Game created by Eurogames, published by Jeux Descartes. Authors : Dominique Ehrhard, Duccio Vitale.
For 2 to 6 players, from 12 years.
Strategy and conquest in Italy of the Renaissance.
In the time of Renaissance, Italy was divided in many States, sometimes allied, sometimes opponents. The most
famous are the Duchy of Milan and the Republics of Venice, Genoa and Florence.
It is at that time that appear the Condottieri, those mercenary armies chiefs who offer their services to the most
powerful cities. Fearsome strategists and highly skill men-at-arms, Condottieri will not content with hiring their
know-how and their troops for a long time. They will shape the political map of Italy with intrigues, alliances,
battles and sieges. The more daring from them founded new dynasties like Francesco Sforza, who seized the
Duchy of Milan and Giovanni Medicis who transforms Florence in his kingdom.
With CONDOTTIERE, you are about to live again this incredible age, where everything seems possible for a
handful of decided men. In the game, each player represents a Condottiere who starts the Conquest of the most
famous cities of Italy. But take care, you are not alone! You have to take into account the ambitions of other
Condottieri. The strength of your army will certainly not be sufficient : you will have to be diplomatic in order to
have a chance to win!
The box of Condottiere is composed of :
- A game board representing Italy in the time of Renaissance. On this map, are indicated the capitals of
Republics and Kingdoms which composed Italy of this epoch.
- 96 playing cards which are used to solve the battles between Condottieri. There are 63 mercenary cards
- (15 cards of 1 point and 8 cards of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 points),
- 15 cards Scarecrow,
- 6 cards Drum,
- 3 cards Bishop,
- 3 cards Surrender,
- 3 cards Winter,
- 3 cards Heroine.
- The statue of Condottiere Colleoni on a horse. Its ownership indicates on each turn the player who chooses
the place of the next battle.
- 60 small wooden towers of six different colours. They show on the map, cities seized by each player.
- The rules.
- Two sheets explaining the playing cards.
Aim of the game.
The aim of the game is to seize cities (indicated by a red circle on the map) and to gather them in order to create
the strongest kingdom of Italy.
The victory conditions depend on the number of players :
- With 4, 5 or 6 players to be declared the winner, a player must control four cities situated in adjacent
regions. By adjacent regions, one means regions which have at least a common border. By example : a player
controlling Torino, Genova, Lucca, Bologna and Spoleto, immediately wins the game if he succeeds to conquer
Parma or Firenze..
- With 3 players, five cities in adjacent regions.
- With 2 players, six cities in adjacent regions.
Preparation of the game.
The game board is put in the centre of the table. Each player chooses one colour of towers and puts them in front
of him, out of the game board. Those pawns will be used during the game to show the cities conquered.
The youngest player is chosen to be the Condottier on the first turn. He places the statue of Condottiere in front
of him. Then he shuffles the cards and gives 10 to each player (to him too).
The Condottiere chooses a city, the first battle will take place there. The game may start.
- Mercenary Cards
- they have a special badge. Their value goes from 1 to 10. In a battle the strength
of an army is equal to the sum of the values of the different mercenary cards that a player has put in front of him.
Those values may be modified by special card which follow.
- Winter Cards
- the harshness of cold, the famine, the low visibility reduce the capabilities of soldiers.
All the mercenary cards which have been or will be put by players during the battle - included the cards from the
player who put the winter card - are only valued one point. Example : a player with a total of 36 points with 7
Mercenary cards (2 cards of 10, 1 of 5, 2 of 4 and 3 of 1) will see his army reduced to 7 points if a Winter card is
played during the battle.
- Drum Cards
- they reinforce the morale of troops. The value of Mercenary cards from the player which
he has or will put during the battle are multiplied by two. To play more then one Drum card is useless : the value
of the army remains the double of the starting value. The effects of this card are only applied to the Mercenary
cards of the player who put it. If a Winter card is played during the same battle, each Mercenary card from the
player having put the Drum card is valued two points.Example : a player has a total of 21 points with 3
Mercenary cards. His army will value 42 points if he plays a Drum card. In the case where a Winter card is played
during the same battle, his army will be 6 points value (3x2).
- Scarecrow Card
- those are decoys to lure the ennemy! When a player puts an Scarecrow card, he
may bring back in his hand of cards a Mercenary card already played (by him or others) during the same battle. It
is never possible to exchange a Scarecrow card against an Heroine card or an other special card.
- Heroine Cards
- this card is valued 10 points and is added to the Mercenary cards to determine the
value of an army. This card is not affected by a Winter or Drum card. It cannot be replaced by a Scarecrow card. A
player may put three such cards in his army, no more.
