Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done
As the grandmaster of a militaristic order in the middle ages, you will move your knights across Europe, defeating enemies, erecting buildings, and spreading the influence of your order. As the orders grow in strength, King Philip will become nervous, and will eventually convince the pope to disband the orders, ending the game.
The action in Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done is driven by a your personal action wheel, which you can upgrade over the course of the game. As you move your action tokens around your wheel, your options become more or less potent. Timing your actions and managing your action wheel will be the keys to success as you pursue your strategy.
Beginning with the start player and proceeding clockwise, players alternate taking turns. On your turn, choose between these options:
A. Resolve an Action
B. Upgrade a Wedge
After you have completed your turn, the player to your left then follows the same process.
A. Resolve an Action
The left half of your player board contains the action wheel, which consists of six action wedges. Each action wedge begins the game displaying one of the five actions: Travel, Muster, Crusade, Influence and Build.
Each of the actions has a different effect, but all resolve in the same way.
1. Count the number of action tokens on the wedge you are resolving. This number (X) is applied to the action. In general, the higher the value of (X), the more powerful the action will be. Other elements of your player board, such as troops and erected buildings, may add to the value of (X), depending on the action you have chosen.
2. Throughout the game, your action wedges may become upgraded. Upgraded action wedges allow you to split the action tokens in the bin as you choose between two different actions. You may assign all of the tokens in the wedge to only one of the actions, but in order to resolve an action at all, you must assign at least 1 token to that action. You may resolve the two actions in any order, but you must completely resolve one before starting the other.
3. After resolving the action, collect all the action tokens from the corresponding wedge and distribute them, one at a time, clockwise around your action wheel starting with the wedge directly following the one you are resolving.
B. Upgrade a Wedge
Every action wedge on your player board has a secondary action icon printed at the bottom. This icon tells you which of the five actions is added to the wedge when it is upgraded.
Instead of resolving an action on your turn, you may choose to upgrade one of your action wedges. To do so:
- Temporarily set aside any action tokens that are currently on the wedge you intend to upgrade.
- Flip the wedge to its upgraded side.
- Return any set-aside action tokens to their original wedge.
- Lastly, you may choose to distribute the action tokens of any action wedge as normal. It does not have to be the same wedge you upgraded, and you may choose not to distribute any action tokens.
Optional: Skip Turn & Distribute
In the extremely rare case that all of your action wedges have been upgraded, but you don’t have useful actions, you may choose to skip your turn and distribute the action tokens from any wedge as normal.
Again, this is a very rare situation, one that most players will never encounter in normal play.
The Actions in Detail
Move your knights across the map.
Your action wheel begins with two different Travel spaces. The Travel action provides movement points that allow you to move your knights on the game board. To resolve a Travel action:
- Distribute movement points (plus any Travel bonuses from your castles and churches) between your knight tokens.
- Your knights can occupy any region (hex) on the board that has a building space. You may spend movement points to move your knights to adjacent regions. Leaving any region costs 1 movement point. Leaving a region occupied by an enemy token costs 1 additional movement point, 2 total.
Recruit new troops to assist your knights.
The Muster action allows you to flip the troop tokens that line the top right of your player board. Mustered troops make your Crusade actions more powerful and gain you Influence.
To resolve a Muster action:
- Check the cost of the lowest-level face down troop token above your player board. That cost must be less than or equal to plus any Muster bonuses from your farms in order to successfully Muster the troop.
- Collect Influence tokens equal to the troop’s level.
- Flip the troop token to its mustered side.
Eliminate your enemies to clear regions.
The Crusade action allows your knights to battle enemies. Doing so will gain you Influence and allow you to Build buildings. To resolve a Crusade action:
- Choose 1 region containing one of your knight figures and an enemy token. Determine the enemy’s strength by checking the enemy strength track for the appropriate enemy type. The strength of Saracen enemies is always 6.
- The enemy strength must be less than or equal to plus any Crusade bonuses from your troops or castles to successfully complete the Crusade.
- When you complete a Crusade against Prussians or Slavs, collect Influence tokens equal to their strength, then advance the marker on the corresponding enemy strength track once. Keep the defeated enemy token in your play area for end game majority points.
- Saracens do not have a strength track. The strength of Saracen enemies is always 6. When you complete a Crusade against a Saracen enemy, note the building (or troop) pictured on the Saracen token. You may place your next building of that type onto the board in the region where the Saracen token was, or flip your next troop tile as appropriate. If you do, collect Influence based on the level of the building or troop. Otherwise, simply collect 3 Influence. Keep the defeated enemy token in your play area for end game majority bonus.
Spread the word of your order across the land.
The Influence action is the easiest and most straightforward way of gaining Influence tokens. To resolve an Influence action, simply collect Influence tokens from the supply equal to (X) plus any Influence bonuses from your churches, farms, or banks.
Erect structures to expand your capabilities.
The Build action allows you to erect buildings that confer Influence and benefits when resolving the various actions in the game. A building cannot be erected in a region with an enemy token present. Additionally, each region may only contain 1 building. To resolve a Build action:
- Choose a type of building: castle, church, farm, or bank, and check the cost of the lowest-level building of that type on your player board. That cost must be less than or equal to plus any Build bonuses from your banks in order to successfully erect the building. Some regions and building bonus tiles on the board also depict a discount that subtracts from the cost of specific types of buildings in that region.
- Place the building on the central square of a region on the board that is occupied by one of your knights.
- Collect Influence tokens equal to the level of the building you erected. Some building bonus tiles grant additional Influence tokens for erecting specific types of buildings in that region.
Action Bonuses: The uncovered action bonuses on your player board are cumulative. For example, if you have built the first three levels of farms, all your subsequent Muster actions will be granted a +3 bonus.
Unlocked Knights: Unlocked knights are placed from your player board onto the same region as the castle that unlocked them.
End of Game
When the last Influence token is taken from the supply, finish the round so that each player has had the same number of turns, and then the game is over. Players may still collect Influence tokens after the supply runs out - keep track of this Influence using the extra Influence tokens that were set aside during setup, or with some other token if need be.
At this point, the Order of the Temple and other similar orders have become so powerful and influential that King Philip has them disbanded!
For each enemy type (Saracen, Prussian, and Slav), award the 5-Influence enemy majority tile to the player with the most enemy tokens of that type in their play area. Also award the 2-Influence enemy majority tile to the player with the 2nd most enemy tokens of each of those types. You must have at least 1 enemy token of a type to be eligible for any bonus for that type.
In case of a tie, split the points between tied players according to the back side of the corresponding majority tile. In case of a tie for 1st place, 2nd place is not awarded.
Finally, count the end game Influence awarded by level IV buildings.
- Level IV Castle
- Earn 4 Influence for each set of 3 different enemy tokens (Saracen, Prussian, and Slav) in your play area.
- Level IV Church
- Earn 6 Influence.
- Level IV Farm
- Earn 1 Influence for each of your knights on the game board and each mustered troop above your player board.
- Level IV Bank
- Earn 4 Influence for each of your level IV buildings on the game board, including this one.
The player with the most Influence points is the winner.
Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done can be played with optional variants to tailor the game to your gaming group, or to add replayability.
Learning Game Variant
If playing with younger players, or players who are less familiar with modern board games, you may wish to use this variant. During setup, instead of randomizing the order of the action wedges, ensure that all players arrange the wedges of their action wheels to match the order (clockwise from top right): Crusade, Influence, Upgraded Travel and Crusade, Build, Muster, Upgraded Travel and Build.
During gameplay, ignore the Upgrade a Wedge option. This variant can be played with or without knight order tiles.
First Standard Game Variant
This variant gives a nice, even distribution of actions for a first game.
During setup, instead of randomizing the order of the action wedges, ensure that all players arrange the wedges of their action wheels to match the order (clockwise from top right): Crusade, Influence, Travel (upgrades to Travel + Crusade), Build, Muster, Travel (upgrades to Travel + Build).
Unlike the Learning Game Variant above, players may use the Upgrade a Wedge option. This variant can be played with or without knight order tiles.
After playing Crusaders several times, if players wish for their gameplay to be completely unique from one another, this variant assures everyone plays with a unique action wedge order. During setup, each player randomizes the order of their own action wheel.
Be forewarned that this variant could result in slight inbalances in difficulty from player to player and therefore is not recommended for players who care about a fair game. This variant can be played with or without knight order tiles.
Knight’s Tournament Variant
This variant allows players to plan a strategy before beginning the game. Prior to setup, each player selects the knight order of their choice, as well as the order of the action wedges in their action wheel. For this variant, multiple players can use the same knight order tile.
Below are full descriptions of all knight order tiles for your reference during setup and gameplay. We’ve also included a brief summary of each of their histories.
The Order of Alcántara
During setup, place your 13th action token onto the wedge of your choice. Additionally, upgrade 1 action wedge of your choice.
