Copyright c 1982 by John Van De Graaf

This play by mail game Feudal Lords was developed and copyrighted by John van de Graaf, and is run by Flying Buffalo Inc with his permission. These rules are written for the version of Feudal Lords which is being moderated by Flying Buffalo Inc.

1.0 Introduction

Feudal Lords is a play by mail computerized game simulating the struggle for kingship in a mythical period of English history. The game begins in the year 801 A.D. following the death of King Arthur, which left Britain without a legitimate successor to the throne. England was thus divided into numerous small fiefdoms, each ruled by an independednt lord seeking to become the new King of Britain. There are up to 17 players in each game, each player representing the head of one of the more active noble families. Each player controls one of the fiefdoms in the game, and all other fiefdoms are always controlled by non-player lords whose activities are managed by the computer.

Each turn represents one year of game time. During each turn, players may submit up to 12 administrative actions (called Orders) selected from the 31 types of Orders available. (and more orders as you go up in rank (see 3.0 Feudal Structure). These orders deal with the administrative, economic, military, and diplomatic activities of the fiefdom. Through the use of these Orders, a player may increase his economic or political strength to achieve victory (victory is defined under rule 9.)

Players must submit their actions each turn on or before the due date specified on the printout, and preferrably on the turnsheet provided. (Extra turnsheets are available for purchase for a nominal fee.)

2.0 The Map and the Fiefdom

The map depicts the fiefdoms, forests, mountain areas, and swamps in the game. Fiefs adjacent to the ocean are considered coastal fiefs. The forests, mountains, and swamps affect the economic potential of adjacent fiefdoms and prevent military movement through the area unless a road exists (see Rule 4.2, Army Movement).

There are 46 fiefdoms in the game. A fiefdom is the maximum area over which a lord could exercise effective personal control; thus no lord may control more than one fiefdom at any time. Every fiefdom is controlled by either a player or a non-player lord. The fiefdom was the base of a medieval lord's economic and military power. The fief which a player lord controls may change either voluntarily or involuntarily (see Rule 4.5). A player who controls no fiefdom at the end of a turn is eliminated from the game.

You will be assigned a permanent player number which will not be changed during the game, even if you change fiefs. This number is for player identification only. Fief numbers are to be used in the orders themselves.

2.1 Fief Population

2.11 Peasants: The medieval fiefdom was essentially an agrarian economy; thus the peasants who grew the food were the backbone of the economic structure. The peasants grew crops upon the lord's land (since the lord owned all of the land in the fief) in return for receiving a share of the food grown. Each Peasant unit in the game represents a peasant family. In a normal harvest, one Peasant unit will raise 1.5 Food units. Each Peasant unit also requires a subsistence level of Food of at lest 1 Food per Peasant to prevent starvation. If enough Food is available, the Peasants will be fed 1 Food each; however the lord may allocate additional Food units since extra Food will result in increased Peasant population growth. If there is not sufficient Food to feed all the Peasants, starvation will occur. Peasants are also the source for raising new Knights. Players will find that a large Peasant poulation is advantageous both for producing Food units and for raising new troops. There is an inherent limit on the number of Peasants who can grow crops in the limited amount of land available,with any sea, mountain, or forest terrain adjacent to the fief reducing the amount of clear land available. Every fief has at least enough clear land to support 4000 Peasants.

2.12 Townsmen: Townsmen represent the freemen, artisans, and merchants in the fiefdom who reside in the larger towns and villages. The lord may tax the Townsmen for the privilege of residing in his fief and for his benign protection. Being relatively mobile, however, Townsmen will tend to depart from fiefs with high taxes and will be attracted to fiefs with lower taxes. Townsmen also require 1 Food unit each to avoid starvation, but they wil purchase their own food at Market prices if they can afford to. The lord may allocate Food units to the Townsmen to prevent starvation in years with high Food prices.

2.13 Knights: Knights (and men-at-arms) are the lord's personal army, trained and equipped for military service. Each Knight unit costs 5 Gold units and 1 Food unit to maintain each turn. The maintenance costs for Knights are deducted automatically by the computer at the start of each turn. Unsupported Knights seek service elsewhere (they desert the lord's fief). Knights are raised from the Peasants. It costs 20 gold and 1 Food to train and equip 1 Peasant to become 1 Knight. If a lord wishes to reduce his army, he may release Knights whom he has maintained that turn; at least 50% of them will become Townsmen, the rest seek military service elsewhere. Released Knights still cost 5 Gold and 1 Food on the turn you release them.

