KINGS AND COMMERCE

INTRODUCTION

Kings and Commerce is an abstract simulation of national and commercial development in Medieval Europe. You control a country and use its resources to develop it. You earn Victory Points by reaching certain objectives. The player with the most Victory Points at the end of the game wins.

HOW TO START PLAY

The class is divided into groups. Each group has a moderator who runs the game and keeps records for that group. Each remaining student takes a country. The moderator and the players receive Scenario Instructions.

HOW TO PLAY

KAC is played in Game-turns. A Game-turn proceeds as follows:

First, the players check the Scenario Instructions for any special rules which apply to a particular Game-turn. Then, up to 10 minutes per turn are allocated for negotiation among the players. Next, the first player receives Resource Factors (RFs) and deploys them. The number of RFs each player receives is specified in the Scenario Instructions. The player then conducts attacks against other players' RFs. All of this takes place on the Game Chart. This completes the player's turn.

The remaining players receive RFs, deploy RFs, and then make attacks with their RFs in the sequence given in the Scenario Instructions. When all of the players have taken their turns, one Game-turn has been completed.

Each game lasts 6 Game-turns. The game is over after all of these have been completed. The players total their Victory Points and the winner is determined.

RESOURCE FACTORS

Resource Factors (RFs) represent a country's military, political, diplomatic and economic strength, and its willingness to use it. RFs are similar to the pieces in Risk and checkers.

Your goal is to attain the objectives listed for your country in the Scenario Instructions. You do this by deploying RFs. Each turn you will receive a certain number of RFs. You then deploy your RFs wherever you wish. You may put RFs in your own country, another player's country, or in a territory not represented by a player. You must use all RFs received on that turn in that turn. After deployment, you cannot move RFs. You cannot give them to another player. After deployment you may use your RFs to attack RFs belonging to another player.

To deploy RFs, tell the moderator where you want to put them. The moderator will then record your deployments on the Game Chart in your country's column in accordance with your instructions.

Note that it is possible to start the game with a negative number of RFs in a country or territory.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

One of your goals is to conquer territory. You do this by using RFs to attack your opponents. These attacks represent everything from simple threats to major invasions. Attacking is never required. Attacks can be made when you and another player have RFs in the same country or territory. In other words, you attack horizontally on the Game Chart. You attack by first indicating your target (the defender). Both you and the defender then remove an equal number of RFs. You decide how many RFs are removed. The moderator records these activities on the Game Chart.

After you are finished with this attack, you may attack a different opponent's RFs in that territory if you have any RFs left there. You may attack in as many countries or territories as you wish, as long as you have RFs in them. You cannot reduce an opponent's RFs in a box below zero.

PRESENCES

You have a Presence in a country or territory when you have at least 5 RFs there at the end of the game. A Presence represents situations such as trade agreements, spheres of influence, alliances, satellites, or annexations. More than one player can have a Presence in a country or territory.

You usually achieve Victory Points by obtaining a Presence in certain countries or territories. Sometimes you can earn Victory Points by preventing a Presence. You can never have more than one Presence in a particular territory. The Victory Points for an objective depend on its historical importance to the country involved.

NEGATIVE RFS

Several areas start the game with a negative number of RFs in them. These usually indicate local opposition to your plans, including unruly domestic barons, or foreign adversaries. To establish Presences in these countries or territories, you must deploy enough RFs to overcome this. For example, if England wants to get a Presence in an area that begins the game with a -10, the English player must deploy at least 15 RFs there to establish a Presence. In effect, you must attack the negative RFs and remove them before doing anything else in that area.

COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Your other major goal is to develop your country's trade. On the Game Chart page you will find a Trade Chart. You can win VPs by establishing Presences in these boxes too. Players may attack each other on the Trade Chart. Attacks are done the same as attacks on the Game Chart. An X on the Trade Chart means that players cannot deploy RFs in that area.

DIPLOMACY

You cannot win KAC unless you negotiate with the other players. Whoever makes the best deals usually wins. However, trust no one! Lies, betrayals, threats, broken deals, and bluffs are all allowed and encouraged. It is recommended that you look through Machiavelli's The Prince before the exercise. If you have any bad qualities as a human being, this would be a good time to use them.

HOW TO WIN

A game of KAC normally lasts 6 Game-turns, unless specified otherwise in the scenario. After the last Game-turn, the players compare their RF deployments with their objectives listed in the Scenario Instructions to determine their Victory Points. More than one player can receive Victory Points for a territory. The player with the most Victory Points at the end wins.

