Claim the Phoenix Crown through convincing the populace of your royalty
You are the rightful heir to the Phoenix Crown. Unfortunately, your fellow players, the usurpers, believe the same about themselves. To claim your crown, you will recruit a retinue and task them with attaining wealth, recruiting partisans, and inspiring luminaries to your cause.
You obtain your Phoenix Crown (and win the game) by obtaining the most royalty credibility (points). The most royal credibility is found in your castle and its grounds. However, luminaries drawn to your cause also yield royal credibility with the swayable masses.
In the context of the game, your retinue, wealth and properties are your deck, which you are continually building throughout the game. The individuals in your retinue are called your partisans and luminaries. The cards in your deck are the source of your royalty points.
Directly after the death of childless Queen Nuria (at the beginning of the game), each noble vying for the Phoenix Crown has a few family heirlooms, some wealth, a small holding, a tent, and a partisan.
Thematically, each day you will utilize the wealth, partisans and holdings currently in your vicinity to bring you closer to your rightful crown. Or, plainly, each turn you'll use the cards in your hand, discard them, and draw new cards from your deck to use on your next turn.
To acquire retinue and holdings that provide royalty creditability, you'll need to first work on collecting an effective following which works toward your cause. Your retinue and wealth provide six types of assets, and you'll need plenty of each type in order to purchase valuable lands and win the hearts of important personages.
Note: While many board games have an over-sized box that could hold four or five times the components, I've carefully crafted every game I've designed to perfectly fit the box it comes in. This means less wasted paper, lower print costs, and saved space on your game shelf! It also means my games are more portable.
Actual Game Play:
Charismatic Sonya recruits a luminary to her cause, despite only having a tent for Amber's accommodations.
(Player #1, Sonya, has chosen the charismatic trait which allows her to acquire "luminaries" — unique and powerful cards — in her deck, even if she doesn't have any special castle cards in play.)
Matthew, using ample logic, purchases the Shroom Path, adding significantly to his royalty credibility.
(Player #2, Matthew, acquires the castle card called "Shroom Path" which is worth 2 points and requires 2 logic to purchase.)
Quick Moriah employs a Scholar causing all of the usurpers to add to their available options, but most importantly adding to her own options. Then Moriah employs an Acrobat who casts a spell, causing her assets to continue to multiply. She sends her retinue into town; Her Scholar returns with a Political Gift and her Acrobat returns with a fierce Tiger.
(Player #3, Moriah, draws 6 cards instead of 5 because she has the "Quick" trait. She places her Scholar card on a castle of hers, "employing him for his abilities" which causes her to draw 2 cards and the other players ("usurpers") to draw 1 card. She places her Acrobat card on another castle of hers which causes a spell card to be drawn. The spell, in this case, causes her to draw yet two more cards. Then, with all of the wealth cards in her deck totaled together she is able to purchase two unique wealth cards which she places her on Scholar and her Acrobat (Political Gift and Tiger).)
Why buy this?
Intuitive symbols allow cards to be easily understood.
Even when it isn't your turn, spells & partisans impact you.
"Build your deck as you go" — no two games are alike!