2.2 The Castle

Each fief contains a castle which is the administrateive center of the fief and the bastion of defense in time of invasion. Castles were carefully sited to dominate the countryside so that control of the castle was essential for control of the fiefdom. To conquer the fiefdom, it was necessary to capture the castle by siege. All castles start with a strength of 10, which a player may increase using Order #26. For each multiple of 10 castle strength, the strength of knights defending the castle is increased by 50%. Partial increases in castle strength add nothing to the defense value of the castle but show that construction is in progress (i.e. a castle of 17 increases the defense value by the same 50% as a castle of 10.)

2.3 Food

Each Food unit represents the amount of food necessary to feed one population unit for one year. Knights and Peasants must be fed by the lord; otherwise they will starve or run away. Townsmen may need to be fed if the price of Food is high, or as a means of raising Gold. There is an Open Market for selling and buying Food units. The Market price for Food is established by the average harvest during the prior year. In years with a normal average harvest, the price to sell Food will be about 10 gold per Food the following year, or higher in years following below-normal harvests and lower in years following above-normal harvests. The Market price to buy Food will be about 10% higher than the price to sell Food.

Surplus Food unallocated after your Orders are processed will deteriorate (be reduced) by about 25%, and the rest is added to your Food revenues for the turn and will be available for the next turn.

The sequence of Food allocation is:

  1. Converting livestock to Food
  2. Feeding Knights
  3. Trades to other fiefs
  4. Imports from other fiefs
  5. Food purchases/sales at Market
  6. Feeding Townsmen
  7. Feeding Peasants
  8. Livestock investments

2.4 Other Resources

2.41 Livestock: A player may invest in livestock herds as a reserve food source. Livestock require land to graze upon and each Livestock unit requires 2 units of potentially arable land, further limiting the land available for Peasants to grow crops upon. Each Livestock purchased costs 5 Gold and 1 Food unit. Livestock herds increase automatically each turn. Livestock may be converted into Food units on a 1:1 basis at the start of any turn.

2.42 Mines: A lord may explore for mines in his fiefdom. The maximum number of mines that can be open in a fief depends on the number of adjacent mountain areas: 3 mines plus 2 per adjacent mountain area. The types of mine, in increasing order of value, are stone, metal, gold, and gem; the type of mine found is random but weighted towards the less valuable types. Mines cost 100 Gold and 10 Peasants to construct in addition to the cost of exploration. Mines have a random chance of depleting each turn. Mines produce Gold revenue each turn.

2.43 Lumber Mills: A lord may construct two lumber mills, plus two additional mills for each adjacent forest area, at a cost of 100 Gold and 10 Peasants. Lumber mills produce Gold revenue each turn. No fief may have more than 9 lumber mills at any time.

2.44 Fishing Villages: A lord may construct fishing villages at a cost of 300 Gold and 10 Peasants each. Any fief may have 2 fishing villages, or 5 if adjacent to the Fens, or 8 if adjacent to the sea. Fishing villages produce extra Food each turn.

2.45 Markets: A lord may construct markets (actually he is building the roads, etc, necessary for local trade) at a cost of 300 Gold each. Markets increase the tax base equivalent to 20 Townsmen each. There is a limit of one market for every 50 Townsmen, up to a maximum limit of 20 markets. Note that these markets have nothing to do with the market price for Food.

2.46 Ships: A lord adjacent ot the sea may construct ships at a cost of 400 Gold and 10 Townsmen each. Inland fiefdoms may own ships, but may not construct them (thus they can only acquire ships by trade from someone else who owns ships). Ships may be used for army movement by sea or for foreign trade: only ships not needed for army movements can be used for foreign trade.

Foreign trade can be conducted by anyone who has at least one ship not used for army movement by sea. Foreign trade can be specified for a distance from 1 (near) to 9 (very far), with up to 1000 Gold per ship. The further this distance, the greater the risk of losing ships, but the greater the potential return on one's investment.

2.47 Gold: Gold is the basic monetary unit. Gold is received from fief revenues, such as taxes, investments, scutage, etc, and is necessary to pay various expenses. Gold can be traded by one player to another. This is strictly a cash economy, and a lord cannot spend more gold than he has at any point during a turn (deficit spending is a more modern invention).

The return on investments is random and will fluctuate from turn to turn. Foreign trade is very speculative and contains several random elements, making averages difficult to determine. The other investments are weighted toward the following averages:

2.5 Leadership

The lord of every fiefdom, whether player or non-player, has a Leadership rating of from 1 to 9. A lord's Leadership increases by 1 for winning a battle. In a battle, the lord with the higher Leadership rating gets a combat modifier of 10% for every point of extra Leadership. The only effect of death of a lord (from random events) is that the inexperienced heir of the lord inherits the fiefdom, thus reducing the Leadership of the lord of the fiefdom to the starting level of 2.

