So far, I’ve been writing some reviews about tabletop games, including card games. A lot of tabletop games tend to offer their own customized components whether the pawn, dice, markers, boards or cards.
However, there is a part of the industry that will try to develop a game by utilizing a Standard Playing Card deck. The deck of cards that we can usually find when playing a game of Poker, Bridge, Hearts, Solitaire, Black Jack and many other. This deck of cards usually consists of 4 suits and each suit has 13 cards plus 2 Joker cards or so.
There is even a annual design contest on BGG to develop a new game that use this deck as the main component. Designers can still add other game pieces to play but the goal is so that other players can just try the game out using any Standard deck any people probably already have.
One of the winners of that contest from recent years was a game called Regicide. This one won the contest for the Best Cooperative game but also very popular as a solitaire game.
So, what is this Regicide game? How do we play Regicide? What else besides the Standard deck that we need to play the game?
Those are probably just a few questions that came to mind after hearing about the game. Well, in this article, I’m going to share my Regicide game review based on my experience on playing the game.
Hope this helps. Is Regicide the best way to play a game using Standard Playing Card Deck?
Click or tab on any sections from the table of contents to jump right to that part. Use the red arrow button on the bottom right corner of the screen to head back to the top
Table of Contents
Game’s Title: Regicide
Genre: Traditional Playing Cards, Cooperative, Official Solo Variant, Hand Management, Limited Communications, Multiuse Card, Fantasy Theme
Designer: Paul Abrahams, Luke Badger, Andy Richdale
Publisher: Badgers from Mars (badgersfrommars.com)
Number of Players: 1 – 4
Playing Time: 5 – 20 minutes
Official Website: Regicide (regicidegame.com)
Release Year: 2020
Price: 24 NZD
55 Cards (63 x 88 mm):
Game Aid Card (1)
Playing Cards (54)
About Regicide Card Game
On BoardGameGeek.com, there are a couple of annual design contests. Anybody can participate by submitting and share their design. Usually this includes the rule of the game, and some file for the components to print. Players can then print their own prototype and try out their game to help them vote.
One of the contests, run by Side Room Games, has a requirement to use Standard or Traditional Playing cards. This means, the game cannot use more than 54 cards in 4 suits plus 2 jokers. Additional components were not allowed. Designers can use both side of the cards if they want.
After the voting, Regicide was #5 Best Overall Game, #2 Best Game using Standard Playing Card Deck, #3 Best 2-Player Game and #1 Best Cooperative Game.
The designer, Luke Badger (username JediLuke), also won #2 Best New Designer.
Even if they didn’t win, the result encouraged the designers to run a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to mass produce the game. Basically, backers will get a standard deck of playing cards but includes the rule to play Regicide with the artwork from Sketchgoblin.
With the help from almost 1,500 backers, the project was funded, generating almost 60,000 NZD. They even managed to reach a stretch goal to develop a Companion App. The app itself was originally intended just to track health and attack points for the opponent. Now anybody can play the solo mode even without using physical cards on that app but with extra cost.
The Regicide deck itself already got 2nd Edition Printing with new plastic box, and updated art for Diamond suits. The change doesn’t affect the gameplay though. People can still buy the 1st edition for slightly cheaper price from publisher directly.
It seems that the designers have built world around this Regicide game, not just a great art and gameplay. They already made a page explaining the different classes (suits) and each card or character has their own name. The webpage says about an upcoming page about the world or setting of this game.
In May 2023, the publisher made announcement about Regicide Legacy. We can learn more about it from its own website, regicidelegacy.com. The plan was to launch Kickstarter campaign in either late 2023 or early 2024. From what I understand, this legacy game will be its own game, not as expansion. It uses the same system as Regicide with additional Legacy campaign aspect.
More about the Game
As the meaning of the Regicide word itself suggests, the game is about killing a (evil) King set in medieval fantasy world. Before players get to the King, they have to deal with the underlings first, starts from the 4 Jack, 4 Queens and then the 4 Kings. Players can even convince the lower ranks to join their side and help them overthrown the higher ones.
To do so, players will be recruiting characters from 4 different classes: Bards (Diamond), Cleric (Heart), Warriors (Club) and Paladin (Spade). Each of these classes has their own special power. Paladin is strong in defense, Warrior in attack, Cleric in healing and Bard in persuading characters to join the battle.
The problem is that the enemies know how to deal with one of these powers and they will nullify that power during the fight. Luckily, we only need to deal with them one at a time. We don’t know which of them is going to come first but afterwards we know what’s left and make a plan accordingly.
Regicide is a cooperative game with hand management as the main mechanism. Players will start with a hand of character cards. These character cards are Multiuse cards. Players can play them to attack the enemy and activate their power or they can choose to let the characters take the damage.
The value of each card represents either the attack power or the health to take some damage. Either way, the card will be discarded afterwards. At any point if any player has no cards at all in their hands, they lose the game immediately. Because of that, choosing to not play a card or yield so that the player still has cards after taking a damage is part of the challenge.
Using the Bard or Diamond’s power, players can refill their hands or recruit more characters from the draw pile or Tavern. It’s possible that the Tavern may run out of characters or cards.
In that case, players have to use the Cleric’s (Heart) power, which is to heal back discarded cards and send them back to taverns. For these 2 powers, the value of the cards determines how many cards that players will draw from tavern or move from discard pile to the Tavern.
Using the same idea, Paladin (Spade) has the ability to decrease the enemy’s attack permanently. That way players might take less or even 0 damage per turn. Warriors (Club) has the ability to deal double damage so it is possible to defeat the enemy with just single attack.
Instead of playing only 1 card at a time, players can also do combo or combinations of multiple cards. Each played cards can have different suits or power and all of them will be activated when played together, unless of course, nullified by the enemy.
This can be done in two ways. One is by playing any one of the Ace cards and combine it with any other cards. Two is by playing a set of cards with the same value as long as the total is below 10. Like 4 of 2s, 3 of 3s, double 4s and double 5s.
When playing with 3 or 4 players, 2 Jester (Joker) cards will be part of the deck. When played, Jester will cancel the enemy’s immunity,
Regicide also uses limited communication element. Players cannot tell each other what exactly in their hands. They can share the number of cards but not specific which card. or revealing any information that can lead to that.
If players manage to survive and beat the 4th King, they win the game.
The copy of Regicide that I have is the 2nd edition printing with the plastic box and new art for diamond suit cards. I cannot speak much about the 1st edition but from what I understand, the number of components remain the same and no mechanical change to the gameplay or rule.
Again, this is basically just a standard traditional deck of playing cards with 4 suits, 52 cards plus 2 jokers. We can play Regicide using any standard playing cards, no need to use this exact product. Buying this is only for those who really love the art and/or just want to support the designers / publisher.
Either edition has 2 variants of colors, red or the one that I have, teal color. Both editions use 1 piece tuck box but the box for the 1st edition is made of cardstock while the 2nd edition is plastic box. While plastic definitely will give better protection from spill but it doesn’t mean that water will not come inside. The cards are still cardstock with linen finish.
As for the size, the second edition box is 6.5 x 2.5 x 9.3 cm, which is the outer size. The one thing that I don’t like from the 2nd edition is the part that can be used to hang the product in retail stores which the 1st edition doesn’t have.
The inner part of the box is also not a clean face. There is a folded part where they glue together to turn a single piece into a box. This means, if we are not careful when putting the card back to the box, the card might end up getting stuck between those layers. It’s best when putting the component back to the box to slide on the inner part of the front side. The inner back is the one with that folded part.
Luckily, the box has extra room aside from what’s already inside. Unfortunately, this extra room is not enough for cards with sleeves. I tried it with 60-micron thick sleeve, the box can only hold about 48 cards or less. Not sure if the thinner sleeve can fit since there is still rulebook.
The 1st edition has a couple of characters on the front with 1 King and a couple of characters. King of Spade and characters from the 2 black suits for the teal edition while the red version has King of Diamond and several characters from the 2 red suits. The 2nd edition only shows the same King for each edition on the front.
My version also has the flag of the country icon even though the rulebook and everything is in English, doesn’t match with that indicated country. I saw an entry on BGG for Japanese flag. Not sure about the others though. I assume it depends on the local publishers.
At the bottom of this front side of either edition, it says A CHALLENGING COOPERATIVE CARD GAME. The lid part shows the Regicide logo. All of the short sides show either the name of the game, publishers or production factory ID. / barcode. My version says BMRGC001-ID at the bottom.
On the back, it shows a couple of cards with the art from Sketchgoblin, the artist, also with the flag icon again next to the illustration. Nothing about what it looks like when the game is set up. There is not much of text to describe the game but I guess it was enough. There is information about the contents, number of players, estimated playing time and the target audience age.
At the bottom right corner, they print a QR code that says LEARN TO PLAY. Somehow my phone is having trouble scanning that code. It doesn’t seem to easily recognize it as a code. At the top, it says to download a Regicide companion app which is available on both iOS and Android. That app does have a tutorial.
Below is the unboxing video by the publisher for the 1st edition.
