Vinci - General game info
2-5 players, 90 minutes, 14 years and older
AuthorPhilippe Keyaerts
IllustratorPhilippe Keyaerts
Published byJeux Descartes
Online since 2013-04-13
Developed byAitor (ArkTheLad)
Kay Wilke (Sparhawk)
Boardgamegeek60 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!
Note: This online implementation uses slightly changed rules!
Vinci - Rules

Vinci II

The Rise and Fall of Civilizations
A Game by Philippe Keyaerts

Vinci II on

Vinci has been published in several languages ​​and versions. The rules are not the same in all languages​​, so that has worked with the author to define a set of rules for the online version. Philippe also has created with us new maps, civilization cards and variants.

Changes on the base game

  • Civilization token Specialization has been removed. Diplomacy is used with 3 or more players. With 2 players, there is no diplomatic token.
  • The conquest of regions now always need at least one pawn (originally possible with zero pawns)
  • Civilization token Medicine gives an extra pawn only in the reorganization phase.
  • Legions brings its additional 7 pieces only for the expansion phase, and you need to use at least one player token.
  • When selecting civilizations, you need to pay 1 victory point per skipped civilization. For this reason, you start the game with only 5 victory points.
  • When a player loses a province during the turn of an enemy unit, its surviving pawns are redeployed by the game automatically after the expansion phase.     


A game of Vinci spans the growth and decline of civilizations in Europe from Prehistoric times to the High Middle Ages.

During this long period of history, new tribes and civilizations made their mark upon the continent in many ways. Wandering into Europe from across the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Ural River; or rising from the ashes of previous civilizations. The civilizations spread, made war upon each other, assimilated each other, and eventually vanished to make room for new and growing empires.

The players in Vinci control the destinies of several civilizations, each with different characteristics. Each civilization quickly grows into a vast empire, but the expansion is not infinite. Inevitably, there comes a time when a civilization can no longer grow, and falls into decline. Once this happens, the player ignores the failing empire, and chooses a new civilization to start anew. The main game plays with 3 to 6 players.


- Several game boards depicting Europe and different regions, divided into many provinces
civ civ civ civ

- Double sided wooden pawns in 5 colors, representing population. One side for active civilizations and another for civilizations on decline

civ civ civ civ civ civ civ civ civ civ

- Brown wooden pawns representing neutral civilizations which cover the board at the beginning of the game.

civ civ civ civ

- White wooden pawns representing fortresses.

- 35 civilization tiles (larger counters) which show the different abilities of a civilization
civ civ civ

- 1 cloth bag from which to draw civilization tiles at random

- Coin tokens to mark civilizations skipped.

civ civ civ civ civ civ civ

The Basics of Vinci

The main object is to score as many victory points as possible. The more provinces controlled by a player’s population, the more points the player receives.

A civilization begins with a specific number of population pawns. It will never receive more (unless noted by a Civilization Tile, see below). The pawns allow the player to expand into new provinces. To take over a new province, a varying number of pawns are needed depending on the terrain of the province (mountains and forests offer natural defense and therefore require more pawns), the number of defenders already there and the skills of the attacking and defending civilizations. At the end of each turn, the player counts the number of points scored, and then redistributes the pawns of his empire freely among the conquered provinces in order to shore up its defenses. On later turns, the player does the same thing, except that the civilization now has fewer pawns available in order to conquer new provinces and defend against encroaching empires.

When a player decides that his civilization has become too weak, the player can declare the civilization as being in decline. The player then chooses a new civilization which will enter play on the next turn. The provinces still held by the civilization in decline continue to score points for the player, until the provinces are conquered by other players.

At the beginning of each turn, there is an important choice to make: is it worth trying to expand the current empire, or should you choose a new one?

The game continues until a fixed number of rounds, which depends on the number of players:

2 Players.....13 rounds
3 Players.....12 rounds
4 Players.....11 rounds
5 Players.....10 rounds

Each new civilization has 2 special abilities (there are 35 different possibilities) which give the civilization various advantages (some civilizations score points more easily, and some are more stable).

Over the course of the game, each player will control several civilizations, each from its formation through its decline.


