War of the Roses - General game info
War of the Roses
2 players, 10 years and older
AuthorDirk Henn
IllustratorAndreas Steiner
Published byKosmos
Online since 2004-12-31
Developed byKay Wilke (Sparhawk)
Boardgamegeek201
Yucata.de 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!
War of the Roses - Rules

The rules have been translated by Steffan O'Sullivan; adaptations by yucata.de.

Outline of the Game

The players of the game assume the roles of the royal houses of Lancaster and York, who fought the War of the Roses (both sides sported a rose on their arms) between 1455 and 1485 for control of the throne of England.  Each will try to bring the largest areas under their control.

Object of the game

The winner of the game is the player with the largest contiguous areas marked with his color of Rose.

Components

  • 1 playing board
  • 52 doublesided markers ("powerstones," with Red Roses on one side and White Roses on the other)
  • 24 power cards (there are three cards for each of the 8 directions, one each of value I, II, III)
  • 8 Hero cards (4 for each side)
  • 1 Crown marker

Preparation for Play

  • Place the board between the players, with one player sitting next to the crown printed at the top of the map. (He'll see the crown and words upside down.) This player plays the White Roses (House of York), and the other player plays the Red Roses (House of Lancaster).
  • Place the powerstones next to the board so each player can reach them.
  • Shuffle the power cards and deal five to each player. The rest of the power cards are placed face down beside the board as a draw pile. The players place their five power cards face up in front of them, so that the crown at the top of each card has the same orientation as the crown printed on the board.
  • Each player receives the four hero cards of his color – place them beside your power cards as illustrated.
  • Place the crown marker on the center space of the board (marked with a sun symbol).
  • The Red Rose player begins the game. Thereafter, players alternate turns.

Course of the game

  • Each turn, the player whose turn it is must choose exactly one of the following three possible actions:
    1. Play a power card
    2. Draw a power card
    3. Play a hero card and power card together
  • Moves are obligationary. If a player is able to move he has to do so even if the move is unfavorable for him. If a player is only able to move when using one of his hero cards he has to use one. If a player is not able to move he has to pass and it is again his opponent's turn.

1. Play a power card

Play one of your available face-up power cards and move the crown marker the direction and distance shown on the power card. The bright sword shows the correct direction to move the crown marker. In the crown on each card is the Roman number I, II, or III – move the marker the indicated number of spaces exactly. The following rules govern the movement of the crown marker:
  • The crown marker must move the full amount shown on the power card. You may not move the crown marker fewer spaces than shown.
  • The space the crown marker moves to must be empty. That is, there cannot be any powerstone of either player in the space.
  • You may not play a power card which would move the crown marker off the board.
Before placing the crown marker on its new location, place a powerstone with your color Rose showing on the space. Place the crown marker on top of this powerstone. Place the power card on a discard pile and do not draw a replacement.

2. Draw a power card

Instead of playing a power card, you may draw a power card from the draw pile. You may only choose this option if you have fewer than five cards. The new card is placed face up, with the crown on the card oriented with the crown on the board, as at the beginning of the game. When the last card is drawn from the pile, shuffle the discard pile and create a new draw stack with it.

3. Play a Hero card and Power card together

Each player has four hero cards to use once each during the game. If you have used all four hero cards, you may no longer choose this option. Use of a hero card allows you to move the crown marker to a space containing one of your opponent's powerstones. This power stone is then flipped to your color before placing the crown marker on the space. Thus a hero card is very powerful when played.

Flipping a powerstone

Use of a hero card allows you to turn over a previously played powerstone of your opponent. This is accomplished by playing a power card into the discard pile, as in option (1), and discarding a hero card [into a separate discard pile – they do not reenter the game once used]. Move the crown marker to the indicated space occupied by your opponent’s powerstone. Before you place the crown marker on this space, turn the powerstone over so it now shows your color of Rose.

End of the Game

The game ends in one of two ways:
  1. When both players have five power cards and neither can take any legal action; or
  2. When a player places the last powerstone on the board.
In both cases the game ends immediately. Each player now figures the values of their territories. A territory consists of one or more spaces containing your powerstones connected across at least one side. Spaces adjacent only diagonally do not count as connected – they must share an edge, not just a corner. Multiply the number of spaces in a territory times itself to get the value for that territory. Thus, a territory with 5 spaces is worth 25. Add the points from all areas to get a total score. The winner is the player with the highest point total. In case of a tie, the winner is the player with the largest single area. If still tied, the winner is the player with the most powerstones of his color on the board.
 
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