The Order of Alcántara, also known as the Knights of St. Julian, was originally a special branch of another order, the Knights of Calatrava, in the Iberian Peninsula in the 12th century. Under their new name, the order took many estates and castles, and amassed great wealth through war and donations. But as they grew in power, discord developed within the order. The schism between Pedro of Castile and Henry the Bastard, which divided half of Europe, also divided the Order of Alcántara into two warring factions.
The Order of Aviz
During setup, place your 13th action token onto the wedge of your choice.
During gameplay, when distributing action tokens, you may begin with the original wedge, rather than the next wedge clockwise.
The Military Order of Aviz, sometimes regarded as a Portuguese branch of the Knights of Calatrava, was founded in 1146. Emulating such military orders as the Knights Templar, these knights formed a monastic order, and they followed the precepts of St. Benedict. After driving Muslim influence from their lands, the Order of Aviz found new purpose across the sea in African crusades, taking part in the conquest of Cueta in 1415, and attacks on Tangier in 1437.
The Knights of Calatrava
During setup, take only 6 action tokens. Place 1 token on each action wedge.
During gameplay, add a +1 bonus when resolving any type of action.
The Order of Calatrava was the first military order founded in Castille, and was confirmed by Pope Alexander the III in the year 1164. The order was founded to defend Calatrava, a castle located on the southern most border of Castille - one that was easy to take, but hard to keep. Over time, the Order of Calatrava developed abundant resources, with lands and castles scattered along the borders of Castile. It exercised feudal lordship over thousands of peasants and vassals, and spawned other orders including the Alcántara in the Kingdom of León and Avis in Portugal.
The Knights of the Holy Sepulchre
During setup, place 1 additional action token in each of your Travel wedges.
During gameplay, the value of your Travel actions is reduced by 1.
The Order of the Holy Sepulchre was founded in the year 1099 and confirmed by Pope Paschal II on 1113 and Pope Calistus II in 1122. It was created by Frankish Duke Godfrey of Bouillon, one of the leaders of the First Crusade who became the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Considered among the oldest of the chivalric orders, The Order of the Holy Sepulchre continues to exist in the present day, with over 30,000 members. It is protected by the Catholic jurisdiction known as the Holy See.
The Knights Hospitaller
During setup, use only 11 action tokens.
During gameplay, you may skip 1 action wedge when distributing action tokens each turn.
The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, also known as the Order of Hospitallers, were formed after the conquest of Jerusalem and charged with protection of the holy land. After being driven out by Islamic forces, they based themselves in Rhodes, and then Malta, where they stayed for over 250 years. They have the distinction of being the smallest group ever to colonize part of the Americas, as they held 4 Caribbean islands for a brief time in the mid 17th century.
The Order of Montesa
During setup, in addition to your first knight, place the black knight figure in your starting space.
During gameplay, add a +1 bonus when resolving Travel actions.
The Order of Montesa, founded in 1128, drew initial recruits from the Order of Calatrava and remained dependant on them. Montesa took its name from the castle that was its principal stronghold and was limited to the territories of the Crown of Aragon. After the trial of the Templars, the order was reformed and dedicated to Holy Mary, and was approved in the year 1317 by Pope John XXII.
The Order of Santiago
During setup, upgrade 1 action wedge of your choice.
During gameplay, when distributing action tokens, you may begin with the original wedge, rather than the next wedge clockwise.
The Order of Santiago, named after the national patron of Galicia and Spain, was founded in the 12th century to protect pilgrims on St. James’ Way, and defeat the Moors on the Iberian Peninsula. In 1493, Catholic Monarchs incorporated the order into the Spanish crown. The office of Grandmaster of Santiago was forever united to the crown by order of Pope Adrian VI in 1523. The order of Santiago still exists today as a civil association with 35 knights in its service as of 2014.
The Knights of St. Lazarus
During setup, use only 11 action tokens. Additionally, upgrade 3 action wedges of your choice.
The Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem was founded around 1119 in a leper hospital in Jerusalem called Kingdom of Jerusalem, whose care was its original purpose. After the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the order divided into two factions - one of which merged with the Order of St. Maurice in 1572 to form Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus. This combined order still exists in Italy and is widely recognized as a dynastic successor. The other faction was based in France, reduced in power, and was largely suppressed during the French Revolution in 1791.
The Knights Templar
During setup, use only 10 action tokens. Choose 2 action wedges to begin with only 1 action token (the rest will have 2 each).
During gameplay, once per turn, you may place 2 action tokens onto the same action wedge while distributing action tokens.
