King of the Castle
King of the Castle is a card game, suitable for 2-6 players. Tha aim of the game is to guide your favoured squires to mastery of the realm. The game consists of two decks of cards, 26 personality cards, and 78 event cards. You can download a list of the cards and the rules in TXT format, and soon as a PDF document. I've just added a JPG file with cards which you can download and print out. They are suitable for play, but they aren't the best designed cards in the world. If you can help me with design or artwork, please let me know. Of course, if you are impatient, the rules and card descriptions are available underneath this text.
The Rules

Ensure that the squires you are backing rise to prominence in the land.


2 - 6 players, ages 8+.


26 Personality Cards, representing the squires of the realm.
78 Event Cards, representing events, actions and occurrences in the realm.

Beginning the game

Split the Personality Cards and Event Cards into two separate decks, and shuffle both well.

Deal three Event Cards to each player. Each player should look at the letters in the bottom right hand corner of their Event Cards. If they have any duplicated letters, they should return these duplicates to the dealer, and be dealt further cards to build a set of three distinct letters. These three letters determine the squires you will be backing throughout the game (note that each squire's name begins with a different letter of the alphabet).

Keep these three cards secret from the other players, if they discover the squires you are backing, it is unlikely they will be long for this Earth.

Now shuffle the Event Cards again, and deal three further cards to each player. These cards form the initial hand for each player.

Finally, deal out 10 Personality cards, to produce a starting Kingdom, with a King and three castles. After dealing out the starting hands, play begins with the youngest player, and then moves clockwise.


Each turn consists of three phases:

Death and Promotion

Many cards can cause the death of one of the titled men of the realm. If this occurs, then the men holding lower ranks will be promoted. When a man dies, discard his card, and use a separate discard pile for Personality and Event Cards.

If the King dies, promote the Lord of the largest castle to King (see Determining Castle Level), promote the Seneschal to Lord, and the Master at Arms to Seneschal. Fill the Master at Arms position with the top card from the deck of Personality Cards. If a lower ranked man dies then follow the promotion path from an appropriate point.

E.g. if a Seneschal dies, promote the Master at Arms, and deal a new Personality Card to fill the vacant Master at Arms position.

Building Castles

Each castle can have three attributes, Domain, Defences and Prestige. Each attribute can be at one of three levels. These levels are denoted in the top right hand corner of Castle Attribute Cards. You can play any higher level attribute card over any lower level card. You cannot play lower level attribute cards to cover higher level attribute cards.

E.g. If a Castle has no Defence cards played on it, you could play a level 1, 2 or 3 Defence card on that castle. If the same castle had a Level 2 Prestige card present, then you could only play a level 3 Prestige card on top. When playing Castle Attribute Cards, play Domain cards in the space below the castle Lord, Prestige cards below the Seneschal, and Defence cards below the Master at Arms. If overlaying a higher level Castle Attribute Card, arrange the cards so that the level numbers of the lower level cards are visible.

Determining Castle Level

The level of a castle is equal to the sum of the level of its attributes. If determining the highest level castle, and there is a draw, then the leftmost of the tied castles has highest level.

Ending the Game

The game ends when there are no more Personality Cards available to fill the position of a dead man. Play continues to the end of the round, to allow all players an equal number of turns, and then scoring occurs.


If your squires hold positions of power, then you will score points based on the position they hold:
King12 points+2 per castle of level 6 or more.
Lord6 points+3 if Lord of largest castle.
Seneschal4 points+2 if Seneschal of most prestigious castle.
Master at Arms2 points+1 if Master at Arms of best defended castle.

The winner is the player with the most points.

Rules Variants

There are several interesting variants that present themselves almost immediately, that either increase or decrease the amount of randomness available to the game.

The first is to alter the method of selection of your Squires. You can decide to use a different randomised selection method to pick your Squires, and record the selection on paper. This has the advantage of not reducing the pool of available cards, which allows for more varied gaming, and even more players to be added (up to a recommended maximum of 8). You could also decide to allow non-randomised Squire selection, simply allowing players to pick which Squires they will support, and recording this decision on a piece of paper. Deliberate selection should lead to a more tactical game.

Secondly, you could change the order that the Personality cards will be dealt out to fill the positions of power. Instead of shuffling the Personality cards before play, you could choose to order them (alphabetically being the most obvious ordering), so that all players will know which squire will be next to fill the open ranks. Again, this will produce a more tactical (and probably longer) game.

Finally, you could choose to not select Squires at the beginning of the game at all. Instead, each player will score points based on the letters of the cards they hold in their hand at the end of the game (scoring multiple times for duplicate cards, if desired, decide before the game begins). Again, this will alter the game, allowing more cards to enter play, and more players to play if they so wish.

The Cards
Personality Cards
There are 26 Personality Cards, representing 26 Squires of the realm. Each card contains the name of the Squire and a portrait. The squires are named so that there is one Squire's name beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
Event Cards
There are 78 event cards in total, with a number of distinct cards, which are each repeated a certain number of times in the deck. The card texts given below do not include letters to determine your supported squires, you will need to use a method suggested in the Rules Variants section to pick your favoured squires.
Card TitleCard TextQuantity
Peaceful DeathThe King dies in his sleep.4
Accidental DeathKill any man during a hunting accident.6
AssassinationKill the King and promote the Lord of your choice.3
Barbarians!Kill the Master-at-arms of a Castle and discard its top Defence card.3
PlagueKill any two men of one Castle and discard the top Domain card.3
Lucky EscapeSave any man from death.4
Financial ScandalKill a Seneshal and discard his Castle's top Prestige card.3
Unlucky FallKill any Lord as he fall down the stairs of his Castle.3
VanishingsKill all men in one Castle, as they vanish without trace one night.2
Domain - 1Village3
Domain - 2Town2
Domain - 3City2
Prestige - 1Known3
Prestige - 2Recognised2
Prestige - 3Famed2
Defence - 1Keep3
Defence - 2Walls2
Defence - 3Towers2
Protracted SiegeRemove all Domain levels from a Castle.1
Weak AdministrationRemove all Prestige levels from a Castle.1
Time of PeaceRemove all Defence levels from a Castle1
Incompetent LordRemove the top levels of each attribute from a Castle.1
Timely RepairsRecover any discarded level card and play it on a Castle.3
Not That BadPrevent the discard of any level card.3
State of DisrepairRemove the top level of any attribute card from a Castle.2
Lazy DefenceRemove the top level Defence card from a Castle.2
Shrinking DomainRemove the top level Domain card from a Castle.2
Losing InfluenceRemove the top level Prestige card from a Castle.2
Sudden ChangesDraw two cards, and play them immediately.2
Unexpected LossPick a player, they disacrd a card at random.2
Targeted TheftTake a card at random from a player. Then play another card.2
RecycleSwap this card for a card from the discard pile2