My teal 2nd edition version comes with the red color rule booklet. Not sure if that is intentional and all versions will have the same or I got the wrong matchup. Either way, it doesn’t matter as the contents from both are the same.
This English rule booklet has almost the same size as the card just a bit taller by 1 mm with 63 x 89 mm with 12 pages. We can find the digital file on BGG or on the publisher’s page for this game. This digital version is 2-page A4 sheet instead of booklet format.
On BGG file page, it seems besides English, the publisher only released the Japanese version. There are other translations which were done by other users and local publishers like to Chinese, French, Hungarian, Persian, Italian and Spanish.
Here is the table of content for this rule booklet.
Cover (Page 1). This cover only shows the game’s logo and title with red background and the QR code to the publisher’s page for this game.
Aim of the Game (Page 2). This one paragraph explains the general idea of what the players will be doing in the game but mostly in multiplayer game, including the winning and losing conditions.
Setup (Page 2 and 3). Well, the setup part doesn’t show any picture as how the setup will look like. It’s recommended to check the official tutorial to get the idea. This is also where we can find the hand size and the number of Jester cards used for different player count.
How to Play (Page 3 to 6). This explains the Step 1 to Step 4 of any player’s turn. An important note from Step 2 of the Diamond power is that players cannot draw more than the hand limit. With Spades, the power is cumulative until that enemy is defeated.
During Step 3, the defeated enemy can go to either to discard pile or the top of draw pile. The latter happens only if the value of the finishing blow matches with the remaining health. Powers are mandatory, cannot be skipped.
From Step 4, players can continue the game with empty hand after taking the damage during this step.
Animal Companion (Page 7). These cards or Ace can be played on its own or with 1 other card, except Jester. The total value is combined, affecting the attack and suit’s power and any suit will be activated but only once per suit.
Combos (Page 7 to 8). This explains how players can play more than 1 card but not using the Animal Companion. Players can play several cards with the same value as long as the total is 10 or less. So, it can be a pair of 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s or triple of 2s, 3s and quadruple of 2s.
In that case, the total value is combined for the attack and for all of the suit’s power in play, except the canceled ability due to enemy’s immunity. Another note from the rule is that when combining Diamond and Heart’s power, resolve the Heart’s power first before the Diamond.
Enemy Immunity (Page 8). Each enemy is immune to the suit’s special power played to them that match their suit. In multiplayer mode that use Jester cards, playing a Jester card to that enemy will cancel the immunity of that enemy.
Playing the Jester (Page8 to 9). This only applies in the multiplayer mode that uses Jesters (more than 2 players). Jester can only be played in just a single card with the attack value of 0 and disable the enemy’s immunity afterwards.
Another important note is that the turn order can change because of Jester card. The one who played can choose which player to go next and the game continues clockwise. This includes that player themselves to go again.
After the play, the limited communication also changes temporarily for the one who played. An important note is that any Spade card played to the same enemy before Jester will take effect after the Jester. However, this doesn’t apply to the Club special effect.
Drawing a Defeated Enemy (Page 9). This explains how the enemy’s card play when the players draw them. Jack, Queen and King, each has an attack value of 10, 15 and 20 in that order. The suit works as any of the regular cards.
Yielding (Page 9). Yielding can happen on Step 1 of player’s turn. When they do this, they skip Step 2 and 3, go directly to Step 4, suffer damage. An important note is that a player cannot Yield if every other player has yielded in a row.
Communications (Page 10). This part explains the limited communication aspect of the game. In general, players cannot tell their exact cards in their hand or giving any kind of clue about that. They can only say the number of cards left in either hand or draw pile.
A small exception is when a player plays a Jester card from their hand before the next player starts their turn. That player still cannot tell which card they have in their hand but they can give a clue as whether they should play a card or yield.
Game End (Page 10). Regardless of player counts, the winning and losing condition stays the same. To win, we have to defeat the last King. Players lose the game if any player doesn’t have enough cards to take damage.
Another possible losing condition is when all other players have yielded and this last player doesn’t have any card to play even though they have to, they lose.
Solo Play (Page 11). The solo rule utilizes the 2 Jesters differently compared to the multiplayer game. In solo mode, we can flip any of them to get a new hand of 8 cards which can be done before Step 1 or Step 4.
They will not cancel the enemy’s immunity and will not go into the card circulation. So, the number of Jester cards set to 0 during the setup for solo mode is correct because they will not be included in the deck.
Also, if the player chooses to use Jester without any card available in the Tavern or draw pile, then no cards to be drawn.
There are also 3 different levels of winning achievements based on how many of those Jesters were used.
Credits (Page 12). Besides the designers’ name, artist, publisher and QR code, here we can find the list of contents of this product. The code will also send us to the webpage for the game on publisher’s website. Basically, the bottom part is almost the same as the bottom part from the back of the box.
As mentioned before, this rule booklet doesn’t have any illustrations at all that explains the game. While the game is not exactly complex or hard to learn, having a couple of pictures can help players understand the text. For me, it can also help to remind me where to find things. Maybe I remember looking at some pictures when reading that part of the rule.
Somehow the digital file in A4 paper has some illustrations of the setup. Not perfect but slightly better than nothing. There are a couple more pictures but for decorative purposes mostly.
Surely that the app and QR code helps but then if people play this game to avoid adding screen time, or while charging their gadget, they may have some trouble learning the game.
On BGG, the game page has almost 90 threads for questions about rules at this point. So, apparently it is probably not as easy as one might think. Apparently, a lot of answers to resolve things can be found by using the companion app. The fact that a lot of people keep mentioning that means not everybody is willing to use that companion app. Even I use a physical tracker.
Even I noticed that I’ve been playing incorrectly and only realized when I was trying to write this review. The way I played so far doesn’t feel like it broke the game so I just went with it, thinking that I got it right.
One of the complications with the rule that can happen is when playing with multiple cards like combos or using animal companion. When 2 suits are activated, does the effect from each cumulative to each other?
The answer to that is, the base value is cumulative but the special power or effect only applies to specific target. For example, Club only double the damage attack. So, when playing with, let’s say, Diamond, to draw more cards, it doesn’t double the number of drawn cards. Or with Spade, it doesn’t increase the defense twice.
A lot of people seem to assume that they can do combo plus animal companions. This is not the case. Multiple companions can become combo on their own but otherwise only one card per companion played.
I think the next complication is when one of the played suits was immune to the enemy. In that case, the value still increases but the power doesn’t get activated.
One person asked whether Jester will cycle back or it is one time use only in multiplayer mode. The answer is it will cycle back. Another player said they misunderstood the rules about taking damage. They thought the damage equal to the number of cards not the value.
Another interesting question was about the yield. There is a rule that prohibit all players to yield consecutively. The last one must play a card. What makes it interesting is when that last player dealt a killing blow and had to face the next enemy. In this case, the yield chain has been broken and that same player can choose to yield against the new enemy.
A confusion that can happen related to Jester is because the Jester cancel the immunity and change the player turn order. Players are supposed to play their cards in the same communal row to make it easier when the Jester cancelation applies. Some players assumed that they just play their cards to their own pile in front of them because the rule doesn’t exactly state clearly.
Another interesting question regarding discarding cards to take damage. It seems players can discard more cards than they necessarily need. The rule only says one at a time until the total value is at least equal to the damage. This means, they can throw the low value cards first, in the hopes that they can refill their hand back with better cards.
One might argue that everything is in the rule booklet. I think it is still very easy to miss some details. This is typical issue with writing a physical rulebook. Some details might be stated not in the right places or replicated in the required places because of limited space.
The thing is, they do have extra space in the box that can easily take a few extra pages of the rulebook to include some pictures. Especially since the box itself is not intended for cards with sleeve.
I assumed that this rulebook was based on the 2-page rulesheet which they converted into a booklet. I appreciate that they don’t just turn it into folded sheet. Still, I feel like they could have designed it better.
Again, that QR code and app are nice tools but they cannot expect everybody to use them, assuming they are still functional. I also think they should have printed the URL name of their website just in case they QR code doesn’t work.
I would say, ideally, they should have put a FAQ section on whatever page that QR code is sending the scanner to.
Game Aid Card
This is the only card that is specific to Regicide that we won’t find in any standard playing deck. Game Aid is the only card in the box in horizontal orientation, with 2 sides.
If people are expected to rely on this, then they expect to keep turning this card back and forth. Since there is only one in this cooperative game, people will keep passing this card around.
I think they missed one thing in this card. They should have put the REGICIDE name in anywhere on this card. Maybe a link to website or so. I feel like there is a chance that players will look at the back of the box and find a picture of regular playing cards without realizing there is a variant to play the game called Regicide.
I mean if they found the complete product, with the box, rule booklet or so, they may try to look for more info about it. What if they only find the deck of cards plus this card? Well, maybe I’m just over exaggerating it.
One side shows the Health and Attack Power of each Jack, Queen and King as the enemy. We can see the big letter of JQK and a set of 2 number below each of them.
These numbers mean every Jack has 20 Health and 10 Attack points. Queens have 30 Health and 15 attack points and Kings have 40 and 20 each in that order. These doesn’t change from the same Royal level regardless of the suit. What makes the 4 of each Royal Level different is the immunity of their suit.
Behind these figures, we can see some vague icons. Those behind the Attack Power are probably sword icons but I cannot tell what icons are on the background of the Health.
So, this aid is basically just a reminder. I would argue that something like this should stay on the rulebook. We will look at it once just as a reminder and then we won’t need to see it again.
I was expecting something more useful that we can use every game like actual tracker for both Health and Attack.
In this game, we are trying to deal damage to the enemy until their Health point goes to 0. There is also a way to decrease the enemy’s attacking power. The latter is easier to keep track using just memory but the health one could be more tricky as it involves more cards.
Every round, we are going to fight just one enemy. Jacks first one by one, then Queens and finally the Kings. So we only need 1 tracker for each, never more.
There are other games that use cards as tracker which use numbers up to 100 or so. Hero Realms for example. It’s not as good as using tokens or other pieces to keep track. However, extra 2 cards or so should be a viable option to be included in this box without increasing the cost significantly.
Surely somebody will point out the companion app again as solution for this. But again, for me, sometimes I play games because I don’t want to use electronic device or when my device is in charging mode. Also, the idea of using the app assumes that the app will always online, accessible without any downtime. I know this is an exaggeration but for me, having an alternative is always nice.
I bet I’m not the only one since a lot of fan made trackers are available online for free which can be found here. We can download and print them ourselves.
Alternatively, some people suggest using a couple of dice, like or 2 of d20 for health and 1 for the Attack.
Another argument is that we can track them both by counting the previously played cards. No need for extra components. I definitely need one and I have used the dice, not ideal but enough.
The other side of this Game Aid Card shows a lot more information. Starting from the top right of the card, we can see the big “A” and JESTER icon. Below each of them shows the Attack Power of each, 1 for A or Ace and 0 for Joker.
Behind the Jester icon, we can see just a single card while behind the Ace we can see 2 cards: an A and one other. These are the reminder of how to play each. Jester can only be played alone. While Ace as Animal Companion can be played with just 1 more card.
Unfortunately, that is not the only way the game uses Jester. Also that is not the only way to play Ace. None of them have a reminder on this one card. Clearly, they will need more if they want to cover everything. More about Ace and Jester cards below.
The 2nd part is the one on the bottom right corner. This shows a step by step turn structure. Each turn, players will do these 4 steps on their turn until either they win or lose.
What any new gamers may not aware is that this is just the standard turn structure. There are more things happening within those steps, including skipping some of them.
This doesn’t explain or outline how Yield, Combos, Resolving Multiple Suits works. Those are the ones that I have to keep checking while this general turn structure is easily memorized after a couple of turns.
The last part is the one on the left most column. We can find here the 4 standard suits: Heart, Diamond, Club and Spade. Next to each of these suit’s icons, we can see a 3-word texts. These represent the Suit’s Special Power that players have to activate in Step 2 after playing a card with the corresponding suit.
While these texts are correct, but they might not be explaining everything. Especially since how they are activated are different between the 4 suits. It becomes more complicated when multiple suits are activated at the same time.
So, overall, this card is perfectly functional but it could have been better. I feel like this information should be enough on the last page of the rule booklet. They could have used it for something else like maybe proper tracker, If then Companion App will be their ultimate answer to everything then I guess anything I said here doesn’t matter.
Besides the rule booklet and the Game Aid card, the rest of the components can be replaced by Standard Traditional Playing Cards with 2 Joker Cards, 52 cards, with 4 suits. Each suit has a card value from 1 or Ace to 10 plus Jack, Queen and King.
What makes Regicide deck of cards special is each card represents a character. The publisher has built or started to build the world of Regicide, They gave a name to each of them and the setting of place. Unfortunately, we need to find the name on their webpage here as they didn’t write them on cards.
Besides the royal cards, each card in this deck has white background with a full body illustration of the character. Other than Joker or what they call Jesters, every character or card is unique with the art by Sketchgoblin.
The royal only shows the upper part down to their thighs. It’s not like standard deck where we can turn the card upside down and it will still show the same mirrored art.
Well, it doesn’t really matter about the character. What’s important is just their value and their suits. Even though they are nice, but most of the time in game, we won’t care so much about the characters. Since the character occupies the middle of the card, we can only find the value and suit of the card either at the top left or bottom right.
On the back of each card, with teal color, we can see the silhouette of the landscape with different layers. In the middle, we can find the game’s logo and title in white font color. This back side also has dark border line to help players count the number of cards on other player’s hand.
Players can of course just tell each other the number of cards they have. That is allowed in this game that uses limited communication mechanism.
The Royal Cards also have the same back of the card. Even though they start from their own deck, they will eventually enter the main deck and becomes player’s hand of cards. Similar goes for the Jesters / Jokers, even though we use them differently in solo mode.
As I said earlier, other than the art, we can play Regicide using just standard deck of cards. There is no special feature printed on the cards that unless we have that we cannot play the game. Not the case here.
In this game, depending on the player counts, players will start with a number of cards in their hand. They cannot have more than the limit. Since each card represents a character, it’s like having a group or band of characters with various specialties. Players themselves are the leader of their own group.
Each turn, players can play their card to attack the enemy and activate their abilities. The enemy then will counterattack if they survive the attack from the players. Players can then use the remaining cards in hand to take the damage from the enemy. Unable to do so then the damage hit the player and they immediately lose the game. In this is a cooperative game, all players lose and win together.
That means, these cards are multiuse cards. Players can play the cards as attack and ability or the player’s health or hit point.
The abilities allow players to draw more cards, return cards from discard pile to the draw deck, deal double damage or decrease the enemy’s attack power.
So, this is a hand management game. We need to figure out which card to do the attack and which card to take the damage. Which card we should play first and which card we should combine to make more powerful attack and/or abilities?
Most of the time, players can only play 1 card at a time. With combos, they can play up to 4 cards with some restrictions. Between players, there will be no trade hands. Players cannot even tell what cards they have. Besides the initial setup, there will be a couple of shuffling of the discard pile throughout the game.
Different order of how the card come out and which enemy to face first will create a different experience from game to game.
Hand Size Limit
Depending on the player count, players can only have a certain amount of cards in hand. Anytime they can draw but already have the limit, they cannot draw more. So, it is a hard limit and here are the limits.
1 player: 8 cards
2 Players: 7 cards each
3 Players: 6 cards each
4 Players: 5 cards each
Is that mean more players will make the game easier? Not necessarily.
In Regicide, each player turn they will play a card and the enemy will counterattack every turn. That means, even if the total number of cards is higher but the enemy may deal more damage overall. If one player is eliminated, they lose the game.
Also, when player draw cards using suit’s power, the draw is divided to all players. Players take turns drawing one until either they reach their hand size limit or the draw power.
Another challenge of the multiplayer mode comes from the limited communication aspect. Each player doesn’t know exactly the cards in the other player’s hand, which increases the random aspect of the game.
4 Suits and Value
The Regicide game uses the same 4 suits as Standard Playing cards: Club, Spade, Diamond and Heart. Thematically, these suits represents different classes and their special Power.
Heart represents Clerics. They will heal back injured characters so they can return to the tavern and eventually join back to fight the enemies. In the game, this ability becomes returning cards from discard pile to the draw deck. Players have to shuffle the discard pile first and return a number of them randomly. If there is no card in the draw pile, players cannot draw them using the Diamond ability.
Early in the game, there will be minimum amount of cards in the discard pile. So, usually players will use Clerics to take damage. However, they still need to find a time to actually play and activate the ability.
Diamond represents Bards, for the 2nd edition. Initially, they represent Mages but they have the same power, recruiting characters from the Tavern to join the battle. They are leaders, not just musical experts.
In the game, this ability becomes draw cards from the draw deck to refill their hands until they reach the hand size limit. In multiplayer mode, players will take turns drawing one by one.
So, this is one of the cooperation point in the game. Any player needs to be aware with how many cards left in the other player’s hand. Maybe that player themselves don’t need one but they are the only one that can help the other with just 1 card left in hand.
Also, when a player activates this ability, they are not only drawing cards to replenish their hands but for all players. This way, players have to consider the other players’ current hand size.
Club represents Warriors. They can deal double damage to the enemy. So, either they will attack first and immediately defeat the enemy or they will go last to deliver the finishing blow. The double damage only applies to that played Club card and it’s combo. So, for that turn only.
Spade represents Paladins. They act as the Royal Guards, setting up defense so the enemy cannot deal damage back. Even if they don’t completely block the attack, they will slow down the enemy and give the group more time for players to recruit or heal more characters.
Unlike Warriors, Paladin’s ability lasts until the enemy is defeated. Every Spade card played to that enemy will compound the effect.
In the game, each turn, player will play 1 card with a suit and value to attack and activate the abilities. The value will determine the attack power and how powerful the abilities. So, a card with a value of 10 allows us to draw or return a total of 10 cards, increasing the defense by 10 and attack 10 points of damage.
While the Royal cards are not considered as these Classes, but they do have one of these suits. When those Royal cards become our hand, they work the same for the ability but with higher value. Jack cards worth 10, 15 for Queens and 20 for Kings.
