The Card Game of Unholy Politics, 3rd edition
Lords of Hell is a card-game of unholy politics for 3-6 players. 5 players is the optimal number, for 3 player game, some extra rules are applied. Gaming time (when rules known) is 1-2 hours.
These rules are divided into following parts:
For those familiar with the second edition of the Lords of Hell, the main differences that might cause problems:
Changes (2.1., 4.1.)
Changes (8.1., 11.1.)
In Lords of Hell, there exist several types of different cards:
Although Lords of Hell is a card game, it still uses some other components:
No dice is used in this game.
Timing: actions are usually done in strict initiative order, or simultaneously. In some phases, however, free order can be used. In such a case, if there is any precedence problems, the Devil with the smallest initiative number goes first. There is no reactions to announced action, except for:
Rounding: always round up, unless noted otherwise. Do the rounding after all modifiers, but separately for each player (for effects like 'half of all Souls...')
Randomization: several effects call for randomization of cards, like 'random half of the hordes are destroyed'. Normally this can be achieved by shuffling all potential cards and then dealing required number of cards.
The gameflow is divided into several phases to make first game easier and to control possible timing issues. However, it also means that the gameflow is a bit slow if each player starts to think her actions only when it is her actual turn. To make it faster, several things can be done beforehand, and here are some guidelines:
Reinforcements phase: as soon as you have gained your cards, you can start deciding what cards to table.
Trading phase: you can pre-determine casted rituals and who is going to leave to Earth in action phase. Again, you can then change them later on if need to, according to choices of earlier players in the action phase.
Action phase: as in the trading phase, you can pre-select your ritual casters and Earth leavers, as you have still the possibility to change them. You can also choose and select your army target while waiting.
Devils are free to trade almost anything (see trading phase), including future promises. However, although "Devil's words is its law", they are very cunning in bending their words and deals and thus no promise ever needs to be kept. The only exception is immediate trades; if you agree to do something immediately this promise must be kept. This applies to deals like 'If you give me that Fiend I give you these 2 Souls' but not to deals like 'if you give me that Juggernaut I will attack Asmodeus' as the attack choice is never done exactly at the same time as any deal. However, there is some ways to enforce a Devil to do what you want in future, and this is either alliances or safety in the war phase, or by using the favor cards. See next chapter about favors.
Unless players agree otherwise, all deals (and other decisions) must be made while sitting on the table, without use of any paper or whispering. Hell is full of spies, after all. However, it is legal to show some cards just to selected players.
Favor cards are used as a promise of future favor; the Devil whose favor the card is has promised to do a favor in near future. Favors are used in the trading phase. You then simply 'play' one or more favors of the target Devil, the actual number of needed favor cards depending of the favor reclaimed, and announce the favor you force the target Devil to do. That Devil then takes these favor cards into hand and must do this favor. There is no escape from a favor, unless if the asking Devil accept some reconcilation.
As a timing note, at the start of the trading phase you can claim a favor before any other actions; if several Devils wish to do so, use the initiative order. After that you cannot interrupt the target's other action unless the target allows you to, so you must first ask that can you 'trade' with him or her (you do not have to tell that you are going to reclaim a favor)
Counter-favor: if the reclaimed favor needs more than one favor card, one of them can be replaced with own favor card. So, to buy a prisoner, you can either give 3 favors of the target Devil, or 2 favors of the target Devil, and one of your own.
See the trading phase for explanation of various favors that can be reclaimed.
Deal one random horde to each player. Remove from the game all Oaths, Votes and Favors of the Devils not partaking the current game.
Put the High Palace of Hell in the middle of the gaming board. Deal one random realm to each player, removing the rest from the game.
Deal to each player:
Shuffle all special play cards.
Shuffle all remaining resoure cards.
Lords of Hell can be played with 3 players, but with one rule alteration:
Lords of Hell has 3 game turns, each with following sequential phases:
At the start of the phase, return any Fiends and Devils on Earth back to Hell. Those without home realm gain a new one and simply pick any free one. Use the initiative order if several Devils are without a home realm.
Make sure that the resource and special play card decks are shuffled.
