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City of the Devil Game Handbook

City of the
a Megagame
by Richard Hands

“Satan shall be loosed from his prison, and shall go out to

seduce the nations which are in the four corners of the
earth, Gog and Magog, and shall draw them to battle,
whose number is as the sand of the sea... this persecution,
occurring while the final judgment is imminent, shall be
the last which shall be endured by the holy Church
throughout the world, the whole City of Christ being
assailed by the City of the Devil.”
St Augustine - 'The City of God'
City of the Devil Game Handbook


1. Introduction 3

2. Game structure 4
Layout 4
Timing 5

3. Turn sequence 7
Income 8
Loyalty 8
Muster 9
Campaign 10
Movement 10
Battle 11
Siege 13
Conquering a Province 16
Ships 16

4. Conversion 18

5. Relics 22

6. Church Sanctions 24

7. Politics and Marriages 25

8. Death 26

9. Acknowledgements 26

City of the Devil Game Handbook
Welcome to City of the Devil – a Megagame of medieval power politics
and religion. This book gives you all of the game rules you need to play
the game. There is also a Gazetteer/’Who’s Who’ to give some brief
background on the other regions and played characters in the game, as
well a briefing specific to your own Region. Finally you will get – on the
day – a short personal brief.

Design aims
The game covers a period of history which I find interesting because it
saw the settling of several interlinked power struggles which changed the
course of the rest of the 13th century and even beyond. In Spain the battle
of Muret began the end of the Moorish occupation of the peninsula. In
Flanders the Battle of Bouvines ended King John’s attempt to regain his
lost French lands and led directly to the signing of Magna Carta. In
France the Albigensian Crusade erased an entire culture and religion in
the south and cemented the new consolidation of French royal power that
victory over England had brought. In Germany and Italy the victory of
Frederick II was the springboard for his rise to become the most powerful
Holy Roman Emperor of the Middle Ages. In the Holy Land, the failure
of the Fifth Crusade meant that the Crusader states were eventually
doomed. And this period also saw arguably the most powerful Pope of all
time, Innocent III, take the Church to become the dominant force it was,
bringing even Kings and Emperors to heel. But crucially, none of this was
pre-ordained, and many other outcomes were possible. I am interested in
how all of these forces interact and the infinite alternative possibilities
they have the potential to generate, which hopefully the game may
highlight. This is an exploration of history, not a re-run of it.

While there are some ‘teams’, especially the powerful royal courts of
England and France, all of the players represent powerful individual
figures of the time, and all had the power to influence events. This was
sometimes via military power, but money, politics, and intrigue all have
their place, as well as of course the moral authority of various religions. It
is not just a Darwinian struggle of the fittest – there can be ethical
judgements to be made as well, and the opportunity to roleplay. I will
give you all objectives on individual briefs which tell you what kind of
things your historical character was preoccupied with, and perhaps a
yardstick to judge how you have done compared to your historical
counterpart, but they are not a script, and you can use or abuse them as
you wish. Above all I hope you find the problems presented by the
situation interesting, and I hope you have fun.

Richard Hands.

City of the Devil Game Handbook

Physical layout
For the purposes of the game, Europe and the near East has been divided
into a series of areas, each with its own map. There will be separate tables
for each area, representing: the British Isles, France, the Holy Roman
Empire (Germany and Italy), Byzantium, Spain/North Africa, and, if need
be, the Holy Land.

The following shows the approximate layout of the hall:

City of the Devil Game Handbook
Game Timeline:

Arrival and set-up: 09:30 - 10:00

Plenary briefing: 10:00 - 10:30
Game start: 10:30
Turn 1 (1209) 10:30 - 11:30 – the first turn will be longer than
usual to let players get used to the mechanisms
Turn 2 (1210) 11:30 - 12:15
Turn 3 (1211) 12:15 - 13:00
Turn 4 (1212) 13:00 - 13:45
Turn 5 (1213) 13:45 - 14:30
Turn 6 (1214) 14:30 - 15:15
Turn 7* (1215) 15:15 - 16:00
Turn 8* (1216) 16:00 - 16:45

Debrief and clear-up: Until 17:30 latest

* One of these turns will be the last one, or possibly there may a shorter
last turn, depending on how things are going. It will not be announced in

Scale of resolution:
Each turn represents one year of game time.

Each military card in the game represents a unit of a few hundred troops,
each ship card represents half a dozen ships. Larger denomination cards
represent multiples of five units.
There the following types of military unit exist in the game:

Type: Strength Cost/year (£)

Knight 4 3 in first year, 6 thereafter
Mercenary Knight 4 6
Men at arms 2 4
Militia 1 2
Light horsemen 1 2
Ships 3 (sea 2
battles only)

Money is represented by coins or cards on a decimal system (for those
who are interested, one 'game pound' (‘£1’) represents approximately 300
£/lb of actual silver).

City of the Devil Game Handbook

Coin Represents ('game pounds')

Silver coin £1
Gold coin £10
Bullion card £100

Each player represents a real historical figure of early 13 th century Europe
or the near East. While many are organised into teams on national lines,
that does not necessarily mean that all of them share the same objectives.
A personal briefing will be given to each player on the day with details of
your holdings, wealth, forces under your control, and a brief character
sketch for you to use or discard as you wish.
While communications between players are not policed (after all, each
turn is a year and you are assumed to be sending letters, envoys etc to
other players), your character has to be at a location on one of the maps,
and that must be marked at all times by your personal counter. Marriages
etc between players or their heirs can only happen if you are co-located.

Control's job is to keep the game moving, but I hope that, as players
become more familiar with the system, you will be able to resolve minor
interactions – only going to Control where
there may be some need for interpretation or
adjudication. The rules system is deliberately
left open to the players - all of what you need
to know is listed in this book.
There are eight Control team members – one
is stationed at each Regional map area. There
is also a team control for the Papacy, and
another to assist with Crusades. I will be
present as Game Control to answer any
difficult questions, but your first recourse
should usually be to your Regional map
umpire or Papal control for the Church
Control will also represent any non-played
states on their particular map area, if need
be, but there is usually a reason that they are
not represented, and they will tend to be
stand-offish unless directly threatened. Other
players should be your first contact.

City of the Devil Game Handbook

In the main part of the game, each annual turn will follow the following

Phase Time taken Actions

1. Income phase 10 minutes Players calculate and receive
income from their lands. Taxes
are collected by Kings, Tithes
by the Papacy.
2. Loyalty phase 10 minutes Players may attempt to win the
loyalty of minor lords or cities.
3. Muster phase 5 minutes Players pay for and muster
Religious players place
4. Campaign phases 15 minutes There are up to three
campaigning phases per turn
(depending on how quickly
you get through them). Armies
and fleets may move and fight
each phase.
Time for diplomacy and
Religious players resolve
missionary activity and may
conduct debates.
5. Team phase 5 minutes Players head back to their
tables and discuss the results of
the year’s activity and plan for
next year.

The first turn will be a longer one to allow players to get to grips with the
system. You will not need to collect income on Turn 1 as that is already
in your initial packs, and the Loyalty, Muster and Campaign phases will
each be 5 minutes longer than normal.

Each of these phases is explained in more detail below.

City of the Devil Game Handbook
3.1 Income phase
Player briefings will tell each player how much income they receive from
their lands – collected from your Regional Control. When provinces are
lost/gained via Loyalty rolls or military conquest, income falls/rises are
shown via Province Gained/Lost cards – these are displayed on a
player’s area next to the main map.
Additional income can come from Relic cards – see Relics, p21.
When land areas have been affected by campaigning, players also receive
Ravaged or Devastated cards to show their temporary loss in income.

It is possible to borrow money. Normally this is from other players - the
Papacy and major mercantile states – Venice, Champagne, Flanders.
Taking interest on a loan is technically the sin of Usury, but there were
acceptable fudges to cover up for this.
It is also possible to borrow money from Jewish moneylenders, if there
are Jewish Minority areas under your control. You take a Loan card
(placed on your area next to the main map), get the money from Map
Control, and must pay back interest on the loan each year until it is
repaid. You may only have one Jewish loan outstanding per Jewish
Minority area under your control.

3.2 Loyalty phase

On the table next to the Regional map, there are cards with the names and
symbols of non-played nobles or major
cities on your map. Each card represents a William
noble, churchman or sometimes major city. Count of Holland
Some start under your or other players’
control, others are neutral. During the
loyalty phase you can try to sway the loyalty
of any of these non-played nobles/ cities.
Each player at the map takes a turn – the
sequence is on a card at the table. Roll 2D6
and compare it to the loyalty of the noble Loyalty: 10
Welf: +2
you are trying to sway. Each noble has Flanders: -1
modifiers printed on the card, depending on
who is trying to influence them. If you score Control: Holland, Friesland
the required number or over, the moves to
your area on the table, and you gain a Province Gained card for each
Province they control – the income for that will come during the next
If a noble is swayed away from your affinity, you need to take a Province
Lost card.

City of the Devil Game Handbook
3.3 Muster phase
In muster phase you may raise armies for the upcoming campaign phase.

Raising troops
Troops can be raised as per your personal briefing. They can be told to
Muster in any area you control (on the same map), but they cannot cross
seas without a ship, so if you have lands in e.g. Ireland and England,
troops from the Irish lands must muster in Ireland and English lands in
England. Nor can they cross other players’ territory without permission.
They also cannot muster in Devastated territories or besieged cities.

Ships can be hired at any friendly sea port. If it is not controlled by you,
the owner must agree to let you hire ships there.

