Note that in Mage Knight Lands of Conquest the term warrior refers to a Mage Knight figure. A figure is a game piece that can be given actions. Warriors are figures, but not all figures are warriors. (for instance "the beast", which is explained in Advanced Rules)
There are no victory points in Mage Knight Lands of Conquest. At the beginning of the game each player will designate one warrior as his captain. If a player's captain is eliminated, that player is eliminated from the game. A player wins when all of the other players have been eliminated from the game, or when he has occupied all of the settlements on the battlefield. (It is more common for the game to end in the former way)
Some preparation is necessary before a game of Mage Knight Lands of Conquest can begin. First, construct the battlefield using standard Mage Knight terrain. In addition, a number of town settlements are to be placed all over the battlefield in such a way so that no town is less than 10" from any other town, and no less than 2" from any terrain or from the edge of the battlefield. (Some space surrounding a town is necessary to allow for upgrades later in the game) The following is recommended:
For a 2-player game a 3' x 3' battlefield with 7 or 8 towns.
For a 3-player game, a 3' x 4' battlefield with 10 or 11 towns.
For a 4-player game, a 4' x 4' battlefield with 13 or 14 towns.
It is also recommended that you vary which faction symbols are on the towns that you play with.
Shuffle the Conquest cards and place the deck where everyone can reach it easily.
Assemble the troops for hire. Throughout the course of a game your army will change as old warriors die and new warriors are purchased. New warriors are purchased from a large pool of warriors shared by all players that is called the troops for hire. Players should decide beforehand how large to allow the troops for hire. For a "standard" game assume that the troops for hire may contain any 25 warriors from each of the seven factions represented in Mage Knight Lands of Conquest, a total of 175 warriors. Multi-dial figures (dragons, chariots, etc) and Titans are not allowed in the Troops for Hire.
If your table is not large enough to accomodate both the battlefield and the Troops for Hire, place the latter somewhere nearby as players will "go shopping" frequently. It helps greatly if the warriors are organized according to faction.
Prepare pen and paper for use in keeping track of players' gold supplies. Each player begins the game with 60 gold.
Now each player must choose any one warrior from any faction to be his captain. Deduct the point value of a player's chosen captain from his gold supply. After every player has picked a captain, each player may purchase up to three additional warriors from any factions with his remaining gold if he wishes to.
Once every player his his starting army, roll dice to determine who is the first player. Beginning with the first player, each player in turn places his starting army on any unoccupied town. (warriors' center dots must be within the border of the town) Now the game is ready to begin! The first player takes his turn.
There are four phases in a turn.
Some cards instruct you to place warriors or various items on the battlefield. When doing so, always assume that you cannot cover or obstruct existing warriors or previously placed items.
When purchasing a warrior, mark off the point value of the purchased warrior from your gold supply, then place that warrior in a settlement that you currently occupy, and that you occupied at the start of the turn. The faction the purchased warrior belongs to must match the symbol on the settlement it is placed in. A new warrior comes into the battlefield at its starting position and with one action token (as if it had been given an action that turn). You must wait until this phase of your turn to purchase troops.
Strategy revolves around occupying settlements which are dispersed throughout the battlefield. There are three types. At the onset of the game all of the settlements are towns, but they may be upgraded to forts, and then to castles when the appropriate Conquest cards are drawn. A warrior is "in" a setlement if its center dot is within the settlements' borders. Settlements are not considered terrain, but they function similar to terrain.
Stated another way, a warrior that has its base completely inside a fort may not participate in range combat with warriors outside
of the fort. This position is called protected.
A warrior that has part of its base outside of the fort, but its center dot in, may participate in range combat with warriors outside of the fort as long as the line of fire to or from this warriors' base does not pass through the border of the fort. This position is called on watch.
Increase the defense value of a warrior in a fort by one versus range combat attacks. (Range combat between two warriors in the same fort is no different than if they were in hindering terrain)
The Magical Blast special ability, an exception to these rules, is not considered hindered or blocked by forts.
Castles are similar to forts where range combat is concerned. A warrior that has its base completely inside a castle (protected) may not participate in range combat with warriors outside of the castle. A warrior that has part of his base outside of the castle, but its center dot in (on watch), may participate in range combat with warriors outside of the castle as long as the line of fire to or from this warriors' base does not pass through the border of the castle.
Increase the defense value of a warrior in a castle by two versus range combat attacks. (Range combat between two warriors in the same castle could be thought of as "double hindering terrain")
The Magical Blast special ability is not considered hindered or blocked by castles.
CAPTORS AND CAPTIVES
The warrior that controls the movement of a captive and that must stay in base contact with it at all times is called a captor. The rules governing captors and captives differ from standard Mage Knight rules. There are several ways in which a captive warrior may become released.
A captive may never be given an escape attempt action if it would cause it to be pushed. (Nor is a captive warrior ever pushed when it is moved in a move action with its captor) A captive may not be given an escape attempt action if it is in a fort or castle occupied by the player who controls its captor.
In Mage Knight Lands of Conquest capturing is done primarily for the purpose of pawning off the captive for gold via the sold into slavery card in the Conquest deck.
OTHER RULE CHANGES
When a warrior is eliminated, return it to the pool of Troops for Hire.
In Mage Knight Lands of Conquest, the Necromancy special ability is different in the following ways:
In Mage Knight Lands of Conquest movement formations and range combat formations may consist of two warriors.
THE COMMAND TOWER
During "Buy Troops" phase a player who occupies a castle may purchase a command tower for 10 gold. (Use a rook from a chess set) For each command tower in any castle a player occupies at the start of his turn, he gains one extra action that turn. A player purchasing a new command tower places it anywhere in any castle he occupies that does not already have a command tower. It may not be placed so as to prevent entrance into the castle. The command tower is treated as blocking terrain.
If a player's captain is eliminated, that player removes all of his warriors from the battlefield and returns them to the Troops for Hire. The eliminated player's gold supply is erased.