Leadership increases only if you fight and win a battle. Unoposed campaigns do not affect leadership.

2.6 Champion

In every fief, one of the Knights is champion of the fief. On any turn in which the fief's army does not go on campaign and the fief is not invaded, the champion will ride errant, seeking glory and fortune. The champion begins with a value of 3, and increases by one for each successful encounter.


Feudalism during the Middle Ages was a olitical and social system involving personal obligations between a vassal and his overlord. A lord of a fiefdom would become a vassal by swearing fealty, an oath of loyalty and obedience, to an overlord, who in turn promised to protect and defend the vassal. In essence, feudalism was a reflection of the fact that there is strength in numbers, since together the alliance of overlord and vassal was militarily stronger than either lord alone.

A vassal lord can have only one overlord, but an overlord can have more than one vassal. A vassal can have one or more vassals of his own, thus being both an overlord and a vassal. The vassal of a vassal is called a subvassal. A lord's power and influence are measured in terms of the number of his vassals and their vassals (his subvassals), and expressed in his feudal rank. Only two levels of vassalage are counted for rank: vassals and subvassals. The number of orders you may write depends upon your rank. The ranks of nobility and the number of orders they can write are:

  1. Baron/Baroness: up to 2 vassals and subvassals; 12 orders
  2. Viscount/Viscountess: from 3-6 vassals and subvassals; 13 orders
  3. Earl/Countess: from 7-10 vassals and subvassals; 14 orders
  4. Marquis/Marquessa: from 11-14 vassals and subvassals; 15 orders
  5. Duke/Duchess: from 15-18 vassals and subvassals; 16 orders
  6. Prince/Princess: fom 19-22 vassals and subvassals; 17 orders
  7. King/Queen: 23 or more vassals and subvassals.

When you are entitled to more than 12 orders, draw extra spaces for them as needed on your turn sheet.

A King may not have an Overlord. There also can only be one King since there are only 46 fiefdoms.

Medieval lords tended to be rather jealous of their independence; thus, there are only two ways a fief can become a vassal. First, a player lord may swear fealty to another fiefdom. This is entirely voluntary; nonplayer lords will not swear fealty voluntarily. Second, a lord may be forced to swear fealty as a result of being conquered. A player lord may change his overlord, or may declare himself to have no overlord: shifting allegiances was not an uncommon occurrence among medieval lords. Non- player lords will not change their overlords, (although they migh occasionally attack anyone, including an overlord, just for the sport of combat). While this might seem that it would be best to have non-player vassals, in fact there are substantial benefits from having player vassals, whose fiefdoms are usually stronger and who can conduct coordinated campaigns with their overlord.

Vassals are obligated to provide their overlord with troops for his military adventures, or in the alternative, to pay scutage for him to hire mercenaries. A vassal who places his army under the command of his overlord fulfills his feudal duty and pays no scutage; otherwise he pays scutage each turn equal to 500 Gold times his rank (A Baron pays 500 Gold, a Viscount 1000 Gold, etc). Non-player vassals will pay scutage unless bribed to go on campaign with their overlord.

You cannot be both an overlord and a vassal to the same fief. If you swear fealty to a vassal, it becomes your overlord and no longer has an overlord. If 2 players swear fealty to each other on the same turn, both orders will be cancelled.

Each turn, appended to your printout will be a list of fiefs that have vassals, and their vassals and subvassals. Only fiefs that have vassals will be listed. Indented under each fief name will be a list of that fief's vassals. Indented under each vassal will be the vassal's vasals (the subvassals of the original fief). If a fief is currently held by a player, the player's name will be printed to the right of the fief name whenever it appears in the list. Example:

     CORNWALL, Martha Sims
          CHESHIRE, Sam Wilson
This means that CORNWALL is being played by Martha Sims and her vassals are ALBANY, CHESHIRE (played by Sam Wilson), LINCOLN, and WESSEX. CORNWALLS' subvassals are NORFOLK and SUFFOLK, which are vassals of CHESHIRE.


Medieval lords often spent a good deal of time planning and conducting military campaigns, as will players. First, of course, a lord must maintain his army by feeding and paying his Knights. The computer deducts these costs automatically at the start of the turn, but a lord must make sure that he will have enough Gold and Food avalable to meet this expense. A player may want to raise additional Knights or hire Mercenaries to increase his military strength. Then the lord must decide what type of campaign he will conduct and where he will move his army.

