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Gonzaga - standard rules


Each region has four harbors (A) and four cities (B). Each city is marked with a symbol. There are eight different symbols in all. Each sea is bordered by four harbors, all sharing the same symbol and connected by sea routes. Note that the harbors of the same sea can be in different regions (for example, Mare Germanicum has 2 harbors in Britannia, and 2 in Germania). The borders of some regions have barriers (C). Near each region is the seal (D) for that region. The map is covered with a grid of hexagons, which regulate the placement of pieces.

Goal of the game

In order to dominate Europe, your family must create the largest and most valuable dominions. You can earn victory points by claiming cities and harbors with your fi efs, by creating sea leagues with control of harbors, and by donating to the church. At the end of the game, you can earn a bonus by claiming as many of the cities on your hidden objective card as possible, and by holding the Gonzaga tile.

The game

Gonzaga is played in a series of rounds. Each round is divided into two phases:
  • Plan your move - All players must secretly plan their moves and place their planning cards;
  • Place your Fief - In turn order, each player places a Fief on the map and scores points.

First phase: plan your move

Each round you have to place a Fief on the map. You must choose how you will play your Fief by using your planning cards. You have two types of planning cards: region cards and action cards. You must choose one of each type of card each round. The region card shows where you will place your Fief, and the action card shows how you will place it. Select your chosen cards by clicking on it. If you change your mind, you can select a different card or deselect the chosen one, by clicking on it. Selected cards will have a yellow border.

How do I plan my move?

Region cards shows where you can play your Fief tile (all or part of the Fief must be played in the region shown). The inactive regions card allows you to play anywhere in the inactive regions. Important: You may play your Fief on more than one region! But, you must cover at least one hexagon of your chosen region when you play your Fief. You are not required to cover a city or harbor in the chosen region (though you may choose to). Any space will do.

Your action card shows what spaces you can cover with your Fief:

Action A - Harbors
your Fief must cover at least one harbor, but no cities.
Action B - Cities, choose one:
- your Fief must cover at least one city, but no harbors
- your Fief must cover only empty hexagons.
Action C - Alliance, choose one:
- your Fief must cover cities and harbors
- you arrange a Wedding.

King's privilege

This card allows you to take your turn earlier than normal. When you play this card, you must also choose one of your other action cards. Important: In order to play the King's Privilege, you must own at least one ring. You cannot use this card if you have no rings to spend.

Determine second phase play order

When all players are done planning, it is time for the next phase. The action cards determine the order you will take your turns.

The order of actions are:

  1. The King's Privilege
  2. Harbors (Action A)
  3. Cities (Action B)
  4. Alliance (Action C)

If more than one player has played a King's Privilege card, the tie is broken by checking their other action card. If that card is also the same, then the player who turned over the Fief card with the lowest number plays first. The number on the Fief card is also used to determine turn order if there is a tie on the other action card types.

Example: Catherine has played her King's Privilege and an Alliance card. Günter played a Harbors card. Josè and Piotr both played Cities cards. Catherine will play first, then Günter. Josè's Fief card is number 12, and Piotr has number 83, so Josè will play after Günter, and Piotr will play last.

Second phase: Place your Fief

During this phase, each player will act in the turn order you determined during phase 3. When it is your turn, choose which of the options of the action card to use, and place your Fief tile on the map (see ahead Placing Your Fief for details). After placing your tile, return your Fief card to the box (you will not need it any more this game). Then, move your scoring marker on the track to show any victory points you have earned. Finally, move your face up planning cards (including your King's Privilege if you used it this turn) to the middle box of your player board. Leave these cards face up, so that everyone can see them. You won't be able to use these cards on your next turn! You will return these cards to your planning deck during phase 3 of the next round.

You will have to plan carefully so you have the right planning cards available when you really need them! You are not forced to place your Fief tile. If you fi nd that you cannot play, (or if you choose not to) you may donate to the church instead. Place your Fief in the church space on the board, and score 3 victory points. After all players have finished their individual turns, the current round ends and a new one can begin.

Placing your Fief

When you place your Fief, you may rotate it any way you wish. You may always test your Fief by trying it in different positions on the board before you choose where to play it.

Fief is shown on the board, as a group of single hexagons. There two types of hexagons:
these hexagons represent Castles and must placed on lands
these hexagons represent the territory which you'll have unser your control, and can be placed on lands or on sea.

You can move the Fief by dragging it on the map (click on it and hold the mouse button down, while you move it). To rotate it, just click once on the Fief; at every click, the Fief is rotate by one position clockwise.

