Design: W. Kramer/M. Kiesling
Number of players: 2 to 4
1 gameboard, 92 castlepieces, 24 knights, 4 stones, 1 king, 40 actioncards, 4 codex-cards, 3 phase-cards and 8 master-cards.
The goal: Three times during the game points are awarded to the players for the positions of their knights in the castles that were build. The player with the most points at the end of the game, will win.
Preparation: On the gameboard 8 castles are placed with a size of 1 piece. Each player receives a number of towers (height and number vary depending on the number of players). All actiocards are shuffled. Each player places 1 knight on one of the castles. The last player may place the king on another.
Gameturn: Each player can use 5 actionpoints in his turn to do some of the following actions:
By placing castlepieces the castles grow in size, but also in height. A castle cannot be higher than the size of the surfacespace used. Castles may not be merged. The higher the knights are placed in the castle, the more points you score. Knights cannot attack each other and every step they make, they may rise 1 level. A knight can also move through the castle, which counts as 1 space. When moving through a castle, a knight may not rise one or more levels. (It's not clear in the rules if he may rise during this move to get to the same level again.)
The actioncards give players the opportunity to break some of the rules. Each turn you can buy a maximum of 2 cards, which can be used on the following turns. Each turn you may use a maximum of 1 card. (It's not clear in the rules if the action itself you make with the card will cost actionpoints.)
Counting points: Three times during the game points are rewarded. Each player can score once for each castle. The knight with the highest position in a castle score points: multiply the surfacespace with the height of the knight. In the cast with the king you can score more points if your knight is on the 'right' level.
The end: The player with the most points at the end of the game, wins.
Valuation: I have played this game once and only with 2 players. It was clear that this is a good game. The first few moves were rather easy, but that changed quickly. The number of possibilities rose and there was an intense battle for some castles. Sometimes the downtime rose too. I am eager to try the game with more players. I've heard so many positive reactions. If I tried it, I'll let you know... Interesting !
Variant: In the rules there are 2 variants. The first one is an actiondeck for each player, consisting of the same cards. This reduces the luck factor in the game. The second one is a master-game. Each player gets all his actioncards and there is one mastercard. With this mastercard you can score a lot of points by getting your knights in specific positions. Furthermore the turnsequence changes. The leading player has to play first. This is a big change, because going first is a disadvantage.