- Surrender Cards
- when a player puts this card, he immediately stops the battle because the city
surrenders. The city is conquered by the player owning the most powerful army at the exact moment when the
Surrender card is put. The cards played by all the players are removed and one proceeds to the next battle.
In the case where the city was owned by an other player who has not yet put any cards (see Course of a battle/Case of a city belonging to an other player) he cannot put any card because the
- Bishop Cards
- when a player puts this card, the city is saved thanks to the intervention of the
Church. The battle immediately ends without any winner. If the city was already owned by a player, she remains
in his ownership whatever the value of his army at the moment when the Bishop card is played.
The cards played by all the players are removed and one proceeds to the next battle.
Course of the Game.
A game of CONDOTTIERE takes place in many rounds (turns) Each round is composed of a set of battles for the
conquest of the biggest Italian cities. Battles are solved with the help of cards that players lay down on the table
one by one in front of them. A round ends when at the end of a battle, there is only one player to have cards in
his hand. He gives back his remaining cards which are shuffled with the others. Each player receives 10 new cards
plus 2 supplementary cards for each owned city. A new round begins and so on until a player wins.
Course of a battle.
The place of each new battle is chosen by the Condottiere, the player owning the statue of the Condottiere. He
plays first during a battle, the other players play after in clockwise order.
During a battle each player may :
It is important not to forget that if a player is alone to play (to put card), he may add as many cards as he wishes
as long as he does not say "I pass".
- either put a card in front of him. The value of the card is added to the value of those already put.
- or pass his turn. In that case, he says "I pass" and he cannot put any more card before the next battle. He
may eventually conquer the city if, at the end of the battle, he has the strongest army.
No player is forced to participate to a battle. Even the Condottiere may choose to pass at the beginning of the
Case of a city belonging to an other player. If the chosen city belongs to
a player, he has an important advantage during the battle : he may pass his turn as many time as he wishes
without losing his right to participate later in the battle. But when he has put his first card, he must respect the
normal rule : if he passes again, he cannot put any more card before the next battle. This special power of the
defender of a city enables him to put cards after that all the other players have passed their turn. But, take care!
He cannot play after that a Surrender card has been put.
End of the battle. The battle continues until all the players have said "I pass" or a Surrender card
has been played. The battle is considered has ended and one counts up the forces in presence. To do that points
of Mercenary cards are added for each player, in taking into account modifications due to special cards (see Card significations).
The player with the strongest army conquers the city. He puts a tower of his colour on the red spot
corresponding to the seized city, after possibly have removed the pawn which was already there if the city
belonged to an other player. The winner receives the statue of the Condottiere.
If a Bishop card is played the battle is immediately ended but the forces in presence are not counted.
In the case of a Bishop card or if two players (or more) are tie, or if no player participate to the battle, the conquest
of the city is a failure. The statue of the Condottiere remains in the ownership of the player who got it at the
beginning of the battle. If the city was already in the ownership of a player, he not only keeps the control of the
city but he also receives the statue of the Condottiere. After all, is he not the winner ?
At the end of each battle, all the cards put by players, who won or not the battle, are removed. They cannot be
used before the next round.
The player owning the statue of the Condottiere chooses the city where the next battle will take place. He may
choose any city of the map, belonging or not to a player. He may also choose again the city where the last battle
Who controls the Condottiere ?
At the beginning of the game, it is the youngest player who receives the Condottiere 'statue. After that the winner
of each battle will receive it.
If there is no winner and the city belonged to nobody, the player owning the Condottiere before the battle, keeps
it. If there is no winner but the city belonged to a player, he receives the statue.
It is always the Condottiere who chooses the city where the next battle will take place.
A player without cards.
When a player has no more cards in hand, he stops playing until the end of the round in progress. The other
players continue without him. However, if he wins the battle during which he played his last card, he receives the
Condottiere 'statue normally.
To discards cards.
At the end of a battle, a player may discard all the cards he still has if he has no more Mercenary cards in his
hand. To discard is never an obligation. As long as a player has Mercenary cards, he is not allowed to
End of a round.
A round ends when after a battle, there is only one player to have cards. He gives back his cards to the player
owning the Condottiere 'statue, who gathers the 96 cards of the deck and shuffles them. After he gives 10 cards
to each player plus 2 supplementary cards for each city controlled. Example : a player controlling Parma,
Venezia and Siena receives 16 cards.
The Condottiere chooses the place of the next battle and a new round begins.
End of a game.
In a game with 4, 5 or 6 players, the game ends as soon as at the end of a battle a player controls 4 cities in
adjacent regions. This number becomes 5 for a game with 3 players and 6 for 2 players.
Translation 31 December 1994 Soubeyra@sept.fr C.Soubeyrand.
The Game Cabinet
- Ken Tidwell