Age 12+
Time 180

It is an empire of changing flags. The old crown fell, and many stepped forward to claim it. That was two centuries ago.

Now the barons and the princes swear loyalty to whichever claimant-emperor garrisons the nearest army today. The clergy sell their sermons for the highest bidder, and spies whisper promises to mercenary generals.

You are the one true ruler of the broken Empire of Lyssan, and it's up to you to put the pretenders (the other players) in their place before their endless squabbling tears your nation apart. You (and others) will attempt to take control by using castles, knights, nobles, priests, and spies:

  • Knights hold territory and fight masterfully.
  • Nobles hold territory, support priests, and fight poorly.
  • Castles hold territory, spawn new units, and protect knights and nobles.
  • Priests manipulate influence and support spies.
  • Spies assassinate priests and other spies, and have the devastating power to steal other players' court cards.

Lyssan is an intense board game of strategy, cooperation, and betrayal for two to four players. The winner is the player who claims the most trophies, and each trophy can only be claimed by a single player. One trophy card might call for the player to control the most mines, the next to have most spies deployed, and the next to have the most sophisticated court. An upcoming trophy is revealed each turn, requiring strength, cunning, and adaptability to win.

Lyssan combines tightly designed euro-style rules with the interactivity and flavor of an epic wargame. Lyssan has slim rules comparable to many family friendly games. Yet the play is as rich and interactive as the crunchiest, most grognard-friendly wargames. And Lyssan plays fast. A typical game of Lyssan runs a full hour quicker than comparable games.

Lyssan combines:
A map to be conquered (like Risk)…
…with a few different unit types that act a few different ways each (like Chess or Diplomacy) …
…with cards that let players pull off devastating surprise moves or permanently improve their abilities. To play one card, you discard others. (Like Race for the Galaxy) These cards can be very powerful, but they can also be stolen by spies. The whole landscape of the game can change in the blink of an eye as ownership of a card changes hands. Get one of your spies into a rival's castle, and you can take over his improvements or turn his own followers against him.

All interrupting effects have been stripped out of the game, so each player can complete their turn quickly, without waiting for the others. The game has been designed from the start to allow timed play, like a tournament chess match. This is good for players who want extra-brisk play, or who just have one slowpoke at the table who needs to be reined in.

One copy of Lyssan contains:
- The map
- "A Young Lady's Guide to Treachery and Military Operations" (The instructions for playing the game.)
- 4 player boards
- 112 unit markers, representing the castles, knights, nobles, priests and spies the players can command.
- Additional markers for coins, conscripts and shame.
- 3 decks of cards for Influence, Debts, and the all important Triumphs.
- A plastic box insert to keep it all organized.

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