MONARCH is a strategy game for 2 to 4 players, set in the mythical lands of Minervia. Players compete as sisters who must strategically assemble an impressive court and prove themselves ready to become the next Monarch.
Decide when to tax or harvest the fertile lands. Attract wise advisors, magnificent beasts, and majestic regalia to glorify your court. Sabotage your sisters’ efforts by sending ‘Unwanted Guests’ to unsettle their courts.
In the world of MONARCH, strategy and surprise await players at every turn. Players must use inventive planning and keen judgment to navigate a world of beauty and mystery, and to discover their destinies … who will reign?
See the detailed website for the game with videos of the game’s creation and more at: http://www.playmonarch.com.
Each sister aims to assemble a court of Court Cards: wise advisors, exotic animals, and symbolic regalia. Each of these Court Cards provides crowns, and the sister whose court contains the most crowns at the end of the game becomes the Queen.
Your turn is very straightforward:
There are tricks to assembling a majestic court. Some cards don’t work together well: the Astronomer is worth nothing if in a court with the Fireworks because he will be unable to see anything! Other cards work very well together: the Beastkeeper is worth more crowns for each animal she shares a court with.
In order to recruit for your court you’ll need gold and food, which you get by taxing and harvesting the land that the sisters rule over. Over the course of the game you’ll improve the land, building Royal Goateries and Jewel Bazaars, which benefit everyone.
When a sister knows what kind of ruler she will be, she can take up a banner to commit herself to a style of rulership: Wisdom, Bounty, Culture, Might, or Balance. Banners provide extra crowns and a special power to help its bearer succeed.
Monarch features the atmospheric scratchboard art of Kate Adams, giving it a unique look. Each illustration is scratched by hand and then (delicately) digitally colored to produce the fantastic effect that sets the stage for the enchanting realm in which Monarch is played.
Kate Adams is Monarch’s illustrator, and is the artist that created the gorgeous scratchboard art featured in the game. Kate is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and has illustrated several books. This is her first board game project!
Learn more about the process behind the artwork at playmonarch.com!
MONARCH sets a new bar in game art with its astonishingly beautiful imagery, and the game has also been described as “mechanically brilliant” and “a welcome change of pace” by players. No one strategy in the game guarantees success, so the game is infinitely repayable.
Fans also tell us that having female protagonists “is a welcome change from the heavily male board game industry” and that MONARCH might be one of the first games out there to have a strong female point of view without being biased or girly.
Players love the way the game functions as a “gateway” game so that both players new to strategy games as well as steadfast game players can find enjoyment in the game — a rare achievement. Players tell us that it is “tough to put away” and that Monarch’s unassuming yet deep gameplay keeps them coming back.
A Game by Mary Flanagan Art by Kate Adams
Game Design: Mary Flanagan, Max Seidman, Zara Downs
Art Direction: Sarah Ettinger, Zara Downs
Illustration: Kate Adams
Executive Producer: Mary Flanagan
Research: Geoff Kaufman, Mary Flanagan, Max Seidman
Art: Kate Adams, Ed Flanagan, Sarah Ettinger, Zara Downs
Art Direction: Mary Flanagan, Sarah Ettinger
Thanks to Myriad friends, relatives, and strangers
NYC-Playtest group, Boston Festival of Independent Games attendees, Meaningful Play, IndieCade, and Gen Con attendees
Special Thanks To:
Naomi Clark, Angela Zhang, Farooq Ahmed, The Brown Foundation and Dora Maar House, Richard Garriott and Starr Long, Ryan LaFlamme, The Cardboard Republic, Cyrus Kirby, Fathergeek, Vincent Paone, Dad’s Gaming Addiction, Robert Kalajian Jr., Purple Pawn
Richard Garriott de Cayeux as the Useless Emissary
Christopher Egert as the Boorish Uncle
David McDonald as the Drunk Juggler
Jonathan Skinner as the Insistent Peddler
Game Production Team: Sukie Punjasthitkul, Danielle Taylor, Jenny Yeoh-Wang, Lucas Sanford-Long, Jinny Seo, Savannah Liu, Alannah Linkhorn, Emma Marsano
Acknowledgments: Many thanks to Jenny Yeoh-Wang for her efforts during our Kickstarter campaign, to Jinny Seo for her work on the instructions, and to our many local playtesters!