Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Allegory board game. This is a fairly simple and light bidding game for the mechanics and set collection game for the scoring. The latter is a bit of a challenge to properly manage but the former is where the meat of the game is. You have to constantly balance taking the right card but also managing the number of chips you have to work with. Do you make a big move in the present or do you always keep your eye on the future? Each turn it will be up to you.
The game is for 2 – 6 players at ages 8+. The rules for how to play Allegory are easy and straightforward but they will take time to master because of all the interesting strategic decisions there are to make.
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HOW TO PLAY ALLEGORY – WHAT IS IT?
An Allegory tells a captivating story while hiding a deeper, meaningful moral underneath. In the game of Allegory, you’ll compete with others as renowned authors, each scribing a trilogy of tales: Nature, Energy and Spirit. Master the use of Lore to incorporate powerful themes into your tales. At the end, you will be rewarded for weaving a hidden moral throughout all of your tales – but only the most concise tale shall become a literary classic for the ages!
Bid on and collect Theme cards to craft your three tales (nature, energy, spirit). In the end, you score only the tale with the lowest total value. Enhance your score by including sets of themes throughout your trilogy. Earn bonus points for including your Moral into each Tale. The player who scores the most points will have scribed a classic tale and mastered the allegory.
HOW TO PLAYALLEGORY – STEP BY STEP
Time Needed: Approximately 30 – 50 minutes.
This is a step by step guide for how to play Allegory the fantastical bidding board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.
1. SETUP | Determine Cards Based on Players
To kick off how to play Allegory setup, you need to determine what cards you are playing with which has to do with player count. If you are playing with 2 – 3 players, remove all cards from the theme and moral decks that have a glowing gold version of the symbol. Put those back in the box. If you are playing with 4 or more players, keep everything in.
2. SETUP | Deal Moral Cards
Shuffle the moral cards (white back) and deal one to each player. You can look at it, but keep it a secret until the end of the game. There are two of each type so it is possible for some players to have the same moral. For a less competitive game, you can return one copy of each to the game box so there is no chance of this. Anything not dealt out can then be returned to the box.
3. SETUP | Lay Out The “Inspiration Pool”
Shuffle the theme deck and flip up cards in the center of the table, in a line, equal to the number of players. This is called the Inspiration Pool. Place the remaining theme cards in a face down deck next to the inspiration pool.
4. SETUP | Pass Out Lore Chips & Rest Marker
Give each player 15 of the Lore Chips and rest marker (the larger chip with the scroll on it). These need to always be visible and in front of you. Return the rest of the chips and markers back into the box
5. SETUP | Leave Room In Front Of You For 3 Tales
Every player needs to build 3 “tales” in front of them to have an opportunity to win the game (nature, energy, spirit). At the end, you score points for your lowest scoring tale of the 3 plus matching theme and moral bonuses. Make sure you have enough space for three columns of cards.
6. GAMEPLAY | Turn Structure
To kick off how to play Allegory gameplay after setup, you have a one time “prologue” round followed by story rounds. They all work generally the same, but the prologue is unique because it doesn’t have any effects of the previous round.
7. GAMEPLAY | Prologue Round | Bid or Rest
In the initial prologue round, starting with the youngest player and moving around the circle clockwise, everyone will choose to bid or pass. What you are bidding for is the opportunity to be the one player that gets to choose any single card from the middle “inspiration pile”.
To bid you put down any number of lore chips. The next player can either beat that number of lore chips by at least one or rest. You either put out the chips in the middle to bid, or you put your rest token in the center to indicate that is what you are doing. When you rest, you also take back any lore tokens you bid with in previous rounds.
8. GAMEPLAY | Prologue Round | End of Bidding
Bidding and/or resting continues until everyone but one player has rested. The one remaining player has won the bid. You do not need to indicate which card you are bidding for, the bid is just for the right to take any card you wish.
9. GAMEPLAY |Prologue Round | Take A Card
The winning bidder takes any one of the cards in the inspiration pile and then places it down in one of their 3 tale piles. The decorative frame around the number in the top corner is what dictates if it should go in nature, energy or spirit. The viney-like border is for nature, the sun border is for energy and the wins border is for spirit.