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, also known as the Knights Templar, was a Catholic Military Order founded in 1119 and recognize by papal bull in 1139. It quickly became one of the most wealthy and powerful orders of knights, as well as the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the order managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, developing innovative financial techniques that were an early form of banking, and building fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land. As the Crusades faltered, so did support for the order. At the beginning of the 14th century, King Philip IV, deeply in debt to the Templars from his war with the English, began pressuring the church to take action against the order. After being charged with numerous offenses, persecuted, and a large number put to death for heresy, the order was formally disbanded by Pope Clement in 1312.
The Knights Teutonic
During gameplay, you may choose to distribute action tokens either clockwise or counterclockwise each turn. The entire distribution must follow the chosen direction.
The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, more commonly known as the Teutonic Order, was founded in 1190 in the city of Acre, in northern Israel. The order was formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals, and they had an important role in controlling the ports. After Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, the Teutonic Knights moved to Transylvania to help defend Hungary from the Turks. Eventually settling in Germany, the order became purely religious in 1929, and still confers honorary knighthoods and pursues charitable aims in Central Europe to this day.
Crusaders: Divine Influence Expansion
Game play is the same as the base game of Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done, with the following exceptions:
The Influence action allows you to gain Influence tiles by spreading the word of your order. In the expansion, this action is entirely different than the base game:
- Collect the Influence tile costing (X) or less (including any Influence bonuses from your churches, farms, banks, or influence tiles) from a region on the board occupied by one of your knights.
- You may Influence in a region with an Enemy token in it.
- 12 of the Influence tiles (3-5 cost) have an immediate effect, upgrade (flip over any action wedge), or distribute. After resolving it, turn the token face down and keep it for end game scoring.
- 24 of the Influence tiles (3-5 cost) have a one-time effect, you may turn them face down during a later action of the indicated type to add 1 bonus to that action for that turn. Keep the face-down tile for end game scoring.
- 5 of the Influence tiles (6-cost) have a permanent effect (∞). Turn them face down immediately, they add 1 bonus to the action of the indicated type for the rest of the game.
- 2 of the Influence tiles (7-cost) have a game end bonus equal to 1 point per Influence tile you have collected (whether it is face-up or face-down).
- Collect Influence points equal to the level of the Influence tile collected (I, II, III, or IV).
- Place one of your Coat-of-Arms markers in the region to represent your influence there. This will help you travel through that region (see Travel, below).
The Travel action works as normal, but leaving a region with your Coat-of-Arms marker costs 1 less movement point than normal (1 movement point if an Enemy is present, 0 movement points if not).
The Build action now allows you to erect a wider variety of buildings that confer various new benefits in the game.
- The cost of the new buildings are 5/6/7/8 to build normally.
- The new buildings may be built in the same region as a specific other building (belonging to any player), shown below the regular cost on your player board. In this case, the cost is reduced to 3/4/5/6: Keep -> Castle, Chapel -> Church, Mill -> Farm, Vault -> Bank
- There are no build bonus tiles that apply to the new buildings.
- Buildings still cannot be erected in a region with an enemy token.
- Each region may only contain 1 building, except as noted above.
- As in the base game, collect Influence points equal to the level of the building erected (1 for level I, 2 for level II, 3 for level III, or 4 for level IV).
- When building the first 3 Keeps, take your next Troop for free. Do not collect Influence points for it (you score for the building, not the Troop). The level IV Keep scores 1 point for each Troop you have face-up.
- At the end of a turn in which you built any of the first 3 Chapels, after distributing action tokens, add an action token to the action wedge used this turn. The level IV Chapel scores 2 points for each action wedge on your board with 2 or more action tokens in it.
- When building a Mill, you may choose any eligible building to remove from your board, even if the previous buildings of that type are still there (level III Mill may remove a level III Castle, even if you haven’t built any Castles yet). Note that the level IV Mill may not remove the level IV Bank.
- When building the first 3 Vaults, you may immediately flip an action wedge to the upgraded side. Do not distribute any tokens when you do this. In addition, you will score extra points at the end of the game as indicated. The level IV Vault scores 1 point for each upgraded action wedge on your board.
Some influence tiles or abilities allow you to distribute tokens on your action wheel an additional time. When you gain this ability, finish your current turn, then optionally choose any wedge, and distribute the tokens in the usual way. You may use knight order abilities on this distribution, but do not resolve the action of that wedge.
In addition to majority bonuses for each enemy type (Prussian, Slav, and Saracen), award the 5-point influence majority tile to the player with the most total Influence tiles in their play area (both face-up and face-down). Also award the 2-point influence majority tile to the player with the 2nd most Influence tiles. You must have at least 1 Influence tile to be eligible for the bonus.
