Depending on the number of players, return to the box all cards not used (see the bottom center of each card).
In the Age III deck , remove the 10 Guilds (purple cards), randomly and secretly keep only the number of players +2 cards, then shuffle them back into the deck.
Shuffle the Age decks. Each deck will have cards equal to 7 x the number of players.
Shuffle the 7 Wonder cards facedown, and deal one to each player. The card and its facing determines the Wonders board, and its side, used by each player.
Alternatively, boards can be chosen if all players agree.
Each board represents the Wonder the player can build and, in the upper left, the resource it produces from the start of the game. Each Wonder has several stages, each of which has a construction cost and gives a bonus when finished.
Each player starts with 3 value ‘1’ coins on their board.
Remaining coins form the bank (make change as required).
A game starts with Age I , continues with Age II , and ends with Age III.
At the beginning of each Age, each player is randomly dealt a hand of 7 cards from the appropriate Age deck.
Each Age has 6 game turns. During each turn the players simultaneously put into play one card.
Raw Materials (brown) produce resources.
Manufactured Goods (gray) produce resources.
Civilian Structures (blue) score victory points.
Scientific Structures (green) score victory points depending on your progress in the 3 scientific fields.
Commercial Structures (yellow) earn coins, produce resource, change commerce rules and may earn victory points.
Military Structures (red) increase your military might.
Guilds (purple) score points according to specific criteria.
The upper left of a card shows its construction cost (if the area is empty the structure is free).
If a card has a cost in resources, you must produce the corresponding resources and/or buy them from one of your 2 neighboring cities.
Starting in Age II, some structures may be built either by paying resources as normal, or for free if the player has built the structure indicated in a previous Age.
The lower right of a card may show which structures may be built for free in the following Age due to this card.
The resources of a city are produced by its Wonder board, its brown cards, its gray cards, and some yellow cards. To build a structure, your city must produce the resources indicated on its card. The resources are not spent during construction; they can be used each turn, for the entire game. Cards played are never discarded.
You may want to build a structure requiring resources you do not produce. If these resources are produced by a neighboring city—players sitting directly to your left or right—you will be able to purchase the missing resource(s).
Resources you can buy from neighboring cities are :
the resources initially produced by the city (the upper left of the player’s Wonder board).
the resources from its brown cards and gray cards.
Resources produced by some commercial structures (yellow cards) or some Wonders are reserved to their owner.
For each resource bought, you must give 2 coins to the owner of the resource.
Selling a resource to a neighboring city does not prevent you from using it, during the same turn, for your own purposes.
It is possible, during the same turn, to buy one or more resources from both neighboring cities. The resources bought can only be used on the turn in which they are bought. Players can never refuse to sell resources.
If both cities neighboring you produce a coveted resource, you are free to purchase from either player.
To buy resources, you must have the coins at the beginning of the turn.
The coins earned through commerce during a turn cannot be used on that turn, only during the next.
Some structures in Age II and Age III have, to the right of their resource cost, the name of a structure of a previous age.
If you have built that structure during a previous Age, you can build the structure for free (without having to pay the resource cost).
Each player selects a card from their hand and places it facedown in front of them. A player’s remaining cards are placed facedown between him and the next player.
The direction the cards are passed depends on the Age:
During Age I, cards are passed to the left (clockwise).
During Age II, cards are passed to the right.
During Age III, cards are passed to the left.
All players perform one of the 3 possible actions simultaneously with their chosen card.
Build the structure represented by the card. You may never build 2 identical structures.
Brown and gray cards are placed beneath one another starting from the upper left corner of the Wonders board.
Other cards are placed face up in the area in front of your Wonder board, to form your city. Stack your cards by color, leaving the name of each structure visible.
To build each stage of your Wonder, use a card of your choice as a construction marker (pay the price shown on the Wonder board and not the one shown on the structure’s card).
Then play the card, facedown, half hidden under the Wonder board to show that this stage of your Wonder is now built. The card then has no other effect, remains hidden, and is not considered a structure.
The stages of a Wonder must be built in order, from left to right.
Construction of the Wonder is optional.
The 3 stages of a Wonder are not associated with Ages, so multiple Wonder stages may be built in a single Age, and in any Age. Each stage can only built once per game.
Discard the card and take 3 coins from the bank.