In the initiative order, deal one special play card for each player. If the deck runs out, bad luck for the last ones.
|Draw / Discard||10 / 6||9 / 5||8 / 4||7 / 3|
Deal X cards to each player (see table on the right). Then deal to all Devils with less than 4 tabled cards one extra for each card less than 4. Thus, in a 5 player game, if some Devil has no tabled resource cards, deal 12 cards to that Devil.
In the initiative order, each player discards certain number of just drawn cards, tabling the rest. Any events are handled immediately.
In this phase, players are free to trade anything they possess, with following limitations:
Favor overrun: at the start of the phase, Devils can reclaim favors before any other actions (trading, torture, etc.) can be done. Use the initative order if need to. After this, players are not allowed to forcefully interrupt others.
Combat deals: Devils can agree on two special combat deals which last until next game turn: safety and alliance. Both can also be forced with favors (see below).
A safety is a deal between two Devils, so that the subject Devil cannot target nor attack the other Devil in its home realm. If the Devil's army is a follower in an alliance and that alliance aims to that home realm, this Devils army returns home after open combat and does not partake in that combat. A safety deal is immediately ended if armies of these two Devils meet.
An alliance is a joint of two (or more) Devils, a promise to fight together this combat round. The Devil announcing the alliance is the leader of the Alliance, rest are followers. Two alliances cannot be merged nor can followers agree on new participitants, only the leader can. Devils in an alliance fight together and share the same result of the combat. They can never attack each other. Alliance cannot be broken once announced.
The phase ends when everybody is 'ready'. This can be indicated by putting hand cards on the table. At the end of the phase, all still imprisoned Devils are released but they must put one Oath away. This Oath is removed from the game and not shown to other players. If the player does not have any Oath cards, she must show her hand to the capturer to proof that and then puts nothing away. If several Devils are freed, use the initiative order.
In initiative order, each player decides what rituals are being cast and whose leave to Earth. Note: most choices can be made already in the trading phase, thus fastening the gameplay. Naturally the final choice is in this phase.
Army move and Alliance: an army can only move if it is led by the Devil or Fallen Angels. If the Devil is in an alliance and without Fallen Angels, the Devil cannot leave to Earth (but can cast rituals)
Rituals: the Devil itself can cast 2 rituals and each Diabolic fiends 1 ritual. Pile all casted rituals to side and put casters on the top of them. Casters cannot attack nor leave to Earth. If casters are later on lost, discard required number of rituals.
Leave to Earth: Fiends and the Devil itself can be sent to Earth to gather Souls. Such a creature is practically out of game until next game turn unless recalled. Tap the card sideways and put aside. Fiends on Earth cannot be affected by rituals nor destroyed in combat. Those casting rituals cannot leave to Earth.
At the end of the phase, discard all rituals not being cast.
In conflict phase, Devils can attack each other.
The attack army always has all units of the Devil, except for creatures on Earth, those casting rituals and any Souls (unless the Devil has Soul Stones).
The target for the army is the army of the Devil they wish to meet, or black (Lucifer) if the army is sent to conquer an unoccupied realm. Own Devil or non-existant means that the army stays at home. The army fights with all other armies it meets, except those in same alliance.
After everyone has made up their mind, targets are revealed and all armies with other target than them itself move. Simply pile army markers of those who meet each other. Then:
In the moving phase, we have Asmodeus, Belial and Mammon able to attack. Asmodeus and Belial is in Alliance, Asmodeus is leading. Asmodeus selects itself as target (stays in home) while Belial must select Asmodeus as target (leader of the alliance). Now, if Mammon selects either as target, all 3 are piled into same combat pile and Asmodeus is not removed from it even as it stayed home, as the alliance forces it to partake.
Alliance moving: Asmodeus and Belial still have an alliance, with Asmodeus leading. This time, however, Asmodeus is casting rituals but Belial is not. Thus Belial is free to choose his targetregardless that he is in alliance. Let's assume he targets Glasya while Mammon targets Asmodeus. If Asmodeus and Belial wouldn't be in an alliance, Belial would go to Glasya and Mammon to Asmodeus and that's it. But in a case of alliance, these two piles are merged. Then Asmodeus and Glasya (both at home, Asmodeus unable to move) are removed from it, resulting in an open combat between Belial and Mammon. If Mammon wins, he can proceed to attack Asmodeus and if Belial wins, he continues to fight with Glasya.
