Since this is the highest card in the game, the player playing it automatically receives the King card.

Two Clarifications

We are frequently asked about two points from the original game. So as to simplify matters, here are explanations:

1) If a player has no more caballeros in the general stock (Provinz), they may instead withdraw caballeros from the regions on the board (but not from the castillo or the King's region) into their personal stock (Hof), so as to then play them again onto the board.

2) The scoring track around the boards is envisaged as a circle, if therefore a player's token reaches the starting point, they continue on for a second lap.

We have included 2 blank cards in the game. If you have any ideas for interesting new special actions, write them on these cards and try them out. If they prove good, send them to us. We will draw one of these suggestion cards every three months and send the winner a packet of our games. All rights reserved.

The Cards

10) Intrigant: Your decision is to be the Villain.

20) Place your caballeros in any region you wish (not just in regions neighbouring the King).

30) Back on the farm: All other players must return all the cabelleros left in their private stock (Hof) to the general stock (Provinz). This action takes place during your personal turn.

40) Veto: You may veto any special action carried out during this round. The card may be used at any point during the round, not specifically before or after your turn.

50) All other players remove 3 caballeros: starting with the player to your left and proceeding clockwise, all other players must move 3 caballeros from their private stock (Hof) or from the board (with the exception of the King's region or the Castillo) back into general stock (Provinz).

60) Special scoring round: All 6 and 7 point regions are scored.

70) Remove one caballero from each other player from the board and return it to the general stock (Provinz).

80) You may move your Grande into another region, and up to 3 caballeros from any region other than the King's region may accompany it.

90) Place a new scoring marker into the game, or move one already on the board to another region (other than the King's region)

100) Special scoring round: All 4 point regions are scored.

110) Special scoring round: The castillo is scored.

120) Special scoring round: All 5 point regions are scored.

130) Choose one of the region cards and place it face down in front of you. At the next general scoring round (after the 3rd, 65th or 9th round), turn the card face up. This region is scored twice during the scoring. The region card is then returned to the deck.

140) Take two cabelleros from each player and put them in the Castle (Castillo), The cabelleros from the other players must come from the board, your own 2 may be taken from your private stock (Hof) instead, if you wish

150) Special scoring round: Score for the region of your choice.

160) Move the King figure to a neighbouring region.

170) Special scoring round: Discuss with your fellow players which region should be scored. then each player chooses a region in secret, using their decision disc. Any region which is chosen by more than one player is scored.

180) Coronation: Since this is the highest card in the game, a player playing it is automatically King.

King (Koenig) Card: You may move the King figure to any other region:

Villain (Intrigant) Card: Move either one caballero from another player or all of your own caballeros from one region, and place them in any region of your choice, other than the King's region.

Caballero Cards: Move up to x Caballeros from your private stock (Hof) onto the board: They must be placed in the Castle (Castillo) or in a region neighbouring the King's region. Depending on the card, x may be any number from 1 to 5. The 5 card is the highest value; the 1 the lowest.

The Overview Card

Copyright 1997 Hans im Gluck Verlags GmbH, Birnauerstr.15 80809 München
This Translation John Webley.

Koenig & Intrigant: The Extra Card Set

These cards are only available from Hans im Glück (and various agents in other parts of the world), they are not for general sale.

15) Fiesta: You do not get any caballeros from general stock (Provinz), but may move up to 5 caballeros from your private stock (Hof), onto the board.

25) Spionage (Espionage): Before the next general scoring round, you need not choose a region on your decision disc. instead you wait until all other players have placed their figures and then pplace yours in any region you choose (other than the King's region). This card should be left face up in front of you until used.

35) Putsch: Throw all the other players' large blocks (Grande) into the Castle, (Castillo).

66) 6 Nimmt (The 6th takes) Place this card on any region of the board (other than the King's region) that contains 6 or less caballeros. From this point on, there may never be more than 6 caballeros in this region.

75) Take 1 Caballero from the general stock (Provinz) and place it on this card which remains face up in front of you. You may then put this caballero into any region of your choice (except the King's region) before it is scored.

95) Koeniglicher Schutz (Royal Protection): In you turn, choose a region. This region is thaen treated as though it were the King's region for the rest of the turn.

125) Remove any card that is face up on or around the board (25, 66, and 75 cards).

135) Special scoring round: Score a region in which you have some, but not the largest number of caballeros.

145) Special scoring round: Score a region. Once the region has been scored, all cabelleros in that region are removed to general stock (Provinz)

155) Special scoring round: The player who plays this card chooses 3 different regions. they then choose another player who decides which of the 3 regions should be scored.

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell