This is a documentation for Board Game Arena: play board games online !


From Board Game Arena
Revision as of 22:39, 25 January 2023 by Yupa (talk | contribs) (Add basic description of the game)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


As warlords in 16th-century Japan, the players attempt to secure a position of dominance for their respective clans. To succeed, a player will need not only to control as many provinces as possible, but also to develop his realm by building castles, temples and theaters.

The most successful Daimyo at the end of the game will become SHOGUN.

Game Overview

The game transpires over 2 years, which are divided into a total of 8 rounds: after 3 rounds representing spring, summer, and fall, a fourth scoring round (winter) takes place. This sequence of 4 rounds is then repeated.

First 3 rounds are the same and consist of two phases: planning and execution. Each player has the same 10 possible actions to develop his kingdom and score points. Each round, the players decide which of their actions are to be played out and in which of their provinces. Once all players have finalized their plans, the execution phase begins. If battle ensues between opposing armies, the unique Cube Tower plays the leading role: cubes (representing troops) from both sides are thrown in together, and those that fall out at the bottom show who has won immediately.

In the winter round, players must supply their provinces with rice or face the threat of revolt. Afterwards, they calculate scored points. The players earn victory points for their provinces and buildings as well as for having the majority of a building type in a region.

Scoring table
Points for VP
each province 1
each building 1
most castles in a region 3*
most temples in a region 2*
most Nô theaters in a region 1*

* If 2 or more players tie, each of the tied players receives the full number of victory points minus 1.


Provinces in the Game

Players choose whether to play on the sun or moon side of the game board and then lay out the board accordingly. Un-needed province cards are set aside (players should keep only those with symbols matching the chosen side of the board).

Note: With 3 players 8 provinces are unused and greyed out on the board. During the game, no armies may be moved into these provinces.

Player Materials

Each player chooses a color and takes the matching pieces: an individual board along with armies and a Daimyo card, a set of chest cards (0 to 4 chests), and starting capital as follows:

  • With 3 players: each takes 18 Chests
  • With 4 players: each takes 15 Chests
  • With 5 players: each takes 12 Chests

Claiming Starting Provinces

The province cards are shuffled and then the top 2 cards are turned face up.

In turns, players choose 1 of the 2 face up province cards or draw the top card from the pile and then transfer an army group from his individual board to the matching province on the game board. The player then takes the chosen province card into his hand.

If a face up card was taken, it is replaced with another from the draw pile. This process continues until each player has transferred all of his army groups onto the game board. The remaining province cards are placed aside - these provinces may be conquered during the game.

Initial Battle Tower

At the beginning of the game, the tower is loaded with an initial set of armies. Seven armies from each player and a total of 10 farmer armies are dropped together into the tower. Armies that fall back out into the tower tray are returned to their respective supplies. The ones that stay will take part in future battles.


Start of the year

Event Cards

4 event cards are placed next to the game board. During each of the next 3 seasons, 1 of these events takes effect for all players. In the fourth round (winter), the remaining event card shows how much rice each player loses over the winter.

Spring, Summer, Fall

Each of these 3 rounds occurs in the following steps:

Lay Out Action Cards

Actions are the core of the game. There are 10 actions in the game, and each player may carry out each action in his realm once per round. The order in which these actions are taken is determined anew each round. At the beginning of the round, the 10 action cards are shuffled and then the top 5 are revealed and laid out in order beneath fields 1 through 5 at the bottom of the game board. Remaining 5 cards are laid out face down beneath fields 6 through 10 - they will be revealed progressively as actions are carried out.

Lay Out Special Cards (Bonuses)

Special cards (bonuses) are shuffled and then placed on the 5 spaces marked for them on the game board.

Later in the game, these cards will be auctioned to the players. Each special card has 2 functions: first, its position in the row on the board determines the turn order of the player who takes the card, and second, the card shows a privilege granted to its owner for the current round.

Plan Individual Actions and Bid for Turn Order

Simultaneously, each player secretly decides how to distribute his 10 actions among his provinces. Additionally, each player must secretly bid for turn order and the accompanying special privilege. To the extent possible, 1 card must be placed on each of the 11 spaces on a player's individual board. No space may contain more than 1 card.

If a player does not want to take a particular action, he places 1 of his war chest cards on that action space. In this case, any chests on the card are ignored.

To bid, the player places 1 of his cards onto the auction space. When bidding a chest card, the player will have to pay the number of chests shown. Bidding a province doesn't cost anything (the player doesn't lose the province) and counts as 0.5 chests.