Setting Up

1. Each player chooses a color and starts with 5 victory points.

2. A brown pawn is placed in every province on the game board, except the gray mountain provinces, yellow desert provinces and in the blue water zones (rivers and seas). These pawns represent the early inhabitants of Europe and are not controlled by any players. These indigenous peoples will defend the provinces that they occupy against the arrival of the players’ civilizations.

3. The civilization tiles are placed in the bag. Twelve of these tiles are then drawn at random in pairs. The first pair is placed on the spaces marked ‘I’ on the top of the board, the second pair is placed on ‘II’, and so forth. Each of these pairs of tiles represents the special abilities of one of six civilizations ready to enter the game.

4. The starting player is chosen at random (players will then take their turns in clockwise order).

5. Each player takes his first turn, which consists of choosing their first civilization (see Choose a new Civilization below), and only in this first turn, the player must immediately start the conquest phase.

Rules of the Game

Choose a new Civilization

Players choose a new civilization at the start of the game, and periodically during the game when they decide to let their current empire slip into decline.

Start of the game

On his first turn, or after putting a civilization in decline, the player chooses a new civilization from the six available at the top of the board.

If the player chooses the first civilization (the pair of tiles in space ‘I’), no victory points are gained or lost.

If instead the player passes over the first civilization, and chooses the second civilization (space ‘II’), the player must pay one victory point. Each civilization further along the track costs an additional point (so civilization ‘III’ costs 2 points, civilization ‘IV’ costs 3 points, and so on.).

For each civilization that was passed over, the player places a coin token on it. Each one of these tokens represents one victory point.


For example, if a player chooses civilization ‘IV’, the player pays 3 victory points (move back the scoring marker), and places a coin token on civilizations ‘I’, ‘II’, and ‘III’. There may be several coin tokens on a civilization. When a player chooses a civilization with one or more coin tokens on it, the player gains 1 victory point for each token on the civilization.

Once a player chooses his civilization, that player takes the two civilization tiles, removes any coin tokens that were on the civilization (taking as many points), and shifts the higher-numbered civilization pairs (along with any pawns placed with them) to the left to fill the vacant space. Two new civilization tiles are drawn and placed on the ‘VI’ space (giving the next player a choice between 6 civilizations.).

Pawns of a new Civilization

Each time a player chooses a new civilization, the player receives a number of pawns in that player’s color. This number is the sum of the two red numbers on the civilization tiles for that civilization plus extra pawns depending on the map and the number of players. The number of extra pawns is showed on each map.

civ Example: In a 3 player game on original map, the civilization ‘Mountaineering + Galleys’ will give a player 18 pawns:

4 for Galleys + 4 for Mountaineering + 10 because there are 3 players.
In a 4 player game, the civilization would start with 14 pawns.

These pawns are all that the civilization will ever receive; no new pawns are added on future turns. (Exception: see the Medicine and Culture tiles.)

Note: a player is not limited to the 25 pawns provided with the game. In the rare case that more are needed players can supplement their pawns by adding those of an unused color or the brown pawns.

The effects of the 35 civilization tiles are explained later in the rules and on the summary sheets.

Course of a Turn

On each turn, the player must choose between two options: whether to expand the current empire, or put it into decline and choose a new civilization to start on the next turn. The two options, and their basic steps, are listed below. Each option is fully described in detail below that.

An expansion turn consists of these phases:

1. Collecting pawns or choosing a starting province.
2. Expanding the empire, heeding the rule of cohesion.
3. Reorganizing pawns and checking cohesion.
4. Counting Victory Points.

A declining turn consists of these phases:

1. Removing pawns from the player’s previous empire in decline (if there is one).
2. Removing all but one pawn per province in the newly declining empire.
3. Placing a ‘declining’ counter in each province.
4. Returning the two civilization tiles back into the bag (with a few exceptions).
5. Counting Victory Points.
6. Choosing a new civilization.

Expansion Turn

1. Collecting pawns or choosing a starting province

Collecting pawns

At the start of each turn, the player collects pawns from each of the occupied provinces of his active empire, leaving one pawn behind in each province. The player may remove all of the pawns from a province, but in doing so gives up control of the province. A province thus vacated will belong to nobody and will cost its normal amount to re-conquer it. The pawns taken from the board can then be used to expand into new provinces - so the more an empire expands, the less strength it has for further expansion.