Any armies which encountered each other in the open are going to fight. A fight is handled in the following way: Each side (army or alliance leader) selects its 'strategy' by selecting, in hidden, one color (Devil) in the target track. Then these selections are shown and reults interpreted. A side direcly wins any side with selection 1 steps clockwise.
Combat results (in open) are:
The power of each army is normally 1 per horde, Soul and Devil on it, plus the home realm defense value in a home realm combat. Some creatures have higher power or otherwise affect power.
All defeated armies lose at least one horde if able. If they are not otherwise losing them (because of Juggernauts or Leviathan), the controlling player must select one own horde to destroy, if able. Warriors of Darkness cannot be selected.
After that any defeated armies return to their home realm (alliance is temporarily broken). The leader then continues to its original target. If the winner is an alliance and the target has safety against some followers, those followers return to home realm instead.
Asmodeus (with 2 Juggernauts), Belial (with 3 Tormented Ones, 1 Juggernaut) and Mammon (with 3 Fiends and 1 Warriors of Darkness) fight at open. At the same time they choose their 'strategy', with Asmodeus selecting 'Glasya' (1), Belial 'Mammon' (3) and Mammon 'Lucifer' (7/0). Thus Asmodeus wins Mammon directly (one step clockwise) and Asmodeus and Belial compare their powers. Army of Asmodeus has power 11 (Asmodeus (1) + 2 Juggernauts (6, 3 each at open), for a total of 7, plus Asmodeus 50% bonus to total of 10.5, always rounded normally up to 11) while Belial has 10 (Belial (1) + 3 Tormented Ones (1,2,3) + Juggernaut (3)). Asmodeus wins and thus Belial is also defeated.
Both defeated armies must destroy one of their hordes. Mammon can only choose Fiends (Warriors cannot be selected nor destroyed). Juggernauts of Belial are automatically destroyed because Belial is defeated. Because some hordes are automatically lost, Belial does not select an extra horde to be destroyed. Both armies then retreat to their home realms and Asmodeus continues to its original target.
Now armies in home realms fight, or that who targeted uncontrolled realms (black) can swap the home realm with any free uncontrolled realm. In a case of alliance, the leader has first pick and then the rest in an order defined by the leader.
In home realm combats, there is always just one defending army and then one attacker, which can be an alliance. If you any other situation, you did something wrong in the previous phases. Reread them.
Combat results (in home realm) are:
Defeated: army loses at least one horde (as above) and retreats to its home realm.
Defender destroyed: defender loses all hordes (excepts Fiends on Earth), Souls and rituals. If the defender was part of an alliance, it is separated from it. If the destroyed army was the leader of the alliance, the oldest Devil takes over.
If the defender was destroyed, the attacker gets spoils of war: 1 victory point from the defender (only if the defender had any and does not have less than all attackers, i.e. same rules as in trading), all prisoners (defeated Devil and any old ones. Whoever gets the defeated Devil also gets its artifacts), and home realm (the Devil can swap home realm with the conquered one. The other home realm is moved to unoccupied ones). If the winner is an alliance, the leader must divide the spoils of war with all armies in the same alliace, including those that could not follow because of the safety agreement (but not including those that stayed home because they casted rituals). Following rules apply to spoil dividing:
Asmodeus (3 vp) and Mephistopheles (3 vp) is in alliance, Asmodeus is leading and they defeat Glasya (with 4 vp). Asmodeus gives realm as spoils to Mephistopheles and keeps rest. If Mephistopheles had less than 3 vp, the victory point must be given to it (but Asmodeus can then keep the realm)
Prisoners: Devils from destroyed armies are imprisoned as part of the spoils of war. Any prisoners can be traded in the next trading phase and can be tortured by Belial. Imprisoned Devil can otherwise trade and play normally. If the army with prisoner is destroyed in later conflict, old prisoners become extra spoils of war.
Each Devil gains a Soul for each Fiend, Diabolic Fiend or Devil on Earth. However, if the Devil has no home realm, all these Souls go to whoever controls the Seat of Judgement, or if none, are lost.
