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Different areas of Hell are represented with Realm cards. Each Devil can control one Realm at the time, so-called home Realm, while rest are uncontrolled and put in the middle of the gaming board. A Devil can be without home realm, but that limits its powers. If Devil has no home realm, its 'home' is a wandering army somewhere in Hell.
Each realm has different powers which affect gameplay during different phases. Refer to realm cards for details. One of the Realms is the High Palace of Hell, and the Devil who controls it is more probable elected as new Overlord.
Home realm can be changed during trading or combat phase. In trading phase, the Devils can switch home Realms if they so agree. Uncontrolled realms cannot be occupied, however, during trading phase. The Devil can abandon old home realm if it so chooses, but only in trading phase. At the end of combat phase, the realm occupied by the attack army can be switched to be the new home realm. See combat rules.
A devil without home realm:
Each player controls one mighty Devil of Hell, and has corresponding Devil card. Each Devil is an immortal being of great power.
Each Devil has 3 possible states in game:
Imprisoned Devil is never counted to be 'in Hell' or 'on Earth', regardless who is helding it as prisoner. If imprisoned Devil is released, it returns to Hell.
Imprisoned Devil can be freed at will by the captor, whenever normal (limited) trading is allowed. Otherwise the only way to get prisoner freed is by special card or conquering realm wherein prisoner is. If prisoner is freed in combat phase, the Devil can stay at captor's custody until end of the combat phase to avoid new imprisonment.
Each Devil can make number of promises and Oaths about future, when the new overlord for the Hell is found. These promises are represented with Oath cards.
There is 6 Oath cards for each Devil. Following rules apply to them:
Resource cards represent various things that Devils control, from hordes of fiends to mighty rituals. They are drawn from resource deck and kept in hand until played, tabled, traded or discarded.
Resource cards fall into 4 classes: hordes, artifacts, rituals and special cards. Of these, all but special cards are tabled during trading phase and after that cannot be taken back to hand. Special cards are played in various phases of the game, and usually has immediately effect and are then discarded.
Horde cards represent various creatures under Devil's influence. Following rules apply to horde cards:
Unless noted, each card has power of 1 in combat, and is killed when takes a hit. Some hordes have special powers explained in card.
Artifacts are items of great power carried by the Devil. Following rules apply:
Rituals represent mighty spells cast by Devils and Diabolic fiends. Following rules apply to ritual cards:
Special cards are always played from hand to affect the game directly. Unelss noted as 'trading phase only' with special symbol, special cards can be played whenever trading is allowed, but prohibited during draw, init and award phase (and combat round resolution)
When a Devil or fiends on Earth get hapless humans to sign treaties, they get eventually Souls, which arrive Hell to wander around its endless plains. These soul hordes are then used as fodder in combats between Devil's.
Each 'soul' is represented with appropriate counter. It has no power in combat (in normal case), but can take hits. If destroyed, the Souls scatter and are removed from the game. There is no limit how many Souls the Devil can control, and they can be traded normally in trading phase.
Devils (players) earn so-called victory points which represent general fame and name of the Devil and make it easier for the Devil to become a new Overlord. Moreover, when the game ends, the Devil with most fame and followers is the real winner, even if he (or she) isn't the new overlord.
Victory points should be marked with some counters and are awarded in following situations:
Rest of the counters possibly used in game:
There is no any kind of action stack in Lords of hell. When an effect is announced, it immediately happens and other players cannot interrupt the action (except with Double Cross). If your action somehow affects other players, tell other players to stop trading and playing for a while and when they are ready, do your action.
Trading means excanhe of promises, resource cards and Souls. All Devils can trade with each other (unless imprisoned), although things on table can only be moved between players in trading phase.
If trade includes some kind of promise, it never lasts longer than until end of next turn. Until that time, however, the Devil must keep its promise, and if not able, loses all its Souls, hordes and victory points.
Typical promises are:
It is each player's responsibility to ensure that promises are such that they can be kept. Unless players state otherwise, all promises include 'if able' condition, but Devil must make its best to be able. If need to, player must show her hand to other player, to show that her Devil cannot keep its promise.
Once per turn a non-imprisoned Devil (or imprisoned with permit) can trade with Other Powers of Hell: The Devil trades away one Oath card (it needs not to be the Devil's own). This card is put away, and the player can immediately draw 3 cards from resource deck.