Since there are combos or Animal Companions that allow us to play multiple cards, possibly with different suits, we can trigger all of those suits’ power. In that case, In that case, we count the total values of played cards which affect all suits’ power.
In this game, there is also a mechanism that prevent certain suits to be activated. This is due to enemy’s immunity. More about this later.
As mentioned before the value of the cards also determines the health or hit points. The enemy may counterattack and we have to discard a number of cards one by one until the total value is at least equal to the attack.
For example, if the enemy attack is 10, we need to discard one 10, or a 2, 3, and 5 or any combination. We can even have 0 card. But if we then still have to take damage, we immediately lose the game.
There is also a trick from this discarding card one by one rule, especially if we are about to refill our hands back. We can also overpay, by discarding the low value cards first and before reaching the minimum, we also discard the higher one. Hopefully, when we do get cards again we get higher value ones.
It may sound like having low value cards are bad or less useful than the higher one. However, with the Combos and Animal Companions, we can play more cards that cannot be done with higher value cards. Of course, this depends on the situation.
The game comes with 2 Jester Cards or the Jokers. So, if we play with the Standard Traditional deck of cards that comes with 4 Jokers, we will be using only 2. Even none maybe depending on the player count. It doesn’t matter which color of Joker or Jester we use.
I guess if we play a game that use Standard deck of cards that utilizes the two Jokers differently based on the color, this Regicide deck might not work. The Jester cards don’t have color.
The 2 cards depict the same character but in slightly different pose. I assume that the character is a Goblin kid, with a green skin holding that jester staff.
In this game, different player counts use different number of Jester cards as follows.
1 Player: 0 Jester card *
2 Players: 0 Jester Card
3 Players: 1 Jester Card
4 Players: 2 Jester Cards
These indicate the number of Jester card in the Tavern deck that players will randomly draw from. The solo mode actually uses both Jester but in different way.
In multiplayer mode with more than 2 players, Jester card can cycle through the deck multiple times. So, players can play them multiple times, assuming they can get their hands on.
There are 4 purposes of playing the Jester from our hand.
One is to cancel the enemy’s immunity.
Two is to skip the Step 3 and Step 4 of that player’s turn.
Three is to change the player’s turn order.
Four is to alter the limited communication rule temporarily.
All of these happen when the card is played.
The first one is very straight forward. After playing the Jester we can start using the Power of the matching suit with the enemy. In the case of SPADE’s Power, any Spade card played prior from the Jester, will still affect or decrease the enemy attack afterwards.
The 2nd one allows that player to skip step 3 and 4. This means, skipping taking damage (Step 4). Step 3 itself is attacking the enemy but the Jester itself has 0 value. With this idea, it makes sense to keep this card as the last one in hand especially since we can have 0 card in hand.
The third one is a bit complicated. Whoever just played that Jester card can choose which player to go next, including themselves. This is a bit tricky to take advantage of since we need to be aware of the other players’ hand of cards, the number at least.
Maybe the next player has only 1 card left which is possibly not a diamond. So, the active player can just skip it to the 3rd player then.
There will be a situation where it is reasonable for that player to go again. Like if the other cards in their hand have suit that matches with the Enemy’s. So, they just need to cancel it first and then played the card.
With the 4th one, players can communicate more like saying whether they are good to go next or not. Players still cannot tell the other about what exactly the cards that they have. At least, the active player can then ask.
It’s tricky since the next player with just 1 card happens to have a very strong Diamond. In that case, it would be a waste but maybe better than relying on random luck.
Another thing to consider before playing the Jester is whether it’s time to play Heart cards so the next player can draw. Also consider which suit the next enemy will have.
Jester in Solo Mode
The game use Jester cards in solo mode differently compared to the multiplayer mode. These 2 cards don’t get into the cycle but more like a resource that player can activate any time either before Step 1 or Step 4.
By activating the Jester, the player will discard their entire hands and draw back up to 8 cards. In Step 1 means before playing any card and in Step 4, before taking any damage.
This can be done even if player don’t have any card at all. Obviously, the best way is to wait until we have 1 card left or so but the situation may dictates differently.
IMPORTANT NOTE. The player can only draw back a number of cards available from the draw pile or Tavern. If there is none then using the Jester card is a waste.
With 2 Jester cards, that means there are 2 chances to use, so use wisely. The idea here is mostly because there is a chance that the single player will have no Diamond card at all. In multiplayer game, there is a chance that one of the other players may have one to allow drawing. They can even communicate a bit using the Jester. So, this is how they implement that same idea for just 1 player.
There is a cost though. Whether we spend the Jester to replace the hand of cards will change the victory level. If the single player can win the game without using any Jester at all, they will get GOLD VICTORY.
Spending one and they will only get Silver and for both, they get Bronze. Also, spending Jester card DOES NOT CANCEL THE IMMUNITY in Solo mode.
Some people who are very competitive may not like this idea. They might feel that they don’t get a fair chance on getting that Gold Victory.
I personally, have not won the game higher than Silver. It is not rare to get Silver at least.
Some others may argue that if the player keeps track of the Diamond cards between the deck, discard pile, played cards and their hand, they may prevent it. That might be true but I don’t want to play that way. I just enjoy what I can get.
Another reason why it feels unfair is because that even the starting hand may end up having no Diamond at all. In that case, they already lose that chance. Even though, I would argue that we can just reset the game since it is still just first round. Yes, that happens occasionally and it sucks.
Also, it seems like we need to thoroughly shuffle the deck so that Diamond cards spread more evenly. But this is a problem even in multiplayer mode.
I guess, for those who only play solo, they don’t get to experience the other purposes of this Jester Card like changing turn order I personally don’t miss it but maybe I do with the cancelling ability.
The cancelling ability might be more crucial than it appears, especially with 4 players. This is because each player only has 5 cards. All of those 5 could be all low value cards and the enemy can instantly defeat that player.
Usually when I play solo, I have to use Jester the first time between Jack to Queen cards or at least after all Jack cards have been defeated. If I can hold it long enough then maybe I don’t need to use the 2nd one. Otherwise, between Queens to Kings or after all of the Queens, I have to use the 2nd one.
I had that moment where I didn’t have any cards from the draw pile after the 2nd card. Luckily I managed to win before I need to draw again.
Animal Companion (Aces)
Every Ace card has an animal illustration. They are called Animal Companion. While players can play them as a single card during step 1, the value is still just 1. Alternatively, these cards can be combined with 1 other card except for Jesters. This can be done even with different suits.
When combined, the value of 2 cards will be compounded for the attack and for each Suit’s Power. For example, if we play Animal from Diamond and 8 of Clubs, the total value is 9. The total attack power is 18 because the double effect from Club. At the same time, player draws 9 cards.
In the case both cards have the same suit, they only trigger the special ability once. This is similar if one of the suits is cancelled because of enemy’s immunity.
NOTE. If Heart and Diamond are played together, we resolve the Heart first, returning cards to draw pile, and then draw the cards.
Combos with Low Value Cards
In Regicide, we can also play multiple cards in a turn but using low value cards of the same value. Another restriction is that the total value cannot exceed 10. This means we can play 4 Aces, 4 of 2s, 3 of 3s, 2 of 2s, 2 of 3s, 2 of 4s and 2 of 5s. Nothing can be done with cards above 5.
NOTE. Animal Companion cannot be combined with Combos. However, we can still play 4 of Aces even though it will not give a good result.
Same as with Animal Companions, the total value is added for the attack and for all suits power that are not cancelled by the immunity. As an example, players can play 4 of 2s, with 4 different suits.
In that case, the total value is 8. That means, player returns 8 cards from discard pile, draws a total of 8 cards, decreases the enemy’s attack power by 8, and deals 8×2 damage.
A nice touch from the illustration is that characters from these low value cards depict younger characters or kids. While the higher value ones, 6 to 10 are more adults. I personally didn’t notice this but it can help as a reminder.
That means, when we play combos, we will see a group of kids attacking the enemies.
These are the Jacks, Queens and Kings from the deck. In this game, we will be fighting against them, starting from all Jacks first and then Queens and finally the Kings. After defeating them one by one, they may become our ally to defeat the higher rank cards.
At the start of the game these cards will create their own face down deck called the Castle. First all of the Kings will be at the bottom in random order. Then the Queens are placed on top of them before finally the Jacks. We then flip the top card and that will become the first Jack cards we have to face.
After defeating them, they will either go to discard pile or immediately to the draw deck. Players can then draw them and play them like the rest of the cards but not like Jesters.
Each rank has 4 cards, one for each suit. As an enemy, they don’t cannot use the Suit’s power like the player but they get the immunity of that suit. Players by default cannot use the power of the suit that matches with the current enemy. We cannot draw cards when facing against the Diamond enemies, no returning cards against Hearts, no decreasing attack against Spades and no double damage against Clubs.
With this system, each enemy becomes its own puzzle, combined with the situation of the player’s hand of cards. There will be moments when players have a lot of Diamond cards but the enemy blocks that power and players cannot draw card. Random order between each rank itself can create different experience.