Recruiting mercenaries
Men at Arms are mercenaries (Germany also has Mercenary Knights).
Mercenaries must be paid for in this phase, but they do not appear until
next year, so you need to plan ahead! Place them on the ‘next turn’ box
on the map, with one of your control markers so everyone knows whose
they are.
If there is a shortage of mercenary companies on your map, you can
recruit them from other maps. Recruiting other players’ forces as
mercenaries is a matter for negotiation with them.

If a Crusade is preached in a region, Crusaders will muster the next year
according to the results of the preaching (see Missionaries, p18-19). They
will be controlled by whoever the Church has given command of the
Crusade to. Players may of course raise their own forces to join a
Crusading army if they wish.

There are also preparation counters (poker chips). Each costs £1. Like
mercenaries, they are paid for now, but do not appear until next year –
they go in the ‘next year’ box with your control market. They represent
laying in essential supplies for an upcoming campaign. They can feed an
army on campaign, and are also needed to successfully conduct sieges.
Each chip can feed up to ten units during one campaigning action
(remember there are up to three campaign phases). Once they appear on
the map, Preparation chips must be allocated to a physical location
(anywhere you control, except besieged cities) and can only move with

City of the Devil Game Handbook
Defensive musters
If an area is invaded during the Campaign phase, and it did not muster
forces during the Muster Phase, the owner (or Region Control if it is not
player controlled) may muster local forces to defend it. These forces must
still be paid for normally (if owned by a player), may not act during the
Campaign move that they are mustered, and cannot leave areas controlled
by their owning player during this Turn.

3.4 Campaign phase

Military campaigns take place in two or three segments, depending on
how quickly you get through actions (if you run out of time before a third
phase has been carried out, too bad – assume that bad weather closed
down the campaign season). During each segment, forces move and may

(a) Movement
Turn order is determined randomly. The Map Control will have a pack of
numbered cards – everyone involved in campaigning takes one, and the
number on the card determines the order of movement. Latecomers will
go after everyone else.
- Armies of 10 units or fewer may move up to 6 areas per segment.
- Armies of more than 10 units, or any force with Preparation chips
(which represent supply wagons), may move up to 4 areas. You
can leave Preparation chips behind if you wish to move faster, but
they will be up for grabs by whoever reaches them next.
- Mountainous areas (marked on the map) cost 2 moves to enter.
- Alpine Passes take 3 moves to cross.

Any force can block the passage of an opposing force, and make it end its
move in the same area (and battle may then occur) if it wishes, so long as
it does not subsequently move. However, if the force is (in its entirety) in
a fortress or city, then it does not block the passage of the other force. A
force may also elect *not* to stop the passage of another force, in which
case the latter's movement continues normally.

An army must eat. This may be done by pre-prepared supplies (spend one
Preparation chip per campaign segment per 10 units or fraction thereof).
If not, the troops simply seize food from local peasants. Any area where
an Army ends its movement has a ‘Ravaged’ marker placed on it, and the
area’s owner takes a card to indicate his income will be lower next turn.
If an area is already Ravaged, it becomes Devastated instead (and the

City of the Devil Game Handbook
owner takes a corresponding card and hands the Ravaged card back).
Troops that end their move in a Devastated area suffer losses (mainly
desertion) – 25% of all troops (round down) will leave unless fed via
Preparation chips.

Laying Waste an area

A common medieval tactic was to deliberately Ravage an area in order to
deny its resources to the enemy. Armies may spend one extra movement
point in any area they pass through unopposed to place a Ravaged marker
(or convert Ravaged to Devastated) as they pass.

(b) Battle
Once all moves are complete, battles are resolved. If two forces end up in
the same area at the end of a campaign move, then a battle may ensue.
Either party may initiate it. If two allied forces end up together at the
same place but did not start together during that movement segment, they
may NOT combine their forces - they must fight two separate
engagements against the enemy, with the order being determined
randomly or by Control according to what seems reasonable.

Fighting battles
Each side decides what forces will be committed to the fight, and who
will be overall commander, and totals up combat strength points. Each
leader then takes up a the pack of tactical cards (held by Region Control),
and plays one face down. The cards are then revealed and compared.

Total up the following factors for each side:

Larger force: 3:2 +1
2:1 +2
3:1 +3 etc
Force with most cavalry (in flat terrain only): +1
Force is defending a pre-prepared position (i.e. did not move this turn,
and allowed the enemy to come to them): +1
Each leader also rolls 1D6 and adds it to their total.

