Author: Michael Schacht

Publisher: Ravensburger 2003

Awards: none



G@mebox author Marco Klasmeyer writes about the game:


It is the beginning of the 17th century. Armand Jean du Plessis, better known as Duc de Richelieu and Queen Marie de Médicis fight grimly about the predominance in France. Both of them try to gain influence in as many parts of the country as possible in order to strengthen their political position. The players adopt the roles of the two antagonists and try very hard to overplay the other one with art and craftiness. But as soon as one of the two adversaries has won the majority in one region, the tables turn…


At the beginning the 48 region cards, separated into the 9 regions of France with one colour for each region, are placed in 4 rows with 12 cards face up onto the table. A region card has two symbols on it, either two identical emblems of the appropriate district or just one emblem and a power symbol (church, military, politics). The more emblems of one region a player has collected the more likely it is that he will win the influence of that region. The same applies in general for the power symbols, but these do not depend on the regions. At the end all influence values are counted and only the higher result scores for each region or power symbol. The highest score at the end wins.

At the setup 8 special markers are placed upon some of the region cards. Each player also obtains three markers of his party (queen or cardinal), which have a special function during the game. The active player can only take cards from the very left or right end of each row. He also has to consider that he can pick up one card with two emblems or two cards with one emblem but with the same colour. The chosen card(s) have to be placed in front of him, sorted by the colour and with all symbols and emblems visible. The number of emblems per colour represent the influence of that player in that region. Afterwards he can place or move one of his markers on one of the left region cards. This marker prevents his opponent from easily taking this card. If a player chooses to take a region card with an opponents marker on it, he has to discard one of his own markers and the opponent gets his marker back. So there is a high price to pay, but in the final evaluation it may pay off.

The special markers distributed at the setup can be taken together with the region card according to the normal rules. They either add one emblem to one of your regions or add one power symbol or return you one already discarded marker (which is quite valuable!).

The game ends when the last card is drawn. Then every region and power is separately evaluated. Only the player with the majority obtains points, the other gains nothing. If a player has no card in one region or no symbol of one kind he gets 5 minus points for this as a penalty! The player with the highest score wins.


This card game is a very nice game for strategists. If you enjoy planning the next moves of your opponent you will love this game. The clue for every turn is where to place your markers and which cards to chose during the following turns in order to strengthen your influence in your selected regions. But you have to be careful not to forget to cover all regions, minus points are a very hard penalty at the end. The strategy is on the one hand to collect as many regions as possible, but the last two face up region cards decide in most cases who will score. So it might be useful on the other hand to estimate your opponent's interests.

This game has two sides. It is either a quick game when you just collect cards or you can perform thoughtful moves planning and weighing all your possibilities. Frequent visitors of this page will guess what I like best!

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany