OBJECTIVE OF INTRIGUE: The objective of Intrigue is to be the player with the most money after five rounds of gameplay. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 to 5 Players 

MATERIALS: 1 Game Board, 1 Island, Play Money, 10 Clerks, 10 Priests, 10 Doctors, 10 Scientists, 5 Palaces, and Instructions 

TYPE OF GAME: Area Control Board Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 14 and Up 


Intrigue is a pure negotiation game that pits the players against one another in a brutal battle for money and strength. Playing as Renaissance era families, and engaging in rampant nepotism, the players seek to further their cause, benefitting only themselves. Players will offer bribes, but players are not required to honor the deal. Who will win, and who will drown in the brutality? It is intriguing, nonetheless, so play, and find out! 


To begin setup, the players will choose a color to represent them throughout the course of the game. They will then take the palace of their chosen color and place it directly in front of them, face up. The one thousand ducat card, the six thousand ducat card, the ten thousand ducat card, and the three thousand ducat card are placed to the left of the board. This creates the player’s palace, so all cards should be oriented to form the palace photo. 

Each player should then collect the eight scholars in their matching color, placing them to the side or under their blue palace. The island is placed in the center of the playing area. As their starting capital, each player will collect thirty-two thousand ducats, or two of each bill type. The cash that the players have should be kept hidden from any of the other players.  

Once everyone has pulled their starting total from the money, the rest of it is placed in the center of the playing area, within reach of all players. This money will then create the bank. The game is then ready to begin. 


The first player is randomly chosen by the group. The active player has to complete three things during their turn. They must collect salaries, hire scholars, and send two of their own scholars to apply at other palaces. Once they complete all three actions, the next player will take their turn, continuing clockwise around the group. After each player has taken their turn, a round of gameplay is complete. 

When collecting salaries, the player will collect salaries for every scholar that they have working at another’s palace. This salary is drawn from the bank. No salaries will be earned during the first round of the game, because no player will have any scholars placed. After collecting salaries, the player will consider applications, resolve any conflicts, and take in their chosen scholars.  

Once they have hired scholars, the player will send two of their own scholars out to other palaces by placing them in front of the palaces that they choose. They may go to the same palace, or they can go to two different palaces.  

The game continues in this manner until five rounds of gameplay have been completed. The players should ensure that they keep their money hidden from other players throughout the course of the game.  


The game comes to an end after five rounds of gameplay. During the final round, the players will receive their last salary payment from the bank for their scholars that are employed by palaces. The players will then tally their points, counting all of their ducats. The player with the most ducats, wins the game. 

Ellie Phillips
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