City of the Devil Game Handbook
Add to this the results from tactical card matrix:

Tactical card matrix

A's Encircle Feint Hold Charge Withdraw Ambush

option ->

B's option
Encircle +0 +1 to A +1 to B +1 to B A +1 to B
Feint +1 to B +0 +0 +0 A +0
Hold +1 to A +0 No battle +1 to A A +0
Charge +1 to A +0 +1 to B +0 +2 to B +2 to A
Withdraw B B B +2 to A Both B
withdraws withdraws withdraws withdraw withdraws
Ambush +1 to A +0 +0 +2 to B A 0

The final totals are then compared, and the smaller one subtracted from
the larger to find a final total for the battle:

Overall combat Effect

+0 to +1 Inconclusive skirmish. Both sides lose 25% and retreat
one area, if possible.
+2 to +3 Hard-fought battle. Victor loses 25%, vanquished loses
50% and retreats one area. If no retreat possible,
vanquished force surrenders.
+4 to +5 Decisive victory. Victor loses 10%, vanquished's force
disperses. Possible capture.
+6 or more Crushing victory! Victor takes no loss. Vanquished
disperses. Possible capture.

You will notice that there is a significant random factor in the battle
result. This is a feature not a bug – medieval battles were very risky and
tended to depend on which side broke and ran first – most casualties
occurred during the pursuit. For this reason, medieval commanders did
not fight battles lightly, and tended to prefer wars of sieges and attrition.

City of the Devil Game Handbook
Battle Results:

All forces on the losing side retreat, including any not committed to the
battle - 10% of any not committed are lost in the chaos of the retreat.

Losses are allocated proportionately across all units involved. Halves
round down.

Dispersed forces
Dispersed means a force is no longer effective as a fighting unit; any not
captured or killed return home. Any leaders who escape such a major
defeat may rally some troops to them. In game terms, each losing player
has a 50% chance of salvaging one unit from their own forces (only).

Any players part of a Dispersed force may be captured on a 1 or 2 (only a
1 if it is in their own home area) on a D6. Once captured the enemy must
immediately either ransom them back home for 50% of their annual
income – or put them to death. This ransom can be taken as an advance
from next year’s income (obviously you won’t get it next year though –
your vassals feel they have already done their bit).
Dead characters will usually return as an heir or successor – you are
playing a dynasty as much as anything. Consult Game Control.

(c) Sieges

Fortresses and Fortified Cities

Fortresses are marked on the map with a castle symbol. Fortified cities
are marked with a walled city symbol. The number within the symbol is
the fortress/city fortification level.
Each can hold a number of military units equal to 2x its fortification level
(i.e. a level 2 fortress can hold 4 units, a level 3 fortress up to 6 units, and
so on). Fortified cities can hold 5x their fortification level.
In addition to any garrison provided by a Player, each City or Fortress is
also assumed to have its own inherent garrison of 1 Man at Arms per 2
fortification levels (round up). This garrison ceases to exist if a City is

City of the Devil Game Handbook
Battle example: The Battle of Muret, 1213

Simon de Montfort, leading the remnants of the Albigensian Crusade, is besieging the
city of Muret. An expeditionary force from Aragon, led by King Philip himself joins
up with Count Raymond of Toulouse’s few remaining knights, and they move
together to relieve the siege. De Montfort decides to stay and give battle.

De Montfort has:
3 Knights (strength 3 x 3 = 9)
6 Men at Arms (strength 6 x 2 = 12)
3 Militia (strength 3 x 1 = 3)
For a total strength of 24.

King Philip II of Aragon has:

10 knights (strength 10 x 3 = 30)
40 militia (strength 40 x 1 = 40)
For a total strength of 70.

70:24 is not quite enough to achieve 3:1 odds, so it is 2:1 (+2).

De Montfort has not moved this turn and so counts as defending a pre-prepared
position (+1). Philip has more cavalry on non-mountainous terrain (+1).

The tactical cards played are: De Montfort plays 'Encircle', King Philip plays 'Charge'.
The net result is +1 to De Montfort.
De Montfort also plays a ‘The Lord is With Us’ bonus card he received in his starting
pack, and which he has been keeping for a rainy day, which gives him another +1.

Dice rolls: De Montfort rolls a 6 on his dice! King Philip rolls a 2.

The result is therefore:

De Montfort King Philip
Odds (2:1) 0 +2
Cavalry superiority 0 +1
Defenders advantage +1 0
Tactical card matrix +1 0
Bonus card +1 0
Dice result +6 +2
Total +9 +5 (net +4 to De Montfort)

Against the odds, De Montfort has secured a Decisive Victory!

King Philip rolls a 1 on capture and also ends up captured. De Montfort puts him
immediately to death. Raymond of Toulouse rolls a 4 and escapes. He also manages
to roll a 5 and rally one last unit of Knights to him as he flees.
De Montfort loses 10% of his force – 3/10 rounds down to nothing, so no Knights or
Militia are lost, but he loses one unit of Men at Arms.
The Aragonese threat to the Crusade seems over permanently – an object lesson in the
riskiness of battles.

City of the Devil Game Handbook
Storming fortifications
It is not possible to build new fortresses or improve the level of fortresses
within the time scale of the game. However, if a fortress has been
deliberately damaged, it can be repaired during the next Muster phase.

