Object of the Game & Winning Conditions

The Object of the Game is to have fun.  

Winning conditions vary from game to game, depending on the roles distributed.  Each player's role card has an objective.  The objectives award victory points for completing various tasks.  At the end of the game, all players will reveal their mission cards.

Players tally their victory points from the personal objective on their role card, the community objectives on other players' role cards, and any victory points on placards that they control.  The greatest score wins.

Game Start

Establish the play area, including different locations for each university tableau, one research play station, two competition play stations, and the "bank." 

Games with larger player counts may elect to play with teams.  Each university may have up to three players.  (It is strongly recommended to keep teams as similarly sized as possible.)

Shuffle the role deck.  Deal each player one role card - which includes their scoring objectives for this session.

Players select their initial starting position, specifically which university to play.  Each university starts with resources listed on their tableau.

Players report to their university for the first production phase.


Robes and Rivals has three main types of currencies: scholars, ideas, and money.

Scholar and idea tokens come in three different classes: basic (white), intermediate (green, orange, and purple), and advanced (black).  This color scheme very roughly mirrors various martial arts' belts, where white belts are novices while black belts indicate mastery.  In all cases, advanced tokens may be substituted to pay for basic or intermediate resources of the same type, and intermediate resources may be substituted to pay for basic resources of the same type.

Money is in the currency of Florin.

Game Flow

Robes and Rivals shifts between two main phases: the production phase and the action phase.  During the production phase, players report to their university play area where they can produce on all tableaus they control in that area.  During the action phase, players report to one of three action zones.  After completing the tasks in that action zone, players may interact with each other and may move to or from any play area.

Production Phase

All players report to their university for production.

As a team, players may operate their university tableauTo produce, players must have what is on the left side of an arrow to acquire what is on the right side of an arrow.  Solid black arrows may only be used once during a production phase.  Arrows with both black and white chevrons may be used in either the production phase or the action phase.

Each university starts with a colorful card that they may elect to use on their tableau.  Either side is valid.  Throughout the game, universities may gain more cards through research, competitions, purchases, and trade.  To gain the card's ability, it must be included on the university tableau (and covering an open space.)   Unused cards have no production.

Players on teams must decide how to distribute resources to each other and which play stations to attend.  

Action Phase

During the action phase players may exchange any resources with each other.  (The only things that players may not trade are control of city tableaus, which are permanent.)  There are no assigned values for scholar tokens, idea tokens, money, or stocks -- simply whatever bargain players agree upon.

Research Station

Players who report to the research station may report to one of three play areas: research, politics, and competition.

Conduct Research

Players pay a researcher to pull three idea tokens from the idea bag.  If any idea tokens pulled match their researcher, then they keep the research idea tokens.  If no tokens match their player token, then they receive money.  (White scholars collect 5 Florin, while Green/Purple/Orange scholars collect 20 florin.)

Immediately after players draw ideas from the bag, they may purchase one research card for use on their university's tableau.

After each player conduct research, refresh the idea bag with 5 idea tokens of each type.  (If there are not enough idea tokens, then do not replenish the bag.)

Politics Station

Conference Realignment

Any player may elect to make a conference realignment bid.  To do so, a player either selects a university to join their existing conference or selects a conference to move their university.  Players must bid at least 20 Florin, and may add any other resources to their bid.  All other players may elect pay the same number of resources to the bidding player and the move fails; if the other players unable or elect not to pay the resources, then the conference realignment bit happens.  The target university is "exhausted" and their token is turned face down.  Exhausted universities may not be targeted for conference realignment.


After all conference realignment is completed, players reveal Players reveal N+1 politics cards, where N equals the number of players present at the play station.  In order from greatest score to lowest score across all players, each player may discard one of the face up politics cards.  This continues until a single politics card remains.  The player with the greatest score may puts this card into play.  (e.g., if the card amends the rules to a competition, then they decide which card slot on which play station to play the card.)  This card takes effect next round.

Conference Income

Players may collect income shown on all university tokens in their conference.


Players who report to a competition play station must compete in that sport and conduct politics.


Players compete in events by throwing 1d6 and adding bonuses for resources bid.  Players simultaneously bid resources shown on the competition tableau.  For each token bid, players may throw dice or add points to their thrown dice total.  

Once all players throw their dice, players compare scores with all other players in their conference at the play station.  The players rank themselves from greatest value to lowest value.  In case of ties, players roll a single die to break ties.  

The player with the greatest score overall draws a competition card.  

The player with the greatest score within each conference draws a bonus card for each university in their conference, selects one to keep, and passes the remaining cards to the next highest value.  This card draft continues until the player with the lowest value collects a card.  Players immediately take the resources on the prize card.



After the final play station completes its activities, set a timer for three minutes.  All players may congregate, trade resources with one another, and develop plans to work together during the next round.  After the timer goes off, all players return to their university.


In the unlikely event that a player wants to transfer to another university, then they may pay three ideas tokens of each color to move to another university.  

End of Game

After seven rounds of play, players skip the sabbatical phase and immediate jump to end game scoring.

All players reveal their missions one-at-a-time, including the group goals.  Players total their victory points on their tableau, their personal mission card, and all other players' group missions.  The greatest score wins.

Combining with Oligopoly

Robes and Rivals may be integrated into the Oligopoly game.  Here are some quick rules clarificaitons:


During the production phase, you may use amenity icons from your city's tableau.  Each player may individually operate up to one corporation.

Researching Corporation and City Cards

Players may elect to research cards with white backgrounds.  These cards may not be used on a university tableau; instead they may be traded to city players and corporation players.  


Each university starts with three diplomas.  These diplomas may be traded with other players.  If a corporation player has a diploma, then they may use one space from your university tableau -- no matter where they are located.

Campus HQ Card

The physical location of your university exists at the "campus HQ" card within a city.  It must be in play on a city's tableau.

Moving your campus

In the unlikely event that you want to move your campus, then you must pay one resource of every color (labor, idea, and resource token).  If you are the final HQ to move from a city, then that city is annexed by your destination city.  (The Oligopoly players will know what this means.)