Rulebook - IDW Games
RULE
BOOK
COMPONENTS
The warrior King Richard III and the ambitious Lady Macbeth have, through a series
of conquests, taken over control of most of Illyria. The land is dying and in a state of
decay, threatening everyone with starvation.
Character Sheets
(5)
Long-simmering debates over belief in a fabled Wizard-God Shakespeare cause friends to
become foes, and vaulting ambitions and self-interest threaten to tear apart the ties that
bind people together.
But there is hope.
In Kill Shakespeare you and your friends will join together to begin a rebellion to free
the kingdom from the clutches of Richard III and Lady Macbeth. Take on the role of:
-
Hamlet, the reluctant hero aiming to return to Denmark
Juliet, the rebel leader atoning for the death of a loved one
Falstaff, the comedic sidekick looking to leave a legacy greater than his drinking exploits
Othello, a sword-for-hire looking to avenge a betrayal at the hands of his best friend
Viola, a famed pirate operating under the name of her dead lover Captain Cesario
You must unite to liberate cities and peoples, remove the Influence of Richard III and
Lady Macbeth and complete quests to wrest Illyria from their vile hands. You will use
your own Influence to grow your army, while also stealing Troop Movement Letters and
City Plans in order to liberate the areas that have been occupied by Richard III and Lady
Macbeth’s forces. You must be careful, however, because not all of your companions can
be trusted. The treacherous Iago will aid you, but also seek to steal your plans and report your movements to your sworn enemies.
While only one of the heroes can rule the day, you will need to work together to ensure
that Richard and Lady Macbeth do not take over all of Illyria and – more importantly –
attain their final goal: kill Shakespeare. It’s up to you and your friends to Battle for the
Bard.
3
8
Score Tracker
(1)
Rule Book
Game Board (1)
Rule Book (1)
Juliet Token
(1)
Influence Tokens
5 colors (170)
Bid Tokens
4 colors (40)
Wheel of Fate (1)
Quill Token
(1)
Battle Tokens
(30)
8-Sided Dice
(8)
Area Tokens
(8)
Lowered Defense
Tokens (20)
Dice
(2)
The game play’s the thing.
GAME OVERVIEW
King Richard
Meeple (1)
Kill Shakespeare is a semi-cooperative area control board game. Players must work together to prevent
Richard III and Lady Macbeth from taking over the realm and finding and killing the elusive bard,
William Shakespeare. Each round players will decide whether to pay to cancel the threats and magic of
Richard III and Lady Macbeth or to save their resources to bid on items that will help them complete
various Quests. Players will swiftly navigate around the land working to liberate the realm of Illyria,
battling Richard III’s troops and claiming his strongholds as their own. While the players can lose as a
party, only one can be crowned the ultimate winner.
Action Deck Troop Deck Reward Deck Information
(60)
(24)
Deck (45)
(45)
OBJECT OF THE GAME
Prevent Richard III from finding Shakespeare and keep the land from losing all hope. Over the course of
six rounds players must keep Richard III from reaching the end of the Search For Shakespeare track, and
keep the hopes of rebellion alive in at least four of the eight Areas on the board. If they can do that, the rebellion succeeds and from their ranks, a Champion will emerge!
Lady Macbeth
Meeple (1)
Player Meeples (4)
Event Cards Event Cards
A (12)
B (12)
Easy Quest
Deck (20)
Hard Quest
Deck (30)
COMPONENTS
THE STORY
2
8
SOMETHING IS
ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF ILLYRIA.
SETUP
1. Place the game board and the Score tracker
within view and reach of all players.
2. Each player chooses a character and takes
their Character card.
3. Each player chooses a color and takes the
Bid tokens, pawn and Influence markers of that
color.
* If a player selects Juliet, that player exchanges
one of the value 3 Bid tokens with the +2 Bid
token.
4. Each player sets up their Character card and
personal area as follows:
● Use the side that corresponds to the number
of players playing (2 players or 3+ players).
● Place one Influence marker on the neutral
space of the Energy track, which is represented
by the wine glass with a star in it.
● Place one Influence marker in each of the two
available Influence marker spaces at the top of
the card.
● Place all remaining Influence markers beside
the Character card, creating a ‘reserve’.
● Place all Bid tokens aside. Bid token quantity
and value are hidden from other players during
the Event and Bidding Phases.
5. Each player places one Influence marker on
the 5 space of the Score tracker.
6. Randomly determine player turn order. Each
player stacks 2, 3, or 4 of their Influence markers
if there are 4, 3, or 2 players (respectively) on the
appropriate spot on the Turn Order track. The
stack tracks turn order; each Influence marker
will be used to track players’ actions during the
Action Phase.
7. In turn order, each player allows fate to decide where his or her pawn starts on the map.
Each player rolls one six-sided die and places
their pawn in the Area that corresponds to the
die result. (1-Isle of Prospero, 2-Messaline, 3-Delphos, 4-Cawdor, 5-Maentua, 6-Bohemia). Only
one pawn is allowed in each Area at the
beginning of the game; if an Area is already
occupied, re-roll. Players’ pawns may not start
in Avon or in The Forest of Arden.