At the end of the phase, the Devil with most Souls gains one victory point and loses all its Souls. If the top position is shared, they all gain a victory point and lose their Souls. If no one has any Souls, no one gets any victory point.
All rituals casted this game turn are handled. First make sure that the discard deck is shuffled into the resource deck. However, if any Infernal Plagues are being cast, you can wait until they are resolved before reshuffling the deck.
Each ritual has a priority number and those with lowest are handled first. If several Devils have rituals of the same priority, the initative order takes precedence. The Devil can opt to just to cancel the ritual, discarding it without doing its effect. Casted rituals are discarded. If a ritual destroys Diabolic Fiends who were casting rituals, the ritual can still be finished.
Many rituals call for magic card drawing. These cards are drawn from the resource deck, but are not taken into hand nor revealed, even to the drawer. If the deck runs out, bad luck for the casters!
After all rituals have been handled, drawn magic cards are turned face-up and tabled. Any events or rituals are instead replaced with Soul (even Summon with only one Soul!)
All ritual casters are then freed to combat and Devils can now lead their armies into combat.
As earlier conflict. Note that if some Devil (or its forces) were destroyed at its home realm, that Devil cannot have an attack army anymore this game turn.
The Devil with the High Palace of Hell gains an extra victory point. Then redeal the initiatives: the Devil with least victory points gets the smallest number and so on. If even, use reversed order from the previous order.
After new initiative have been dealt, each player must select total of 2 Oath and/or Vote cards and put them into pile, without showing them. Those without sufficient show their entire hand to other players. After all players have selected, the this pile is shuffled and in the initiative order a player takes this pile and selects 2 cards from it. The selected cards must be shown to other players before the pile is passed to the next player.
If the deck runs out (very unlikely but possible with extensive trading), bad luck for the last players. After the player has selected the cards, the player with more than 6 tabled resource cards must discard enough resource cards to make it 6.
After 3 game turns, new Overlord is voted and the game ends.
Any prisoners can be transfered or freed with favors (or by will of the capturer). No other trading is allowed.
Any prisoners which are not freed cannot vote in the upcoming voting. Practically this means that the Vote card of that Devil has no effect to whoever has it.
Each Devil secretly selects one Devil to vote. Each player must select even if they do not have vote cards (of course they can claim that they do not have any vote cards but who does trust them?). These votes are then revealed at the same time. Then each player reveals all Vote cards in hand. Each Devil gains one vote for each Vote card in hand of those who selected him or her, except for vote cards of imprisoned Devils.
The Devil with the most votes is the winner of the voting and is the new Overlord. Tie-breakers:
The final winner is determined from the victory points scored during the Conflict part and from Oath cards of the Overlord held by the players.
Devil cards are always face-up on the table, in the front of the controlling player. Each Devil has power 1.
Asmodeus (age 6): Army or an alliance led by Asmodeus has total power increased by +50%, as long as Leviathan is not part of it nor is it defender in home realm. Asmodeus has one extra wild favor each trading phase to be used in favor reclaiming. This army bonus does not work if Asmodeus is as a follower in an alliance. Wild favor works just like a favor card of named Devil but is not an actual favor so the target gains nothing nor it can be stolen with torture nor can be used in Drunken Agreement. Wild favor is not available in the final prisoners phase.
Mephistopheles (age 5): In Soul gathering phase, gain +50% Souls from Earth. Once per conflict, if your army is led by Mephistopheles, can steal one horde from an army in same combat, before strategies are selected. The target army chooses the stolen horde. Mephistopheles selects the army to give the horde, and armies can be stolen from an ally. The stolen army is not counted as destroyed in an army is defeated.
