In Usurp the King, 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.
Play in USURP THE KING occurs over two phases. Usurp is packed with moves and counter moves. In this 20-minute game, so much can happen in such a short period!
INTRIGUE PHASE: Players take turns placing Leverage cards around the courtroom. Families will give the appearance of support or disapproval. A dagger may be placed on a court member giving the illusion that you would like to eliminate them. But you have a plan to move the dagger to another court member. However, other player’s spies may move your dagger to a court member you care about, and suddenly your priorities change!
REBELLION PHASE: Use the Leverage cards to bribe, conspire, stab, poison, and shifting alliances.
SCORING Determine which Court Member becomes King. The family with control of the new King is victorious.
Usurp the King has a hierarchy of seven victory conditions. To win as the Heir, you will need to eliminate King and the Usurper victory condition (or make sure that someone else does).
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. Randomly deal out the 10 family cards to each family member so that the A and B player for each family have 5 leverage cards of that family.
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
“The competitive play of this game is just enough where you don’t develop the need to draw and quarter your opponents, just offer a little friendly public humiliation at your gaming table upon victory.” – Shane “Bogue” Bogardus Everything Board Games
“It’s a fast interesting game and if you are into the theme and into this type of game I think you’re really going to enjoy it.” TRUEFLIGHT SILVERWING – BGG Preview/Review https://boardgamegeek.com/video/329061/usurp-king/usurp-king-kickstarter-preview
How do I determine play order for the Turn Order cards?
Turn order CAN be done in any way the players would like. However, the easiest way is to randomly determine a first player and then lay out the Turn Order Family cards in the middle of play in the order the players are seated to the left of the first player.