8. Turn the Wheel of Fate so that the arrow of
the starting player’s color points to the single
Troop symbol.
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6
9
5
8
10
GAME PLAY
GAME SETUP
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9. Place four of King Richard III’s black Influence markers in every Area on the map. Place
one extra marker in Avon and two extra markers in The Forest of Arden. All remaining black
Influence markers are placed next to the board
forming a reserve.
10.Place King Richard III’s black pawn in Avon
and Lady Macbeth’s purple pawn in The Forest
of Arden.
16
11.Randomly place one Area token faceup in
each Area of the map.
12.In the space indicated, place one eight-sided
die to the right of each Area’s Hope symbol.
Turn the die so that the Area’s starting Hope
value is faceup (Isle of Prospero-4, Messaline-4,
Delphos-5, Cawdor-5, Maentua-6, Bohemia-6,
The Forest of Arden-6, Avon-7).
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7
17
12
14
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13.Place the Quill token on the first space, indicated with a star, of the Search For Shakespeare
track.
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14.In the space indicated, place one black Influence marker to the right of each Area’s Stronghold symbol (below the eight-sided die placed
in step 12). This indicates that King Richard III
controls the Area.
the spot adjacent to each deck empty on the card
track.
15.Put one of King Richard III’s black Influence
markers on the first space of the Round tracker.
18.Shuffle the Action cards together and place
the Action card deck next to the game board.
16.Randomly take three Event cards from the
‘A’ deck and set them aside. Shuffle all other
Event cards together and place them on the
Event track. Place the three ‘A’ Event cards, that
were previously set aside, on top of the pile.
19.Separate the Quest cards by difficulty: Easy
and Hard. Shuffle each stack separately and
place them adjacent to the board. Draw four
Easy and one Hard Quest card (as indicated on
‘Round One’ of the Round tracker) and place
them faceup on the Quest track from right-toleft, placing the Easy Quests first. The two red
spots with the Quill symbol are not filled during
the initial setup
17.Separately shuffle the Information and Troop
card decks and overlay them on the appropriate
spaces on the game board.
● For a 2 or 4-player game, take the top 4 cards
of each deck and place them in the designated
card tracks adjacent to their respective decks.
Place 2 of the cards facedown and two of the
cards faceup (as indicated on the game board).
● For a 3-player game, only take 3 cards off
each deck; only 1 card is placed facedown. Leave
20.Separate the Reward cards into six decks,
organized by card type. Place each stack faceup
and adjacent to the game board.
21.Create a pool of facedown Battle tokens to
be used as rewards for fighting King Richard
III’s armies. Players may choose to put the Battle
tokens in a bag or cup, so long as the values are
hidden.
22.All remaining items (the ‘Bidding Area Closed’
cards, the ‘Spy’ cards, and the Stronghold Defense
tokens) are placed faceup and adjacent to the
game board.
23.In turn order, each player chooses one of the
following three Reward cards: A Troop card
with a value of 1, City Plans, or a Stolen Letter,
and places it faceup in their playing area.
GAME PLAY
ROUND SEQUENCE
Kill Shakespeare is played over six rounds (or possibly less if the prodigal rebellion is crushed and
defeated by King Richard III and Lady Macbeth first). Each round consists of four or five phases, depending on if it is a scoring round or not, which are played in turn order.
1. Prep Phase
2. Event Phase
3. Bidding Phase
4. Action Phase
5. Scoring Phase (Round 3 and 6 only)
Phase 1: Prep (skipped for the first round)
a) Advance the Round marker to the current round.
b) Rotate the Wheel of Fate clockwise one space.
c) Resolve Area tokens
●Player (if any) with the ‘+1 Energy’ Area token receives one free Energy upgrade.
●Player (if any) with the ‘Action Card’ Area token draws one Action card from the Action card deck.
●Player (if any) with the ‘Troop card’ Area token receives one Troop card of value 1 from the
appropriate Reward card deck.
●Player (if any) with the ‘Stolen Letter’ or ‘City Plan card’ Area token may choose to take 1 of these cards from the corresponding Reward card deck.
d) In turn order, players may exchange three black Influence markers, if they have them, and draw
three Battle tokens. One Battle token is kept, the other two are returned without revealing their values. The Battle token guidelines are as follows:
●Players may make multiple exchanges, if they desire and are able to, on their turn. Each exchange is performed and resolved individually.
●Battle tokens are stored facedown on each player’s Character card; their values are kept hidden
(except during the Scoring Phase) but can be referenced by the owning player at any time.
●Each Character has an associated Battle token limit, which is indicated on their Character card.
If a player is at this limit they may still perform the exchange. To respect their Character’s Battle
token limit, a player must either swap the newly acquired Battle token with one of their existing
ones or choose to discard all of the newly drawn tokens.
●If one or more Battle tokens drawn have a Quill symbol, King Richard III advances one space
on the Search For Shakespeare track for each Quill revealed. The Quill Battle tokens are removed
from the game. The player still chooses one reward from any remaining Battle tokens that they
have drawn.
e) Each player retrieves all of his or her Bid tokens from the game board and their Character card.
f) Reduce the Hope by one (by adjusting the eight-sided die) in all Areas that are not liberated. An
Area is not liberated if there is a King Richard III Influence marker adjacent to the Area’s Stronghold
symbol. If the Area is liberated, do not adjust the die – its Hope remains constant.
