Fief: France 1429 is a game of dynastic ambition in which players assume the roles of nobles in the 15th century kingdom of France. Each player strives to become the most powerful ruling force in the kingdom by gaining control of Fief and Bishopric territories. In turn, they acquire Royal and Ecclesiastical (church) titles which give their families influence to elect the next Pope and King. Players strengthen their positions by negotiating marriage alliances between their families, setting the stage for love, treachery and deception!
Each player controls up to four family members, comprised of male and female nobles. These family members will rise in power by gaining Royal and Ecclesiastic Titles.
In Fief: France 1429, a player may attempt to gain control of all the villages in a Fief to gain the Royal Title of Baron, Earl or Duke. For each Fief a player controls, he gains 1 VP. These Titled Lords may now take part in the election for the next King. They may even be a candidate to become King, thus bringing 1 VP and more power to the family! Other members of your family may follow the calling of the Church to gain the Ecclesiastical Titles of Bishop and then Cardinal. These titles allow you to Tithe Bishoprics, taking the Church's (i.e. "your") fair share of income from other Fief Lords! The highest goal your clerical family member can attain is to be elected Pope, bringing 1 VP and special privileges to your family!
You win the game as soon as you have 3 VPs. This is easier said than done and you may need to form alliances with other players through diplomacy and marriage to obtain your goal. When one of your family members marries a noble of another family, the two of you become allied. You now win the game together with 4 VPs and cannot win alone, unless your marriage is annulled by the Pope or your spouse is "mysteriously" murdered or dies of some other foul means!
In addition to being wary of your fellow players, you may draw event cards that can quickly change your destiny. Bounty Event cards are beneficial to the Player and include "Good Harvest", "Good Weather" and "Added Taxes" cards. But some cards are Disaster Cards that can randomly effect all players in specific Bishoprics. These include "The Plague", "Heavy Rain", "Famine", and "Peasant Uprisings"!
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