Welcome to Ancient China! The Warlord Sun Tzu once set out to unite the five Provinces of China. He was opposed by the Warlord King Shao. In Alan Newman's Dynasties, players take on the role of one of these ancient strategists, and try to outwit their opponent to control all of China!
The best way to learn to play Dynasties is to go back to the main menu in the app, and walk through the short Tutorial, then return here and refer to these instructions. The Tutorial covers the Basic game but come back here to learn more about the Advanced game, which uses the Warlord Tiles and other extra strategies.
China is divided into 5 Provinces. Over 9 turns (called Dynasties), players deploy their Armies by placing order Tiles, to try and gain Control in each Province.|
Each player starts with 21 Armies and a deck of Tiles. A player's basic Tiles (numbered 1 to 6) are always in their rack may be re-used every turn, while their extra Tiles (numbered 7 to 10, +1, -1, Plague), are drawn from a deck, may only be used once each and are then removed from the game.
In each Dynasty, the following stages take place:|
1 - Tile Placement
Each player secretly assigns five Tiles, one to each of the five Provinces. These may be any of the basic Tiles (numbered 1 to 6) or whichever of the extra Tiles they have drawn into their rack. Handy tip: any playable Tiles will be highlighted in gold.
2 - Draw New Tiles
Each player then draws 2 new Tiles from their deck, chooses one to keep, and returns one to the bottom of their deck. Exception: if a player used the 1 Tile in their turn, then they draw 3 new Tiles and keep 2.
3 - Resolve Province Battles
Each Province is resolved in turn, in random order, as follows:
4 - Remove Tiles From The Board
- Both Tiles are revealed and the player with the highest Tile value wins the Province battle. The winning difference is determined by the difference in value between both Tiles played.
- If the winning player already had Armies in the Province, or the Province is empty, then the winning player adds Armies from their reserve into the Province in an amount equal to the winning difference.
- If the losing player had Armies in the Province, then these are reduced first, by the amount of the winning difference. If the Province becomes empty then the winning player may start placing Armies into the Province up to the remaining amount of the winning difference.
Example 1: At the start of the Dynasty, there are no existing Armies in the Province of Mongolia. Player A plays a 7 Tile and Player B plays a 4 Tile. The difference is 3 in Player A's favor, so Player A places 3 Armies from their reserve into Mongolia.
Example 2: At the start of the Dynasty, Player A already has 2 Armies in the Province of Qinghai, from a previous turn. Player A plays a 7 Tile and Player B plays a 4 Tile. The difference is 3 in Player A's favor, so Player A adds 3 more Armies to the 2 already there, leaving 5 Armies in Qinghai at the end of the turn.
Example 3: At the start of the Dynasty, Player B already has 2 Armies in the Province of Mandarin, from a previous turn. Player A plays a 7 Tile and Player B plays a 4 Tile. The difference is 3 in Player A's favor, so once the 2 Armies of Player B have been removed, only a difference of 1 remains in Player A's favor. Player A places 1 Army from their reserve into Mandarin.
Example 4: At the start of the Dynasty, Player B already has 2 Armies in the Province of Xinjiang, from a previous turn. Player A plays a 5 Tile and Player B plays a 4 Tile. The difference is 1 in Player A's favor, so one of Player B's Armies is removed from the Province, leaving 1 of Player B's Armies there at the end of the turn.
- In addition to the number Tiles (running from 1 to 10) there are modifier Tiles (-1, +1) which with one exception (shown in example 6), will always take on a value relative to the opponent's Tile, so if a +1 Tile is played opposite a 5 Tile, then the +1 Tile acts as a 6.
Example 5: Player A plays a 5 Tile and Player B plays a -1 Tile. The winning difference is therefore 1 in Player A's favor.
Example 6 (exception): Player A plays a +1 Tile and Player B plays a -1 Tile. The winning difference is only 1 in Player A's favor. When a -1 Tile is played, the only value used is the value of the plus (+) Tile.