Choosing a starting province

When a player is entering a new civilization onto the board, all of the starting pawns for that empire are available to expand. (See Expansion below).

A new civilization enters from the edge of the board. It grabs a foothold in one province, then expands from that starting province into adjacent provinces.


The starting province can be a land province that touches any edge of the board, or a land province that can be reached from the edge of the board by crossing only one sea (dark blue) region. Thus, a player can start in Scotland or Ireland, but not in France or Northern Italy. The sea regions (dark blue) are never occupied. They can be crossed in order to start a new civilization, but are otherwise impassable (exception: see the Astronomy civilization tile.)

Just as when expanding into any province, the player must commit several pawns toward taking the starting province (see Expansion).

2. Expanding the empire, heeding the rule of cohesion.


Once the starting province is conquered, the civilization can expand into adjacent provinces, and then keep expanding from the newly-conquered provinces. Any province that has been conquered can immediately be used as a base for new expansion.

Note: Original map considered sea regions as part of the own provinces, but new maps made them independent regions.

Pawns are not moved around on the board. In order to take control of a new province, each player uses pawns from his hand and adds them to the board in the new province (These pawns are either the civilization’s starting pawns or the pawns just collected from the board.). The placed pawns must remain in the province until the reorganization phase of the turn.

Cost of a new Province:

To get the control of a Province the player need to use as many pawns as the defense of the province.

The Defense of the province is calculated as follows (defense can never be less than 1):

civ Base Defense from Terrain

Plains (yellow)..........2
Meadow (green)...........2
Normal (brown)...........2
Forest (dark green)......3
Mountains (grey).........3
Deserts (light yellow)...2
Rivers (light blue)......1
Seas (dark blue).........Can’t be controlled

+1 pawn for every neutral or enemy pawn currently residing in the province.

+1 if the province has a Fort (white disc).

-1 if the expanding player controls a mountain province adjacent to the target province.

Note: On some maps there are light blue regions that represent controllable seas. They have the same defence and rules as the rivers.

In each conquered province, the defending civilization loses just one pawn permanently. This pawn is removed from the board, and goes back into the appropriate stock (brown pawn stock for neutral provinces, the defender’s stock for all others). Any additional pawns of the vanquished civilization are moved by the defender to other provinces controlled by the defender’s civilization at the end of the expanding player’s turn.

(Yucata implementation): To speed up the game, pawns sent to the defender’s stock are distributed automatically by the game to provinces with less pawns at the end of the expanding player’s turn.

If a defending civilization loses all of its provinces, any surviving pawns are removed from the board and may be used at the start of the player’s next turn to enter the board. These pawns enter the board as if the player were starting a new civilization. However, no additional pawns are added to this re-entering civilization.

Attacking civilizations never lose pawns.

Rule of Cohesion.

At the end of the expansion phase, a civilization must be connected; that is, the provinces controlled by the civilization must be contiguous (it must be possible to travel between any two of the civilization’s provinces by moving only through provinces of that civilization). This rule is only applied at the end of a player’s turn. If a civilization is split by attacks from the other players, the controlling player of the split empire gets a chance to reunite the civilization when it is once again his turn.

If a player does not establish, or cannot reestablish cohesion by retaking some provinces, the player may abandon some or all of the provinces when collecting pawns at the start of the turn. (The player may collect those pawns and use them for expansion.)

If after expanding an empire, it is not cohesive, the owning player must reorganize his pawns in such a way that cohesion is reestablished. Players must choose which portion of their non-cohesive empire to abandon, remove the pawns from that portion, and place them back anywhere in a cohesive portion.

The rule of cohesion does not apply to civilizations in decline, which may be broken up into several parts.

3. Reorganizing pawns

Once a player finishes conquering, the player may freely redistribute all of the pawns of the active civilization among the provinces controlled by that civilization. This is done to defend certain provinces.

All of the pawns of a civilization must be placed on the board, including any leftovers which were not used for expansion (there are often only one or two pawns left, because expansions cost dearly.)

The player must leave at least one pawn in each province.

