Scarab Lords: Rules

INTRODUCTION
The Dark Pharaoh has fallen, and the land of Hekumet has plunged into chaos. All along the Great River, from the upper cataracts to the lower delta, the Great Houses are vying with each other for control of the realm. In the end, only one House will claim supremacy over all of Hekumet. Will it be yours?
 

Object of the Game

Scarab Lords is a two-player card game in which each player takes on the role of a noble house trying to control the realm. The land of Hekumet is divided into two regions (upper and lower Hekumet), and each region is divided into three areas of conflict called columns (military, religious, and economic). To win the game, you must have supremacy in two of the three columns in both regions. You also win the game if your opponent runs out of cards in his or her deck.

Components

Board: This is placed between the players.
Scarab Counters: These are placed on cards when they are cursed, and removed from cards when they are uncursed. (Cursing and uncursing are explained below.)
Pyramids: These are used to keep track of which player has supremacy in each area of conflict. (Supremacy is explained below.)
Cards: There are 84 cards, divided into two 30-card game decks and one 24-card bonus deck (which is only used in the advanced game).
 

The Board

The board represents the land of Hekumet, and is divided into two regions (upper and lower Hekumet). Each region is further divided into three columns (military, economic, and religious) representing the three areas of conflict. There are six columns on the board: three in upper Hekumet, and three in lower Hekumet.

The Board

Upper Hekumet                                            Lower Hekumet

Economic Column – Religious Column – Military Column --- Gods --- Military Column – Religious Column – Economic Column

The Cards

The 30 blue cards belong to the House Ankar deck. The 30 red cards belong to the House Temet deck. The 24 white cards belong to the neutral bonus deck. Before beginning the game, arrange the cards into their three respective decks. The cards are divided into five types:
minions, buildings, leaders, gods, and fate.
 

Minion Cards

These cards represent the people and creatures that help your house in its bid for supremacy. Each minion card is played into one of the six columns and has a power rating. If you have the most power in a column, you achieve supremacy in that column. (Power and supremacy are explained below.) Once played, minion cards remain in play until removed.

Building Cards

Building cards represent the places of power in Hekumet. Building cards are played into columns and have power ratings, just like minion cards, but usually have higher power ratings and come into play with scarab counters on them. (Scarab counters are explained below.) Once played, building cards remain in play until removed.

Leader Cards

Leader cards represent the heroes, nobles, and wizards who serve your House. Leader cards are played into columns and have power ratings like minion and building cards, but you may only have one leader card in each column. Once played, leader cards remain in play until removed.

God Cards

These cards represent the favor of the gods of Hekumet and are played in the center of the board instead of a column. You may have no more than three god cards in play. If you play a fourth god card, you must discard one of your three god cards in play. Only one player may have god cards in play. If you play a god card, your opponent must discard all of his or her god cards from play.

Fate Cards

Fate cards represent the will of the gods. When you play a fate card from your hand, its effects take place immediately and the card is discarded.

Anatomy of a Card

1. Title: The name of the card.
2. Power:
The power value of the card, which indicates how much it contributes to you achieving supremacy in its column.
3. Phase:
Indicates which phase (0, 1, 2, or supremacy) this card may be played or activated.
4. Icons:
Indicate into which column(s) — military, religious, or economic — this card may be played.
The three icons are:

Military
Religious
Economic
5. Card Type:
Indicates whether the card is a minion, building, leader, god, or fate.
6. Card Text:
Describes the card’s special abilities or rules. Card text in italics is flavor text; it has no game effect, but describes the world of Scarab Lords.  

Scarabs and Cursing

During the game, cards may become cursed. A scarab counter is placed on that card to indicate that it is cursed. A cursed card is considered to have no power rating and no text. It is effectively a blank card. You may curse a card that is already cursed, and put an additional scarab counter on it, but doing so has no additional effect. Cursed cards can also be uncursed. When you uncurse a card, remove one scarab counter from that card. If any other scarab counters remain on the card, however, it remains cursed and still has no power rating or text.

SETUP
Place the board in the middle of the playing area, between both players, as shown in the layout diagram. Place the six pyramids by one end of the board and the scarab counters by the other end. Randomly choose one player to take the House Ankar deck. The other player takes the House Temet deck. The remaining 24 cards are placed to one side. (They are only used in the advanced game, which is explained at the end of these rules.) Both players shuffle their decks, place them face down in their playing area, and draw six cards each for their opening hands.
 

PLAYING THE GAME
Decide randomly which player takes the first turn. Each player completes his or her entire turn before play passes to the opponent. Play passes back and forth in this fashion until one player wins.
 

Turn Sequence

Your turn is divided into four phases, taken in the following order:
Phase 0
: You may take any number of “phase 0” actions
Phase 1
: You may take one “phase 1” action
Phase 2
: You may take one “phase 2” action
Supremacy:
Determine, then exercise your supremacy. During your turn, you must play or discard at least one card from your. hand. You may choose to “pass” (not take any actions) during any phase except the supremacy phase. When you have completed your turn, your opponent begins his or her turn.  

