Knights of the Rainbow is from FX Schmid USA. The box rates the game for 2-6, the rules rate it for 2-4, and the body of the rules refer to a maximum of five players. It is recommended that players stay within the 2-4 range, where 3 players seems ideal, otherwise the benefits of the honor cards (see below) are far too strong.
Players start with seven strength, two gold, and no cards. On each turn a player can flip one, two, or three cards from the deck, keeping one of them and discarding the rest. All of a player’s cards are kept face-up, stacked by type so everyone can see them.
Players win by knocking out all opponents or having the highest score after three passes through the deck. Most of the cards are distributed among five color-coded types: strength, force, gold, magic, and honor. The player with the most cards of each type gains an advantage, usually at the start of his turn. The simplest of these increase a player’s strength or gold, or decrease other players’ strength. The leader in magic can trade any of his cards for any card from the discard pile, or sacrifice any one of his own cards to destroy an opponent’s card.
Honor works differently. Shuffled into the deck are four “King’s Favor” cards. When one of these is turned up, the player with the most honor gets two gold, two strength, or the top card from the deck. Misfortune cards are the dark side of the same coin, forcing loss of gold, strength, or cards from all players. Many cards bear a rainbow icon, however, and the player showing the most rainbows at the top of their stacks is protected from Misfortune.
A player can spend gold at the end of his turn to buy another card from the deck, decrease an opponent’s strength, or trade cards with an opponent. A player losing his last strength is knocked out of the game. Anyone who survives to the third appearance of the Long Live the King card (which triggers a reshuffle) scores a point for each magic card, strength, and gold they have. The highest total wins.
- Knights of the Rainbow