Discarded cards remain facedown and form a discard pile in the center of the table. If a player cannot build the structure or the Wonder stage, he must discard the card and take 3 coins.
Each player takes the hand of cards passed to him from his neighbor.
At the beginning of the sixth and final turn of each Age, players receive a 2 card hand from their neighbour.
Each player then chooses one (as in previous turns) and the second is then discarded, facedown (without getting 3 coins for it).
The selected card is played normally, and then the Age ends.
The players then proceed to the resolution of military conflicts.
Each player compares the total number of shields on their military structures (red cards) with the total of each of the 2 neighboring cities.
If a player has a higher total than a neighboring city, that player takes a Victory token corresponding to the Age just played (Age I : +1, Age II : +3, or Age III : +5) If a player has a lower total than that of a neighboring city, that player takes a Defeat token (-1 victory point) If a player has an equal total to that of a neighboring city, no token is taken.
Each player therefore gets 0, 1 or 2 tokens, which are placed on his Wonder board.
The game ends at the end of the Age III, after military conflict tokens have been handed out.
Each player totals their victory points and the player with the highest total is the winner.
If there is a tie, the player with the most coins in his treasury is the winner. A tie on coins is not broken further.
1. Military conflicts
Each player adds their Victory and Defeat tokens (the total can be negative).
2. Treasury Contents
For every 3 coins in their possession at the end of the game, players score 1 victory point. Leftover coins score no points.
Each player adds the victory points from their wonder.
4. Civilian Structures
Each player adds the victory points of their Civilian structures (as indicated on each Civilian structure).
5. Scientific Structures
The scientific cards earn victory points from sets of identical symbols and from sets of 3 different symbols. The victory points earned by both methods are cumulative.
Sets of Identical Symbols: For each of the 3 existing scientific symbols, the player wins a number of points equal to the number of identical symbols squared.
There are 4 green cards for each symbol, for a maximum of 16 victory points per family of symbols (this maximum can be increased with the Scientific Guild and the Wonder of Babylon ).
Sets of 3 Different Symbols: For each group of 3 different symbols, each player scores 7 victory points.
6. Commercial Structures
Some commercial structures from Age III grant victory points.
Each Guild is worth a number of victory points depending on the configuration of the player’s city and/ or that of the 2 neighboring cities.
Use the same cards as for 3 players. Each player is given a board, and then a third Free City board is placed beside them.
Place the Border card between the players. Each player is dealt a 7 card hand and the remaining 7 cards make a facedown draw pile to the right of the Border card.
The player to the left of the Free City adds the Free City card to his hand.
The players and the Free City each get 3 coins from the bank.
The game proceeds the same way as it would with 3 to 7 players, however players must play, in addition to their own card, a card for the Free City.
1. Choose a Card
The player who holds the Free City card in his hand takes the first card of the draw pile and adds it to his hand.
He then picks 2 cards from his hand, first one for his own city and then one for the Free City, while his opponent picks a card for themselves. Each player then places their remaining cards on their own side of the Border card.
The Free City cannot discard a card to get 3 coins unless it cannot play a card. The player must then choose, when possible, a card which can be played by the Free City (structure construction or Wonder building stage). The choice of this card is made after choosing the card to be played for his own city.
The player holding the Free City card plays the Free City’s card followed by his own while his opponent performs his own action.
The Free City can buy resources from its 2 neighboring cities according to the normal commerce rules. When a resource is available in both neighboring cities, the player controlling the Free City gets to pick which city to buy the resource from (no matter what its cost may be).
If the card chosen for the Free City can benefit from a free construction (chain), this free construction must be performed.
During the sixth turn of the age, there is only one card left in the Free City’s draw pile. This last card is discarded at the same time as the seventh and last card of the players.
3. Move on to the Next Hand
Once all 3 cards are played, the players take the stack of cards on the other side of the border. During the next turn, the other player will play for the Free City, and so on until the end of the game.
End of an Age
The player who begins with the Free City card changes each age:
Age I: the card is held by the player to the left of the Free City.
Age II: the card is held by the player to the right of the Free City.
Age III: the card is held by the player to the left of the Free City.
The rules for conflict resolution remain unchanged.
The player who has the most victory points wins the game. In case of a tie, the player with the most coins wins the game.