On his or her very first turn, the first player may only play two of the four phases. The first player may choose which phases to play.

Refreshing Your Hand

You may choose to skip your entire turn (including your supremacy phase) and instead refresh your hand. To do this, discard any number of unwanted cards from your hand, then draw cards until you have six cards in your hand.

Discarding Cards

During your turn, you may discard any of your cards in your hand or already in play. Discarding cards does not cost an action. When a card is discarded for any reason, it is placed face-up in its player’s discard pile.

Actions

As an action, you may do one of the following during your turn:
• Play a Card
• Activate a Card
• Uncurse a Card
 

Play a Card

You may use an action to put a card from your hand into play on your side of the board. You may only play a card during that card’s phase. For example, you can only play a phase 2 card during phase 2 of your turn.

You may only play minions, buildings, and leaders into a column that corresponds to one of their icons. For example, a minion with the economic and religious icons can only be played into an economic or religious column.

Example: During Eric’s turn, on phase 1, he plays “Merchant Caravan,” a phase 1 minion. This card only has the economic icon, so Eric plays it into the economic column in the Upper Hekumet region.

You may only have one leader in each column. If you already have a leader in a column, you may not play a new leader into that column unless you discard the first leader.

Example: During phase 2 of his turn, Eric wants to play “Shon-Ra the Radiant,” a phase 2 leader. Shon-Ra has all three icons, and can therefore be played into any column. Eric already has leaders in both military columns, however, so he cannot play his card into either of those columns unless he discards one of the leaders already in play and replaces it with Shon-Ra.

Fate cards have no icons. Fate cards are played, then immediately discarded.

God cards also have no icons, and are played in the middle of the board. If you play a god card, your opponent must immediately discard all of his or her god cards in play. Your god card is then immediately activated (explained below).

Example: Eric’s opponent has two gods in play and Eric has none. During phase 2 of his turn, Eric plays “Khema,” a phase 2 god. Eric’s opponents immediately discards all his god cards, then Khema is activated. Khema’s card text says, “During phase 2, you may remove one scarab from any one card. This does not cost an action.” Because Khema is activated, and it is still phase 2, Eric may remove one scarab from any one card.

You may have no more than three god cards in play. If you play a fourth god card, you must discard one of your three god cards in play.

Activate a Card

Many cards have special game effects listed in their text. Some cards’ text is passive while other cards’ text is active. Text that begins with “Action:” is active text; all other text is passive.

Passive text takes effect immediately when its card is played, and stays in effect as long as its card remains in play (and free of scarabs).

Active text also takes effect immediately when its card is played, but it can also take effect when you spend an action to activate it. You may use an action to activate the effect of a card, but only during that card’s phase. For example, a phase 1 card can only be activated during phase 1 of your turn.

You may only activate one card per action.

Example: Kevin has the phase 2 god “Enhu” in play. Enhu has the text, “Action: Your opponent must choose and discard two cards from his or her hand.” During phase 2 of his turn, Kevin activates Enhu and forces his opponent to discard two cards. Kevin’s phase 2 is now complete.

Uncurse a Card

You may use an action to remove one scarab counter from a card. If there are multiple scarabs on the card, you may still only remove one for each action. You may only uncurse a card during that card’s phase. For example, you may only uncurse a phase 2 card during phase 2 of your turn.

Example: Kevin has the phase 2 leader “Khamal the Eternal” in play. Khamal has two scarabs on him. During phase 2 of his turn, Kevin uncurses Khamal, and removes one of the two scarabs. Khamal is still cursed, but has one fewer scarabs on him. Kevin’s phase 2 is now complete.

Supremacy

After you have taken your phase 0, phase 1, and phase 2 actions, it is the supremacy phase, and you must determine which player has supremacy in each of the six columns.

To determine supremacy in a column, add up the total power (contributed by minions, buildings, and leaders) on both players’ sides of a column. (Note: Cursed cards have no power.) The player with the most total power in a column claims supremacy in that column. Indicate this by placing a pyramid on that player’s side of the board in that column.

If both players’ totals are tied, neither player has supremacy in that column. No pyramid is placed on the board in that column. If there is already a pyramid on the board in that column, it is removed.

After you have determined supremacy for all six columns, you may exercise supremacy for each of the columns in which you have supremacy. Note that because there are two columns of each type (one in the lower region and one in the upper region), it is possible to exercise the same type of supremacy twice if you have supremacy in both columns. You may choose not to exercise supremacy for a column. (Note that you exercise supremacy during your supremacy phase. Your opponent does not.)

Military Supremacy

When you exercise military supremacy in a column, your opponent must discard the top card of his or her deck.

Religious Supremacy

When you exercise religious supremacy in a column, you may curse one of your opponent’s minions, buildings or leaders in the same region (upper or lower Hekumet). Place a scarab counter on the cursed card to show that it is cursed. You may curse a card that already has one or more scarab counters on it.

Cursed cards have no power rating, and their text has no effect.

Economic Supremacy

When you exercise economic supremacy in a column, you may draw a card.