Baalzebub (age 4): The home realm of Baalzebub has 10 power instead of its normal power. Double favor cards are needed to reclaim favors from Baalzebub. If Oath Trade forced, 2 favors are needed for a trade of 1 Oath/Vote, 4 for 2 and 6 for 3
!x Mammon (age 3): In the reinforcement phase, if you do not have most tabled cards, gain extra cards equal to difference + 1, up to maximum of 3. If Mammon is captured, destroy 3 hordes of your choice from each other army in the same combat. For example, if you have 6 tabled cards and so does someone else, gain 1 extra card. If someone else has 10 cards, gain 3 extra cards. These cards are addition to extra cards given for less than 4 tabled cards. So if you have none and someone else has 6, gain 3+4 extra cards. Warriors of Darkness cannot be destroyed with revenge power. If Leviathan destroyed, it does not destroy entire army.
x Belial (age 2): In the moving phase, can switch Souls to Tormented Ones in the resource deck. In alliance, gain all prisoners. In the trading phase, can torture each prisoner for 4 random hand cards. Either keep one non-Vote and release the prisoner or return all, keeping the prisoner switch is 1:1 and switched Souls are lost. Any number of Tormented Ones can be salvaged. If someone reclaims a prisoner at the start of the trading phase, Belial does not have time to torture them, but afterwards can torture at will, as interrupts are not allowed later on.
Glasya (age 1): Glasya can cast 4 rituals each game turn. For each own ritual cast, draw 1 extra magic card. When Glasya reclaims favors, can replace one extra favor with her own. Casted means successfully finished own rituals, including those finished by Diabolic Fiends. For other power, for example, Glasya can give 2 own favors and one target's to force an agreement
There exist 5 Favor cards, 1 Vote card and 4 Oaths cards per Devil. Favors, Vote and Oath cards of Devils which are not partaking the current game are not used.
Realms are always face-up on the table. There is one more realm card in the game than there is Devils. Each Devil can control one realm at the time.
The High Palace of Hell (def 6): Gain 1 victory point in the scoring phase. Also acts as a tie-breaker in the voting.
The Frozen Ocean (def 9): no special powers
! The Forest of The Hanged Ones (def 3): If an army is defeated here, it loses all its hordes and Souls. Note that Warriors of Darkness survive this.
The Mountain of The Ever-Rotting Corpses (def 3): When any hostile army arrives here, you can table all Warriors of Darkness in the resource deck.
Dis (def 3): When any hostile army arrives to Dis, it must immediately destroy 2 hordes if able. If Warriors of Darkness selected, they are instead set aside, and if the attacker wins, they return to that army, otherwise join the army of Dis's owner.
The Valley of The Wailing Souls (def 3): In the soul gathering sub-phase, gain an extra Soul. This one is not counted as gained from Earth and thus Mephistopheles does not count it for bonuses
The Seat of Judgement (def 3): Gain all Souls gathered when the gatherer has no home realm.
x The Lake of Boiling Blood (def 3): At the end of the Soul gathering phase, you can return one Fiend of your choice of the Devil with most Fiends on Earth to Hell and gain control of it. If tied, you decide. Can steal Diabolic Fiends.
All resource cards are drawn from the resource deck, discarded to the discard pile and always face-up on the table otherwise, except at the start of the reinforcements phase. Events are never on the table and rest are always part of some Devil's domain.
Diabolic Fiends (4): Can be sent to Earth or can cast one ritual each game turn.
Fallen Angels (2): Can act as a leader for your army, so that your army can move even if your Devil is on Earth or casting rituals.
Fiends (16): Can be sent to Earth.
Juggernaut (6): Power 3 when your army is at open. Juggernaut is destroyed if your army is defeated.
Leviathan (1): Power 9. If your army is defeated, Leviathan is destroyed and it destroys all hordes and Souls on your side. If you select your home realm as the target in the moving phase, Leviathan is also destroyed along with all your other hordes and Souls in your army. Does not destroy Warriors of Darkness. Self-destruct mainly happens if the Devil casts rituals and cannot lead the army; it does not happen if the army is a follower in an alliance which ends up in Leviathan's home realm.
Metal Beasts (4): Power 4 against home realm.
Tormented Ones (6): The second Tormented One in the same army has power 2, the third power 3 and so on.
! Warriors of Darkness (6): Cannot be destroyed unless your army loses combat at your home realm. Any such results are just ignored nor can you select it to destroy after your army is defeated. Leviathan or Forest of Hanged Ones does not destroy them nor can Mammon. Can be 'hit' by Infernal Plague but are not destroyed in that case.
Orb of Knowledge: In the moving sub-phase, you can select your army target after other armies have revealed theirs. normal rules to target choosing apply
Soul Stones: If your Devil leads your army in the moving sub-phase, your Souls partake in the attacking army.