Cost is as follows:
Repair from level 0 to 1: £1
Repair from level 1 to 2: £3
Repair from level 2 to 3: £6
Repair from level 3 to 4: £10

Storming a fortification
It is possible to storm a fortress rather than waiting for a siege. Storming
works the same way as a battle, using the same table, with the following
- Defenders still receive +1 for defending a pre-prepared position.
- There are no bonuses for cavalry superiority.
- No tactical cards are played.
- The die rolls are halved (round down). Sieges were relatively
predictable affairs, which is why they were preferred to battles.
- Defenders also receive the bonus of the current fortification level
provided there are sufficient troops to man it (1 needed per level).

Using siege works

Constructing siege works costs 1 Preparation chip per level of fortress,
and can be begun the same phase that the besieging force arrives. For
every Campaign segment that the siege continues after this, the fortress
loses a fortress level, until it reaches 0. This can continue over winter if
besiegers remain (see End of Campaigning – below).

Remember that both sides may lose troops to attrition unless they have
Preparation chits present to feed their forces.

Captured cities may be looted (once) – place a Looted marker on them.
Most ends up with the soldiers, but a sacked city yields a leader £1 x1D6
per (initial) fortification level of the City.

Supply by sea
If it is a port which is under siege, then the city can of course be supplied
by sea if the besieged player has sufficient ships. To complete the
encirclement the besieger must blockade by sea as well as land.

City of the Devil Game Handbook
(d) Conquering a Province
In order to militarily conquer a province, you must capture all fortresses
and cities within it. If there is no city or fortress shown, the Province is
automatically assumed to have a single inherent (unmarked) level 1
Fortress with a garrison of 1 Man at Arms which must be taken before the
Province is conquered.
Once a Province is conquered, the former owner takes a Province Lost
card to be placed on their space on the table, and the conqueror takes a
Province Gained card – remember that there may also be Ravaged and
Devastated cards if unsupplied armies have stopped on that Province to
While possession is nine tenths of the law in terms of being able to tax
and occupy it, merely conquering a Province does not give the new owner
legal title to it. Legal title to a Province may only be gained from the
Liege Lord of the person from whom the Province was held (e.g., if you
conquer Leicestershire, only the King of England can make you Earl of
Leicester – otherwise you are merely an occupying force). Illegitimate
possession of a province may lead to a rebellion if the occupying force
moves away.

(e) Ships
There was no real distinction between warships and merchant ships in
this period. Each ship counter represents 5 ships of 100-200 tons size.
Each ship counter can carry up to 4 land units or Preparation chips.

Sea movement
During each Campaign phase, a fleet of ships may make 3 moves. A
move consists of:
- Loading or unloading troops.
- Entering or leaving port from/to the surrounding sea area.
- Moving from one sea area to another sea area.
Every time a fleet attempts to enter a new Region (map), it must make a
weather roll. Roll 2D6:
2-3 Storm - fleet must immediately make landfall at
the nearest port (roll randomly if choice).
Decide what - and who - each ship is carrying,
then each Ship counter must individually make
a 2D6 roll. On another 2-3, that ship sinks, and
everything (and everyone) aboard is lost.
4-5 Contrary winds. Ship is unable to enter the new
sea area this movement phase.
6-12 Ship proceeds normally.

City of the Devil Game Handbook
If two fleets are in the same sea area, and one side desires to intercept the
other fleet and the other does not wish to be intercepted, roll a D6. On a
1-4 the interception fails. On a 5-6 it is successful.
Exception: if one fleet is blockading or staying at a port and the other
tries to enter the port or its vicinity, the fleet in or blockading the port
may always intercept if it chooses.

Sea battles
Battles between fleets of ships are resolved in the same way as land
battles (including Tactical Cards and D6 rolls), except:
1. There is no advantage for defending.
2. There is no bonus for a superiority in cavalry (!)
3. Each ship counts as 3 strength points.

Opposed landings
If a force being transported by ship wishes to enter an area with an
opposing force which is trying to prevent it, for the first battle, forces
from the ships have their strength halved.

(f) End of Campaigning

At the end of the Campaign phase all forces that you have raised this turn
disband UNLESS they are paid to remain in place over winter. This costs
half the normal rate. This is the only way that sieges may be maintained
from one Year to another.
They must also be paid again during the next turn’s Muster phase if you
intend to continue to use them during the upcoming Turn.

3.5 Team Time

You now have a few minutes to get back to your regular map (if you have
been travelling) and get up to speed on what has been going on with
various diplomatic and military initiatives.

City of the Devil Game Handbook

“Infections that do not respond to the treatment of a poultice must be cut

out with a knife.”
Pope Innocent III.