10. GAMEPLAY |Prologue Round | Split Up Bid
After a card has been taken, grab a new one of the deck to replace it in the inspiration pile. Now that it is refilled, you need to take your winning bid and split it up amongst the inspiration pile cards for use in future rounds. You can split up your bid however you want (say you won with a bid of 4, you could put all 4 on one card, split it 1 and 3 amongst two cards, 1-1-2 amongst three cards, etc). This matters because resting in future rounds lets you get the card with the highest lore chips on it (or your choice in a tie) and won cards with the highest bid also get any chips on the chosen card.
11. GAMEPLAY | Story Rounds
Once the above process is done, you move to a new round which is now called a story round. The starting player moves to the left. This happens the exact same way as prologue rounds, but now there are new chips in play to be won. You repeat this process over and over until the game ends and every round is now called a story round, because they all act the same way. There will always be chips in play from previous rounds.
12. GAMEPLAY | Story Rounds | Resting
One major change in story rounds from prologue rounds is you get a new opportunity when you rest. Now, when you do so, you have the optional choice to take the card from the inspiration pile that has the most lore chips on it. If there are multiple cards that are tied for the most, you get to choose among them. You can never take a card here that has no lore chips on it. If you do take a card, replace the missing spot in the inspiration pile with a new card from the deck before the next person chooses what to do.
13. GAMEPLAY | Story Rounds | Winning Bid
The winning of the bid works the same way as it did in the prologue rounds, you keep going until there is only one bidder left and then they get to choose the card they want. The main difference is that they would get to keep all the lore chips that are on the card they chose.
14. GAME END | Player Reaches 10 Theme Cards
Story rounds will continue until someone has gotten their 10th theme card into their tableau (the three tale columns in front of them). Once this happens, everyone finishes the story round they are currently in and then the game is over. Move to scoring.
15. SCORING | Lowest Point Value Tale
Each Tale (3 different columns) with have their own point total. Add up the positives or negatives in each to get the grand total of each. You get points for whichever one is the lowest. So if you end up with 4-5-7 as your totals, you will get 4 points here.
16. SCORING | Theme Sets
Across all columns (not just within each) you want to match themes. The theme icons (which there are 6 of) are located in the top right of each card. For every set of 3 matching symbols, you get 2 points.
17. SCORING | Moral Card Bonus
Your secret moral card will be one of the six themes. Any tale column that contains at least 1 card from that theme will get you 1 point. This means you can have 0, 1, 2 or 3 points for this. A tale column that has more than one of those, doesn’t get you any extra points outside of the 1 for having it.
18. WINNING | High Score Wins
After adding up all the scoring points, the player with the highest total wins. As you can see, even though the strategic decisions can get intense, learning how to play Allegory is pretty easy and fast-paced.
HOW TO PLAYALLEGORY – KEY INFORMATION
MORAL CARD CHALLENGE
You have some variance in which moral cards to choose from at the very beginning when you are dealing them out. There are two copies or each which means that if you keep all of them in, it is possible for different players to get the same one. That means that going after each theme could become more cutthroat. If you want things to be a little lighter, you can remove the second copy of each so there is no chance that players will be fighting over themes for moral card bonuses, though it will still occur for those trying to complete sets.
- 63x Theme Cards
- 18x Moral Cards
- 90x Lore Chips
- 6x Rest Markers
- 1x Rulebook
HOW TO PLAYALLEGORY – IN CLOSING
We hope you can now say you know how to play Allegory. This is a quick and involved bidding and set collection game that has fairly simple rules but lots of strategy. The blending of rock-solid game mechanics with rich thematic make for a very interesting experience and one that almost anyone should enjoy. There is plenty of suspense and just enough twists and turns to keep you guessing all the way up to the end when the final point totals are revealed and the one true author of the best Allegory is revealed. Learning how to play Allegory is very straightforward, so now that you have the tools, get out there and try it for yourself.