Monarch is an extremely approachable game to learn, but has enough strategy to play again and again. It’s been loved at conventions all over the country, including Gen Con, the Boston Festival of Indie Games, and Meaningful Play.
How to Play Overview
Each sister aims to assemble a court of Court Cards: wise advisors, exotic animals, and symbolic regalia. Each of these Court Cards provides crowns, and the sister whose court contains the most crowns at the end of the game becomes the Queen.
Your turn is very straightforward:
- “Harvest” the farms in the land to get food, OR “Tax” the villages to get gold.
- Purchase any number of Court Cards, Land Improvements, and Unwanted Guests from the available cards in the “Market Row,” provided you can afford them.
There are tricks to assembling a majestic court. Some cards don’t work together well: the Astronomer is worth nothing if in a court with the Fireworks because he will be unable to see anything! Other cards work very well together: the Beastkeeper is worth more crowns for each animal she shares a court with.
In order to recruit for your court you’ll need gold and food, which you get by taxing and harvesting the land that the sisters rule over. Over the course of the game you’ll improve the land, building Royal Goateries and Jewel Bazaars, which benefit everyone.
When a sister knows what kind of ruler she will be, she can take up a banner to commit herself to a style of rulership: Wisdom, Bounty, Culture, Might, or Balance. Banners provide extra crowns and a special power to help its bearer succeed.
The Cards and Components