Designed by Klaus Teuber
Published by Goldsieber
Translated by Richard Ingram
Distributed from The Rules Bank by Mike Siggins
An exciting game about the limits of power for 2-4 players aged 12 and up. The King lies at death's door. The country's princes arm themselves for the succession. At the beginning of the game each prince owns 3 castles. As soon as a prince has completely surrounded one of his castles with boundaries he owns a territory. The bigger the territory the better. Territories bring power points. And you need power points in order to become the Lionheart King, worthy of succeeding the old king.
(Special rules for 2 players can be found at the end of the rules.)
In order to understand the following text better have the overview for the basic version to hand as you read.
If you have already played Lowenherz please now read the variable construction section. If you are playing Lowenherz for the first time play the game in its basic version.
In the basic version at the start of the game each player already owns a territory. The map parts should be set out within the frame as pictured on the overview:
1. Lay out the frame
2. Put the 6 map parts within the frame so that from top left the letters read in alphabetical order (see overview). Each player chooses a colour and receives 1 power stone, 3 castles and 12 knights in this colour, which he places in front of himself. (The fourth castle in each colour remains in the box. They will only be needed in the 2 player game.) Place the 3 castles, the 3 knights and the boundaries on the board as shown in the overview.
When playing with 3 the pieces of the unchosen colour are neutral. The pieces remain on the board as obstacles.
1. The action cards should be sorted in accordance with the letters on their backs. The resultant 5 piles should be shuffled separately. The pile featuring the letter A will not be needed in the basic version so return these to the box.
2. The remaining 4 piles should be placed face down one on top of the other in alphabetical order. The B cards lie at the top with the C, D and E cards lying underneath.
3. The action card deck should be placed on one of the two middle spaces on the frame, the other space being a discard pile.
Each player places his power stone on the start space of the power track
- on the lion.
The boundaries and the black start player castle should be laid near the board.
The money cards should be sorted out. There will be 3 piles with values of 1, 2 and 3 ducats. These should be laid face up on the 3 spaces at the left hand corner of the frame and form the bank.
2. Each player takes money cards worth 12 ducats, (2 x 1, 2 x 2, 2 x 3), and lays these face down in front of himself.
3. The politics cards should be shuffled and divided into 2 piles, one of 6 cards and one of 7. Both piles should be placed face down on the two right hand spaces of the frame.
4. The decision cards should be sorted using the coats of arms on their fronts. Each player chooses the coat of arms of his colour and receives cards with values of 1, 2 and 3.
5. Each player receives an overview card with a territory founding table on the back.
Territories are spaces which are completely enclosed by boundaries and contain 1 castle. In the example in the German rules book page 3, only ochre owns a territory. The castles of red and lilac are indeed completely surrounded by boundaries but no one owns both the castles in a single territory. The inner edges of the frame also count as boundaries.
TIP Try to lay your boundaries so that your territories are as large as possible and contain towns. This will bring you power points, and you need power points to win.
The youngest player starts and takes the black start player s castle. The start player turns over the top action card and lays it face up on the.discard pile. On the card will be pictured either 3 actions in a given order 1, 2, 3 or it will be a special silver mine action card. The meaning of this card will be explained at the end of the section.
If there are 3 actions pictured on the card the start player must decide which action he will carry out. To do this he places 1 of his 3 decision cards face up in front of himself. The other players follow in clockwise order and in turn each lay one card face up.
When playing with three, the start player lays down 2 decision cards at the same time.
Now the player who chose action 1 carries out his action, followed by the player who chose action 2 and finally the player who chose action 3.
Should two or more players have chosen the same action there will be a power trial (see power trials), as most actions can only be carried out by 1 player. Because of this it can happen that one player can carry out no actions during a round. When playing with three, there is a favourable possibility that the start player can carry out both his chosen actions.
If a silver mine action card is turned over, each player moves his power stone one space forward on the power track for each mountain range that he has enclosed in his territories. Then the player whose turn it is turns over another action card.
When all actions have been carried out, the players take back their decision cards into their hands. The start player gives the black castle to the person on his left who becomes the new start player and turns over the next action card.
The meaning of the different actions is explained in a shortened form on the overview card. Each player should have this card lying face up in front of him during the game.
1. Money bag - receive ducats. Whoever chooses this action receives as many ducats as stated. When 2 or more players have chosen this action the ducats are divided between them. Ducats which cannot be evenly split are not distributed.