NOTES

KAC is based on Stratagem, a military and diplomatic simulation designed for use in Western Civilization courses.

KINGS AND COMMERCE is designed by Peter L. de Rosa, and is Copyright, 2002. All rights reserved. Reproduction allowed for nonprofit educational use as long as this copyright notice is included.

WEB RESOURCES

The Perfect Captain site has several free games covering this period. The Hundred Years War is a massive online game. The site also has extensive historical information. Plantagenet is a freeware game on the Wars of the Roses. Ancients covers tactical warfare before 1500.

OPTIONAL RULES

Any of the following can be used either singly or in combinations. Make sure everyone knows which rules are being used in a particular game.

RFs can be deployed simultaneously. The players write their deployments out and give them to the moderator who will record all of them at that time. Resolve conflict in the normal player-order. Repeat this each turn.

Allow players to communicate with each other only through written messages.

Normally, one player controls one country. To simulate the problems some countries have in making decisions, more than one player can be assigned to a nation where internal disunity was a significant factor.

The instructor can require all players to record their diplomatic contacts with other players. They are collected at the end of the game. Information from these records (documents) can be surprising.

Any game can be lengthened beyond 6 turns at the instructor's discretion.

If a player has a Presence in your home country, you must remove that Presence before attacking him elsewhere.

If one player has 10 RFs in a territory, and no other player has any RFs there at all, then the first one has Control of that territory and no player can deploy RFs there for the rest of the game. Two players can agree to split Control of a territory, but they both must establish Presences there on the same Game-turn. Both players get Victory Points in this situation.

An attacker loses one less RF in an attack than the defender. For example, the attacker could destroy 4 defending RFs, while losing only 3.

OPTIONAL COMBAT SYSTEM

To make Conflict Resolution more unpredictable, resolve attacks as follows:

After RF deployment, the attacker identifies the defender. The number of the attacker's RFs is compared to the number of the defender's RFs and the odds are computed. Divide the number of the attacker's RFs by the number of the defender's RFs to get a ratio. For example, 10 RFs attacking 5 RFs would be 2 to 1. Always drop fractions. For example, 14 RFs against 5 RFs would still be 2 to 1. 15 vs. 5 would be 3 to 1.

After computation, roll a die and resolve attacks on the following table:

Die Roll 1-2 1-1 2-1 3-14-15-1+
1 X D D D D D
2 X X D D D D
3 X X X D D D
4 A X X X D D
5 A X X X X D
6 A A X X X X

Example of Play

After several Game-turns, the situation on the Scenario Chart looks like this:

Ariel Beauregard Chas Dirk
Xenophobia 5 10 8 5
Yurt 6 - 2 5
Zen - 5 - 11

Ariel gets 10 RFs per turn. He puts 5 in Xenophobia and 5 in Yurt:

Ariel Beauregard Chas Dirk
Xenophobia 10 10 8 5
Yurt 11 - 2 5
Zen - 5 - 11

Ariel then attacks Beauregard in Xenophobia with 5 RFs (each loses 5 RFs) and Chas in Yurt with 2 RFs:

Ariel Beauregard Chas Dirk
Xenophobia 5 5 8 5
Yurt 9 - 0 5
Zen - 5 - 11

Ariel next attacks Chas in Xenophobia with 2 RFs. (remove 2 RFs from each):

Ariel Beauregard Chas Dirk
Xenophobia 3 5 6 5
Yurt 9 - - 5
Zen - 5 - 11

Now is Beauregard's turn. He gets 15 RFs. He puts 4 in Yurt and 11 in Zen:

Ariel Beauregard Chas Dirk
Xenophobia 3 5 6 5
Yurt 9 4 - 5
Zen - 16 - 11

Beauregard then attacks Ariel in Yurt with 4 RFs, and Dirk in Zen with 11:

Ariel Beauregard Chas Dirk
Xenophobia 3 5 6 5
Yurt 5 0 - 5
Zen - 5 - 0

Chas now receives 20 RFs. He puts them in Xenophobia:

Ariel Beauregard Chas Dirk
Xenophobia 3 5 26 5
Yurt 5 - - 5
Zen - 5 - -

Chas attacks Dirk with 5 RFs, and then Beauregard with 5 RFs, all in Xenophobia:

Ariel Beauregard Chas Dirk
Xenophobia 3 0 16 0
Yurt 5 - - 5
Zen - 5 - -

If this were the end of the game, Chas would have a Presence in Xenophobia, Ariel and Dirk would have Presences in Yurt, and Beauregard would have one in Zen.


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Scenario Notes


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