●If, at any point in the game, an Area’s Hope is reduced to 0 the Area’s Hope die is removed and
King Richard III advances one space on the Search For Shakespeare track. If Avon’s Hope becomes
0, King Richard III advances two spaces.
●An Area’s Hope may not be less than 0.
g) If necessary, each player refills one or both of the Influence marker spaces on their Character card
from their reserve.
h) Each player takes the Influence markers set beside the Turn Order track during the previous Action
Phase and restacks them on their appropriate Turn Order spot.
i) Refill the Troop and Information card tracks as described in step 17 of the Setup (but do not reshuffle each deck!).
j) Restock the Quests:
●If necessary, discard any Quests remaining on any of the two red spaces on the Quest
track. Advance King Richard III one space on the Search For Shakespeare track for every
Quest card removed this way.
●Preserving their order, slide any remaining Quest cards to the right, filling the two red Quest
track spaces first. If players have completed enough Quests to not fill one of the two red Quest
track spaces, it remains empty for the remainder of this round.
●Fill any remaining empty spaces on the Quest track with new Quest cards. If either of the two
red spaces are empty, leave them empty. Refer to the Round tracker to determine how many
Easy and Hard Quests to add each Round. Players only draw and place as many Quests as there
are available spaces to put them on the Quest track (maximum 5).
Always place Quest cards from right-to-left. Easy Quests are placed first, followed by any Hard Quests. If
the Easy Quest deck is exhausted, players may only take cards from the Hard Quest deck.
Note: If a new Quest card requires the active player, indicated by the player icon with a ‘1’ in it,
be in an Area with a destroyed Stronghold, it is discarded and a new Quest card is drawn. Repeat as many times as necessary.
Phase 2: Event
a) The starting player takes the top Event card from the deck,
reads it aloud, and places it faceup next to the Event deck.
b) Movement Orders: The starting player moves and resolves
King Richard III’s and/or Lady
Macbeth’s pawns individually and in order. Their pawns are
moved to the Area indicated on the Event card and
resolved as follows:
●King Richard III: Place one black Influence
marker from the reserve in the Area he moves
to. Reduce the Area’s Hope by one, even if the
Area is liberated.
If Hamlet is in this Area, he must flee to an adjacent
Area and pay the Energy cost. If he is exhausted and is
unable to pay the Energy, he loses one Victory Point.
Hamlet may also use his positive special ability at this
time.
The Event
Move Order
Cost to
Cancel Event
7
8
GAME PLAY
GAME PLAY
6
8
●Lady Macbeth – When moving to an Area with Player
Influence: If there is one or more player Influence markers in her destination Area, one of the
players who has Influence in the Area rolls one six-sided die. On a roll of 1-4, the player in that
position on the Turn Order track loses one Influence marker from the Area (if possible). On a roll
of 5, all players with Influence in the Area lose one Influence marker from that Area; on a roll of
6 nothing occurs. If no Influence is lost by the rebellion, an Iago card is placed faceup on the Iago
card stack (next to the revealed Event card).
If Othello is targeted by the die result and he only has his pawn in the Area, nothing happens to him.
OR:
●Lady Macbeth – When moving to an Area without Player Influence: If her destination Area
does not contain any player Influence markers, place a black Influence marker from the reserve
in the Area. The Area’s Hope remains unchanged.
●Although players cannot control King Richard III’s and/or Lady Macbeth’s movements, they
may play certain Action cards to cancel their movement’s effect.
●If as a result of the Movement order, King Richard III or Lady Macbeth’s pawn remains in the
same Area, their effects are still applied.
c) Event Cancellation Bid: After completing Richard III and Lady Macbeth’s movement, players
may now attempt to cancel the Event card’s effect. The price to cancel an Event is marked at the bottom of the card (2 players/3 players/4 players + every Iago card faceup on the Iago track adds an
additional cost of 4, 6, or 8 Bid points depending on the number of players). Players are free to discuss,
debate, and plan together, but are not obliged to be honest and follow through.
Players secretly place their bids, using any number of Bid tokens, in a closed fist and simultaneously
reveal their bid point value when all players are ready.
•If the sum of all the bid point values is equal to or greater than the cost to cancel the Event, the
Event and all of its effects are cancelled. The player who contributed the highest bid point value
receives two Victory Points. If there is a tie both players receive two Victory Points, unless one of
the players is Falstaff, who wins the draw.
•If the sum of all the bid point values is less than the cost to cancel the Event, the Event and
all of its effects occur. The player who contributed the highest bid point value receives one Victory Point. If there is a draw both players receive one Victory Point, unless one of the players is
Falstaff, who wins the draw.
