Regency and its Structure
The following text is reproduced from one of the three booklets supplied with the boxed game.
One of these booklets explains the rules, one assists new players on strategy and tactics, and the third explains the background to the heraldry and symbolism
decorating the board.
Four great but fictitious Scottish families are represented in this game ~ two highland clans (Purple and Red), and two lowland houses (Blue and Green). Both territory and shields may be identified by their colours. Each family has six shields: those of the Chief, the Heir and four Cadets. The Chief’s shield has no border (bordure); the Heir’s shield also has no border, and is differenced by a label of three points. A shield with a bordure is the shield of a Cadet.
The object of the game is to advance the shield of the Chief to the centre of the board and thereby obtain the Regency. Only a Chief may become the Regent, and the only additional qualification needed to leave the last Sanctuary and move onto the Banner of St Andrew is that one of the Chief’s family (either his Heir or a Cadet) must be in the rank of Earl or Duke.
The progress of the shields clockwise around the board accords to the throw of two white dice, and it is essential that the meaning of the throw is clearly understood. The pips on the two dice are not just added together. If, for example, the two dice show 3 and 5, then one shield may be moved three squares and another shield five squares, or one shield may be moved three squares and then five squares, or one shield may be moved five squares and then three squares. (There is a third die, black, the Witch, whose use is discussed later.) The choice between moving three squares and then five squares in this example could be tactically significant, for it may determine whether an attack is made on a shield already in occupation.

If the same number appears on both dice (a double), the combatant moves one or two shields accordingly, and then must throw again. There is no limit to the number of doubles which may be thrown, and after each double and before his next throw the combatant may release or exchange Hostages (done only before a throw).

The throw of the dice moves clockwise. A shield never moves anti-clockwise.

If the throw of the dice permits a shield to move to a square occupied by a single opponent the move constitutes an attack, and the fate of the opponent is decided by the ownership of the territory in which the attack is made, as indicated by the colours. If the victim is in the attacker’s territory, he is captured, and his shield is moved to his captor’s Dungeon. If the victim is in his own territory he is wounded, and his shield is placed in the Chapel of his castle. If the attack is elsewhere, the victim is dead.

When a Cadet is killed his shield goes to the castle and is placed black side up in his chamber. He plays no further part in the contest. If a Chief is killed, his Heir becomes Chief and is given the Chief’s shield. The Heir’s shield is then returned to the castle where, if the family has not been cursed by the Witch, it is immediately available for the next Heir to ride out. When the Heir is killed, his shield returns to his castle where similarly, if the family has not been cursed, it is immediately available for the next Heir. It can be seen that although a family may lose all its Cadets, it will always, if not cursed, have a Chief and an Heir, for the line of heirs-in-waiting stretches to eternity.

When a shield is in the Chapel (after an attack in its own territory), it may return to its appropriate chamber on the throw of a 6. The move from the Chapel to the chamber uses up that 6, and it is not available to move a shield along the ranks.

A Hostage may be released if his captor so wishes. His shield is then placed on the square of the spurs in front of his captor’s castle, from where it must depart and attempt to clears his captor's territiory using the dice at his family’s next throw, passing through, or resting on top of, as appropriate, any barriers, and powerless but inviolate while in his captor’s territory.

Hostages may be exchanged according to strict rules. A Cadet may be exchanged for a Cadet, and must be exchanged if one of the two combatants concerned, at his turn to play, so wishes. Similarly, a Chief or Heir may be exchanged for a Chief or for an Heir (which are considered of equal value for exchange purposes). A Chief or Heir may be exchanged for two Cadets, and must be exchanged if one of the combatants so wishes. A Chief or Heir may be exchanged for one Cadet, and if the captor of the Chief or Heir at his turn to play so wishes, they must be so exchanged. When an exchange is made, the Hostages are returned to their own castles immediately.

When two shields of the same family or of families in alliance occupy the same square they form a a “schiltrom” (effectively, on a narrow path, a barrier) and may be referred to as a pair. There are three ways in which an enemy may pass over a pair. If he has a pair of his own and he throws a double the two shields may move together. If the throw takes his pair to the square occupied by the barrier pair it is an attack and the shields on the barrier suffer death, capture or wounding as appropriate to the territory in which the attack takes place.
If the throw takes the pair beyond the barrier, they pass over, leaving the barrier unaffected. The second method of passing a barrier may be used only when a pair is in the square adjacent to the barrier. The arrival of the next friendly shield on that square gives numerical superiority, and any one of the shields may then pass the barrier at its turn, providing that it does not alight on top of the barrier. The third way past a barrier is available only with the help of a Witch.
A barrier may be formed by more than two shields, in which case it cannot be attacked by a pair. Moreover, a pair cannot jump past the barrier unless it is leaving a square which, before the pair’s jump, contains the same number of shields as the barrier. If a barrier of three shields has three enemy shields in the adjacent square, one of the enemy shields may move over at its turn when a fourth enemy shield arrives on the square ~ the accumulation of shields climbing tower-like for his purpose alongside a barrier being termed an “escalade”.

When a castle has no shields in it, not even in its Chapel, any Hostages there may be freed, at his turn to play but before he throws the dice, by an opponent who has formed a barrier, alone or with an ally, on the square of the spurs. If this should happen, the Hostages return to the Chapels of their own castles and may leave from there after the throw of a 6, as in the case of a wounded warrior.

The game of Regency may be played by two, three or four combatants. For two the battle may be fought either with two castles or with four castles. The two-castle battle is the faster and very much simpler game (not played by adults but useful for teaching the rules to young children), and the combatants are either both lowlanders or both highlanders. In the four-castle game for two combatants, one combatant takes both highland clans and the other the two lowland houses, so that the allied families are always opposite each other on the board. The two families of each combatant are in alliance from start to finish. In the four-castle game for four combatants, each controls one family and usually play in alliance throughout.

Witchcraft is for desperate situations. A Witch may be summoned to help each family only once and only when, whatever the throw of the white dice, a combatant will not be able to move. If a Witch is used, the combatant takes the black die and throws it with the other two dice. The score of the black die moves the chosen shield through any barrier which can be reached within that number ~ a 1 will assist the shield to pass only the first barrier; a 6 will assist the shield past that first barrier and any other barriers on the next five squares. (The witch will allow also an escape from a dungeon, with the square of the spurs being the first square for the purpose of counting.) The scores of the two white dice are then used from the square reached by the black die. The Witch remains alive until a throw is successful (for example, the throw of a 1 against two barriers on adjacent squares would be unsuccessful, for it would not allow a move), and then the Witch dies with a curse on the family. There is, as there has always been, a penalty for witchcraft. In this case it is the end of the continuous sequence of Heirs, and a combatant knows that, if the family Witch is used, the next time an Heir or Chief is killed there will be no new Heir ready to ride out. The line ends. If at the time the Witch is used only the Chief and Heir survive, the death of one of the two will lose all chance of victory for that family.

Regency may be played in a manner similar to Duplicate Bridge. Any number of boards may be set up in a room with two or four combatants at each board. The dice are thrown at one table, and the result is announced to all the combatants. In this way success and failure may be compared directly by the combatants with their counterparts at other tables.

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Regency ~ A Welcome
Regency ~ a Brief Introduction
Regency ~ a Brief Introduction
Regency and its View of History
Regency and Symbolism
Regency ~ Download the Board
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