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Usurp the King is a tactical game where you play as one of five dominant families in the Kingdom. Use your influence to back the person that you believe will be in power when the dust settles. As the game evolves, you may find that who you are supporting changes. Daggers, Poisons, Conspiracy, and Bribery are only some of the tools at your disposal.
USURP THE KING is played over two phases. So much can happen in such a short period of time!
INTRIGUE PHASE Place Leverage cards around the courtroom. Giving the appearance of support. But that support might just be a dagger! And that dagger might move before it’s used.
REBELLION PHASE Use the Leverage cards to bribe, conspire, stab, poison, and shift alliances.
SCORING Determine which Court Member becomes King. The family with control is victorious.
Usurp the King has a hierarchy of seven victory conditions. To win as the Heir, you will need to eliminate (or make sure that someone else does) two other victory conditions (The Usurper’s and the King’s).
The Bastard and the King may both be working towards eliminating the Usurper victory, but they are in no way working TOGETHER!
Each game comes with:
5 Ten card Leverage decks. One for each family.
11 Court Members cards
5 Family turn order reference cards
8 Tutorial Objective cards
10 Loyalty/Disgruntled markers
1 Turn marker
Play area setup. Easy! Layout the court members by numerical order around the family cards. The number of family cards is determined by the number of players. Place the turn and loyalty markers and you are ready to play!
Place six of your ten leverage cards, deciding who to support or threaten while responding to the placement of the other players’ leverage cards. Resolve each of your card actions, starting with those closest to the King (chart to the left). Each card is a decision point. Do you move the dagger or protect the heir with a guard? The tension builds until the King is overthrown or retains his power. Did your family back the right court member?
½ of the players (A players) will take a family player reference card. Their teammate (B players) must sit opposite them across the table. They will take the corresponding duplicate family reference card.
Each of the A players takes Teammates is randomly dealt 5 of the 11 Family Leverage cards. B players takes the remaining 6.
The rules follow the base game rules. Each PLAYER will end up playing 3 cards instead of 6. Turn order is still serpentine.
Communication between players
Players are not allowed to communicate using electronic devices, notes and must communicate in a language that everyone knows (including ASL). Rudimentary signs are allowed but it must be possible for other players to intercept communications.
“This is a great quick game that you can play with your friends while you are waiting to get your whole group together. It is aggressive, but the short playtime allows for nasty backstabbing without people being so invested that they get mad.” – Christopher Smithmyer NRN