Event Phase Example
The Event card THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR is drawn in a 4-player game. The cost to
cancel
the Event is 21 bid points. Unfortunately, there are also two faceup Iago cards in play. To cancel the Event
players must pay (2 x 8 = ) 16 bid points in addition to the cost indicated on the Event card; 21 + 16 = 37
bid points. Additionally, the Quill on the Event card may be cancelled to prevent King Richard III from
advancing one space on the Search For Shakespeare track. This costs the players an extra 12 bid points
above the cost to cancel the Event; 37 + 12 = 49 total bid points are required to cancel the Event and the
Quill. It is possible that the players may pay enough to cancel the Event but not the Quill.
e) Wheel of Fate: The Wheel of Fate is controlled by the last player in Turn Order. This player may
pay three bid points to rotate the Wheel of Fate clockwise one space; they may do this as often as
desired so long as they can pay the extra cost for each additional space rotated. Conversely, the last
player may play one Jester card to rotate the Wheel of Fate counter-clockwise one space; this can
only be done once per round. Once all Wheel of Fate adjustments are made, all players receive the
item corresponding to their positions on the Wheel of Fate.
Phase 3: Bidding
a) Planning: Using some of their remaining Bid tokens as currency, players may freely discuss and
plan how to allocate Bid tokens to their Energy and Time tracks on their Character card. Any number
of Bid tokens may be allocated to either of the two tracks. Turn order is not relevant for planning.
Energy track
The cost, in bid points, to increase one Energy level is listed at the bottom of each Energy level.
Energy levels cannot be increased beyond the limits of the Energy track, nor can an Energy level
be skipped. Players may increase their Energy levels as often as they are willing and able to pay.
Used Bid tokens are placed aside and are not available again until the Prep Phase of the next
round. Players require Energy to move their pawns from Area to Area and to complete various
Quests.
•If the players fail to cancel an Event, all faceup Iago cards on the Iago card stack are removed –
his treachery has succeeded!
Juliet’s +2 token and the +1 Area token may be used after the bids are revealed.
If there is a Quill on the Event card, King Richard III will advance one space on the Search For
Shakespeare track. The players may avoid this if they collectively pay an additional 6, 9, or 12 (for a
2, 3, or 4-player game) bid points during the Event Cancellation Bid. King Richard III’s advance can
only be stopped in addition to cancelling the Event.
Used Bid tokens are placed aside and are not available again until the Prep Phase of the next round.
d) The starting player rolls both six-sided dice and places them on the compass symbol on the map.
The dice are resolved as follows:
•2-9: No immediate action required. This is resolved during the competitive bids in the Bidding
Phase.
•10: Immediately add one black Influence marker to Lady Macbeth’s current Area.
•11: Immediately add one black Influence marker to King Richard III’s current Area.
•12: Advance King Richard III one space on the Search For Shakespeare track.
Jester cards, various Action cards, and the ‘Cheap Energy’ Area token may prove valuable during planning.
Time track
9
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GAME PLAY
GAME PLAY
8
8
Each player may place as many Bid tokens as necessary with their bid point values faceup on their
Time track. This represents ‘Time’, which is necessary to complete various Quests in the Action
Phase.
In the event players overpay the cost, change is not provided.
b) Competitive Bids: Players competitively bid on Turn order, Prophecy cards, and Troop cards
using the last of their Bid tokens as currency. A maximum of two Bid tokens may be used to bid on
each item; players may also choose not to bid on any item. Bids on all three items are made before
they are all simultaneously revealed.
If a 2-9 was rolled in step ‘d’ of the Event Phase, a player may be awarded with an Action card if
they make one competitive bid of exactly the same value as the dice result. This is only awarded
once per player per round.
The ‘Spy’ card and the appropriate Action card may be used to look at all of the face-down cards in one, or all,
of the card tracks.
Turn Order
Each player (in turn order) places zero, one or two Bid tokens next to the Turn Order track. The
first Bid token is played faceup. The second Bid token (if used) is placed facedown as a closed bid.
Phase 4: Action
In turn order, each player must take one of the four possible Actions. After their turn is complete
the active player removes one Influence marker from their pile on the Turn Order track and sets it
adjacent to their stack, so Turn Order may still be identified after all turns are complete. Once all Influence tokens are removed, the Action Phase is complete. In a 2, 3, or 4-player game each player has
4, 3, or 2 Actions (respectively) available to them each round.
Possible Actions:
a) Complete a Face-up Quest (from the Quest track)
●Input Requirements: The active player must have their pawn in the first Area (‘1’) and satisfy all
additional input requirements on the Quest card. Inputs that are greyed out are discarded; inputs in
color are not discarded and are kept by the active player. Quests may be completed in any order.
●2-player Quests: Some Quests require two players to complete. The active player must meet all
Information Cards
Each player (in player order) places zero, one or two Bid tokens next to the Information card
track. The first Bid token is played faceup. The second Bid token (if used) is placed facedown as a
closed bid.
Troop Cards
Each player (in player order) places zero, one or two Bid tokens next to the Troop card track. The
first Bid token is played faceup. The second Bid token (if used) is placed facedown as a closed bid.
The Quest
Required Location
If a player has the ‘blind bid’ Area token, their first Bid token for all categories can also be placed facedown.
c) Resolve Bids
Simultaneously flip over and reveal all facedown Information and Troop cards along with any facedown Bid tokens used for the Turn Order, Information Card, and Troop Card bids.
Juliet’s +2 token and the +1 Area token may be used after all bids are revealed. If necessary, these tokens are
resolved in turn order.