2. Boundaries - you can place boundaries. You can place boundaries in order to establish your own territories. Whoever places a boundary, should remember that boundaries are neutral and are thus being made for neighbours as well. Depending on how many boundaries are pictured, a player can place 1, 2 or 3 boundaries on the map taken from the stock pile. The following rules must be observed:
3. Single sword and shield - place a knight or extend a territory. Whoever choose this action can either place a knight taken from his stock pile or extend one of his territories by 2 spaces.
Knights can only be placed on blank or wooded spaces. The placing of knights on wooded spaces however costs 5 ducats which must be paid to the bank.
e.g. see German rule book page 4 middle of left hand column - ochre would like to place one of his knights. He can only place it on one of the two spaces marked with arrows. The other spaces are not viable due to being separated by a boundary or due to their containing a mountain.
Important: if a player has placed all his knights, he then only has the option of extending his territories.
A player can extend one of his territories by one or two spaces, i.e. he enlarges his territory by taking over other spaces.
The 1st space must be adjacent sideways to the territory. The 2nd space can be adjacent to the just taken over space or adjacent to another part of the territory. See example at bottom of column one page 4.
e.g. see page four column two 3rd picture down - red can expand into the territories of lilac and ochre. Ochre can only expand into lilac s territory.
When a player expands his territory neutral zones can be created. Neutral zones consist of spaces which are enclosed by boundaries but contain no castle. Spaces in a neutral zone can be taken over by expansion of each neighbouring territory.
Important: territories can only be expanded by use of an expansion action card. It is not possible to enlarge a territory through the placing of boundaries.
e.g. it is not possible for ochre to take over the 4 red spaces by placing boundaries. These spaces now form a neutral zone - see picture top of page 5.
4. Two swords and two shields - place 2 knights or place 1 knight and expand one territory. Whoever chooses this action can either place 2 knights or in either order place 1 knight and expand one of his territories by 2 spaces. Expanding twice is not allowed.
5. Crown and sceptre - take a politics card.
Whoever chooses this action can look through one of the 2 piles of politics cards, select one card and place it face down in front of himself. The meanings of the politics cards will be explained later.
With the exception of the receive ducats action where ducats are distributed between players, one action can only be carried out by one player. If 2 players choose the same action, they can negotiate with each other as to who will carry out the action.
The players make mutual offers of ducats, the aim being to carry out the chosen action alone.
e.g. Fritz and Gabi have both chosen the action place 2 boundaries . Fritz offers Gabi 3 ducats to let him carry out the action. In response, Gabi offers Fritz 4 ducats. Fritz takes the money and Gabi can place 2 boundaries.It is not allowed for an action to be split between two people, for example, Fritz and Gabi may not agree to place 1 boundary each. Politics cards can not be the subject of negotiation.
If the players cannot agree, there will be a duel.
Important: If 3 or 4 players have chosen the same action, there can be no negotiations. A duel takes place at once.
All participating players take any number of money cards in one hand - none is also allowed. (It is best to conceal the cards in your hand so that other players may not see how many cards you are holding.) At the same time players reveal their cards. Whoever has bid the most ducats can carry out the action and gives his money to the bank. All other players take back their money.
If there is a tie for most ducats bid, these players take back their money cards and re-duel. If there is a second tie, no player may carry out the action and players take back their money.
Every time a player has founded a territory, whether it is his own or his opponent s, scoring takes place immediately.
The spaces in the territory are counted and will be cross referenced on the territory founding table with the power points.
Each town contained in the territory counts for an extra 5 power points.
The owner of the newly founded territory (this does not have to be the player who founded the territory) at once moves his power stone the same number of spaces along the power track as points have been scored.
e.g. see rule book bottom right page 5. Both players as yet have no territories: ochre places a boundary and with it founds 2 territories, one around his castle and one around lilac s castle. Scoring is in accordance with the territory founding table. Ochre s territory contains 12 spaces and 1 town. He receives 7 power points for the spaces and 5 power points for the town. As a result he moves his power stone 12 spaces forwards. Lilac s territory consists of 4 spaces and the lilac power stone is moved 3 spaces forwards. To conclude, the boundaries enclosed within the new territories are removed and returned to the stock pile.
When a player expands his territory, he can at once move his power stone one space forwards for each map space taken over. Whoever captures a town can move an additional 5 spaces.
If a player loses spaces or towns, he must move his power stone backwards accordingly. e.g. see top diagram 1st column page 6. Ochre has taken over 2 spaces (marked with red arrows) from lilac s territory. Ochre moves his power stone forward 7 spaces (2 spaces + town). Lilac must move his power stone back 7 spaces.