Staff of Undead: When any horde is destroyed, you can take it instead of it being put to the discard pile. This works only once per game turn. does not help you if your army is destroyed. Can resume Leviathan or Juggernaut that is lost because of your army is defeated, but does not cancel Leviathan side-effect
Tome of Power: In the action phase, you can put this card on top of the one ritual your creatures are casting. This ritual is counted as two rituals, generating one effect after another. there is no much point for duplicating Drain Power or Furnace of Souls. If Infernal Plague duplicated, it is possible to cause destruction of all hordes. Glasya gains an extra magic card from both rituals.
Wand of Might: Army (or alliance) led by your Devil directly wins combats directly 2 steps clockwise, instead of normal 1.
Conjuration (4): (p:2) When cast, draw 3 magic cards.
Drain Power (1): (p:2) When cast, all artifacts in play, except for those held by Devils in Hell and with Sanctuary, are destroyed. Draw 1 magic card for each artifact destroyed.
Furnace of Souls (1): (p:2) When cast, destroy all Souls not protected by a Sanctuary and any number of your Souls. Draw 1 magic card for each your Soul destroyed this way.
Infernal Plague (2): (p:1) When cast, all armies not protected by a Sanctuary lose one-third of Souls in Hell and one-third of random hordes, rounded up for both. If two Infernal Plagues are cast, combine their effect. Shuffle the discard deck into resource deck afterwards and draw 1 magic card for each own horde destroyed this way. Warriors of Darkness cannot be destroyed but they can soak hits. Do not draw a magic card if they are hit.
Sanctuary (4): (p:3) When cast, draw 1 magic card. While this ritual is being cast, your home realm has +3 power and is protected from ritual effects.
Steal Power (3): (p:4) When cast, gain a random magic card from each other Devil, if any. If you get less than 2 magic cards this way, draw from the deck to make it 2. as all magic cards are face-down at this time, the last drawn magic card is as random as any other
Currents of Chaos (3): Draw an extra card from the special play card deck. If that deck is empty, instead table or play the top card from the resource card.
Forced Agreement (6): Take 2 tabled cards from target Devil. Give that Devil your own Favor or 2 tabled cards. you can return the cards you just took
Summon (6): gain 2 Souls.
Special play cards are drawn from their own deck, refreshed at the start of each turn, and are kept in hand and never tabled, just played and then put to bottom of the special play card deck.
Doublecross: Play as a response when any Special card is played. The effect of that other card is countered.
Drunken Agreement: Play at the end of the reinforcements phase. All players, or all players but you select each 3 hand cards. These cards are then shuffled and dealt back to these players. If any player has less than 5 hand cards, that player chooses half of them and gets that many in redealing.
Escape: Play in the combat (home realm) sub-phase, just after strategies are shown but result not yet handled. Target Devil who just lost in own home realm is sent to Earth, not captured. can escape imprisonment. Gathers Souls normally
Hidden Reserve: Play in the trading phase. Table one ritual or artifact of your choice from the discard deck.
Magical Vortex: Play in the trading phase. Take target ritual.
Recall: Play at the start of the moving phase. Return all creatures on Earth to Hell. If need to, select new home realms in the initiative order. Devil can attack now if appropriate
Reoccupy: Play at the end of the combat phase to target Devil with no home realm. That Devil selects a new home realm.
x Silence: Play at the end of the reinforcements phase. No communication, trading, deals or favor reclaiming can be done in the following trading phase, except that prisoners can be freed with favors (or no price at all), special cards can be played and Belial can torture.
Thief in the Night: Play in the trading phase. Gain target artifact.
Time of Virtue: Play in the trading phase. In the following action phase, Devils cannot be sent to Earth. At the end of the action phase, random half of all Fiends sent to Earth are destroyed. includes Diabolic fiends. Affects all players
Treacherous Troops: Play in the trading phase. Gain target horde. can steal from allies, but only if there is a real combat
World War: Play in the trading phase. Gain a Soul from Earth for each Fiend you have. In the next action phase, all Fiends must be sent to Earth. includes Diabolic fiends in both cases. Affects all players, except bonus Souls.