Each of the three bid items is resolved in the same order they were bid on. Falstaff wins any draw,
otherwise draws are broken in turn order (which may change when the bids are resolved!)
Turn Order: In order from highest to lowest bid, each player chooses a position on the Turn Order
track.
Information Cards: In order from highest to lowest bid, each player selects one card from the
Information card track. If playing with 2 players, see the Special Rules section.
Troop Cards: In order from highest to lowest bid, each player selects one card from the Troop card
track. If playing with 2 players, see the Special Rules section.
●If a player “wins” an Iago card, it is placed faceup on the Iago card stack. The player loses 1
Victory Point (or 2 if the player is Othello).
●If a player did not place a bid (either by force or by choice) or bid a total bid point value of ‘0’
on the Information or Troop cards, they do not ‘win’ a card – the card is unclaimed. Unclaimed
Iago cards are placed faceup on the Iago card stack next to the Event deck; all other unclaimed
cards are discarded.
●If, at any point in the game, a fourth Iago card is placed faceup on the Iago card track King
Richard III advances one space on the Search For Shakespeare track. The fourth Iago card is discarded but the previous three Iago cards remain in place – they are not discarded.
Requirements to
Complete Quest
Quest Reward
Hard Quest
Easy Quest
the input requirements listed on the Quest card (as above). The second, or non-active, player is
only required to have their pawn in the second Area (indicated on the Quest card with a ‘2’). The
active player may ask a non-active player to move their pawn to the second Area if there are no
player pawns already there (see ‘Movement’ on page 12).
A non-active player may not leave an Area, nor decline to help the active player if they are already in the required Area to complete a 2-player Quest. If there are two or more non-active
player pawns in the required Area, the active player may choose who will help.
●Rewards: The active player takes and keeps the Quest card and receives all of the rewards
listed on the bottom. For 2-player Quests the second, non-active, player is always awarded with
two Victory Points and an Action card for their assistance.
b) Move Influence Markers
The active player may move up to two of their Influence markers on the map to an adjacent Area;
the markers’ starting Areas and destination Areas need not be the same.
c) Place Influence Marker
The active player may take one of the two available Influence markers on their Character card (from
step ‘g’ of the Prep Phase) and place it in the same Area as their pawn. The Influence token does not
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GAME PLAY
GAME PLAY
10
8
come from the player’s reserve.
13
8
d) Take No Action
The active player may gain two Energy in lieu of taking an Action.
GAME PLAY
GAME PLAY
12
8
Extra Action: If any player(s) possess a card or token granting an extra Action, these actions are
granted at the end of the Action Phase. Any extra Actions taken are resolved in turn order and players may only take one extra Action per round, regardless of how many cards or abilities they possess.
In addition to taking one Action on their turn, the active player may also do the following as often as
they like (provided they have the means to do so):
●Trade: (or donate) any cards with other players. All trades/donations must include the active
player and need not be considered ‘fair’. Only cards can be traded.
●Movement: It costs 1 Energy for a player to move their pawn from one Area to an adjacent Area. A non-active player may move their pawn, but is not obligated to, only if the active player asks them
to do so to help complete a 2-player Quest. The non-active player must still pay the Energy cost.
* Hamlet receives one free movement to any Area every round.
●‘Extra Action’ Card: The active player may exchange any three cards for one ‘Extra Action’
card. The player may do this as often as desired, but may only take one ‘Extra Action’ per Action
Phase (as described above).
A setup for Battle Richard.
Battle King Richard III – Liberate An Area:
A battle is immediately triggered in an Area when the players’ Influence markers outnumber King
Richard III’s Influence markers. All players with Influence in the Area must participate in the battle.
The battle is resolved as follows:
●In reverse turn order, each player with Influence in the Area removes one of their Influence
markers and one of King Richard III’s Influence markers. This is repeated until all of King Richard III’s Influence markers are removed from the Area. Players return their Influence marker(s)
to their supply; King Richard III’s Influence marker is kept and may be used to exchange for Battle tokens (in the Prep Phase and at the game’s end).
Othello’s pawn counts as one Influence for triggering a battle. During battle resolution his pawn
is not removed and stays in the Area. He does not receive a King Richard III Influence marker for
his pawn. His pawn will always be the last man standing after battle.
●The Area is liberated! Remove King Richard III’s black Influence marker adjacent to the Area’s
Stronghold symbol to indicate that the rebellion may now attempt to siege and destroy the Area’s Stronghold.
●At the end of a battle, one player’s Influence token will be left in the Area. This player is
awarded the Area token and places it on the corresponding Area space on their Character card.
The Area tokens are further described on the Decoding the Icons page on the back of the rulebook.
Warning! If at any point King Richard III regains Influence superiority in a previously liberated Area, the
Area token is removed from the owning player’s Character card and from the game.
Siege and Destroy a Stronghold: An Area’s Stronghold may only be destroyed after the Area itself
is liberated. An Area’s Stronghold is immediately destroyed when there are more player Influence
markers in the Area than the Stronghold’s Defense rating, which is indicated next to the Stronghold’s symbol on the game board (Prospero-3, Messaline-4, Delphos-4, Cawdor-5, Maentua-5, Bohemia-5, Arden-6, Avon-6).