You may only conduct one campaign (Order #10) per turn. You may use Order #11 more than once in order to move more than 2 areas, but be sure to write the movement in the proper sequence.

If two fiefs attack each other, the computer will pick one of them randomly, abort its movement, and change its campaign to type 100 (Defend).

You cannot attack your overlord without renouncing fealty. You can renounce fealty and attack on the same turn.


A lord may hire Mercenaries at the cost of 25 Gold per mercenary, up to the number of knights he has. Mercenaries are hired for the current turn only, and at the end of the campaign all mercenaries leave. Mercenaries will automatically go on campaign with the lord's army. (Example: if you have 100 Knights, you can hire 100 Mercenaries. You can, if you choose, send only 1 of the Knights on campaign, and all 100 Mercenaries will go along. )


Movement begins in the fief itself, and a player specifies where he will move by using Order #11. If no movement is ordered and if the lord orders a campaign (order #10) then his army will remain in his fief and his campaign becomes a "defend fief" order. Movement is from the fief the army is in to any adjacent fiefdom as shown on the map. Fiefdoms connected by a road through mountain, forest, and/or Fens are considered adjacent for movement purposes. An army may enter any adjacent fiefdom, but to continue movement, the fief the army is in must permit passage. Permission to move through a fief is given if the fief is a vassal, subvassal, or overlord of the army's fief, or if they are both vassals of the same overlord, or if the fief owes a favor to the army's fief (which then uses the favor owed to permit movement). A lord may move his army through as many fiefs as he desires, provided each fief moved through permits passage. The only other limitation on movement is that it requires one Order #11 for every two fiefs entered. If any army enters a fief and does not have permission to continue movement, its movement ends in that fief and the campaign will be carried out in that fief. After all movement is completed and campaigns are conducted, all armies return to their own fiefs. No movement orders are needed to return to your own fief since this is automatically done by the computer.

Sea movement is essentially the same except that a lord needs one ship for every 50 Knights and Mercenaries in his army. The computer checks first for land movement between adjacent fiefs. If the fief to be moved to is not adjacent by land, it then checks to see if both fiefs are coastal fiefs and if the moving player has any ships. If both conditions are met, movement occurs for the army between the coastal fiefs, (but limited to the number of Knights and Mercenaries which the lord's ships can carry). Movement may then continue if the moving army has passage through the fief as above. If there are not enough ships for the entire army to move, Kights return to their fiefdom first, then excess Mercenaries are left behind (they do not return to or defend the lord's fief.)


There are 6 types of military campaign. A lord must select Order #10 to go on campaign and specify what type of campaign his army is conducting. If you do not select any campaign, your Knights and any Mercenaries hired that turn will remain in your castle and defend it from sieges only.

4.31 Serving Under Another Lord: A lord may place his army in support of another lord by entering the fief number of the lord whom he will serve under. If you place your army in support of someone else, you cannot select the type of campaign he will conduct; however, you will not support an attack on your own fief. You must also either move your army to the other lord's home fief, or to the same fief he is moving to, in order to support his army. (If he is moving by ship to his target, and you move to his home fief without use of ships, neither he nor you has to have extra ships to move your army. If you can get to his home fief, you can support his campaign.) If you are giving campaign support to another fief, you cannot receive support from another fief that turn. An army that supports yours will only engage in combat if you are campaigning for yourself.

4.32 Defend Fief (Type 100): Use this order type to defend either your own fief, or any fief you move to, from any invaders. If you want to defend your own fief, you need not enter any movement order. This order is the only method to defend your fief from raids.

4.33 Raid (Type 200): A raid is a swift campaign with the objective of looting Gold from the fief you move to. If there are any other armies invading or defending the fief being raided, you will have to fight one battle against one of the other armies.

4.34 Field Battle (Type 300): This order means that the lord wants his army to fight any other army in the fief, either attacking or defending, and that his army will fight until defeated. If defeated in any battle, the army returns to its own fief. If all other armies are defeated, no siege will be conducted and the army will return home. This order is useful for fighting battles to increase one's Leadership, but has no other material gains.

