Up to five players take turns placing map tile and, deploying followers in an attempt to control territory and earn points.
Each player takes their eight followers of matching color and places one on the scoring track. This follower gets the handy job of keeping track of your score during the game. The seven remaining pawns are used in the game and will be referred to as your supply.
Note: Move the follower on the track one space for every one point you earn during the game. If you score over 50 points during the game, lay the follower on its side to represent 50 points and start the track over again.
There is no actual game board, but rather tiles that build up the world that you play on. To start the game the “starter tile” is placed on the middle of your flat playing surface. Once the starter tile is placed, the remaining tiles are turned upside down and shuffled. It is recommended to stack the tiles in multiple stacks so that players can get to them easier. You might also keep them in an opaque bag. Note: The starter tile is a different color than the other tiles
Once the players decide on who is going first, that first player draws a land tile at random, shows it to the other players, and attempts to place it. Other players are allowed to make recommendations, and the tile must be placed. If all players agree the tile cannot be placed, it is removed from the game and another tile is drawn.
Tiles may only be placed adjacent to another tiles’ border. Connecting only the corners of a tile is not a legal move.
Legal tile placement involves placing a tile that continues the theme of the tile you are connecting it to. A tile can contain a combination of road, farm (grass), city, or cloister segments and all segments must “match up” with the tile or tiles they are connecting to. More specifically tiles cannot be placed in a fashion in which another tile would be blocked from attaching to any of its open ends.
Each player plays one tile during their turn. Play is continued clockwise until the last tile is placed, at which point the game is over.
During your turn:
Each player plays one land tile during their turn and then may place one follower from their supply. Calculate any points earned, and end your turn.
Followers may only be deployed on the tile you just placed, and can only be deployed from your supply. Deployed followers stay on the tile that they were placed upon until scored, at which point, they return to your supply. . Followers may not be deployed if the segment they are being deployed to will overlap another followers territory. If, through luck or clever tile placement, followers share the same territory then the player with the most followers in the shared territory will win the points. In the event of a tie (equal number of followers in a territory), full points are awarded to both players.
Territory is determined on a first-come first-served basis. If a player places a follower on a road or city before you do, you may still complete that city or road but if the tile you place would “overlap” with the other follower than you cannot place your own follower. There are ways to “sneak” a follower in to try to usurp the original follower by placing certain tiles that aren’t currently connected (so you can place a follower), but can be connected later on.
Scoring is done both during the game and at the end of the game, and you can only score points on objectives where you have followers. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. For ALL scoring purposes, a single tile is scored only once in a set, but may be scored for more than one reason. For example: a single tile with two city segments can only be scored once for the city it completes,but if it completes two separate cities then the same tile may be scored twice.
Roads are worth one point per tile that connects to the road. In order to claim a road, a follower must be placed on the road. A road is “completed” when both ends of the road are ended on a tile. Once a road is scored those followers are returned to your supply.
Completed cities are worth two points per tile. If incomplete at the end of the game, they are worth one point per tile. Certain city segments may have bonuses called “pennants” in them, which are represented by a blue shield icon. Pennants double the value of the city tile. For example: An incomplete city tile with a pennant is worth two points (instead of one), while a completed one is worth four (instead of two).
Cities are complete when they have no gaps or holes in their walls and are fully enclosed. Followers placed on the inside of a city can claim it for points. Followers are returned to supply once scored.
Cloisters are worth one point and one additional point for every tile around it. If a cloister is completely surrounded by eight tiles, it is worth nine points and the follower deployed is returned to the supply.
Farms are only scored at the end of the game, and are worth three points for every completed city they are connected to. Farm territory is determined by grassy area connected without obstruction. A wall or road can obstruct a farm, thus its territory is limited by such factors. A farm territory merely needs to touch any part of a completed city to count for scoring purposes. A large number of points will be awarded for farms at the end of the game, but remember, followers deployed as farmers remain locked in place until the game is over.
During Game Scoring:
Anytime you complete a cloister, road, or city, your followers are returned to your supply, and you move your piece up on the score track (one space per point).
End game scoring:
Followers that are left on the map are scored and removed from the map as they are tallied. You get one point for every tile in an incomplete road, city, or cloister. Farms are worth three points for each completed city they supply, but zero for incomplete cities.
The highest scoring player is declared a winner.