By going through all of the same lowest rank first, for every 4 cards, we probably can guess which suit would be the last one. We then have to make a plan around it.
Each enemy has health and attack power. We need to decrease their health in order to beat them. The attack power is the damage they will inflict to the active player if the enemy hasn’t been defeated after the active player’s attack.
The enemies may have different suits and immunity but for the same rank, they have the same Health and Power.
Jack: 20 Health, 10 Attack
Queen: 30 Health, 15 Attack
King: 40 Health, 20 Attack
Taking 10 points of attack from one of the Jack means the player must discard a number of cards until the total value is at least 10. This works the same for Queens and Kings but with more powerful attack.
Since player only has 5 to 8 cards at a time, depending on player count, the enemy can instantly defeat the player if the player doesn’t have cards with enough value. The attack our counterattack from enemy happens at Step 4 of the player’s turn.
Luckily, there is no modifier for the attack. We know the exact damage we are going to get before we make any decision during Step 1. At that point, the active player can tell whether they’ve already lost the game or they can keep going.
The choices are either deal a lot of damage to beat the enemy before they can counter attack. Or, they can use the Spade Power to decrease the enemy’s attack. That way, the active player can take less to no damage at all.
Maybe they can survive but they cannot play the card and just taking damage. This is called YIELD. They let the other players do the damage but this is not an available option for solo mode.
When these enemies become our allies or hand of cards, they will use only one value. Their attack power as enemies becomes their only value for attacking and taking damage. As an example, if we play a Queen, they will deal 15 damage points to the current enemy. We can also discard a Queen to take 15 damage.
Since we will be facing the next enemy which is either as or more powerful than the previous one, getting the previous enemy can give a huge advantage, Jack cards in our hand can take 10 damage from another Jack enemy. When facing a higher rank, the lower rank can still soften the blow. For example, 10 defense from a Jack against 15 attack from the Queen or 15 defense from Queen against 20 from Kings.
Even between the same rank, one Royal Card with double damage can instantly defeat the next same rank Royal, except for Club of course. The question is then how do we get them to our hand after we defeat them?
In general these enemies will go to discard pile. We then need to play a Heart card which will randomly return cards from discard pile to the bottom of the draw deck. In that case, there are 2 variables that may prevent us from getting those cards.
Luckily, there is a way to bypass that process. The Royal Card can go straight to the top of draw pile without entering the discard pile. At that point, we just need to play a Diamond and one player will get that card.
To do that, we just need to deal an exact damage as the remaining health of the enemy. This counts the double damage from Clubs which is mandatory to be activated. As an example, we need to play a card with a value 2 to the enemy with 2 Health left or 1 of Club assuming the enemy is not immune to it.
With this idea, the game encourages us to play a bit accurately instead of just deal the highest damage possible. If then the enemy can no longer counterattack, it may involves playing less powerful cards and beat the enemy later just to deal that exact damage.
Of course, there is a chance that we may not have any good card to make that happen. Well, at least, the players have the incentive to even look for that chances. There might be a better option.
All of the Characters
As mentioned before, the publisher is building a world or setting around this game. They gave each character on the card a name. We can find all of them on their website or the Kickstarter campaign page. Well, knowing the name is not going to help us win the game but it’s a nice thematic touch.
At this point there are only names, no background stories. Maybe later when they finally release Regicide Legacy, we can find out more about these characters.
Here are their names.
Actually, I couldn’t find the name of the new J, Q, K of Diamond as Bard. Those are the names of the original set. Here are the names of the previous Diamond Class.
Well, those are all of the components from the Regicide deck to play the game. As mentioned we can easily replace it with Standard Playing cards. We can now learn how to play Regicide using these cards.
How to Play
Regicide is a cooperative game for 1 to 4 players. Since there is an element of limited communication where players cannot tell their cards to the other players, the official solo variant is a true solo, not multi handed.
The multiplayer variant is almost the same, except the hand size and the number of Jester cards in play. How we use the Jester cards in solo variant is a bit different.
Below is the official how to play video by the publisher, displaying a 3-player game.
1st. Create the Enemy Deck called THE CASTLE. Start with shuffling all King cards from four suits and place them face down. Then do the same with the Queen cards and put them face down on top of the King cards. Lastly, do it again with the 4 Jacks.
Place the Castle Deck at the center of the table and flip the top card which is the first random Jack. This will be the first and current enemy.
Leave some space next to the Castle Deck for 2 things: Tavern Deck and Discard Pile.
2nd. Depending on the player count, set aside a number of Jester cards. For 2 players, no Jester cards will be used. 1 Jester card for 3 players and 2 Jester cards for 4.
Then shuffle the Jester cards along with the remaining cards from A to 10 of all 4 suits. This will create the TAVERN DECK or the Draw Pile. Place the Tavern Deck face down next to the Castle Deck.
For Solo variant, the Jester cards will not be included in the Tavern Deck nor it will get into player’s hand. Instead place the 2 Jester Cards in front of the player. They can be activated by the player at any time during the game, following the rules.
3rd. Deal cards from the Tavern Deck to each player up to the maximum hand size, based on the number of players. These will be player’s starting hand. Players are not allowed to tell the other players which card they have in their hand but they can tell how many cards left.
1 player: 8 cards
2 players: 7 cards
3 players: 6 cards
4 players: 5 cards
Choose the starting player and we are ready to begin the game.
In Regicide, players will be facing against one enemy at a time before moving onto the next one in Castle Deck. Players then take turns in clockwise order, each resolving 4 steps before the next player goes.
If any player does not have enough cards to take damage from the current enemy, all players lose the game. Players win if they can survive and defeat the last King which happens during STEP 3.
They can also lose the game if they have to play a card during Step 1 but they have none. In this case, they also cannot Yield and have to play.
Here are the 4 Steps that each player has to resolve on their turn.
SOLO ONLY STEP 1: FLIP A JESTER CARD
For multiplayer mode, skip this part.
Before playing a card at all during Step 1, the solo player can choose to flip the available Face up Jester cards. This allows the player to discard their remaining cards in hand and draw back to 8 (hand size for solo).
After drawing, the player still need to play a card like regular Step 1. The player only draw the available cards from the Tavern deck. So, if the deck runs out of cards or has insufficient cards, flipping the Jester might not be the best idea.
After using the Jester, that Jester card stays facedown for the rest of the game. So, solo player can only do this twice in the entire session.
Flipping a Jester Card in solo mode DOES NOT CANCEL THE ENEMY IMMUNITY.
STEP 1: PLAY A CARD OR YIELD
In this step, the active player can choose to play 1 or more cards from their hand or Yield. Playing cards means activating the Power (Step 2) and attacking the enemy (Step 3).
If the enemy hasn’t been defeated by Step 3, then in Step 4, the active player will take damage by discarding one or more cards from their remaining hand. So, at this point, players need to consider keeping cards to take the damage later instead of playing them to attack if that attack is insufficient to beat the enemy.
Yield means skipping the Step 1 to 3 and go straight to Step 4 (taking damage). This option doesn’t work in Solo.
NOTE: A player may not yield if every other player has yielded on their last turn. For example, in 3-player game, if 2 players have yielded in a row, the 3rd one may not yield. If then that last player doesn’t have a card to play, they all lose the game.
Playing card or cards means placing that card from their hand on the table to create a single row right below the enemy. The next played cards should be placed to continue on the same row. These cards stay in that row until the current enemy has been defeated.
The value of the played cards determines the Attack value and the value of the Suit’s Power. There are a couple of possible ways to play card. Players can either:
One. Play ONLY Jester card. (For 3 or 4 players) and Skip Step 2 to 4.
Two. Play 1 Card, go to Step 2.
Three. Play a COMBO, go to Step 2.
Four. Play 1 Card + 1 Animal Companion, go to Step 2.
or they can YIELD (for Multiplayer mode).
Enemy’s Immunity (Before Step 2)
Each enemy is immune to the suit’s power of the cards played against them which match their suit. So, before resolving Step 2 above, check the Enemy’s Immunity and do not activate the Power of the matching suit.
The exception is when a Jester card from is played from a player’s hand against that enemy before the current active player’s turn. This applies only in 3 and 4-player game. Jester cards are basically cancelling the Enemy’s Immunity. More about this below.
With this immunity, players are encouraged to consider playing cards with the other suits during the Step 1. But depending on the situation, it’s possible that playing cards with the matching suit is still the best option.
If players still play cards with the matching suit, the attack value during Step 3 still happens. And if they play with another card with different suits, the Power of those suits can be activated. The value of the matching suit still affects the Power of the other suit.
STEP 2: ACTIVATE THE PLAYED CARD’S SUIT’S POWER
There are 4 suits, 2 Red (Heart and Diamonds) and 2 Black (Spades and Clubs). The 2 Red suits are activated during this Step 2 while the 2 Blacks take effect in later steps.
The power of every suit from the cards played are activated unless the enemy is immune to it. Playing multiple cards with the same suit will only activate the power once.
Here are the Powers. NOTE: SUIT POWERS ARE MANDATORY to be activated.