Destroying a Stronghold is resolved as follows:
●The player with the most Influence in the Stronghold’s Area takes an Influence marker from
their reserve and places it next to the Stronghold’s symbol (where King Richard III’s Influence
marker started the game); this player is now the Area Leader.
A liberated city.
Ties are settled in player order. Falstaff wins any tie he is involved in.
●All players that helped destroy a Stronghold, by having one or more Influence markers in the
Area, are awarded Victory Points. Each participating player receives a number of Victory Points
equal to the Area’s remaining Hope divided by the number of players involved in destroying
the Stronghold. Any remainders are rounded down and are additionally awarded to the Area
Leader.
If the Stronghold in The Forest of Arden is destroyed, Lady Macbeth’s pawn is removed from the
game; ignore all future movement orders for her during the Event phase.
Rebuild a Stronghold:
If at the end of the Action Phase an Area with a destroyed Stronghold has more King Richard III
Influence markers than the sum of the players’ Influence markers in that Area, the Stronghold is
rebuilt by King Richard III. The Area is forever lost to the rebellion and its Hope is immediately reduced to zero. King Richard III advances one space (two spaces if the Area is Avon) on the Search
For Shakespeare track. Remove the Area’s Hope die from the game and exchange the Area Leader’s
Influence marker adjacent to the Stronghold symbol for one of King Richard III’s. The Area Leader
loses two Victory Points, and the Area token is removed from their Character card.
Phase 5: Scoring (only in Rounds 3 and 6)
●Round 3 Only: If King Richard III has more Influence markers than the players in at least five
Areas, he advances one space on the Search For Shakespeare track.
●Round 6 Only: In turn order, players may exchange King Richard III Influence markers for
Battle tokens. Players follow the same procedure and guidelines as described in Part ‘d’ of the
Prep Phase with one exception: each player may only make one exchange.
Scoring Categories – Relative Rank:
The Victory Points awarded in three of the Scoring Categories are dependent on a player’s rank, or
Example of Victory Point Reward:
Juliet, Hamlet and Falstaff conquer Avon, which currently has 4 Hope; Juliet gets two points because she
has the most Influence in the Area; Hamlet and Falstaff get one point each.
If more Players help destroy a Stronghold than there is Hope in the Area, then the Area Leader recieves all
of the Victory Points.
how they did relative to each other. The awarded Victory Points depend on the number of players in
the game:
●2 players: The first player receives 2 Victory Points
●3 players: The first and second players receive 3 and 1 Victory Points (respectively)
●4 players: The first, second, and third players receive 3, 2, and 1 Victory Points (respectively)
In the event of a tie for any rank, all tied players receive the full Victory Point amount for that rank.
To determine if additional Victory Points will be awarded to players that finished below the tied
rank of a particular Scoring Category, individually count all the players that have already been
awarded Victory Points; if there is still a position available to be scored, it is. Reminder: Falstaff wins
all ties.
The Relative Scoring Categories are the following:
1) Most Influence markers on the map.
2) Most Areas as ‘Leader’. A player must be an ‘Area Leader’ in at least one Area to score Victory Points. (Recall that an ‘Area Leader’ is determined when its Stronghold is destroyed).
3) Most Quests completed. A player must have completed at least one Quest to earn any Victory
Points. The Quest’s difficulty level is not important.
Scoring Categories – Individual Performance:
The remainder of the Scoring Categories are based on individual performance and are as follows:
4) Each player earns Victory Points for Iago cards in their possession.
A Iago card can be earned by exchanging the Jester card for it or by accomplishing certain Quests. In either
instance, the player takes a faceup Iago card from the Iago card track (if available).
1, 2, or 3+ Iago cards award 0, 1, or 3 Victory Points to the possessing player. Iago cards are not discarded after they score (Round 3); players keep them for future scoring or trading opportunities.
5) Each player reveals and scores the total value of their Battle tokens. Battle tokens are not dis-
carded after they score (Round 3); players keep them for future scoring (Round 6).
6) Each player may discard any number of Jester cards for one Victory Point each.
7) Each player earns one Victory Point for every Area that they ‘Lead’. (Recall that an ‘Area Leader’
is determined when its Stronghold is destroyed).
8) Round 6 Only: The player who has completed the most Easy Quests and the player who has
completed the most Hard Quests both earn one Victory Point. In the case of a tie, Falstaff wins.
Otherwsie all tied players receive one Victory Point.
9) Round 6 Only: Each player receives Victory Points for the total number of Areas where they
have at least one Influence marker present. The awarded Victory Points are:
Othello’s pawn counts as one Influence marker on the map.
End Conditions:
If at any point during the game one of the following conditions is met, the rebellion fails and the
game ends in immediate defeat for all players:
●King Richard III finds and kills Shakespeare (by advancing to the final space on the Search For
Shakespeare track). If this occurs, fate may reward the rebellion with a second chance. In reverse
turn order the first player who has a Jester card must play it; King Richard III’s Influence marker
on the Search For Shakespeare track goes back one space. Shakespeare lives and the rebellion
limps on!
●4 Areas have zero Hope. The people’s spirits are crushed for good and the rebellion ends in defeat for all players.
