In Royals, players will be competing to occupy influential positions across the nobility of 17th-century Europe. The board is separated into four different countries, each with its own cities and one or two nobles within each of those cities.
Players will be drawing cards from a deck of country cards and then playing those cards to influence the nobles in the cities. For each of the seven noble types (e.g. Baron, Princess, and King), there is a Title scoring maker on the side of the board. When you influence a noble of a particular type, you’ll also add a counter to the matching Title.
Players can influence nobles that already have another player’s counter on them only by paying matching intrigue cards in addition to the required country cards. Intrigue cards can be drawn in lieu of two country cards on a player’s turn. When a player’s counter on a noble is removed by another player, that counter still remains on the city, though it no longer grants the player direct influence.
When a player has a counter in each of the cities of a country, that player claims one of the country’s scoring tokens if any remain. Similarly, if a player ever has a counter on each of the noble Titles on the side of the board, the player will gain a scoring token. At the end of each round, influence on nobles will be added up for each player, and whoever has the most or second most in each country will gain a scoring token for that country for that round.
Players proceed for a total of three rounds, influencing nobles, backstabbing, and controlling cities and countries. At the end of the game, Titles are given to whoever has the most counters on them, and in case of a tie, the Title is split into two puzzle pieces for the tying players. Whoever has the most points wins!