The goal of the game is to destroy your opponent’s castle and capture their crown.
Choose a side and set up your castle as shown below, with destroyed (greyed-out) side down. Castle cards are flipped over when hit during gameplay. Shuffle your remaining cards and place them face down, creating your draw deck.
You must attack your opponent’s castle in
the following order:
1. First destroy all four towers, in any order.
2. Knock down your opponent's entrance with a battering ram.
3. Open the chamber with your key to capture the crown. Victory!
Any cards that have been rebuilt must be destroyed before moving on to the
next step. Example: If you've already knocked down the entrance and your opponent rebuilds a tower, you must destroy that tower before opeing the chamber with the key.
Draw two cards to start. These cards make up your hand. Do not show your hand.
On each turn, draw the number of cards specified by the full and half blue icons on your castle.
Play the cards in your hand or discard until there are two remaining. You must ALWAYS end your turn with two cards in your hand.
Once all cards have been discarded, flip your discard pile over to become your new draw deck.
Note: Any card can be played or discarded on a turn. If you are drawing multiple cards (based on blue icons) some cards can be played and others can be discarded, as long as you end with two cards in your hand. You might discard a card because you don't need it, can't use it on a turn, or strategically don't want to use it.
If you end your turn with two cards and one of them is the key (and you are ready to open the chamber) you must wait till your folloing turn to open the chamber.
There are three types of armaments: catapults, crossbows, and battering rams. Place armaments from your hand to the left or right of your castle. You can only have two armaments in play at any given time. You may discard an armament in play and replace it with one from your hand during your turn.
If an armament
is placed, you can fire its projectile from your hand. Projectiles destroy parts of the castle with a matching red icon. Discard projectiles after firing.
You can destroy an opponent's armament using the same type of projectile. Double projectiles can destroy two cards at once. Those two cards can pertain to different players in a multiplayer game.
Play the rebuild card from your hand to flip one tower or entrance card of your choice back to its undamaged side. Discard the rebuild card upon use.
Play the key from your hand to open the chamber and win the game. In group play, the key may remain in your hand after use.
Place the blockade in front of your castle to shield it and your armaments from one attack from a bolt, stone, or ram. When a blockade is hit, it is moved to your discard pile. Your opponent cannot attack any part of your castle or your armaments while the blockade is placed, and they cannot use the key to open the chamber. Your opponent can use a double stone or double-bolt to simultaneously destroy the blockade and another element of your castle/armament.
Multiple decks can be utilized to play games with up to ten players. There are two styles of play: Every-Knight-for-Themself and Bridge-Style. In Bridge-Style, players work in teams and can help their partners by coordinating strategy and repairing each other’s castles with rebuild cards.
All basic rules hold true for group play. Turns are taken one player at a time moving clockwise around the group.