●If King Richard III has 13 or more total Influence markers on the map at the end of the 6th
round. The rebellion was too slow, unorganized, and ultimately useless.
If the rebellion survives to the end of the game, a Hero will emerge from its ranks. The player with
the most Victory Points is the Hero (and game winner). In the event of a tie involving Falstaff, he
wins! If Falstaff is not involved in the tie, then the player currently in first position for turn order
wins the tie.
1-2 areas
0 points
3-4 areas
1 point
5 areas
2 points
6 areas
3 points
7-8 areas
5 points
SPECIAL RULES
● Players must keep all of their information public except for the value of any Battle token(s) they
possess and the value and quantity of their Bid tokens; these may be kept hidden.
● An Area has no stacking limit and may contain any combination of players’ Influence tokens.
15
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GAME PLAY
GAME PLAY
14
8
● If, at any point in the game, a fourth Iago card is placed faceup on the Iago
card track King Richard III advances one space on the Search For Shakespeare
track. The fourth Iago card is discarded but the previous three Iago cards remain in place – they are not discarded. The faceup Iago cards may only be removed when an Event is not cancelled, when a player is awarded with one for
completing a Quest, or when a player uses a Jester card to take one.
Jester Cards May Be Used in the Following Ways:
● Event Phase: To turn the Wheel of Fate one step counter-clockwise (Event
phase: Step ‘e’).
● Action Phase: As a wild card to replace any Information (Stolen Letter or City
Plan) or Troop (any value) cards
required to complete a Quest.
● Anytime:
o To move King Richard III’s Influence marker back one space on the Search For Shakespeare track.
o To take one faceup Iago card from the Iago card track. Players keep any Iago cards removed this way to score in the scoring rounds (rounds
3 and 6).
o A player may increase their Character’s Energy to their maximum level at no cost.
● Game End: Jester cards are worth one Victory Point each.
2-Player Game Setup Rules
●Setup:
oUse the 2-player side of the Character card.
oPut one non-playing, or neutral, pawn next to the game board.
●Bidding Phase: Four cards are placed in the Information and Troop card tracks (as done in a
4-player game). The winning bidder chooses one card first; then the second player chooses one
card. The winning bidder then selects a second card followed
by the losing bidder.
● Action Phase:
o All players have four Actions.
o If the second, non-active, player does not want to or cannot help with a Quest that requires two players, the active
player may spend one Energy to place the neutral pawn in an
Area of their choice in order to satisfy the Quest requirement.
When the Quest is complete the neutral pawn is put back beside the game board.
VARIANT GAME PLAY
The following are some suggestions to mix up the game play
to either make it more challenging, less challenging, or simply
different. Players are free to pick and choose any of the suggestions listed below in a particular category to tailor the Kill
Shakespeare game experience for their own enjoyment. Players
are also free to come up with their own variants – be inventive
and enjoy!
Expert Game Play (Setup Changes)
●Place the Quill token further along on the Search For Shakespeare track.
●Add one extra black Influence marker to one or more Areas. Players may work up to and
decide what is appropriate for their gaming preferences.
●Reduce the Hope of one or more Areas by one.
Novice Game Play (Setup Changes)
●Place the Quill token off the Search For Shakespeare track. Move it to the starting position,
marked with a star, when King Richard III makes his first advance on the track.
●Each Area starts with four of King Richard III’s black Influence markers; Avon and The Forest
of Arden do not receive any additional markers.
●Increase the Hope of one or more Areas by one.
Other Game Play Variants
●The Quests of Kill Shakespeare are written as thematic sets. Players may be awarded two extra
Victory Points for collecting all three parts of a specific Quest set.
●Play the game until players eradicate all of Richard III’s black Influence markers from the
board. The game ends as soon as the last black Influence marker is removed from the map.
17
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
GAME PLAY EXAMPLE
16
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THE CAST
18
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CREDITS
THE CAST
Hamlet’s charisma and eloquence allows him to charm the people of the land to aid him – giving him one free move a turn, but the fact that
King Richard III is convinced Hamlet is the Shadow King means the Dane can never end a turn in the same region as Richard.
Hamlet
If Hamlet is proven to be the Shadow King he will kill Shakespeare and take the Quill in order to bring his father back from the dead and
return home to Denmark to mete out bloody justice upon his father’s killers.
If Juliet is the one to wear the Shadow Queen’s mantle, she will save Shakespeare and ask him to use his power to return the land to its
former glory.
Because of his prowess with a blade Othello counts as an extra fighter in any encounter, but Othello’s hatred of Iago means he can never
earn points by playing an Iago card and Iago’s negative effects hurt the Moor more keenly than anyone else.
If Othello wins the title of Shadow King he will save Shakespeare but cares not whether the Bard is good or evil; he simply wants Shakespeare to unmake him so that he can be reunited with Desdemona.
Viola is a woman with a secret: she is pretending to be the famed pirate Captain Cesario. Viola took the mantle of Cesario after her lover
died fighting Richard’s fleet and has hidden herself in the Captain’s clothing ever since. As a pirate Viola believes in anarchy and trusts
nobody. She fights with the Prodigals because she wants Richard dead for what he did to the man she loved.