Determine Event

Out of the event cards drawn for this year, 1 is randomly selected and placed on the event space on the game board. The card depicts the event that applies in this round to alter certain actions for all players.

Determine Turn Order

The players reveal their bids (the cards on their auction spaces) and pay the amounts shown to the bank. If a player bids with a province card, he pays nothing.

In order of their respective bids, starting from the highest bidder, each player establishes his position in the turn order by choosing 1 of the special cards from the game board.

Players who bid a province card choose before those who played chest cards with 0 chests. Only then do players who did not bid a card make their selections.

The positions of the Daimyo cards on the game board indicate player turn order. In games with 3 or 4 players, empty spaces are ignored.

Carry Out Actions

Actions are executed in the order in which the action cards are lined up below the game board. Each action is executed by all players in turn order before the next action is carried out.

All players who can carry out an action must do so. If a player ends up being unable to take a particular action or is only able to take part of the action, then he skips the action entirely in this round.

When all players have taken an action, the next face down action card is revealed. The round ends when all 10 actions have been taken.


In this round, players must supply their provinces with rice or face revolts. After the winter, rice markers are reset to 0, and all revolt markers are removed from the provinces.

Supplying Provinces with Rice

Players must give up 1 unit of rice for each of the provinces. Additionally, each player must give up the amount of rice shown on the remaining fourth event card.

If a player does not have provisions for each of his provinces, then 1 or more revolts takes place in his realm.


The provisions table on the game board determines the number of provinces experiencing revolts, as well as the strength of the revolts.

Provisions table
Unsupplied provinces Number of revolts Additional revolt armies
1 1 1
2 1 2
3-4 2 2
5-6 2 3
7+ 3 3

Provinces experiencing revolts are drawn randomly from player's hand. If a player faces more than 1 revolt, he chooses the order in which they occur.


The players earn victory points for their provinces and buildings as well as for having the majority of a building type in a region.

Scoring table
Points for VP
each province 1
each building 1
most castles in a region 3*
most temples in a region 2*
most Nô theaters in a region 1*

* If 2 or more players tie, each of the tied players receives the full number of victory points minus 1.


All battles are fought with the aid of the battle tower. A player takes all participating armies (colored cubes of the attacker and defender) and throws them into the tower together with all cubes lying in the tower tray. In the process, some of these cubes will remain in the tower, and some that were already inside the tower will fall out into the tray, thus producing a chance result.

When Do Battles Take Place?

Battles take place in the following situations:

  • Player versus Player
- A player moves his armies into another player's province (i.e., a province already containing another player's armies).
  • Player versus Neutral Province
- A player moves his armies into a province that does not contain any armies (such a province belongs to no one and is considered neutral).
  • Farmers Rise Up Against a Player (Revolt)
- A revolt in a player's province can result from either of 2 occurrences:
  • Rice / Tax Collection – A player collects rice or taxes from a province already containing at least 1 revolt marker.
  • Winter Shortages – A player is unable to supply rice to all of his provinces in winter.

Resolving battles

In all battles, all armies from the tower tray are thrown into the tower.

To determine the outcome of the battle, players count up the number of attacking and defending armies that come out into the tower tray. The side with the most armies in the tray wins. Armies not participating in the battle are disregarded and remain lying in the tray.

The side with fewer total armies in the tray is defeated, and all armies that fought on that side are removed from the tray. The victor, despite the win, also loses as many armies as the defeated side and returns them to the supply as well.

Note: When a province changes owners, the matching province card must be surrendered immediately, even if it was lying on the previous owner's individual board.

Player versus Player or Neutral Province

The attacker always battles with all of the armies that he moved into the province. The defender adds to this all of his armies from the contested province. If the province is neutral, then 1 farmer army from the general supply is thrown into the tower instead.

If there are no revolt markers in the defender's province, all farmer armies in the tower tray count for the defender. After a battle that includes farmers, all green cubes are removed from the tray. If farmers are not involved in the battle, the green cubes remain in the tray.

Defeated armies are removed from the tower tray and remaining victorious armies are placed in the contested province. If a battle remains undecided, then all buildings and revolt markers are removed from the contested province, which becomes neutral.

Farmers Rise Up Against a Player (Revolt)

The player is considered the defender and fights with all of his armies from the embattled province.

For each revolt marker in the province at the time of the uprising, 1 farmer army from the general supply joins the battle. If the revolt occurs during a winter round, additional farmer armies, as determined by the provisions table, also join the battle.

If the farmers win or the battle is undecided, all participating armies are removed from the tray and all buildings and revolt markers are removed from the province.