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Castles Besieged: A Simple Game of Medieval Battle

Written & Designed By William F. Bultas


Required Equipment: A sheet of paper, pen or pencil, standard 52 card deck, & 2 dice.

Instructions: This simple card & dice game is suitable for 2 players. You may print out, copy, & distribute these rules. If you wish to publish them, please contact the author for permission.

The Story: The neighboring kingdoms of Ernghast & Tarnbaren have been warring for some time. In this final desperate battle, the troops & civilians that remain from each side after years of conflict clash one last time, & the army of one kingdom will succeed in storming the opposing kingdom's castle & slaying their sovereign, effectively winning the war.

Playing The Game: Each player controls the army of Ernghast or Tarnbaren in this battle. Each card represents a group of combatants in the melee:

One (ace): Children
Two: Aristocrats
Three: Merchants
Four: Farmers
Five: Artisans
Six: Squires & Cadets
Seven: Footmen
Eight: Veterans
Nine: Swordsmen
Ten: Warriors
Eleven (Jack): Horsemen
Twelve (Queen): Knights
Thirteen (King): Heroes

Play begins with the players randomly determining who will be the dealer. If a game has already been played, the winner of the last game is the dealer. 7 cards are dealt to each player, & the non-dealing player goes first. During each player's turn, he or she may do 1 of the following things:

1. Draw a card

2. Lay down a card

3. Attack with a card

Cards are laid down across the table from the dealer's left hand side & the opposing player's right hand side. Each time a card is laid down (put in play), it is placed immediately to the right of the last card put in play for the dealer, & to the immediate left of the last card put in play by the opposing player. 2 rows are thus established, 1 for each player. Cards are 'lined up' so that each 1 faces a card of the opposing player; if a card lies opposite a card in play, it is 'blocked.' If no card lies opposite a card in play, it is 'unblocked.' Each time a card is 'killed' (i.e. removed from play), all cards to the right of it for the dealer, & to the left of it for the opposing player are moved over to fill the gap that is created.

Only cards in play may attack. A card may attack the card lying opposite it, or may attack the opposing player (the kingdom for his or her army) if it is unblocked. When an attack is made, 2 dice are rolled. To 'hit' (& thus kill) an opponent's card, a minimum of 7 must always be rolled. Additionally, the suits of the attacking & defending cards are compared. If the defending card is of a higher suit than the attacking card, a number higher than 7 will have to be rolled if there is a difference of more than 7 between the suits. Example: if a 2 (aristocrats) attacks a 10 (warriors), there is a difference of 8 between the cards, so a minimum of 8 must be rolled for the 2 to hit the 10, & thus kill it & remove it from the game. Cards that are killed are placed in a discard pile. Remember, no number less than 7 is ever a hit. If an unblocked card is used to attack the opposing player, a 7 must be rolled in order to score a hit. If a player is hit a total of 10 times, that player loses the game (his or her castle was stormed). Enjoy!


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