As well as the troops and fighting part of the game, there is a game about
the battle for hearts, minds, and especially souls. The religious affiliation
of each area is shown by counters. Except: all areas are assumed to have
a Catholic Majority by default. Any areas which have a different Majority
will be shown via a counter.
In addition to Catholics, the other religions which are kept track of are:
- Orthodox Christians
- Muslims
- Jews
- Cathars
- Waldensians

There are three levels of religious control for each region, in descending
- Majority
- Minority
- Presence

For the purposes of the game, with due apologies for the simplification,
as well as the three Abrahamic religions (all of the Muslim players in the
game follow Sunni Islam) and the two major divisions of Christianity, the
game recognises two main ‘heresies’ (as far as Catholics are concerned,
anyway) - Catharism, a dualist Christian sect from the East which views
the world as the creation of the Devil, and Waldensianism, a reform
movement headed by Lyon merchant Peter Waldo, which rejects the
authority of the Church and insists on the Bible as the sole source of
God's word. Both groups preach a doctrine of holy poverty and non-
Waldensianism is widely spread but sparsely followed. It has no player
and will not spread during the game. Catharism has more of an organised
church, with its own Perfecti - monk-like figures who have rejected the
temptations of the world, abstaining from sex, living in poverty and
travelling as preachers, many of them even women. Catharism has made
significant inroads into the nobility of the south of France, and the Cathar
religion is led by the Esclarmonde de Foix player.

City of the Devil Game Handbook
Catholics regard Cathars as heretics, and a Crusade had been preached
against them. Waldensians are excommunicated, but have not yet been
declared heretics (the Lateran Council is discussing this as the game

All of the religious players have missionary/preacher counters which they
can place during the Muster phase of the turn. During the Campaign
phase, each Missionary may attempt the following actions (once per

Cathar Perfecti
May gain converts by doing ONE of the following (roll 1D6):
Roll: 7+ to convert a Minority into a Majority (+1 if there is any
neighbouring Cathar Minority)
Roll: 6+ to convert a Presence into a Minority (+1 if there is any
neighbouring Cathar Presence or better)
Roll: 5+ to create a Presence where there was not one before (ditto)

Nobles whose lands are Majority Cathar areas fall under the control of the
Cathar player (except for players) for as long as the Majority remains.

Monastic preachers
May do ONE of the following:

(i). Convert heretics (D6) - Franciscans get +1 to rolls

Roll a 5+ to reduce a Minority to a Presence
Roll a 6 to remove a Presence
Jews will never convert. Muslims reduce all die rolls by -1.

(ii). Inquisition (D6) - Dominicans get +1 to rolls

Roll a 5+ to remove a Presence

(iii). Preach a crusade

Those who come on Crusade need only serve for 40 days before receiving
Absolution for their sins - most go home at this point. So non-mercenary
Crusaders disperse every winter and cannot be paid to stay - for the
upcoming year more must be recruited (except - for crusades to the Holy
Land, participants will continue). This annual recruitment can only be
done by preaching. The Pope must authorise the preaching of any
The various Monastic orders may place preachers or missionaries into the
'Preaching the Crusade' box for each regional map. The effectiveness of

City of the Devil Game Handbook
each preacher depends on the local enthusiasm for a Crusade, and where
that Crusade will be taking place, according to the following table:

Enthusiasm for Crusade to:

Map Spain Languedoc Holy Land
Spain High Low Low
France Medium High Medium
British Isles None None Low
Germany Low Medium Medium
Italy Low Low Low
Greece/Asia None None Low
Scandinavia* None None Low

*There is no Scandianvian map, but a box on the German map will allow
preachers to be allocated there.

Crusades never know how many people are going to turn up, so the
results are not resolved until the Muster phase of the next turn.

Roll 2D6 per preaching counter; -1 per game turn that the Crusade has
been preached there:

Low Medium High

2-4 No effect No effect No effect
5 No effect No effect D3 Militia
6 No effect D3 Militia D3 Militia
7 No effect D3 Militia D3 Militia
8 D3 Militia D3 Militia D6 Militia
9 D3 Militia D6 Militia D6 Militia
10 D3 Militia D6 Militia D6 Militia +1 MA
11 D6 Militia D6 Militia + 1 MA 2D6 Militia +1 Kt
12 D6 Militia +1 MA D6 Militia + 1 Kt 2D6 Militia +1 Kt

(MA = Man at Arms, Kt = Knight)

Military actions:
1. Religious Majorities or Minorities can be reduced to a Presence by a
Massacre, if there are at least 6 counters of unopposed Military forces
present, the owner of the forces agrees, and they have the backing of any
senior (i.e. Played) Clergy character (dissenting opinions from other
Clergy do not matter so long as at least one agrees). The area becomes

City of the Devil Game Handbook
2. Missionaries can be arrested by Military forces - roll a D6 to catch
them: 1-4 indicates they flee the area (return them to their owner), 5-6
means they are caught. Once caught, they can be either thrown out (return
the counter to the owner) or Massacred (remove the counter but be
prepared for the consequences).

