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Designed by Reiner Knizia
Battle cries echo throughout the valley. Shining armor and steely blades glint in the morning sun as battle is joined. A new dawn rises over the Rhine just as a new Duke rises over his rivals. Seizing towns and castles and constructing mighty bastions you fight to consolidate your strongholds, and with the aid of a powerful church, you can outwit your enemies and expand your empire.
Many centuries ago, the Rheinland formed the heart of Europe: Strong Dukes ruled their duchies from powerful castles and gained a rich income from the prosperous cities along the Rhine. Power struggles were commonplace and often were decided through the intervention of the church and it's influential bishops. Now you have the opportunity to rule the Rheinland. By outwitting your opponents and expanding your duchies perhaps you will succeed against your rivals.
This Reiner Knizia game casts players in the roles of dukes who are trying to establish duchies along the banks of the Rhine River. Players hold a hand of cards that correspond to numbered plots on each bank, and they place knights in open plots for which they hold the corresponding cards. After establishing duchies, players attempt to expand them to include more plots of land, as well as buildings - such as castles, cathedrals, and cities. These buildings both add to the value of a duchy and provide their owners with advantages during game play. Combined with a uniquely Knizia-style scoring system, this game has some very interesting dynamics.