4. Counting Victory Points

At the end of the turn, the player scores one point for each province controlled by his civilizations (including his declining civilization, if any). Mountain, desert and river provinces, however, score 0 points. The scoring marker is advanced around the outside of the board to indicate the new score.

Note: Some civilization tiles modify the points scored by a civilization.

Declining Turn

At the beginning of any turn, a player may abandon his current empire and declare it to be in decline.

1. Civilization tiles for the civilization are removed from the board and go back in the bag. (Exception: some yellow tiles remain on the board and have an effect for the declining civilization.)

(Yucata implementation):

All tiles from the declining civilization are maintained until the new civilization is declined, but only certain tiles will have an effect for the declining civilization.

2. A player may not have more than one civilization in decline. Any remaining pawns from an earlier declining civilization owned by the player are removed from the board (along with the decline counters.) and returned to the player’s stock.

3. The player removes all but one pawn from each of the newly declining empire’s provinces and adds a ‘Decline’ counter to mark the age of decline for that civilization.

4. The player scores points (without any of the advantages formerly given by the removed civilization tiles).

5. As on the first turn, the player then chooses a new civilization. This new civilization will be added to the board on the player’s next turn, following the rules for starting a new civilization. During a declining turn, there is no expansion.

A civilization in decline can have remnants on the board for several turns if it is not absorbed by another empire. Each player scores points for the provinces of two civilizations - his active empire, and his declining one (if any).

Note: These two civilizations are treated separately; civilization tiles of the active civilization do not benefit the declining one, and vice versa. The active civilization and the declining civilization of the same player may not come in contact. A player may conquer a province adjacent to his declining empire, but the adjacent provinces of the declining empire must be immediately cleared (the pawns removed from the board and returned to the player’s stock). THIS IS ONLY APPLIED TO NON-RIVER PROVINCES. You can be adjacent to your declined provinces as long as any of the provinces (active or decline) is a river.

Note: This does make it easier for the active empire to claim the old territory, as the province will then be empty.

Special Case: It is possible that an active civilization can lose all of its pawns through enemy attacks. The empire can be preserved (perhaps to keep an existing declining empire intact) or declared in decline. It still takes, as usual, a complete turn to put the empire in decline. If placed in decline, the previous declining empire is still removed from the board - even though the new declining empire has no provinces. For one turn, the player will be completely off the board.

End of the Game

The game ends when the game reaches a fixed number of rounds:

2 Players.....13 rounds
3 Players.....12 rounds
4 Players.....11 rounds
5 Players.....10 rounds

The player with the most points wins the game. If you finish on equal points, it is a tie. There are no tiebreakers.

Civilization Tiles.

These tiles represent the abilities of each civilization. Playing to the strengths of your population is one of the keys to victory. All of the modifiers on these tiles are cumulative.

Ground rule: civilization tiles supersede the normal rules.

If they are marked with the symbol of a broken column, the Agriculture, Livestock Breeding, Mining and Port Building tiles remain active during an empire’s decline.

civ civ Agriculture. Plain provinces (yellow) earn +1 victory point. Agriculture comes in two varieties, one with, and one without the symbol of the broken column.

civ civ Livestock Breeding. Meadow land provinces (light green) earn +1 victory point. Animal Domestication comes in two varieties, one with, and one without the symbol of the broken column.

civ civ Mining. Mining provinces (with a pickaxe) earn +2 victory points. Mines come in two varieties, one with, and one without the symbol of the broken column.

civ civ Port Building. Port provinces (with an anchor) earn +1 victory point. Port Building comes in two varieties, one with and one without the symbol of the broken column.

civ Currency. Each province in the empire earns +1 victory point (including the mountains and deserts, but no rivers).

civ Slavery. Each enemy or neutral pawn eliminated from a province (except Fortification pawns) earns +1 victory point. Only pawns that are removed from the board, and returned to the player’s (or the neutral) stock pile are counted, not those that are relocated. This modifier applies to enemy pawns from civilizations in decline as well.

civ Espionage. Once per turn, a province can be conquered at the cost of two pawns, regardless of how heavily it is defended. All other modifiers are ignored (including province type, other civilization tiles, etc.). This ability may only be used once per turn, and does not affect any other conquests.