With the agreement of both sides, Cathars and Religious players may
conduct a religious Debate once per year.
The debate is resolved as a standard game of Blackjack/Pontoon/Twenty
one. The Cathar player wins in the event of a tie, except when debating
Franciscans, who instead win in the event of a tie.

Result: Catholic player Cathar

Lose Lose 1 Influence No effect
Win Gain 2 Influence Gain 1 Perfecti unit
Score 21 Gain 4 Influence Gain 2 Perfecti units
Five card trick Gain 4 Influence Gain 2 Perfecti units

The Church is having an internal debate during this time, the Fourth
Lateran Council, which aims to decide upon many things. Votes can be
swayed by Influence cards, which are a kind of currency among the
Catholic Church players. There is more about this in the Papacy briefing.
As well as debates, other actions on the board which can gain influence

Successful missionary actions (conversion, inquisition): +1 Influence

Gain an Authenticated Relic (see below): +1 Influence

City of the Devil Game Handbook

Holy Relics were much sought after in the era. Not only did they provide
a direct connection with God, hopefully gaining his favour, or at least that
of a saint who could intercede with him, they also attracted pilgrims,
often from quite long distances, who would come to pray at the site of the
relic. Completing some established pilgrimages (such as to the shrine of
St Peter in Rome, or St James in Santiago de Compostela) could even
gain you remission of your sins (and hence time off spent in Purgatory
when you die). This pilgrim trade was valuable, and hence relics are
valuable once they are properly displayed in a suitable church or
Many relics are long-established, and will be represented by cards given
to their 'owner'. They are often the focus of established pilgrim routes.
However, the greatest collector of relics in history had been Byzantium,
and the fall of Constantinople in 1204 (five years before the game starts)
meant that all of these priceless holy relics were stolen and scattered by
the victorious Crusaders and started to turn up in a kind of relic 'black
market' in Greece. Of course, how genuine any of these relics were is
open to question...
Players on the Greek map can search for relics each turn. They can try to
find established relics (more difficult), such as the lost Crown of Thorns
or Burial Shroud of Christ, or just the first thing that turns up in a
marketplace. They can then try to sell these on to other players anywhere
in Europe.

Relics are represented by relic cards. Each has its authenticity listed on it,
and its value. A relic can be Believed Genuine, or of Dubious
Provenance. Dubious relics attract fewer pilgrims (ie are worth less
money). Relics can also be examined by any Church player allowed
access to them, and declared Authentic or Not Authentic. If they are
declared Not Authentic, they become worthless. However, if they are
declared Authentic, they gain value. The declaration is not final - it can
be appealed to a higher authority - a Cardinal can overrule the decision of
a lesser cleric one way or the other. The Pope can of course overrule any
decision, and the Holy Father's decision is Final. Established relics like
the Bones of St James have all long since been declared Authentic by
successive Popes and cannot be inauthenticated.
The Papacy in this era was very concerned about the sudden wave of
dubious relics emanating from the near East, and so there was
considerable pressure from the Pope to root out and discredit fake relics.

City of the Devil Game Handbook
Relics must be displayed publicly (i.e. put face up in your Control Box on
the table, next to nobles you control) for you to gain annual income from
them. Until then, they can be traded, hawked around etc etc. Muslims
gain only half benefit from Christian relics, and only provided they allow
access to pilgrims.

Furta Sacra
Some relic cards do not represent a relic, but the theft of a relic. This was
called Furta Sacra (Sacred Theft). The theory was that - in order for you
to successfully steal the relics of a saint, the saint must have wished you
to do it – if he or she did not, then surely God would have prevented you
from succeeding? Thus success confirmed that you were in the right. In
the game, you must roll a D6 for a total greater than the current cash
value of the relic (which here functions of a measure of how well guarded
it is) to succeed.

City of the Devil Game Handbook

The Pope’s coat of arms bears the crossed Keys of St Peter, signifying
that he holds the Keys to the Gates of Heaven on behalf of the Church.
Those who have defied the will of God (as interpreted by His Holiness)
may find themselves subject to sanctions imposed by the Church.
For game purposes, in roughly ascending order, these sanctions are:

(a) Excommunication
This denies the person the right to participate in the rites of the Catholic
Church, especially Mass, Confession, the Last Rites etc. This means that
if they die, they will go on with their sins unforgiven. If those are mortal
sins (rape, murder, oath breaking etc), they will spend eternity in Hell.
Excommunication can only be revoked if the excommunicant is truly
penitent and seeks to reconcile themselves with God.
In game terms, the Excommunicant wears a badge to that effect, and
takes a -1 on all Loyalty roll tests for their non-played allies/vassals.
The following players are Excommunicated at game start:
- Count Raymond of Toulouse
- King John of England

