Rules for The Prince

rules for the prince


Capture the opponent’s Prince. This is accomplished by destroying the Castle in which the enemy’s Prince is hiding.

prince surrenders to princeQuick Summary of Gameplay:

The Prince is a 10-15 minute turn-based strategy game played on a 10×10 tile map. It’s a mini “4X” game split into two phases: Exploration & Battle. In Phase One, you explore for resources and build 5 castles in strategic locations. In Phase Two, you deploy your resources offensively/defensively, guess where the enemy’s Prince is hidden, and attack the enemy.

Games We’re Taking Inspiration From:

  • Civilization V
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Battleship
  • Chess
  • Poker

prince sees island in telescopeRomantic Background Story:

You are the Prince of an expanding Kingdom and your father has sent you, the Imperial Guard, and some troops in search of new lands to colonize. After months on the open ocean a thin strip appears on the distant horizon, and soon your fleet is near enough to smell the sweet vegetation of rich, uninhabited island. “At last!,” you think, “This is Heaven.” You know the king would be pleased. You send out a scout and prepare to disembark. But in the night, the scout returns with the unfortunate news that another fleet is preparing to land on the other side of the island! Thinking fast, you decide to lead your troops immediately to find the best places to build strongholds.

This island will be yours—by force, if necessary. There’s not a moment to lose! Now, where should you and your scouting party land?


Phase 1: Explore & Build

Click to Enlarge
  • Turn 1: Players each land their Prince on a coastal tile (see Map). The Prince can see the terrain on all adjacent tiles. All other tiles remain shrouded in fog of war.
  • Turns 2+: For the remainder of Phase 1, the Prince can move one tile in any direction. After the Prince moves, the player has the option to build a Castle on any exposed tile. Both players have 5 Castles each.

The terrain consists of several tile types (mountains, hills, forest, etc) and may have one of a few possible resources: iron (offensive points), stone (defensive points), and gold (bonus points).

After the final Castle has been deployed, the Prince is no longer in play as an explorer piece. When both players have placed all 5 Castles, Phase 1 is over, the map is revealed and it’s time for battle! On to Phase 2.

Phase 2: The Battle!

Phase two consists of a series of battles, one per turn. Each battle has two parts (A & B):

  1. Hiding the Prince and placing the Imperial Guard.
  2. Distributing resources to offensive or defensive use for each castle and planning the attack.

5 castles

Phase 2-A: Hiding the Prince

  1. First, review strengths and defenses of your Castles.
  2. Now hide the Prince in any one of your Castles. The opposing player won’t know where your Prince is located. But choose carefully! If the Castle holding the Prince is destroyed during the battle, you lose the game.
  3. Next, place the Imperial Guard in any one of your Castles. This can be the same Castle that now hides the Prince, but keep in mind that the location of the Imperial Guard is shown on the map, so your enemy will know where you’ve place the Guard. The Imperial Guard completely shields its Castle from the first enemy attack, no matter the strength of the attack.

After both players have chosen Castles for the Prince and the Imperial Guard, this part of the turn is over. Each player can now see the location of the other’s Imperial Guard. (See Map 2)

cannon battlePhase 2-B: Battle

  1. Observe where the enemy’s Imperial Guard is stationed. The Imperial Guard greatly improves that Castle’s defenses.
  2. Select your first Castle. Offensive points, defensive points, and bonus points are determined by the iron, stone, and gold around the Castle. Let’s say this one has 4 offensive points, 5 defensive points, and 3 bonus points.
  3. Assign bonus points, which can be split between offense and defense. For this Castle, you can use your 3 gold to boost to end up with any of the following:
    • 7 offense / 5 defense
    • 6 offense / 6 defense
    • 5 offense / 7 defense
    • 4 offense / 8 defense
  4. Assign the enemy castle that this Castle will attack. The attack will use all of your Castle’s offensive points.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for your remaining Castles.
  6. Finally, assign the attack order for the battle. For example, Castle 3 goes first, then Castle 5, then 2, then 1, then 4. The order is important because the enemy’s Imperial Guard will completely rebuff the first attack on its Castle.

When both players are finished assigning resources, the Battle begins and both player’s attacks happen simultaneously. In the aftermath, players review the damage they’ve been dealt, and the damage they’ve wrought. A Castle’s damage is calculated by subtracting the Offensive Points used against it from its Defensive Points. If the Defensive Points drop to zero or below, the Castle is destroyed.

If both Princes are still alive, the next Battle begins. The game ends when one player destroys the other’s Prince. If both Princes are destroyed in the same round, it’s a tie.

So that’s it! We’re aiming for a quick, fun 4X experience. The concept is constantly evolving and if you have any thoughts, please leave feedback below or email