In case of a tie, just as with the enemy majority tiles, split the points between tied players according to the back side of the majority tile. In case of a tie for 1st place, 2nd place is not awarded.
Finally, count the end game points conferred by 7-cost Influence tiles and level I-III Vaults in addition to level IV buildings.
The player with the most influence points is the winner. In case of a tie, the tied player earlier in turn order is the winner.
Below are full descriptions of the four knight order tiles included in this expansion for your reference during setup and gameplay. We’ve also included a brief summary of each of their histories.
Female Order of the Band
During setup, choose one wedge. Place the giant token in that wedge instead of 2 action tokens. The giant token counts as 2 tokens when resolving actions.
The Female Order of the Band was founded in 1387 by John I of Castile to honor the memory of the knight women who defended Palencia from siege, their courage inflicting significant losses to the English besiegers.'
Livonian Brothers of the Sword
After a turn in which you built an expansion building (keep, chapel, mill, vault), you may distribute any bin on your action wheel. This is in addition to the normal turns distribution.
The Livonian Brothers of the Sword, a Catholic military order established by Albert, the third bishop of Riga in 1202, comprised German “warrior monks” who fought pagans in the area of modern-day Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Following their defeat in 1236 at the Battle of Schaulen, the surviving Brothers merged into the Teutonic Order as an autonomous branch and became known as the Livonian Order.
Order of the Dragon
When building an expansion building (keep, chapel, mill, vault) in an empty region, do so at -1 cost.
You may build expansion buildings (keep, chapel, mill, vault) in regions with any one building as if they were empty regions (with a -1 cost).
The monarchical chivalric Order of the Dragon, founded in 1408 by then King of Hungary Sigismund von Luxembourg, was fashioned after the military orders of the Crusades, requiring its initiates to defend the cross and fight the enemies of Christianity, in particular the Ottoman Empire.
Bailiwick of Brandenburg
You may use the Influence action in a region up to 1 region away from your Knight figure.
The Bailiwick of Brandenburg of the Chivalric Order of Saint John of the Hospital at Jerusalem was the German Protestant branch of the Knights Hospitaller, the oldest surviving chivalric order, founded in Jerusalem in the year 1099 AD. Though separated from the Roman Catholic main stem of the Order of Saint John, the Bailiwick of Brandenburg continued to flourish. Admitting only noblemen from the Germanies, the Bailiwick maintained hospitals and other institutions to care for the poor, the sick, and the injured.
Crimson and Amber Knight 5-6 Player Expansions
Game play is the same as the base game of Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done, except that when playing with 5 players, the building rules are modified as follows:
- You may build in a region occupied by an opponent’s building, provided that you build the same type of building as what’s already there.
- Building Bonuses (both printed and on tiles) apply only to the first building in a region, never to the 2nd.
- There is a maximum of 2 total buildings allowed per region.
- When using the Divine Influence expansion, this rule still applies. This means in a region with a Castle, any player may build a Keep (per the Divine Influence rules), OR any opponent may build a Castle. But in a region with 2 Castles, no player may build a Keep.
Below are full descriptions of the two knight order tiles included in this expansion for your reference during setup and gameplay. We’ve also included a brief summary of each of their histories.
Bailiwick of Utrecht
When you begin a Crusade action, you may swap an enemy token where your knight is with an enemy token from an adjacent region. Resolve the Crusade action against the new enemy.
The Bailiwick of Utrecht of the Teutonic Order originated in 1231 as a division of the order of Teutonic Knights. The Bailiwick cut its ties with the order based in the Holy Roman Empire and placed itself under the protection of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.
The Order of the Holy Ghost
Choose one enemy (Prussians, Slavs, or Saracense) and mark it on the card with one of your action tokens. This means you will have only 11 tokens on your action wheel. Count one extra Crusade versus that enemy. Also count one more of that enemy for game end bonus scoring.
The Order of the Holy Ghost (also known as Hospitallers of the Holy Spirit) was responsible for running hospitals —known as Hospitals of the Holy Ghost— throughout Europe for centuries. At its prime, they numbered many hundreds. The wealth of its endowments made it a repeated target for the unscrupulous.
Online Rule Changes
In the Boardgame Arena adaptation of Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done, when choosing between 2 Knight Orders during setup, if The Knights of Calatrava is one of your options, you will be offered a 3rd choice. The Knights of Calatrava is an advanced Knight Order, so this is to avoid new players feeling forced to choose the other option.