The King's Ear Game Rules
A board game by Jon Linney, copyright 2005.


A game in progress showing cards placed beneath the matching professions of each House.
A card with the same House type counts towards the score and another House type counts against.

Introduction
You are the leader of one of four powerful medieval 'Houses' trying to gain favour with the King. To win the game you must gain the 'King's ear' by getting one of your representatives to the King's court. In the game this is symbolized by getting one of your four 'profession' markers to the centre of the board (where the pile of unused cards is kept), with a rank of 10.

Description
Each player controls one edge of the board belonging to one of the four Houses, identified by a House shield and colour, where they place their cards; and four profession 'ladders', where they place their profession 'markers' as the game progresses, to show the rank of each one.
Each House has one of each type of profession marker for Religion, Army, Trade and Farming. Each of the markers shows a House shield and picture identifying the controlling house and its profession.
There are 64 cards in total, each one shows the House it belongs to, its profession and its value. Each House has 4 cards for each profession with the value of 1, 2, 3 and 4, making 16 cards associated with each House.

An example showing the House Horse Army marker and their value two Army card.


Set Up
Shuffle and place the cards blank side up onto the centre of the board.
Each player chooses a House and the matching four House profession 'markers' and places them on their House shield.

Turns
Moving in a clockwise direction each player takes a turn.
A player can do one of two things in each of their turns, choosing between 1 or 2 below, but never both:

1) Take the top card from the pile in the centre and do one of either a or b depending on the card's House type:

a) If the card is of the same House type as your House: You must play it beneath the same 'profession' section, of your House, that is shown on the card. For example if you picked up a Religion card you would place it with the cards underneath the Religion section of your House. If this would make your Religion score 10 then you would win the game.
or:
b) If the card is of a House type that is not the same as yours you can do one of two things, either:
• Place it beneath a House that is different to the House on the card (and is also not your own House) but which matches the profession on the card, or:
• Immediately trade it with one other House for the exact amount shown on the card. For example you could trade a 3 value card for a 1 value and a 2 value card of any profession, or simply another 3 value card. At least one of the cards traded for must be of your House type. The other player cannot stop this (but see note 1 below).

or:

2) You may make one trade with another House:

Swap one or more cards of House types other than yours, that you have beneath any of your own House professions, for the same total value with another player (but see note 1 below).
• The cards you gain can be of different professions but at least one must be of your House type.
• If the cards you wish to trade are not of the same total value, you can only swap if the other player agrees to the trade.


After the trading has been completed for the turn, any effected Army Markers are moved to their new rank positions. If this would make one of your profession scores 10 points then you win the game. If one your opponents gained 10 points in one profession they would win the game, unless it is a draw when the person who's turn it is wins.

Scoring Points
The position of each profession marker is directly related to the total of the cards placed beneath the profession section of a house. For each of the four separate professions, cards of the same House count towards the score of that profession, those of another House count against.
For example, Horse has three army cards beneath their Army profession section of the board, a 4 value and a 3 value card belonging to them but also a 4 value card belonging to Pig. The current Army score for Horse would be 3 (4+3-4) and it's Army marker could only be placed on position three of the Army ranking 'ladder'.






Important Notes to Remember
1) Once a card is placed in the position correctly matching the House and profession of the card, it cannot be moved or traded for the rest of the game.
2) A card can only ever be placed 'beneath' the profession that matches the card.
3) Cards are never kept in the hand, they are either in the pile of cards waiting to be brought into play, or on the board under the profession that matches the card.

Download and Print the Game
thekingsear.zip
(2.5MB)
1) Download the file and unzip it. (The sheets are A4 size, you may need to set your printer to print to its maximum area).
2) Print out the four A4 size sheets of cards and trim out the individual cards.
3) Print out the A4 size sheet of markers. Trim around the outer edge of each marker and then fold and glue each individual base to create the stand.
4) Print out the four A4 size sheets that make up the board. Trim and glue together.

Creating the Markers (Four for each House):
Fold and glue each individual base to create the stand.

 

 

 

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