Carolus Magnus - General game info
Carolus Magnus
2-3 players, 30-45 minutes, 12 years and older
AuthorLeo Colovini
Published byWinning Moves
Rio Grande Games
Online since 2009-04-24
Developed byMarcel RĂ¼edi (Eibe Itu)
Boardgamegeek481 owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
Carolus Magnus - Rules


Carolus Magnus demands that his heirs (the players) fortify the regions of the empire with castles. The players need the support of the noble families that are administering the empire. Only the one that can influence them can successfully strengthen the regions and win the game...

Goal of the game

The player with the most castles wins.


  • 15 Regions. These may contain the players' castles and knights of the noble families. The knights are represented by the families' coats of arms.
  • 1 Picture of Carolus Magnus. He moves clockwise from region to region. The silhouettes show where Carolus Magnus can be moved to.
  • For each player:
    • A set of discs, numbered from 1 to 5.
    • A row with the coat of arms of the noble families. If a player has the control over a family, a sword is shown on top of the coat of arms.
    • 5 yellow boxes counting the player's reserve of knights. The coat of arms above the box shows to which family the box belongs.
    • 5 brown boxes counting the player's knights sent to the court. The coat of arms beneath the box shows to which family the box belongs.
    • A castle in the player's color showing the number of castles the player has built. If you move the mouse over a player's castle, that player's last move is displayed.
(Move the mouse over the sections above to have the corresponding elements displayed on the picture of the board.)

The board

Carolus Magnus the board
You are always playing white.


  • 15 Knights, 3 of each family, are randomly distributed to all regions so that each region contains exactly one knight.
  • Each player gets 7 - or 9 in a 3 player game - randomly drawn knights that start in the reserve. Some drawn knights may be jokers which have to be exchanged into knights at the beginning of the first move, by clicking in the boxes in the reserve.
  • The first turn order is randomly determined. The turn order is shown as a number in front of each player's rank and name.
  • Carolus Magnus starts in the first region.

Flow of the game

  • Each round consists of the preparatory phase and the action phase following it.
  • In the preparatory phase, the players decide the order in which they will play in the round and how far each player may move the emperor.
  • In the action phase, each player executes 3 actions in turn:
    1. bring knights into the game.
    2. move the emperor and build a castle where he stops.
    3. refill the reserve.

Preparatory phase

In turn order, each player selects an unused number disc. No player may select a number that was already selected by another player in the same round, if possible.

The numbers have two functions:

  • They indicate the order in which the players will play - the lowest number begins. If two or more players have the same number, the one that is played first takes precedence. This results in the same order as the round before.
  • The number indicates the maximum number of steps a player may advance the emperor.

Action phase

Bring Knights into the game

In a 2 player game, each player puts 3 Knights from their reserve either into the court or a region. In a 3 player game, each player puts 4 Knights. To put a knight into the court, click on the brown box above the coat of arms.
Move the mouse into a region and then select the coat of arms from the box that appears, to put a knight of that family into that region.

When a knight is put into the court, the game checks whether the player has taken the control of the family. Whoever has put the most knights into the court controls the family. If the number is equal, the current owner keeps control. The control of a family is displayed by a sword on front of the family's coat of arms.

Advance Carolus Magnus

Once the knights are brought into play, the emperor is advanced in a clockwise direction, at least 1 step and at most as many as the number shown on the disc the player chose in the preparatory phase. Click on a silhouette to advance Carolus into that region.

After the movement, determine who controls the region. Each player counts the number of knights of the noble families they control plus their castles in that region. If there is no castle in the region, the player with the majority puts one into it. If there are already castles in the region, the player with the majority replaces all of them with the same number of their own castles. If there is a draw for majority, no castles are placed or exchanged.

If the region has a new owner, check whether adjacent regions have the same owner. These regions are merged into one bigger region that now contains all castles and knights of all the merged regions. Such a region is much harder to take over but much more rewarding because all of the castles change owner at once.

Replenish the reserve

After moving Carolus Magnus and finishing the turn, the player's reserve is refilled with randomly drawn knights. In a 2 player game, 3 knights are drawn, versus 4 in 3 player game. There might be some jokers among them, which have to be changed to knights by clicking on the box in the player's reserve.

End of the game

The game ends if one of the following conditions is met:
  1. One player has built enough castles to win. In a 2 player game, 10 castles are needed to win; in a 3 player game, only 8. or
  2. There are fewer than 4 regions left. In this case the player that has built the most castles wins.
In either case, the game ends immediately.


Adaptation for the online version

The variant for 4 players is a team game and therefore is not implemented here.
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