Note: Once you have claimed supremacy in a column, you will continue to have that supremacy unless you lose it during a subsequent supremacy phase. Supremacy can only change during supremacy phase, and does not change at any other time during the game.

GAME END
You win the game if you have supremacy in two of the three columns in both the upper and lower regions of the board at the beginning of your turn.

You also win the game if your opponent has no cards left in his or her deck at the beginning of your turn.  

EXAMPLE OF SUPREMACY
In the layout diagram, Eric is the top player and Kevin is the bottom player. Supremacy would be resolved, from left to right, as follows:

Upper Region

Economic: Eric has a minion with 3 power, while Kevin has two minions with 2 power apiece, for a total of 4 power. Kevin claims economic supremacy. (When he exercises this supremacy, he will draw a card.)

Religious: Eric has a minion with 3 power. Kevin has no minions, but a leader with 2 power. Eric claims religious supremacy. (When he exercises this supremacy, he will curse his opponent’s minion, building, or leader in the lower region.)

Military: Eric has a minion with 3 power. Kevin has a 1 power minion and a 2 power leader, for a total of 3 power. Because the players are tied for power, neither player claims military supremacy.

Lower Region

Military: Eric has a leader with 6 power. Kevin has no minions, buildings, or leaders in this row, so Eric claims military supremacy. (When he exercises this supremacy, he will discard the top card from his opponent’s deck.).

Religious: Eric has a minion with 3 power and a leader which, because it has a scarab on it, has no power. Kevin has a building with 6 power. Kevin claims religious supremacy. (When he exercises this supremacy, he will curse his opponent’s minion, building, or leader in the upper region.)

Economic: Neither player has any cards in this column, so no neither can claim economic supremacy.

ADVANCED RULES
The advanced rules are the same as the basic rules except that players must win two out of three games, and are allowed to modify their decks after each game.
 

After the first and second games, both players simultaneously remove up to five cards from their decks and place them into the bonus deck.

Then the loser of the previous game replaces each of his or her discarded cards with an equal number of cards of his or her choice from the bonus deck. (Note that the replacement cards may include cards that either player has discarded.)

Next, the winner of the previous game replaces each of his or her discarded cards with an equal number of cards of his or her choice from the bonus deck.

After both player’s decks have been customized, the next game begins. The loser of the previous game is the first player in the next game.

EXAMPLE OF PLAY
Eric is playing House Temet, and Kevin is playing House Ankar.

Phase 0:
Eric plays the phase 0 minion “Blacksand Mercenaries” into the military column of lower Hekumet. He then plays the phase 0 leader “Khamal the Eternal” into the economic column of upper Hekumet. (Players can take any number of phase 0 actions.)
Phase 1:
Eric has no phase 1 cards, so he passes.
Phase 2:
Eric plays the phase 2 god “Khema” into the middle of the board.
Supremacy:
Eric has 1 power (from the mercenaries) in the lower military column, and 2 power (from Khamal) in the upper economic column. Kevin has no power in either column. Eric claims supremacy in both columns. He places pyramids in those columns on his side of the board. Neither player has supremacy in any of the other columns. Eric exercises his military supremacy and forces Kevin to discard the top card from his deck, then exercises his economic supremacy and draws a card.

It is now Kevin’s turn.  

Phase 0: Kevin plays the phase 0 minion “River Merchant” into the economic column of upper Hekumet.
Phase 1:
Kevin plays the phase 1 building “The Seven Sphinxes” into the religious column of lower Hekumet. Following the text on the card, he then places a scarab on the Sphninxes.
Phase 2:
Kevin plays the phase 2 fate card “Mass Purification.” Following the text on the card, he removes all the scarabs in one region (namely, the scarab on “The Seven Sphinxes”), then discards the fate card.
Supremacy:
Kevin has 1 power (from the River Merchant) in the upper economic column and 4 power (from the sphinxes) in the lower religious column. Eric still has 2 power in the upper economic column, and 1 power in the lower military column, so he retains supremacy in these columns. Eric has no power in the lower religious column, so Kevin claims supremacy in that column. At the end of his supremacy phase, Kevin exercises his religious supremacy and curses “Blacksand Mercenaries.”

Kevin’s turn is over, Eric’s turn begins, and the game continues.

 

CREDITS
Designer
: Reiner Knizia
Developers:
Iain Adams, Eric M. Lang, and Darrell Hardy
Editing:
Christian T. Petersen and Jen Kalish
Graphic Design:
Brian Schomburg
Cover Art:
Thomas Denmark
Art:
V. Shane Colclough, Marco Djurdjevic, Tobias Mannewitz, John Moriarty, and Gregory Price
Coloring:
Ben Prenevost
Playtesting:
Eric M. Lang, Iain Adams, John Garrett, Tom McClelland, Kevin Wilson, and Darrell Hardy
Visit www.fantasyflightgames.com for Scarab Lords rules questions, news, and discussion.
Scarab Lords is a trademark of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this product may be reproduced without specific permission from the publisher.

 

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