Carolus Magnus - General game info
Carolus Magnus
2-3 players, 30-45 minutes, 12 years and older
AuthorLeo Colovini
Published byWinning Moves
Rio Grande Games
Online since 2009-04-24
Developed byMarcel RĂ¼edi (Eibe Itu)
Boardgamegeek481 owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
Carolus Magnus - Rules


Carolus Magnus demands from his heirs (the players) to fortify in the regions of the empire with castles. The player need the support of the nobles families, that are administering the empire. Only the one that can influence them, can successfully strengthen the regions and win the game...

Goal of the game

The player with the most castles wins.


  • 15 Regions. These may contain the players castles and knights of the nobles families. The knights are represented by the family's coat of arms.
  • 1 Picture of Carolus Magnus. He moves clockwise from region to region. The white shadow pictures are showing where Carolus Magnus can be moved to.
  • For each player
    • A set of discs, numbered from 1 to 5.
    • A row with the coat of arms of the nobles families. If a player has the control over a family a sword is shown on top of the coat of arms.
    • 5 yellow boxes are holding the player's reserve of knights. The coat of arms above the box shows to which family the box belongs.
    • 5 brown boxes are holding the player's knights sent to the court. The coat of arms beneath the box shows to which family the box belongs.
    • A castle in the player's color showing the number of castles the player has built. If you move the mouse over a player's castle his last move is displayed.
(Move the mouse over the sections above to have the corresponding elements displayed on the picture of the board)

The board

Carolus Magnus the board
You are always playing white.


  • 15 Knights, 3 of each family, are randomly distributed to all regions so that each region contains exactly one knight.
  • Each player gets 7, in a 3 player game 9, randomly drawn knights into his reserve. It might be that he gets some jokers, there have to be exchanged into knights at the beginning of the first move, by clicking in the boxes in the reserve.
  • The first turn order is randomly determined. The turn order is shown as number in front of each players rank and name.
  • Carolus Magnus starts in the first region.

Flow of the game

  • Each round consists of the preparatory phase and the action phase following it.
  • In the preparatory phase the players decide in which order they will play in the round and how far each player may move the emperor.
  • In the action phase each player executes 3 actions in turn:
    1. bring knights from his reserve into the game.
    2. move the emperor and builds a castle where he stops
    3. refill his reserve

Preparatory phase

In the turn order each player selects one of his unused number disc. No player may select a disc that is already selected by another player in the same round, except he has no choice.

The numbers have two functions:

  • They indicate the order in which the players will play - the lower number begins. If two or more players have the same numbers, the one that is played first takes precedence. This results in the same order as the round before.
  • The number indicates the maximum number of steps a player may advance the emperor.

Action phase

Bring Knights into the game

In a 2 player game, each player puts 3 Knights from his reserve either into the court or a region. In a 3 player game, each player puts 4 Knights. To put a knight into the court, click on the brown box above the coat of arms.
To play a knight into a region, move the mouse into the region and then select the coat of arms from the box that is appearing.

When a knight is put into the court the game checks if the player has taken the control of the family. Whoever has put the most knights into the court controls the family. If the number is equal the current owner keeps control. The control of a family is displayed by a sword on front of the family's coat of arms.

Advance Carolus Magnus

Once the knights were brought in the play, the emperor is advanced in a clockwise direction, at least 1 step and at the most as many as the number shown on the disc the player chose in the preparatory phase. Click on one of the white shadow picture to advance Carolus into that region.

After the movement, the majority in the region where Carolus Magnus stands is checked. Whoever has the majority will get the region's castles. If there is no castle in the region, the player with the majority put one of is into it. If there are already castles in the region, the player with the majority replaces all of them with the same number of his own castles. The majority is determined by the number of knights controlled by a player plus his castles. Who ever has the highest sum has the majority. If there is a draw the majority does not change.

At the end it is checked if the are adjacent regions that are containing castles of the same color. All these regions are merged into one bigger region that now contains all castles and knights of all the merged regions. Such a region is much harder to take over but much more rewarding because all of the castles are changing the owner.

Replenish the knights reserve.

After moving Carolus Magnus and finishing the turn, the knights reserve is refilled with randomly drawn knights.In a 2 player game 3 knights are drawn, 4 in 3 player game. There might be some jokers among them, which have to be changed to knights by clicking on the box in the player's reserve.

End of the game

The game ends if one of the following condition is met:
  1. One player has built enough castles to win. In a 2 player game 10 castles are needed to win, in a 3 player game only 8. or
  2. There are fewer than 4 regions left. In this case the player that has built the most castles wins.
In both cases the game ends immediately.


Adaptation for the online version

The variant for 4 players is a team game and therefore not implemented here.
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