civ Legions. The civilization receives 7 extra pawns at the beginning of the turn, that may be used in addition of at least one normal pawn, and are removed from board after get control of the province.

civ Fortification. Place a fort token (white disc) on each non-river province that remain on decline. Fort tokens give +1 Defense.

civ Militia. Place a fort token (white disc) on each non-river province that will be removed when civilization become declined. Fort tokens give +1 Defense.

civ Mountaineering. Conquering a mountain province (gray) costs one pawn less. These provinces also earn +1 victory point.

civ Galleys. Expanding into a province next to a river or a sea costs one pawn less.

civ Weapons. Each expansion into a new province costs one pawn less.

civ Astronomy. Expansion may take place across one or more sea (dark blue) regions. Example: Ireland to Norway, then to Southern Italy. Two provinces of an empire with Astronomy are considered adjacent (for the rule of cohesion) if they are connected by one or more sea region.
Note: Light blue sections of coastal provinces are not considered sea; these may be crossed by anyone.

civ Barbarians. No special abilities, but there are a lot of them.

civ Diplomacy. At the start of a turn, this player may choose one opponent with whom they are at peace. Neither player may attack the other until the start of the Diplomacy player’s next turn. This applies only to active empires; declining empires may still be attacked normally. The opponent with whom you are at peace may be changed each turn, or you may choose no player if you wish. You may also choose to be at peace with a player who is not currently on the board.

civ Heritage. The active empire (with Heritage) may expand into provinces adjacent to the player’s own declining empire without removing pawns from the declining empire. If the player wishes, he may expand into his own declining empire’s province following the normal rules of conquest.

civ Medicine. The civilization receives an extra pawn during reorganization phase.

civ Messengers. This civilization can ignore the rule of cohesion.

civ Rebirth. The decline for this civilization is declared at the end of a normal game turn, after counting victory points (instead of at the beginning of the next). However, the victory points are counted only once. The player therefore does not spend an entire turn choosing his next civilization.

civ Revolutionaries. This civilization may start in any province, not just on the edge of the board. This starting province must be conquered normally. Bonuses from the civilization’s second tile, such as Mountaineering and Ship Building, Astronomy, etc. are still applied where appropriate.

civ Nomadic. No pawn lost when conquered.

civ Culture. One new pawn (at start of reorganization) for every two enemy pawns eliminated (rounded down).

civ Religion. Conquer a province for 0 pawns, place a new pawn of your color in it (taken from the bag). Province must meet next conditions: enemy active, alone and in reach, only once a turn against each other player. Forts do not prevent a pawn of being “alone”.

civ Drakkar. Each expansion into a new river province costs one pawn less. No pawn lost when conquered on a river province.

civ Philosophy. Keep all pawns on the board when going in decline (may reorganize before going to decline).

civ Fishing. VP+0.5 (rounded down) on provinces next to river and seas.

civ Army. Player can play a second conquest phase each turn, don’t score twice.

civ Warband. Player leaves only one pawn in each province during reorganization, the other pawns are off board until next turn.

civ Cavalry. Each expansion into new Plain, Meadow and Normal provinces costs one pawn less.

civ Camels. Each expansion into new Desert provinces costs one pawn less. Get 1 Victory Point for each desert province.

Additional notes


Army: You are only able to pick up tokens leaving a province empty at the start of the first expansion. So you can't expand into/from a province in the first expansion and then empty it at the start of the second expansion.

civ + civ

Army + Legions: The 7 extra armies are only available once, not for each expansion.

civ + civ

Religion + Culture: When this player converts a pawn using religion, it does not count towards the culture bonus.

civ + civ

Religion + Slavery: When this player converts a pawn using religion, they do not earn the victory point from slavery.

civ v civ

Religion v Diplomacy: A player with religion is able to convert the pawn of a player with Diplomacy who has declared them to be at peace.

civ v civ

Religion v Nomadic: The religion attack converts the pawn, so the nomadic player does lose a pawn.

civ v civ

Culture v Nomadic: When the culture player attacks the nomadic player, no pawn is removed so the culture player does not get any culture bonus.

civ v civ

Slavery v Nomadic: When the slavery player attacks the nomadic player, no pawn is removed so the slavery player does not earn the victory point from slavery.

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