An army is a group of hordes, souls and possible the Devil itself. Each player can have maximum of two armies: home army and attack army. The attack army can only be formed in combat phase, with following restriction:
If the attack army loses its leader, it must return immediately to home. Attack army in home is automatically merged to home army. Home army is anything located in Devil's home realm (if any) or the wandering army somewhere in Hell. That army cannot move but defends itself.
Army power: In normal case, each horde (or Devil) in army is worth 1 power while souls have no power. Thus, an army of 6 Souls and 2 fiends has power of 2. Some hordes and Devils have greater power than 1; this is noted in card. Note that higher power does not make unit any more tougher against damage.
Deal one random Devil to each player. Give 5 corresponding Oath cards to each player, and shuffle the sixth card of each Devil together and deal one to each player, without revealing them.
Put 'High Palace of Hell' realm in the middle of the gaming table. Deal one random Realm to each player, as initial home realm for their Devil. Put rest of the realms away.
Deal 6 resource cards to each player. Give 'Starter' marker to random player. Start with the first turn, with card drawing. The game lasts until new overlord is found in Gathering phase.
Every game turn consists of 6 different phases:
On second and subsequent turn, move Starter marker one player clockwise.
Each player, regardless if their Devil's state, draws cards according to table below. Total cards include all Oath and resource cards the player has, plus possible home realm and always the Devil itself. Souls are not counted. Cards are drawn in clockwise order, starting from Starter.
|Cards drawn||to 15||4||3||2||1|
Devil's without home realm draw one card less (or to 14). Any other modifiers to number of cards drawn are then added (Mammon, for example). For example, Belial's player has 8 cards in her hand (5 Oaths and 3 reource cards) plus 5 tabled hordes and 1 artifact. Belial has home realm. Total cards is 16.
Some effects happen during draw phase, and are handled after cards are drawn. No trading, playing special cards or using any effects is allowed while drawing takes place. Any Devils or fiends on Earth return to Hell.
This is free-flow phase which ends when every player is ready. This is easily signaled by putting cards on table, although the player can then continue trading if some other player does something. Possible actions during this phase are:
Each combat phase has several combat rounds, of which each has three segments:
The phase lasts until nothing happens anymore - no one wants to move and there is no outgoing fight anymore. Following other things do happen when phase ends:
Movement segment is completely free-flow, as with trading phase. Any player can move her attack army, but after moved, the move cannot be taken back. If no one wants to move army, then just skip this segment.
Following rules apply when player wants to move her army:
Retreat move: army that has moved to other location than home, can return to home for free if any hostile army moves there. The army is still counted as moved one. This retreat move is not available if home realm was already occupied by other armies. The army causing the retreat move can not take its move back (unless someone attacks its home)
Note that player can only move whole armies - she cannot move one horde from army to another without first bringing them together.
Whenever there are more than one army in same location and they want to bash each other, fight occurs. Each location which has combat can be handled separately; if there are any debate of the order, Starter chooses. During fight segment, trading and playing of special cards is not permitted. However, some special effects happen only (and only) during combat round. Fight segment is handled in following steps:
For example, power 10 army is attacking power 7 army. The first army rolls 4 dice, while second rolls 3. Dice are 1,3,3,4 versus 4,4,5 for one hit by power 10 army and 3 hits by the other. However, the power 10 army can now reroll two dice (as it caused 2 hits less), and get 4,5. So the final result is 3 hits to both.
After all rolling is done, each army must take these hits. Each hit destroys one Soul, one horde or knocks Devil out. The army taking the hits decides which unit takes which hit. Any exceed hits are lost.
Extra attacks: some cards have extra attacks. These attacks are rolled like normal ones, but they are not counted as attack dice and are not subject to normal reroll rules. Instead, they can be always rerolled once.
Any post-extra attacks caused by Juggernauts and Mammon, for example, are handled after normal hits. These are done against any army in same location. Loss and gain of Souls (via Night Critters, Warriors of Darkness or realm) are handled last.
Whenever any Devil is knocked out, the winner of the combat can take all knocked out Devils as prisoners, gaining 1 VP for each (providing no VPs are gained from those Devils this turn). If several armies agree to stop fighting, they have to decide who gets the prisoners. If there is no army to capture knocked out Devils, they return to game in location of the fight.