Heart (Heal from Discard)
During Step 2, shuffle the discard pile and count the number of cards facedown equal to the attack value played. Place them under the Tavern Deck then return the remaining discard pile on the table face up.
Players are not allowed to peek which cards were returned. If there are less cards than the value in the discard pile, only return what’s available.
Diamond (Draw from Tavern)
Starting from the active player, players take turns draw a card from the top of Tavern Deck to their own hand until a number of cards equal to the attack value played have been drawn. Players that have reached the maximum hand sized are skipped.
Also, players can only draw what’s available from the Tavern Deck. This means, if there are not enough cards in the Tavern deck, it’s better to Heal first with the Heart suit.
Club (Double the Damage)
During Step 3, damage dealt by clubs counts for double. As an example, playing 8 of Clubs deals 16 Damage to the enemy.
Spades (Shield against Enemy Attack)
During Step 4, the attack value from Spade card decreases the Enemy’s Attack permanently and cumulatively. Every played Spade Card by any player contributes to decreasing the current Enemy Attack and remain in effect until the enemy has been defeated.
Step 3: DEAL DAMAGE TO ENEMY
Damage equal to the attack value of the played card (Double with Activated Club) is dealt to the enemy, decreasing their Health value. If the total damage so far is at least equal or higher, then the enemy is defeated. Otherwise, the active player proceeds to Step 4.
Depending on the rank, the enemy will have different Health.
J: 20 Health
Q: 30 Health
K: 40 Health
In case the enemy is defeated, do the following:
One. Place the Enemy card in the discard pile. If the players dealt damage exactly equal to the Enemy’s health, place the Enemy card facedown on top of the Tavern Deck. This means, that Enemy will be the first to be drawn.
Two. Place all cards played by players against that Enemy to the discard pile.
Three. Reveal the top card of THE CASTLE DECK as the next Enemy. If there is no more card in the Castle Deck, PLAYERS WIN the game. They have defeated all 4 Jacks, 4 Queens and 4 Kings.
Four. The Player who just defeated the Enemy skips Step 4 and begins with Step 1 against the new Enemy.
STEP 4 SOLO ONLY: FLIP A JESTER CARD
For the solo mode, before taking any damage during Step 4, the player can also choose to Flip a Jester card. Similar to using the Jester in Step 1, player can discard their entire hand to draw back cards back to 8 (solo hand limit).
The player can only draw back what’s available from the Tavern deck. If there are none or insufficient cards, maybe it’s not the best way to use the Jester.
After using the Jester, that Jester card stays facedown for the rest of the game. So, solo player can only do this twice in the entire session.
Flipping a Jester Card in solo mode DOES NOT CANCEL THE ENEMY IMMUNITY.
After drawing back, the player still has to resolve Step 4, taking damage if the enemy still has Attack Power.
STEP 4: SUFFER DAMAGE
During this Step, the enemy will counterattack against the active player. Enemy with different rank will have different base Attack Value. The attack values among the same rank are the same regardless of their suit.
J: 10 Attack Points
Q: 15 Attack Points
K: 20 Attack Points
Before applying the damage, this is the time to activate the SPADE POWER. These decrease the enemy’s Attack, unless the enemy is immune to that Power. Each Spade card will decrease the Attack power once using the card’s value but permanently.
For example, if the Enemy is a non-Spade King with the Attack of 20, and the player played 10 of Spade, the attack is lowered to 10. During the next player’s turn, still against this enemy, the attack is still 10 and that next player can also play another Spade to even lower the attack.
Enemy’s attack can be 0 in which case, players no longer have to discard cards to take damage.
NOTE FOR PLAYING JESTER FROM HAND. In the case that the enemy is one of the Spade, playing a Spade card will not reduce the attack. However, if after playing that Spade card, another player plays their Jester, the previous Spade cards played to this enemy will start taking effect. The decreasing attack value starts with the next Step 4.
Players taking a damage means they have to discard cards from their hand to the discard pile. They have to discard cards one by one until the total value is at least the same as the remaining Attack Value of the current enemy. So, if the enemy attack is 10, that player needs to discard a 4 and then a 6 or just 1 10 or 2 5s.
Players can also use this chance to remove more cards by overpaying. They can start discarding the lower cards first, then add more until the value matches. This is a viable strategy if the next player is about to use the Diamond Power to draw cards.
After taking the damage, IT’S FINE TO HAVE NO CARD IN HAND.
However, if the player doesn’t have enough cards to take damage that matches with the enemy’s attack value, that player is eliminated, and all players lose the game.
After the active player is done taking the damage, the next player in clockwise order begins their turn, starting with STEP 1. Players continue taking turns fighting enemies one at a time until the game ends.
Yielding (Step 1, Multiplayer)
When playing multiplayer, during Step 1, the active player can choose to YIELD. This means, they don’t play any card, no activating any Power during Step 2 or dealing damage to the enemy during Step 3. So, they skip Step 2 and 3 and go straight to Step 4, taking damage.
This is a viable option when that active player has not enough cards to both play a card during Step 1 and taking damage during Step 4. In the case of Yielding, they can survive the damage if they keep cards in hand, not playing them during Step 1.
Another possible reason for choosing to yield instead is the active player wants to avoid defeating the current enemy and dealing with the next one. Maybe they have enough card to defeat the current one but they might not be able to even take damage from the next enemy.
In that case, hopefully the next players do something like activating Diamond.
NOTE. YIELDING is not allowed if all other players have yielded on their last turn. This is to prevent endless yielding, maybe in the moment that the current enemy is no longer dealing any damage during Step 4.
The active player can choose to defeat the current enemy and then during the next enemy, they can start yielding again as previously that active player broke consecutive yielding.
Animal Companions (Step 1)
Instead of playing just 1 card, the active player can play 1 card plus one of any of the Ace. This combination is called Animal Companions. That one card can be anything from A to 10 and the Royal Cards except Jester.
In this case, the attack value is the value of that 1 card plus 1 (value of the Ace). If the Animal Companion has different suit from the other card, the active player has to activate both, unless one of them is a matching suit with the current enemy.
If the 2 played suits are Diamond and Heart, player has to resolve the Heart first, returning cards from discard pile to the Tavern deck, before drawing cards using Diamond.
As an example, when playing 8 of Diamonds with the Animal Companion from Club, the total attack value is 9. Using the Club to double the attack, that player deals 18 to the enemy. With the Diamond, players draw a total of 9 cards distributed to all players.
If the 2 played suits are the same suit, the active player only activate once.
Combos (Step 1)
Besides Animal Companions, the active player can also play 2 or more cards by creating combos. They can play several cards that they want from their hand with the same value as long as the total value doesn’t exceed 10.
Here are the possible combos.
Double: A, 2, 3, 4, 5
Triple: A, 2, 3
Quadruple: A, 2
NOTE: Playing multiple Animal Companions is possible as a Combo but it is not the best use of those cards.
Also, players cannot play both Combos and Animal Companions at the same time. So, it is not allowed to add A to triple 2s or 1 other card to 2 Aces.
Just like when playing Animal Companions, the total value of all played cards will be combined which affects the Attack and the Suit’s Power. This means, in any combo, the highest possible total value is always 10 (with 2 5s.)
As an example, when playing 3 of Diamonds, Clubs and Spades together, players will draw 9 cards total, dealing 18 damage and reduce enemy’s attack by 9.
Playing a Jester Card (Step 1, 3 or 4 players)
This is different from flipping a Jester card in solo mode. The active player can play just 1 Jester card during Step 1. This will cancel the current Enemy’s immunity until the enemy has been defeated.
After that, the active player skips Step 2, 3 and 4. The active player can then choose which player to go next, instead of the next player in clockwise order. This includes choose that active player themselves to go again.
Before choosing which player to go next, players can declare whether they have a good hand or not to go next. They still cannot tell exactly which card they have in hand. It’s just whether they can survive if they go next and later.
After the chosen player’s turn then the turn order continues in clockwise order after that chosen one.
NOTE. When playing a Jester against the Spade enemy, any Spade cards played prior to the Jester for the same enemy will begin reducing the attack Value that will happen in subsequent Step 4. The same does not apply to Clubs.
This is why any played card is supposed to be placed in a single row in front of the enemy by all players. That way, it will be easier to keep track cards played before or after.
In general players are not allowed to give any kind of information that reveal or suggest the exact contents of their hand of cards to the other players. They may reveal the number of cards left in their hand.
This can change a bit when playing with Jester cards in 3 or 4-player game. See PLAYING A JESTER CARD above.
The game ends either players win or lose. They win after defeating the Last King. Players lose if one of the player is unable to satisfy the damage dealt by an enemy. The players also lose if they cannot play a card or yield on their turn.
In Solo Mode, depending on how many Jester Cards used during the game, the player can have different Achievement of Victory.
2 Jester cards played: BRONZE VICTORY
1 Jester card played: SILVER VICTORY
0 Jester card played: GOLD VICTORY
That is it with how to play Regicide.
My Experience & Thoughts about the Game
First of all, I haven’t tried playing with multiplayer. I tried 2-handed just to learn but even that there is no Jester card. My experience so far is mostly just solo mode so maybe I’m not the best to talk about this game as a whole.