When you place your Fief, you must obey these rules:

  • You must follow the planning cards you played earlier in the round.
  • All parts of the Fief tile must lay directly on the map, matching the lines of the hexagons, whether on land or at sea. You cannot place it on top of any Fief tile already played. You may play your tile on the same spaces as rings that belong to the other players (see The Wedding.)
  • All castles must be played on land hexagons.
  • You may not place it over any barriers.

Note: Once a Fief has been placed on the map, it cannot move and cannot be taken off the board. If you place two (or more!) of your Fiefs so that they touch on at least one hexagon side, those Fiefs become connected.

Important note: barriers only apply when you place your Fief. Two touching Fiefs are adjacent, even if there is a barrier between them!

The Wedding: a Fief of 1 or 2 Rings Instead of the Normal Fief

If you play your Alliance card, when it is your turn you can choose to take the Wedding action. The Wedding allows you to place on the map one or two adjacent rings, instead of your normal Fief tile. Each ring counts as one Fief.

To play a Wedding:

  • Select to play 1 or 2 rings instead of the Fief, by selecting the corresponding radio button. The Fief will be replaced by one or two adjactent rings.
  • Place the rings as if they were Fief.
  • Placing a ring is the same as placing a Fief made up of one hexagon. So, you score points if you play a ring on a city or harbor, form a Sea League, etc. However, rings may not be donated to the church.
    You can place a ring directly on the map, or on top of a Fief that belongs to another player. You may not place a ring on your own Fief, or on a hexagon that already has another ring on it.
    If a ring and a Fief are both played on the same hexagon, that hexagon belongs to both players for all purposes: the owner of the Fief, and the owner of the ring. It is not mandatory that your fi rst ring is adjacent to one of your Fiefs; but it must be in the planned region.

    Scoring points

    Cities and Harbors point scored
    For each city or harbor you cover by playing your Fief in a Flourishing Region: 3
    For each city or harbor you cover by playing your Fief in an Inactive Region: 1
    Donations to the Curch
    If you cannot (or do not want to) play your Fief 3
    Sea League
    If you cover a total of 3 (or 4) harbors with the same symbol 10

    Important Notes: You can create one Sea League in each sea area. You can only score points for each Sea League when you fi rst create it. In other words, if you increase your harbors from 3 to 4, you do not score those points again. The harbors that form your Sea League do not have to be connected. To help you fi nd the matching harbors, all harbors with the same symbol are connected by a sea route on the map.

    Placing the rings

    Important note: each hexagon on the map can only have at most 1 Fief and 1 ring (of different colors).
    If you place a ring directly on the map, then another player could later place a Fief there. If this happens, simply pick up the ring, place the Fief tile, and then return the ring to the top of the Fief (taking care that it lays on the same hexagon!).
    Hint: you only have a total of 6 rings to play for the entire game! You need rings to form Weddings and to play the King's Privilege. Once played, rings cannot be recovered. Plan your ring use carefully! Any unused rings at the end of the game are worth zero points.

    End of the game

    The game ends when, after all the players have finished their individual turns, one of the following conditions is reached:
    • when the uncovered harbors and cities in the Flourishing Regions are 3 or less, the next turn is the last one for everybody;
    • Players run out of Fiefs

    Final scoring

    The player with the highest number of connected Fiefs is awarded with 15 bonus points. In case of a tie, all tied players score the 15 bonus points.
    When counting the number of connected Fiefs, remember that each ring counts as one Fief.

    Now, it's time to consider hidden objectives! The number of secret cities covered with Fiefs and rings are counted. These cities do not have to be connected. The points you score depends on the total number you have covered:

    CITIES 0 1 2 3 4 5 6

    The player with the most points wins the game!
    In case of a tie, the winner among tied players is the one who has covered the most cities and harbors.
    In case of a further tie, the tied players rejoice in their shared victory!

    Game idea: Guglielmo Duccoli
    Development: Roberto Corbelli, Domenico Di Giorgio, Sergio Roscini, Andrés J. Voicu
    Illustrations & design: Alberto Bontempi
    Additional illustrations: Stefano De Fazi
    English rules editing: Roberto Corbelli, William Niebling
    Online version: Nicola Lepetit
    Special thanks to Gianmaria Perugini, Roberto Piazzolla, Luigi Ferrini and Franco Ghisotti; thanks to all the playtesters for their valued suggestions.

    Copyright © MMIX - daVinci Editrice S.r.l. - Via Tittoni, 3 - 06131 Perugia, Italy - www.davincigames.com
    All rights reserved.

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