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Illumination is a game of Medieval Mad Monks and Illuminated Manuscripts.
You and your opponent are monks vying to become the new head of the Scriptorium. You will do so by illuminating manuscripts with elaborate religious artwork. But not all is as calm as it once was! Imbued with eccentric enthusiasm, one of you has turned from the reverent to the irreverent by scrawling demons instead of angels and by painting fierce dragons instead of noble knights. Which player will become the new master of the Scriptorium? Will it be the monk who reverently illuminates the page with dogs, monks, knights and angels; or the irreverent monk who whimsically draws the forces of squirrel, rabbit, dragon and demon? You will have to play Illumination to find out!
Each turn, players will create illuminations in three Books by placing one full row or column of tiles of their choice from their Player mat. With careful placement, players gather Coins that allow them to perform special actions or purchase Scriptorium cards. By putting tiles next to others of matching color, players collect Ritual tokens to score points at the Ritual stations in the Monastery when they are occupied by the Abbot.
As tiles are put in Books, conflicts are set in motion: Angels wrestle with Demons, Knights clash with Dragons, Monks contend with Rabbits, and Dogs struggle with Squirrels. These conflicts are only resolved when they are bounded on all sides. Then, the player with more tiles on their side wins the Bounded Battle, flips the losing side’s tiles facedown, and putting their Marker on the matching Battle card.
When the game is over, players score points for the Rituals recorded on the Monastery mat and 1 point for each of their faceup Illumination tiles in each Book. Players will also score points for placing more Markers on Battle cards and for defeated factions that match their Crusade card. The player with more points wins the game!