Just by reading the rule, it seems very interesting, at least, for the player who gets that Jester Card. That player can cancel the immunity and change turn order. Cancelling the immunity itself is not always that important. Especially against the Heart and maybe Club. I mean, there is a chance that we even use that card for taking damage anyway.
Diamond is indeed more important but then if we have Spades that can reduce the attack to 0 or Clubs that can instantly defeat the enemy, then it is not a big deal. Spade is, especially interesting with Jester as we can play Spade cards first against the Spade enemy but then after we play Jester, the effect will start reducing the enemy’s attack.
All of that sounds interesting but then there are only 2 Jester cards and no player is allowed to tell the other player even if they have one. Besides the one with that card, nobody can really make a plan around it. If anything all they can do is abandon that plan once they know the card has been just played. It’s not like the card can suddenly come back to the draw pile immediately.
So, the Jester cards in play will only add challenge for the one that has the card. Ideally, they will want to hold it until the tough opponent, which again, probably against Diamond or Spade. Until then, it will take one spot.
My problem with this idea is that I would rather just place that Jester card on the table face down instead of keeping it in my hand. But then some players might take it like I’m giving a clue to the other players which is not allowed. Maybe it’s like playing The Mind.
I don’t know how likely this will happen but some specific expert player can still notice that I haven’t touched one specific card in my hand. In that case, am I supposed to shuffle the card unnecessarily just to confuse the teammate?
I can see how some people might have problem with this limited communication mechanism in other games.
There is a chance that the way player play Jester is just because that is the only card left for taking damage. It’s not because they plan for it. So, it is still like in solo mode, just safety net. However, unlike Solo mode, the card is not always available. This way, maybe playing with higher player count makes the game harder.
Even if those Jester cards come out randomly, when they do show up and we know the next one is a Diamond or Spade enemy, we might want to hold it. It doesn’t matter if that player goes twice. A benefit of changing turn order.
Changing the player order as the other benefit for playing a Jester adds interesting interaction between players. But maybe less when all players have a good experience to play it well. Otherwise, then the better player must kind of explain to the other what the other player should consider, while still not revealing any card.
Whoever goes next should consider not only about surviving the next turn but the likelihood that the next player can survive as well. They need to check the next player’s remaining card and decide whether it is a good idea to play Diamond or not.
If then the next player manage to beat the current enemy, they need to make sure that they can survive the next encounter. This means, starting to consider which is the possible next enemy based on what has come out so far.
This way players cannot be selfish and only think about their survival. They need to make sure the other players can as well or they all lose the game. This is true even without that Jester card which makes this a good cooperative game. The Jester cards mechanism just adds layers of interaction.
Yielding is also not available in solo. I don’t have any idea how often that will happen with different player count. While it introduces alternative option during Step 1 but I don’t think it makes the game more interesting.
Generally, in this game, playing defensive is not going to help long term. Yielding unnecessarily will just waste cards. It’s just sometimes we do need to survive. So, the option is just “can I survive with my remaining cards if I play one of them to attack? If not then just Yield.”
Also, yielding works assuming that the next player can still do something or still has enough cards. With the limited communication, yielding is just because, mostly, we have no better choice. It’s not like the other player can tell the active one to just yield and let they finish the job.
So, this is like playing solo where we are forced to Flip a Jester. Not because we have other choice. Basically we lose if we have flipped both Jester cards.
Another interesting cooperation aspect that is not available in solo is the way we draw cards using Diamonds. We don’t just draw to refill our hands but for the other players as well. We have to care about the other player’s remaining cards.
In solo, only 8 cards while with 2, we get a total of 14, 18 for 3 and 20 for 4. That means, in solo, sometimes playing more than 8 Diamonds feels like a waste. But with 4, King of Diamonds is very useful for drawing. Well, for solo, it is good enough to take damage which makes it a great way for player scaling.
With full 4 players and up to 20 cards at a time, the deck will run out of cards very fast. That means, those Heart cards are more important than just for taking damage.
I guess the lower hand size from each player is the one that will force players to Yield. In higher player count, one player may have full hand but all with low values and the enemy can instantly eliminate that player. But at that point, even Yielding is not going to help.
I can imagine it’s going to sucks when that happens because that is due to randomness. So, there is a trade-off between more interesting player interaction idea in more players but swingy compared to just play solo.
In solo, that can happen and the bad part is just we probably cannot get Gold Victory. I got a lot of Silver victory but not even close to getting a Gold. Not that I can control it anyway. I personally don’t worry too much about winning perfectly as long as the entire game is interesting, which it is.
In this game, tracking and remembering played cards might be beneficial but I don’t know how significant it will help. I don’t think it is a good idea to wait for specific card to come out even if we can track where the cards are between discard pile, deck, hands or playing area.
So far, I’ve been talking about mainly the cooperation aspect of Regicide. How is the other part?
There are still a lot of interesting choice with the hand management. Obviously, taking damage to survive will be the first consideration as which card to discard first. If it is possible to reduce the attack, is it a good option?
In case that was not enough, how about instantly beat the enemy with Clubs? The next part is we need to keep the supply, whether having enough cards in hand or cards in Tavern deck.
Then there are options to combine cards, especially with Animal Companions. This is a good way to balance low value cards and make them more valuable. Even Ace of Diamond can lead to draw full hand of cards when paired with a 10 of any suit.
Sometimes I do use less efficient cards to take damage just so I can play a better combos. With certain cards in hand, there are different possibilities we can explore.
On the other hand, keeping those low value cards might put players in higher risk. The stronger player can easily deplete those cards with just a single attack. We might not even survive at that point. So, maybe it’s not a bad idea to play those combos immediately.
It’s very surprising that this game can offer that escalating arc. The enemy gets stronger and players have that chance as well by playing the previous enemy.
This makes the dealing exact damage to beat the enemy becomes very important. That way, players gain access immediately to that previous enemy which is very critical. I don’t think it is essential especially if we have good enough cards in hand to take damage from the next enemy.
But having that card as soon as possible is very helpful. With that idea, players might want to think differently how to play their cards. They may decide to make the fight a bit longer. Well, at least that is what makes it interesting in solo game. Maybe a bit harder with more players due to limited communication.
It adds some randomness between players. The next player just needs to decide whether it is possible to deal exact damage with what they have in hand, not relying on the next player.
The biggest problem of this game is probably having no Diamond cards at all. Besides in solo mode with available Jester, the game is unwinnable at that point. Especially after playing a Diamond to refill back the hand of cards and hoping that one of the new card is a Diamond and there was none.
About a quarter of the deck are Diamond cards. What are the chances that we get no Diamond cards in a row, assuming we shuffle the deck very well? Even a friend of mine can’t get over with that possibility and consider the game is badly design.
Maybe less problematic with 4 players as there should be about 20 cards in 4 hands. What are the chances that none of them is a Diamond?
While I don’t think it is that big of a deal but then it sucks to start worrying that I cannot even win the game. Not because I play poorly but because of randomness.
However, I think I want to emphasize that the main goal design is to utilize the Standard deck of cards. It’s not like a new game where they can just add more cards or more components to mitigate that situation. That idea of perfectly designed game comes with a production cost while this one can be very cheap because we can just use Standard cards we probably already have.
I did get bad play of it but then the game is fast and easy to reset. Just take another session and try again. It’s not perfect but it is a good value, especially considering the price.
For that same reason, the game may not offer replay value that high. While the order of the card may change from game to game, it doesn’t really change the experience that much. Not every game has that or even need to offer that.
Overall, Regicide is still a great way to play using Standard deck of cards. I don’t know how many variants are there that can be played cooperatively or solo but this one offers a good one. I definitely highly recommend people giving Regicide a try.
Session Reports and More Pictures
Usually, I share a session report of playing a game on BGG. Here are the links of each session for this game.
I also put turn-by-turn pictures of a session and unboxing pictures for every game on my collection that anybody can find on my Instagram. For this game, search for #RegicideAtHomeOfMark on IG for all of the sessions.
Also, check out my blog on BGG. I occasionally write a detailed session report / written playthrough for a game that I’ve played. In each, I will explain the decision process during the game every turn.
Regicide is a cooperative game for 1 to 4 players that we can play using the Standard Playing cards with 52 cards, 4 suits and 2 Joker cards. Thematically, the game is set in fantasy world where players are leading group of characters trying to overthrown the corrupt Kings.
Before they can get to the King, they have to face their underlings from the 4 Jacks and then Queens and eventually each of 4 Kings. Those underlings we’ve defeated early can eventually join the band and fight against the more powerful enemies.
The main mechanism is hand management. Players will get a hand of these character cards that has a value between 1 (Ace) to 10 from those 4 suits that represent the Classes.
Each turn, player can play 1 card to attack the enemy using the value stated by the character card and activate the ability from their class. The value also determines how powerful the ability is.
Warriors (Clubs) can deal double damage to the enemy. Paladin (Spades) can set some Defense which reduce the enemy attack.
Clerics (Hearts) will heal injured characters from previous fight make them ready to join the battle again. This translates to returning cards from discard pile back to the draw pile.