If through the expansion into another player's territory a neutral zone is created, the loss of spaces contained in the neutral zone should be recorded using the territory founding table.
e.g. see next picture page 6. Ochre expands into lilac s territory. Via this lilac loses 2 spaces and must move his power stone 2 spaces backwards. Ochre moves his stone 2 spaces forwards. In addition a neutral zone has been created (red spaces). For the loss of these spaces lilac must move his power stone back an additional 10 spaces (5 points according to the table + 5 points foe the lost town). Ochre however does not gain these power points.
When someone takes a politics card, they keep it in order to be able to play it at a later time. Cards with a black shield symbol in the top left corner will always be played with a decision card. Once played , politics cards are discarded. There are 4 different types.
This card is played at the same time as the chosen decision card. The instructions on the card are immediately carried out before the action and thus also before the next player lays a card. It therefore does not matter whether the player can carry out the action or not.
The alliance card has an effect on two neighbouring territories (one of your own and an opponent's): neither of these territories can now be expanded into the other.
As a sign of the alliance between the two territories, one of the shared boundaries should be turned by 90 degrees.
Important: Should the space on which the turned boundary is found later be taken over, the alliance between the original territories still exists.
An alliance can be ended at any time if one of the 2 players participating in it pays ten ducats to the bank.
e.g. see right hand diagram page 6. Lilac has played an alliance card together with his decision card. Ochre now no longer expand into lilac s lower territory. He can however still expand into lilac s right hand territory as no alliance exists between himself and this territory.
This card is played together with a decision card and is enacted as above before the action.
This card affects 2 neighbouring territories, your own and an opponents.
Whoever plays this card removes one knight from an opponent s territory (the owner places the knight back in the stock pile). At the same time the player must place one of his own knights from his stock pile in a territory of his own that borders it - obeying placement rules detailed earlier.
When removing an opponent s knight it should be observed that no knight can be removed which functions as a connecting link between another same coloured knight and the castle or between two knights of the same colour. e.g. see picture at top of page 7. Ochre plays a renegade card along with a decision card. He removes the knight marked with the red arrow from lilac (the knight on the right next to the castle can not be removed as this would break the connection with the castle). Accordingly he places one of his own knights.
Whoever removes an opponents knight from a wooded space must pay 5 ducats to the bank.
You are not allowed only to remove an opponents knight, without placing as well one of your own knights in your own territory.
It is possible that a castle may remain alone in a territory without knights.
The number on the card is the size of the treasure. It can be used during a duel together with other money cards, or on its own. The treasure card can not be exchanged for money cards. If it is used in order to place a knight on a wooded space or to dissolve an alliance no change is given.
These cards will be used at the end of the game. Their owners can move their power stones as many spaces forward as stated on the cards.
One of the action cards in the bottom part of the deck says the King is dead. When this card is turned over the game ends immediately. Each player receives once more 1 power point for each mountain in his territories. Whoever owns parchment cards moves his power stone the additional number of spaces stated on his card(s). Whoever's power stone has moved furthest round the track has won. In the case of a tie the player with the most ducats wins (treasure cards are included).
Once you have played the game for the first time, you should no longer follow the pattern given for the board in the basic version, but instead construct a new map with the six tiles. Follow these guidelines.
Mix up the tiles and place them within the frame. The order of the letters is no longer important.
One player begins and places a castle on one free plain space and beside it on a free plain space a Knight. The other players follow in clockwise order until each player has placed 3 castles and 3 knights.
Knights and castles can not be placed on towns or mountains. At the start of the game knights can also not be placed on wooded spaces.
Castles of the same colour must have a gap of at least 6 spaces between them (not diagonal).
When playing with 3, after placing the 3 castles and knights, each player in turn places one castle and one knight of the fourth unchosen neutral colour. The same distance rule applies to the castles of this neutral colour.
Action card pile A will now be used. As in the basic game each pile will be shuffled separately, but now pile A will be at the top of the deck.
The remainder of the preparations stay the same.
Lowenherz makes a very good game for 2 with just a few small rules changes. The game will be played with 3 colours. Each player chooses a colour, the 3rd colour is neutral. Each player places 4 castles and 4 knights in his colour on the board and then 2 castles and 2 knights of the neutral colour. Placement rules remain unchanged. Players take it in turns to place neutral pieces. Again castles of the same colour, including neutral, must be at least 6 spaces apart. The start player always lays 2 decision cards.
The Game Cabinet - firstname.lastname@example.org - Richard Ingram