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Fief: France 1429

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Number of Players 3-6
Playtime 120-240 Min
Suggested Ages 13+
Designer(s) Philippe Mouchebeuf
Publisher ASYNCRON games

Fief: France 1429 is a game of dynastic ambition where players assume the roles of nobles in the 15th century kingdom of France. Players strive to become the most powerful ruling force in the kingdom by gaining control of Fief and Bishopric territories. In a turn, they acquire Royal and Ecclesiastical (church) titles which give their families influence to elect the next Pope and King. Players will strengthen their positions by negotiating marriage alliances between their families, setting the stage for love, treachery and deception! Fief is a classic French-language game and is being re-introduced by Academy Games in English with updated rules, new units, a new and larger consolidated map, and much more. This edition also comes with additional components, which enhances game play.

The game board represents a portion of the Kingdom of France during the Middle Ages. Villages have square outlines that are connected by roads that permit Lord and Troop movement. The villages are grouped into eight colored background areas that symbolize individual Fiefs, which are domains given to Lords to preside over. Fiefs have different colored backgrounds and Bishoprics have thick bordered outlines that include several different Fiefs. Each village also belongs to one of the five church Bishoprics; each Bishopric is outlined with a heavy border line and is numbered between 1-5 along the edge of the board inside a Bishop's Mitre.

Each player will control up to four family members, comprised of male and female nobles. These family members rise in power by gaining Royal and Ecclesiastic Titles.

In Fief: France 1429, a player can 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, they gains 1 VP. These Titled Lords can now take part in the election for the next King. They may even be a candidate to become the next King, thus bringing 1 VP and more power to the family! Other family members may follow the calling of the Church to gain the Ecclesiastical Titles of Bishop and then Cardinal. These titles will 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 achieve is to be elected Pope, bringing 1 VP and special privileges to your family!

You will win the game as soon as you have 3 VPs. This is easier said than done and you might 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 will 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 "mysteriously" dies or passes of some other foul means!

In addition to being wary of your fellow players, you can draw event cards that can quickly change your destiny. Bounty Event cards are beneficial to the Player and include events such as "Good Harvest", "Good Weather" and "Added Taxes" cards. But some cards are Disaster Cards that can randomly effect all players within specific Bishoprics. These include "The Plague", "Famine", "Heavy Rain", and "Peasant Uprisings"!

Income can be gained by players imposing church tithes on their opponent's villages or taxing their own Fiefs. Players can purchase new Fief titles, improve their village incomes with mills, and fortify their cities.

Players also need to protect their land and castles. Knights and Men at Arms can be purchased, as well as Siege Engines. If you feel other players are not running their Fiefs as well as you can, you may try to invade their territories! But you must risk one of your family members to lead the troops into possible battle, where they could be killed or taken prisoner. If two opposing armies inhabit the same village square, a Battle may be initiated. The players will assess the size and strength of their armies, which determine the number of Battle Dice each may roll. Each "f" rolled is considered a hit. Men at Arms are defeated with one hit, while Knights will require three hits to be removed from the battle.

The Kickstarter Edition of Fief: France 1429 comes with the Fief: France 1429 Expansions Pack and offered 3-D buildings and metal coins as 'add ons.' These items are all still available directly from Academy Games.

This game is the most recent version of Fief. It re-implements:

  • Fief (first original edition, 1981)
  • Fief 2 (second edition with updated rules, 1989)
  • Fief (third edition with completely revised rules and material, 2011)
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