Beginning the Game
The game can be played by up to six players. The general rule of thumb is that the fewer the number of players, the higher the maximum accumulation and thus the larger the possible size of armies on each side. A higher number of players naturally leads to more political fragmentation and smaller territories, but perhaps more interesting game play.
The order of play is determined by a die roll for each player, with the highest number going first. Ties are rolled again until the entire sequence is determined.
Each player begins with a Raja unit and a home Garh to be placed in the pergana of their choice. Predetermined historical starting points have been identified with a rook, but these do not need to be used.
Game play ends with the elimination of the Raja Unit leading to withdrawal from the game or when one player owns more than double the territory of all his opponents after the game board is completely occupied.
Turn Progression per Player
The game is played over a series of rounds where each player takes their turn buying and moving units.
- Roll for event card. If 6 or 1 is rolled, pull a card. Instructions are applied immediately.
- At this point, you can declare tapashya that prevents you from buying or moving units for the round. You can then roll for a divine boon (see tapashya table).
- Collect revenue from all perganas under your control. For special perganas, calculate revenue by adding a die roll to base rating. If two or more of the same group are owned by you, take the best die roll for use by all the perganas, e.g., if player controls two pilgrimage perganas, roll twice, taking the highest die roll to calculate the gross revenue for both the perganas.
- Pay the maintenance costs for all units.
- Move units.
- Battle begins for units entering enemy occupied perganas (see below).
- Calculate new pergana revenue tally on revenue record sheet. Adjust yours and opponents’ tallies according to new perganas won and lost.
- Buy and place new units in any Garh controlled by you.
Leader units allow players to attack enemy-occupied perganas with their units, otherwise units are immovable garrisons. However, Footman units can be used to take over un-occupied perganas. Leader units also act as a battle unit and can be lost accordingly.
Note that units with multiple moves cannot move again after battle, other than possibly retreating to an adjacent friendly pergana.
For all units, a successful roll equals their attack rating (w/ modifiers) or higher (e.g., Footman unit must normally roll 6 to eliminate another enemy unit. If defending an upper pergana, the unit would need a 5 or a 6).
- Calculate and apply various penalties and bonuses (i.e., Balladeer bonuses, terrain bonuses, Garh multiplier, etc.) to both sides.
- Missile Exchange:
- Takes place if Archer units or Siege Engines present on either side. Other units cannot defend themselves in this preliminary roll.
- For all successful rolls, remove units of choice from either or both sides.
- Attacking player (at least 1 Leader unit with attached units) rolls for all melee units.
- Defending player rolls for all melee units.
- For all successful rolls, eliminate units of choice from each side.
- Either the attacking or defending player can choose to disengage after the completion of the initial battle round. For the attacker, this will require a retreat to the same perganas from which the units originated. For the defender, surviving units must be retreated to a friendly pergana.
- Subsequent battle rounds involve melee only.