Any captured devils accompy the army that caught them. Prisoners can be moved between armies in same location if they so agree. If the army keeping any prisoners is destroyed, the destroyer gets any prisoners (if multiple choices, they have to choose or fight over it)
Most realms have fortress and possible other powers. These defense points and other powers are controlled by the controller of the realm, and if the realm is uncontrolled and unoccupied, no one gets the benefict of them. If powers affect only 'hostile' armies, the controller decides, which ones are classified as hostile.
If a home realm is emptied of any defenders, any armies therein can loot it if they so agree (if they do not, combat continues). When looting is done, looters draw total of 4 cards from the player whose home realm it was - how the attackers divide this 4 cards is up to them. Any drawn resource cards are returned and no replacement is drawn. Whenever army loots any realm, the controlling player gets 1 victory point - if there are several looters, they all gain.
After that the realm is now uncontrolled and moved in the middle of the gaming board. If that Devil has attacking army, its home is now as wandering army in Hell. If the looting is not done, the realm stays as home realm of the defender.
Any army in uncontrolled realm can now occupy it, providing there is no hostile army. This army then gains all powers of the realm until leaves it. In addition, when the combat phase ends, the Devil can switch home realm to one currently occupied by the attack army, if it so desires.
Start from Starter and proceed player by player, clockwise. Any tabled rituals of that Devil are handled, providing the Devil is still in Hell and not imprisoned. Otherwise just discard them.
Normal limited trading is allowed during ritual phase, but not in the middle of handling any ritual. Thus, any ritual must be clearly stated before results are handled, thus giving other players time to react (and use Dispel Magic, for example). For example, you can trade about targets before handling Chain Catalysm, but not during it.
Roll a d6 for each fiend or Devil on Earth, starting from Starter and proceeding clockwise, with any order chosen by the controlling player. The Devil can reroll the result, but must then accept the second result.
Any Souls gathered are added to Devil's home. If any Devil and its fiends gather total of 3 or more Souls this turn, immediately award 1 victory point to that Devil.
This is the phase to determine if any Devil is the new overlord. Possible new overlords are:
Each of these Devils are suitable if not enough Devils arrive to gathering to say that they are not fit to rule. There must be at least objecting the Devil, plus one more for the each thing:
Only Devils currently in Hell can arrive to object (or to proclaim) Devils - those who are on Earth or imprisoned are unable to attend. As soon as Devil has objected some Devil, the decision cannot be taken back. Any Devil can object as many Devils as need to.
Any Devil with 10 or more victory points is automatically suitable new overlord, in addition to all other possible overlords.
If there is one suitable Devil as new overlord, that one is the new overlord and the game ends. If there are several, as tie-breaker, following rules are used:
Thus, if there are two possible overlords and the other is in Hell and the other is not, the one in Hell is the new overlord. Or if the other is on Earth and the other imprisoned, the one on Earth is the new one. And if both are in same place (Hell, Earth, prison), the one with most victory points.
Open fight: if there is no other way to settle this, armies of possible overlords meet in the open battlefield and the last one with surviving troops is the winner. No army gets any defensive bonuses, but otherwise the combat is handled normally. Imprisoned Devils and Devils or Fiends on Earth cannot partake. Devil in Hell must partake. If the combat is a draw (all sides are destroyed at the same time), Devils return home and game continues.
If no Devil (or Devils) are elected as new Overlord, the game continues to next turn. However, any Devil able to attend gathering can proclaim any one Devil as the new overlord. Voting of these Devils is done in next turn gathering.
If the new overlord is found, the game ends and winner is determined. No trading is allowed anymore, but any open deals must be kept (like if you become the new overlord, I give you this Oath)
Final victory points are each Devil's current victory points, plus extra victory points for the Oath cards of the Overlord:
The player with most victory points is winner, and if tied, tied victory. For example: Asmodeus is elected as new Overlord, and he has 3 of his own oath cards, 2 Baalzebub's and 1 of Belial. Total extra victory points are 3. Baalzebub has 1 Oath of Asmodeus (and list of other Oaths), which is worth 0 points as Asmodeus has more Oath cards of Baalzebub. Belial has 2 Oath cards of Asmodeus, they are worth of 3 victory points (the other is worth 0 as Asmodeus has one Oath card of Belial)