- If a player must add Armies to a Province but their reserve becomes empty, then the required Armies will all be taken from the neighbouring Province with the highest number of Armies. If the neighbouring Province itself becomes empty, then further Armies may be taken from the neighbouring Province with the next highest Army count, and so on. If, at any time in this process, there are no neighbouring Provinces with Armies in them, then non-neighbouring Provinces will be used.
- Each player has two Plague Tiles in their deck. If a Plague Tile is played, then no battle takes place but the Army count at that Province is reduced by half (rounded down, which means the last Army in a Province can never be removed by a Plague Tile). Handy tip: Plague Tiles can be used in offence or defence. In offence, they reduce your opponent's power quickly. In defence, they are a useful way of returning your Armies to your reserve or to cancel out an opponent's move if you think they are about to play a powerful Tile!
- If either player played a 6 Tile to the Province, an Army from that player's reserve is placed in the Province. This Army is used as a marker, so for the purposes of resolving future battles it no longer counts as an Army. That player may not play their 6 Tile to that Province for the rest of the game. If either player does not have enough Armies in their reserve to fulfil this requirement, then an Army is automatically taken from the neighboring Province with the most Armies.
Each player returns any of the basic Tiles (numbered 1 to 6) back to their rack. All other Tiles played this turn are discarded. Handy tip: at the top and bottom of the screen, each player's display has a paper slip corresponding to every extra Tile in their deck. When the Tiles are discarded, these slips burn, indicating which Tiles each player has remaining... useful information when trying to guess an opponent's next move!
Example 7: In one Dynasty, Player A played the following Tiles: 2, 5, 9, +1, Plague. At the end of the turn, the 2 and 5 are returned to Player A's rack, but the 9, +1 and Plague Tiles are now removed from the game.
5 - Notes
A Province cannot contain Armies from both players at once. The winning player must always eliminate all of their opponent's Armies from the Province first. The exception is the marker used after a player has played the 6 Tile to a Province, as this no longer counts as an Army.
It is possible (and quite common) for a Province to be left empty after a battle. This can happen if both players play Tiles of an equal value on an empty Province, Tiles that cancel each other out (e.g. two Plague Tiles on an empty Province), or if one player's winning difference has been adjusted down to 0 after removing opposing Armies from the Province.
Scoring takes place in Dynasties 3, 6 and 9, after the Province battles have been resolved.|
If a player has Armies standing in a Province after battles are resolved, then that player is said to have Control of the Province. Players receive a score for each Province they Control. Handy Tip: Provinces will change color to Red or Purple to indicate which player has Control.
The score for each Province is determined by the highlighted scoring number next to the Province name. The three numbers refer to the Province's scores for Dynasties 3, 6 and 9 respectively. These scores are determined randomly at the start of each game.
Once all 5 Provinces are scored, the difference between each player's total score is calculated and the Score Track on the left of the screen is adjusted by this amount.
Winning the Game
At the end of the 9th Dynasty, the player in the lead is the winner.
In Dynasty 3 and 6, if one player manages to move the Score Track up to 9 in their favour, then they immediately win the game.
The advanced game gives players extra abilities but fewer Armies, adding an extra level of depth to their gameplay. To play an advanced game, toggle Warlords = Yes in the game start menu.|
In the advanced game, players have a Warlord Tile which they may play once during the game. They choose one Tile from a selection of four at the beginning of the game. The effect of each Warlord is described on the Tile. Handy tip: most Warlord Tiles are playable after the regular Tiles have been placed and submitted. When a Warlord Tile is playable, it will be highlighted in gold.
Players also have a +2 and +3 Tile in their deck. To play the +2 Tile, a player must discard 1 Army from their reserve. To play the +3 Tile, a player must discard 2 Armies. After the Province battles are resolved, the +2 and +3 Tiles are discarded like any other extra Tiles played that turn. If the player does not have sufficient Armies in their reserve, then the cost will be taken from the Province where they have the most Armies.
After the Draw New Tiles stage, players may discard an extra Tile from their rack in order to add an extra Army to their reserve. They may do this up to three times in the game. The basic 1 to 6 Tiles may never be discarded in this way; only the extra Tiles. Discardable Tiles will be highlighted in gold.
Players start the advanced game with 18 Armies in their reserve instead of 21.