Gods: Rules

By Michael Schacht.             Translation by Tobias Bende

GODS is a game for 2 to 4 Gods from 12 years. The game takes about 45 minutes. It is best played with 2 or 3. Graphics: Hans-Jörg Brehm.

Game components: 72 hexes (24 temples, 32 tribes, 11 wastelands, 2 interventions, 2 whirlwinds, 1 game end), 12 victory point markers, 8 village congregation markers, 50 energy crystals and 60 God markers.

Game idea: You are a God attempting to influence the people of the world and attract them to your religion. Your ultimate goal is to build village congregations for your religion and thus master the religious influence in the world. May the best God win!

- A lot of space is needed.
- Choose a start player.
- Everyone plays one God and receives the temples and God markers in their colour (are the extras removed from play?)
- Everyone receives 2 energy crystals at the start of the game. The rest are placed in a pile.
- Depending on the number of players, the starting layout should be:
    [Images with initial set-ups]
These cards form the initial set-up of the playing field, which does not have a fixed boundary.
- Shuffle all hexes except the temples and place them in a draw pile.
- The game end marker should be shuffled in as one of the three last hexes, so it is not known where it is.
- The victory point markers and people markers are set aside.

Game play:
The starting player begins and play takes place clockwise around the table. A turn flows like this:

1) Gather power: Take 3 crystals from the pile. You may never have more than 12 crystals. Any excess is lost. Crystals are kept open.
2) Draw hexes: Fill up by drawing hexes, so that 2 hexes are on display.
3) Two actions: You must always use both actions. The possibilities for the use of actions are:
        a) Place a tribe
        b) Place a temple
        c) Play other hexes
        d) Make an intervention
        e) Move a wasteland
        f) Discard a hex

The actions can take place in any order. Most actions cost one or more crystals. If you don't have enough crystals, you cannot carry out the action. You must pay for one action before you begin the next one.

4) Next players turn.
The actions explained:
a) Place a tribe
When you place a tribe, it must be adjacent to at least one other hex. A God marker is now placed on the tribe. The colour of the God marker shows which religion the tribe belongs to. This colour is a direct result of the bordering hexes:
- If only temples from one religion are bordering the tribe, the tribe joins that religion.
        [Example images]
- If temples from different religions border the tribe, the tribe does not join a religion and does not get a God marker.
        [Example image]
- If no temples border the tile but other tribes border the tile that all have the same religion, the tribe joins their religion.
        [Example images]
- If no temples or tribes are adjacent, the tribe does not join a religion and does not get a God marker.
It costs 1 crystal per adjacent hex to place a tribe.

b) Place a temple
When you place a temple, it must be adjacent to at least one other hex. By placing a temple, all neighbouring tribes immediately join this religion. The tribes receive God markers in the colour of the temple. Already existing markers are removed and returned to their owners.
It costs 3 crystals per adjacent hex to place a temple.
        [Example image]

c) Playing other hexes
- Wasteland: When you place a wasteland, it must be adjacent to at least one other hex. Wastelands are used to block or secure your hexes.
By playing a wasteland you receive 1 crystal.

- Whirlwind: With this card may move a wasteland from one position on the playing field to another. Whirlwind is then discarded.
It doesn't cost anything to play a whirlwind.

- Intervention: If you take this card, you can later take an extra action. This card is kept open in front of you, until it is used. It is then discarded.
It doesn't cost anything to take an intervention card.

d) Make an intervention
If you have an intervention card, you can play it to take an extra action. Playing the card does not itself count as an action.

e) Move a wasteland
As with whirlwind, you may move a wasteland from one position on the playing field to another.
This costs 2 crystals.

f) Discard a hex
With this action you may discard a hex from the display. This action is chosen when:
    1) You don't want your opponents to have access to a specific hex,
    2) There is no other action than you can or want to make,
    3) You want to save crystals for your next turn.

All of the possibilities a) to f) count as an action, apart from d).

Except for "Place a temple", the actions can be carried out more than once.

Founding a village congregation: If a God has 3 tribes of the same hex colour which belong to his religion, he immediately receives a 2 victory point marker in the colour of the tribe hexes (if any are still left) and a village congregation marker in the same colour. These markers are kept open in front of the player.

For both of these the player receives victory points at the end of the game:
2 victory points for the victory point marker and 3 victory points for the village congregation marker.

Each colour has 8 tribes. It is therefore possible to found 2 village congregations of this colour.

To found a village congregation, the tribes need not be adjacent.

The tribes can be spread over the entire playing field.

When the tribes coverts to another religion and a God no longer has 3 tribes of the appropriate colour for his village in his religion, he must return the village congregation marker but keeps the victory point marker.

Game end:
The game can end in three ways:
- The game end marker is drawn. The game then ends immediately.
- A player has 3 different coloured village congregation markers and it is his move. The game then ends immediately when that player so wishes.
- A player has 4 village congregation markers of any colours and it is his move. The game then ends immediately when that player so wishes.

All players now count how many village congregation markers they have (worth 3 victory points each) and how many victory point markers they have (worth 2 victory points).

The player/players who has built the most temples subtracts 4 victory points from his/their score.

The player with the most victory points wins. If there is a tie, the player with the most crystals wins.

Special cases:
- Hexes may not be placed on top of each other.
- If a player has no God markers left to use, may not place a marker.
- You can only build as many temples as you start with.
- If there are no victory point markers left in a colour when a player should receive one, he doesn't get one.

To prevent your opponents from taking over your tribes, you should build other hexes around them, thereby increasing the cost for placing a temple near the tribes. Wastelands are very useful for this and also generate one crystal, but can later be moved. The most effective way of placing hexes is in a row. This is the fastest way to increase the building cost for temples.
        [Example image showing three hexes in a row: Temple-Tribe-Wasteland]

Less luck variant:
You need a bag.
All hexes have to be put in the bag except the temples.
The game end card gets out of the game.
You have to draw out of the bag.
If there are two identical hexes in the display, both are throw in the bag and 2 new ones are drawn.
If you draw two identical cards again, then you follow the same procedure, but not with the last 2 cards.
Whirlwind and intervention get out of the game after use.
The game ends immediately, when the display can't be refilled.
You don't play with sudden death (3 different coloured villages or 4 villages).

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