OBJECTIVE OF KING’S STRUGGLE: Be the player with the highest number of Victory Points

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 6 players

CONTENTS:  60 cards, round tracker board, 6 reference cards, 80 gold tokens, 10 modifier markers, round tracker marker, current player marker, first player marker


TYPE OF GAME: Trick Taking



King’s Struggle is a commercial trick taking card game designed by Robert Burke and published by WizKids in 2018.  In this game, players are trying to earn the most Victory Points by collecting cards and coins.  Each trick is considered a round, and during each round, players will choose one card from their hand to play.  Cards have special abilities that may or may not be activated depending on the person who played them.  This game encourages negotiation at the table with players talking and bribing their way to the most Victory Points.


The box is packed with a rulebook, 60 playing cards, a round tracker board, six reference cards, 80 gold coins, modification markers, a round tracker marker, a current player marker, and a first player marker.


 Each player is given their own deck of cards which can be separated based on the card back designs.  The remaining decks are not used.

Put all of the gold coins and the modification markers in the center of the playing space.  Place the round tracker board in the center as well and put the round tracker marker on the starting space.

Each player takes 5 gold from the center.

The player who goes first is given the current player marker and the first player marker.


There are two ways to play King’s Struggle: Day or Night.

When playing the Day rules, each player will start with all 10 of their cards in hand.  The game is played for 7 rounds (tricks), and three cards will remain at the end.

The Night rules require each player to randomly remove two cards from their deck.  These cards are not to be seen by anyone including the player who controls the deck.  This version is also played for 7 rounds, but there will be no cards left over.


The first player begins the round by choosing one card from their hand and playing it face up on the table. The other players at the table then choose one card and place it face down on the table directly in front of them.  Once everyone has chosen a card, they flip the cards simultaneously to reveal them.


Beginning with the first player, each player has the opportunity to activate their card’s ability if possible.  Be sure to pass the current player marker at the completion of the player’s turn.

If a person plays a card with a negotiate ability, they may negotiate to use their card’s ability in a specific way or not at all.  While negotiations are taking place, that player can accept any number of gold and/or promises from any one player.


A player can accept any offer they want on their turn.  If a deal can be completed immediately, the deal is binding and must be completed.  If a deal includes a future promise, the deal is not binding and does not have to be completed by the player who made the offer.

Once a player has finished activating their card’s special ability and/or negotiating, their turn ends and play passes left.  The round ends once every player has taken their turn.

It should be noted that typically a player can only accept a deal once per round.  If, after their turn, a player is forced to switch out the card they played with a different one, they cannot activate that new card’s special ability.  Any immediate deals made with the previous card stay in effect.


Any cards that have the exact same power level (including modifiers) are removed from the game.  Put these in the discard pile.  Any modifier tokens are placed back in the center of the table.

Of the remaining cards, the one with the highest total power wins the trick.  The person who played that card collects all of the cards remaining in the trick.  All modifier tokens are returned to the center of the table.

The player who wins the trick takes the first player marker and current player mark to begin the new round.  They also move the round marker ahead one spot on the round tracker board.


A player earns 1 Victory Point for each gold they possess. 

Victory Points are also earned for cards collected.  The number of VP’s earned depends on the number of matching cards.

1 card = 1 VP

2 matching cards = 3 VP’s

3 matching cards = 6 VP’s

5 matching cards = 10 VP’s

6 matching cards = 30 VP’s

VP’s are also earned for Power Runs (runs of 3 or more cards).  The card’s natural power value is used to determine the Power Run rather than the modified power.

3 card run = 4 VP’s

4 card run = 6 VP’s

5 card run = 9 VP’s

6 card run = 13 VP’s

7 card run = 18 VP’s

8 card run = 24 VP’s

9 card run = 31 VP’s

10 card run = 39 VP’s

Cards may only be used once for scoring purposes.  In the above example, the player earns 6 points for the set of 8’s, 6 points for the run, 3 points for the remaining cards, and 17 points for the coins.  Their total point value for the game is 32 points.


At the end of the final round, the player with the most Victory Points wins the game.  If there is a tie, the player with the most cards wins.  Still tied? The player with the most 10’s breaks the tie, then 9’s, and so on until the tie is broken.

Mark Ball
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