|Italy Shall Be Yours
An Intro to Condottiere
|Condottiere | Published 19 November 2008|
In CONDOTTIERE, you command mercenary armies and fight to establish a kingdom of your own in Renaissance Italy.
2-6 Condottieri will be battling for control of Italy.
At the start of the game, the youngest player takes the Condottiere marker and places it in any province on the map. This will be the site of the first battle. Over the course of game rounds, the players will fight many battles, with the winners securing control over the territories.
In each battle, players will take turns playing cards from their hands, representing mercenary soldiers and other special battle effects. As the battle progresses, players will strengthen their armies by playing additional cards, or will pass their chance to play. Once all players have passed, the strongest army on the table wins the battle and takes the Condottiere marker to select the next region to fight over.
The tricky part is that after each battle, the players do not refresh their hands! All players start with ten cards, but new cards are not drawn until only one player has cards remaining. A player who spends it all to win a battle in one region may have nothing left for the next. At the end of each round, players will draw back up to their total of ten, and then draw additional cards based on the regions they have conquered.
MERCENARIES, SEASONS, AND SCARECROWS
Each battle is determined by the strength of each player's army, and each army is comprised of cards. Cards include mercenaries of various strengths and cards that have various special effects, such as Winter (which makes all Mercenaries worth one strength, regardless of their printed value) or the Scarecrow (which allows you to take a Mercenary card back into your hand, potentially tricking your opponent into overcomitting to a battle). With cards such as the Bishop allowing you to protect provinces from attack and Surrender ending battles early, there's no end to the tricks a clever player can play on his opponents.
The Condotierri are fighting to carve a new kingdom out of Italy, and the victory conditions reflect that. Players win by capturing a set number of regions (dependent on the number of players), but they can also win by capturing a smaller number of regions that border one another - establishing themselves one unified kingdom is just as important as dominating most of Italy.