Bards (Diamonds) has special power to recruit those characters, bringing them to the group to fight. This allows players to draw cards back to their hand.
After resolving the attack, if the enemy is not defeated, they will counterattack. The target player then has to discard remaining character cards from their hand with the same total value.
This makes the card multiuse. Since the enemy attack is open information with no random modifier, players can plan ahead the entire turn. That means, the active player has to decide which one to attack and which to discard for the damage.
There is an option to yield and the player will just take damage. This is important because if one player is eliminated, everybody lose the game.
Most of the time, each player can only play 1 card per turn but there are options to play more with Animal Companions using Aces and doing Combos of low value cards. When playing multiple cards, player can activate multiple powers.
The Ace cards are worth just 1 point but when they are combined with other cards, the value still increases for both powers. Playing combos means playing a set of cards with the same value but the total value must be 10 or lower.
This is a good way to scale low value cards and players might want to hold them to make that combo. On the other hand, that will still take up space in hand as the hand size never change, except for different player count.
The enemies will always have the same Health and Attack based on their Rank. What makes it different is the suit power. They don’t activate power like players but they are immune to it. So, when facing each enemy, players cannot use one of the power.
In some limited ways, players can plan around for it. They know which next enemy they are going to face based on what has come out previously.
Regicide has a good escalating arc. Enemies are getting stronger towards the end but since players get access to the previous enemies, they are getting stronger as well. The game encourages player to find a way to have fast access to the recently defeated enemy by dealing exact final blow. So, it’s not always just play whatever because it doesn’t matter.
As solo game, Regicide already offers interesting decisions of how to play those Multiuse cards. With more players, there are more cooperative aspects like how playing Jester cards can change turn order. Players still cannot tell which cards they have but each of them needs to be aware with the other player’s situation and try to help the other to survive.
I will say that Regicide might not be a perfect game. Some people might not like the flaw with lack of access to Diamond cards to draw more. But considering the price, size and experience that it can offer, I will still recommend people to give it a try at least.
More Similar Games
There are many tabletop games out there whether a board or card game that might share some similarities with Regicide. Some people may look for those similarities that they enjoy. It can be the mechanism or even just the same theme or setting.
Usually, a board game will have a lot of elements. It is kind of difficult find another game where everything is similar. Which is why, in this section, I try to break them into things that I enjoy from the game and point out games that share the same experience.
These next games are just some games that I have tried, played and written a review for them, up to this point. Check out the link to each article to find out more and also check this Complete list for more games.
Also, check out my blog on BGG. There are more games that I’ve played but I haven’t had the chance to write a review for each.
Assigning Multiuse Cards for Different Phases
For me, the one of things that makes Regicide interesting is the use of Multiuse cards. I’m talking specifically about the value. The value can represent the attack power to the enemy but it can also represent the defense or health when taking damage to the opponent.
However, cards with the same value will have different features, in this case the Suit that can trigger different power. There will always a tough decision between trying to utilize the power but also we need to survive now and that might be the only card with the right value.
There are a lot of games that use this mechanism. In the case of Regicide, we can plan out the entire turn from Step 1, playing a card until Step 4 taking damage. What’s going to happen in the entire turn is open information and we will try to mitigate that.
We have to decide and assign which card to play and which card for taking that damage. So, it is not just one card at a time, even though we probably try to skip the last step by defeating the enemy first.
The first game that I’ve played with similar idea is Adventure of D. In this one, we will be moving the pawn or character in a grid from one space to the adjacent one.
We have a hand of multiuse cards that can be used for movement, to complete the challenge or activate some abilities. The difference is that there is a random element between moving and taking action which can cost more cards. So, we need to carefully plan or we can end up doing very inefficient move.
Aerion is another one with Multiuse card. However, in this one, we don’t actually have a hand of cards. Instead there are up to 6 cards that we can try to get by having the right set of dice. However, to manipulate the dice, we can discard those cards to reroll. If we are not careful enough, we might end up discarding the card that we are trying to get.
So, while we are doing just 1 action, taking up to just 1 card, we need to plan ahead. Based on the initial dice roll and the available cards to be discarded, we need to figure out how likely we can get that required poker set from the dice.
Peloponnes Card Game is another one. In this one, we have Coin Cards that on the front show different kind of resources. We can spend them as Coin for Bidding in earlier part of the round or keep them and use them in the latter part of the round. Whether it is for the resources to construct the building or in future rounds to pay for food.
Fleet, the card game one also has this Multiuse card. Every round, we have to do auction first, launch a boat and hire Captain for the launched boats. All of them must be done using the same Boat Cards.
Different Boat Cards have different value of money. We also can only launch a boat that we have the license for. Like Peloponnes, the bidding part has random part that may force players to spend more cards. So, we will be planning the entire round, first by assigning cards for the last two actions and then if we can afford, we spend more to win the bid.
I think The Lost Expedition can be considered as well. In this one, every round, we will get like 6 cards and we have to assign them into 2 phases to create a line of cards. Each card will have icons that becomes the action and penalties that the character must take.
The goal is to make sure that the character can go through those cards from left to right safely while getting the necessary resources. Some cards can even cancel or skip the effect of another card. Each phase will then rearrange the card differently.
Oh My Goods! is another card game with Multiuse cards. The cards can either become the Factory we are building that round or the resources to start the existing factory or even to boost the production.
Between the planning and the phase where we actually play the card, there is a 2nd market phase which may provide the necessary resources to start the engine. However, during the planning we have to choose which factory to run and how efficient the worker will be. Allocating the cards becomes making a plan B, in case the Market doesn’t go our way.
For non card, multiuse components, Voyages has similar experience. Every round, we roll 3 d6 and have to assign each for 3 different uses. One for the Speed of the ship or how far the ship moves, another one for direction and the last one to complete some tracks and gain bonuses. The current position and spatial aspect will become the restriction to use one value over the other for that specific purpose.
Even during the contest, Regicide was known to be a good cooperative game. Compared to just the solo mode, the cooperative mode introduces a lot of features like limited communications, changing turn order, yielding and let the other players do the damage. For the most part, players can only tell the number of remaining cards but not exactly what cards they have.
Also, drawing cards affects all players as the total cards drawn will be distributed to all players until they have reached their limit. If even just one player loses, they all lose the game.
There are a lot of cooperative games out there. Unfortunately, I play most of my games solo so I’m probably not the best to give recommendation for similar games to Regicide. So, here are just games with cooperative mode that I’ve played and written a review for.
I already mentioned Aerion above. In the cooperative mode of this one, the 2 players will divide the main objective evenly. Each will have their own Workshop that the other player cannot access or give cards to it. However, they have shared space to collectively work on the same Airship.
While we will be mostly minding our own objectives, the cards we can discard to reroll might be very useful for the other player. So, while not exactly helping the other player, we have to try not to make it harder for our partner.
There are other games where they are mainly a solo game but the designers found a way to turn it into cooperative game by distributing the objectives and resources like this. The cooperative point would be a time to share resources to do one thing together.
The Big Book of Madness is a deck building cooperative game. Each player as a Wizard will be dealing with their own Curse in front of them. The thing is that one character might be facing against Curses that are their weaknesses.
In that case, the other player that is probably strong against that Curse can help by providing the necessary cards in a shared pool. At the same time, that player might be losing their chance to beat the Curses in front of them. Then it would be like Regicide where one player has to take damage and let the other players do more work.
Tiny Epic Defenders is a Tower Defense game where we need to move characters around protecting The Castle in the middle and the 6 surrounding spaces. Players will be spending between 3 or 4 Action points to do several different actions.
This game uses a deck of cards to determine turn order between many types of enemies and all of the players randomly. In lower player counts, there is a turn card that can be used by any player. So, players can decide how to distribute those Action Points.
One player can go first in one round but they may go last in the next. So, whoever come out first should consider what the other players can do after that player. Maybe the first one can help activating certain abilities first to make the next player’s action more efficient.
I already mentioned The Lost Expedition. This one also has limited communication mechanism like Regicide. It feels like players need to have the same mindset as how to deal with certain situation in the game like how to Skip bad events or which resources as the first priority.
That is all I can share with you about Regicide, a cooperative game that can be played with Standard Deck of Cards. Clearly this is not the only one out there. There are many variants to play with the deck of 52 cards. Maybe I will explore more.
I may have missed something that I should have discussed regarding the game. Please don’t hesitate to point that out and share what you know related to this game and I will update this article.
I keep saying that these tabletop games can be a good way to spend some time without looking at the screen of our gadget. If we do have someone close, that we can play with, there are other games where we can play cooperatively or competitively but with a lot of player interaction.
The game can be very fast or like a filler type or it can take hours to play. Some games can also be played in solitaire mode and they are still more engaging than other entertainment activity. Some may say, it’s like a workout for the gray matter of our brain.
So, what is your experience on playing this game? If you know other games similar or even better than this, please do share via the comment section below. I would love to learn and play that game, assuming I can get a copy.
This article is just my notes about what I can find from the internet. Hopefully this can help anybody who reads it.
Thanks for reading.