(b) Interdict
If Excommunication fails to correct a person’s actions, the Pope may
extend the Ban of the Church to an entire region. This effectively places
the Clergy of that region ‘on strike’. There are no baptisms, no marriages,
no funerals. It is a serious matter and one which will make the recipient
very unpopular.
In game terms, the leader of a region under Interdict takes the
corresponding badge and suffers a -2 to all Loyalty roll tests (not
cumulative with Excommunication – use the higher penalty).
At the start of the game, the following players are under Church Interdict:
- King John of England

(c) Release from vows of obedience

The Church may release anyone from any oath or vow they have sworn,
although obviously they would only do so for good reason. Ordinarily,
rebelling against a properly Ordained King is rebelling against the Divine
Order – for has not God decided that a person should be King? Rebels
were often Excommunicated for that very reason.
However, if the Pope releases someone’s vassals from their oath of
obedience, they can do as they please without any fear of divine
punishment. It imposes a -3 to all Loyalty checks that someone on the
receiving end may need to make (again not cumulative).

City of the Devil Game Handbook

(d) Crusade
The final and most serious sanction that the Church can impose is to
declare someone an enemy of Christ, and pronounce a Crusade against
them. Crusades have generally been against non-Christians – the main
recipients so far have been the Muslim powers of the Holy Land, the
Moors of Spain, and the Pagans of the Baltic region. The Cathars of
southern France are now no longer considered to be Christians either, but
after a disputed Papal election in 1130, Pope Innocent II did once preach
a crusade against the ‘anti-Pope’, Anacletus II.
Originally Crusades were general calls to arms, but these days they tend
to be directed towards major rulers, who are then required to swear an
oath to undertake it, and organise a force to help prosecute the Crusade.
The Albigensian Crusade has been the first for some time that has not so
far involved major rulers.
The Church sometimes helps to finance Crusades.


You will notice from the Gazetteer that there are many dynastic links
between the various royal and noble families of Europe. These are usually
via marriages made to cement alliances. Marriages can be contracted in-
game. Players’ personal briefs will contain details of their families and
heirs and those eligible/available for marriage. It is up to players to
negotiate these themselves – a marriage ceremony must be conducted
with the players themselves (i.e. their counters on the map) present even
if it is not the players actually marrying. If it is conducted between those
too closely related by blood, or with someone Excommunicated or in a
region under Interdict, the Pope may annul it. The Pope sometimes can be
persuaded to annul a marriage for other reasons.
Any woman who is married brings with her a dowry. This can be money
and/or lands, but – notionally – remains the bride’s personal property
(husbands were not always very punctilious about this). Consult Game
Control on this.
Heirs who are under age (younger than 15) when their father dies cannot
fully inherit their lands – the lands must be looked after by a Regent or
Guardian. This was sometimes their mother (as per Blanche of
Champagne), but could be appointed by the King (as per the Regent to
Duchess Alix of Brittany).

City of the Devil Game Handbook
The grim reaper comes for all in time, but some sooner than others. It is
not impossible that characters will die in the turbulent arena that is 13 th
century Europe. If this happens, consult Game Control. Usually this will
mean that a player instead takes on the role of their successor, normally
their eldest male heir (details will be in personal briefs). Legally
inheriting your father’s lands conventionally requires payment of a
‘Relief’ – a kind of medieval death tax, payable by the new heir to his
feudal overlord in order to take full legal possession of the lands.
Conventionally this might be half a year’s income, but some Kings (like
John) were widely despised for being greedy with Reliefs.
Where there are no male heirs, female heirs inherit as heiresses – often
greatly sought after for marriage. If there are no adult heirs, children
would be granted a ward or Regent appointed by the feudal overlord.
Where a player is playing someone with a specific job rather than a title –
a Bishop, Chancellor, Vizier etc – then they will play the next person
appointed to that job unless a ruler wishes to make a ‘reshuffle’.
In cases where a player’s lands have been lost, or they fancy a change of
pace, other roles will be available for them to be recycled into.

A brief word about assassination, as I know it’ll come up. It was actually
rare in the era. Death in battle was one thing – losing a battle was seen as
a kind of divine judgement – but murder was taken very seriously and
would turn people against you. Think of e.g. Thomas a Becket, the
Archbishop of Canterbury murdered by Henry II and the reaction it
provoked. King John always denied murdering Arthur of Brittany (no one
believed him) and it was a convenient excuse for rebels to use for
disobeying him. Assassinations also fail most of the time. So be aware it
will be difficult and I will be looking to penalise you for it.

While as usual all mistakes are mine, Megagames are not the work of a
single person. In particular, this one would not have existed without the
assistance of:
- Dave Boundy, for his wonderful interpretation of my rather scrappy
maps, admin support, help, advice and encouragement.
- Brian Cameron, for his admin support in the early days of the game, and
his helpful and practical suggestions and proof reading of the handbooks.
- Andrew Hadley, for commenting on and proofing early drafts of the
- Jim Wallman for talking me into doing the game in the first place.
- Chestnut Lodge Wargames Group for playtesting.