Viola’s mastery of the water means she can travel faster than any other character in Illyria, but her pirate crew is unreliable in a fight
and Viola will be at a disadvantage whenever troops are called for.
If Viola fights her way to becoming the Shadow Queen she will kill Shakespeare and take the quill herself so that she can rid Illyria of all
its would be rulers.
A wonderful pain in the ass, Falstaff is an often drunk but more often helpful smuggler who has aided the Prodigal cause since the beginning. The big man values wine, women and song, but also faithfully believes in Shakespeare and would like nothing better than to be
(mostly) sober when the Creator returns.
The consummate smooth talker, Falstaff wins all draws that he is involved with in the game, but the big man is terrified of water and can
never use ships to travel or enter Prospero’s Island.
Falstaff
Writing: Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery
Board Design: Evan Derrick
Logo Design: Robbie Robbins
Photography: Delaney Mamer and Robbie Robbins
Cover Illustration: Glenn Fabry
Card Artwork: J.K. Woodward
Playtesters: David Minken, Pieter, Francis, Simon, Clint Johnson, and Mike Ford
Production Management: Kathy Cheong and Thomas Cho
After being deceived into killing his wife Desdemona by his former lieutenant Iago, Othello has rejected all rank and responsibility to become a sword-for-hire, hoping to fill the hole left in his soul. The soft-spoken Moor is still one of the greatest fighters in Illyria and is being
paid - and paid well - to aid the Prodigal cause.
Viola
Editing: Jerry Bennington, David Hedgecock, Nathan McNair, David Minken, Nate
Murray, and Chris Ryall
Graphic Design: Samantha Barlin and Evan Derrick
Because of her keen strategic mind Juliet gets the last word amongst all players when she bids on resources, but the demands of leading
the Prodigals means she has less time than any other characters.
Othello
Product Development: Jerry Bennington and Nate Murray
Art Direction: Robbie Robbins
After a failed suicide attempt following the death of her lover Romeo, Juliet was spirited away from her home, never to return. Since then
the young girl has rejected Cupid for the embrace of a cause, becoming the head of the Prodigal rebellion and leading the fight to save the
oppressed. A dynamic speaker and resilient fighter, Juliet has won the loyalty of the people who see her as a natural new Queen – a potential role the humble Juliet is uncomfortable with.
Juliet
Game Development: Nathan McNair
If Falstaff stumbles his way into legend as the Shadow King he will save Shakespeare and ask for a small reward: a modest-sized castle
complete with servants and a larder filled with spiced food and strong drink would suffice. Oh, and maybe a horse would be nice. Yes,
Richard’s kingdom for a horse!
Special Thanks To: Ted Adams, Greg Goldstein, Chris Ryall, and Robbie Robbins.
Thomas Vande Ginste would like to thank his wife Karen and his daughters Britt,
Amber, and Freya for the time spent with games instead of them. Wolf Plancke
would like to thank Tash and Julie. Special thanks to David Minken and his wife
Jennie.
The creators of Kill Shakespeare would like to thank:
Owen and Elizabeth McCreery, Brian McCreery, Anna Del Col, Jim and Marianne
Del Col, Lisa Newal, Crystal Luxmore, Peregrine Luxmore, Keith WTS Morris, Sam
Zimmerman, Jerry Bennington, Nate Murray, Nathan McNair, Greg Goldstein, Ted
Adams and everyone else at IDW, Wolf Plancke, Thomas Vande Giste, Ryan North,
David ! Malki, Geoff Moore, Chris Smith, Sharon Fleming, Ted Fleming, Frank
Galea, Andrew Apangu, Al Bugeja, Rob Chiasson, Steve Lawlor, Clement Wan, Ray
Newal, Daya Alderfer, Bebe and Bob Newal, Bobby Newal, James McMahon, Marian
Tibor-McMahon, Dan Elliot, Tara Luxmore, Alice Quinn and Dr. Comics, Henry
Faber and Bento Miso, Colin Young and everyone at Snakes & Lattes.
And all those who supported us through Kickstarter, without you this game wouldn’t
be half as amazing as it.
CREDITS
Game Design: Thomas Vande Ginste and Wolf Plancke
The son of the King of Denmark, Hamlet was banished from his home after trying to avenge the murder of his father. His ship was caught
in a mighty tempest and when Hamlet awoke he found himself in Illyria. While many claim that he must be the Shadow King, Hamlet has
little desire to be caught up in the politics of the land. Vengeance is all that matters.
19
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Decoding The
Energy
Energy Cost
Stolen Letter
Movement between any
Areas costs one Energy
Port
Energy
Starting Point
Energy Above
Starting Point
Energy Below
Starting Point
City Plans
Find Shakespeare
Troops
Peek at ALL hidden cards
Spy Action Token
Iago
King Richard
Lady Macbeth
Player Icon
Dice
Re-roll Dice
Influence
Replace Influence
Move Influence
Eight-sided Dice
Bid Token
Bid with ALL tokens
facedown
Card
Peek at hidden cards in
one track
Positive Attributes
Additional Action
Unavailable/Removed
Total Number
Reduced
Total Number
Time
Hope
Victory Points
Stronghold
-1 Defense
Blind Bid
Hidden Card
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