4.35 Siege (Type 400-446): This is the normal siege order. It is like a 300 field battle in that all other armies in the fief must first be defeated. If the army remains unopposed in the fief, it will then conduct a siege against the nights in the castle. If the siege is successful, the conquered fiefdom becomes a vassal of the fief specified in the last two digits (a 400 defaults to 400 plus the fief number of the attacker). For example, if Albany (#1) moves to Towchester (#42) and gives a campaign type 400 or 401, Towchester will be Albany's vassal if the siege succeeds; if he orders a 408 siege, Towchester would become Cambridge's vassal. You can force a fief to swear fealty to any other fief in this fashion by winning a siege.(Type 500-546): This is the same as a 400 siege but if the siege succeeds, any player of the conquered fief is removed and a non-player is given control of the fief. The last two digits again specify who the new overlord of the fief will be if the siege succeeds. This is a drastic order, and is only meant to be used to remove players of known hostility. Removing a player from his fief does not necessarily mean that he will be removed from the game, and you have made one sure enemy if he remains in the game. You may not conduct a 500 siege before the year 804. (Type 600): This is the last type of siege which is conducted the same as a 400 siege. The difference is that if the siege is successful, the invading lord wishes to give up his old fief and to take over the conquered fief. If you use this order and win, you will change fiefs (another player in the conquered fief is removed.) Be sure that the new fief is better than your present fief before you use this order: a non-player takes over your old fief and becomes your vassal. You may not conduct a 600 siege before the year 804.


When the computer reaches the combat phase, it scans each fief and determines if there are any invaders in the fief. If there are, the computer randomly selects one invader and one other army (attacker or defender) to fight a battle. When a battle is fought, the computer totals the number of knights and mercenaries in the attacking force, and in the defending force, plus the troop strength of any armies supporting either the attacker or the defender. These troop strengths are then modified by the Leadership of the lords, and by the castle strength if a siege is being resolved.

After each battle the loser returns home and is removed from the list of armies in the fief (also any army on a raid leaves after fighting once). When only one army is left in the fief, the computer checks to see whether a siege was ordered by that army; if not, it returns home and the computer goes to the next fief. If a siege is ordered, the computer checks to see if the invaded fief has an adjacent overlord not on campaign. If so, then the overlord (player or non-player) will sortie to the rescue of its vassal and the invader will have to defeat the overlord army before conducting his siege. An army defending its own fief, if defeated, retreats into its own castle and the surviving troops will defend the castle along with any knights left behind in the castle. After the siege is conducted, the computer then goes to the next fief invaded. After all combat is done, the computer makes any necessary changes in fief ownership and vassal status.

Combat is resolved by comparing the adjusted total strength of the attacker's troops and supporting armies to that of the defender's troops, supporting armies, and castle if under seige. The computer selects the random strength ratio necessary to win from .2:1 to 5:1, weighted towards 1:1. If the attacker's strength exceeds the random number he wins, otherwise he loses. Thus an attack will fail at odds of 1:5 or less, has almost a 50% chance to win at 1:1, and will win with any odds greater than 5:1.


A lord may change fiefs voluntarily by conquering another fief with a 600 siege. He retains his old vassals, and his prior fief also becomes a vassal. A player changing fiefs keeps his Leadership and his vassals. All other military and economic factors remain with the former fief, and all favors owed by or to both lords are eliminated.

A player may also be forced to change fiefs if his fief is conquered with a 500 or 600 siege. When this happens, the computer will try to locate the player in a new fief as follows: first, if one of his non-player vassals is his alternate fief (See order #31), he will be assigned there; second if he has any non-player vassals, he will be assigned to one at random; finally, if he has an overlord and his overlord has non-player vassals, he will be assigned to one of them at random. If the overlord is invaded there must be more than one non-player vassal available (the overlord has priority for taking one of his own vassals, if conquered and removed). If an overlord conquers his own player vassal using a 500 or 600 type siege, the player may not move to any vassal of his overlord, but only to one of his own non-player vassals.


Diplomatic influence is represented in the game by Favors. A fief may only owe 6 Favors to other fiefs at any time, but may be owed any number of Favors from other fiefs. Favors from a player fief are only granted if the players orders that a Favor be granted; player fiefs cannot be Bribed, but the players may make any agreement they desire for obtaining Favors. Non- player fiefs only grant Favors by being Bribed at a cost of 100 to 1000 Gold. The more Gold spent, the greater the chance of the bribe succeeding, but even 1000 Gold does not guarantee success.

One Favor owed by a non-player may be used to move through the fief. No special order is necessary; the Favor is automatically deducted when the player tries to move through the fief. Two Favors owed by a non-player, or one Favor owed by a non-player vassal, permit a player to use Order #6 to have the non-player support him on campaign. Note that these Favors can be used with any non-player fief regardless of overlord or vassal status, the only difference being the number of favors needed for vassal or non-vassal campaign support.

Favors owed by player fiefs can only be used to permit movement through the fief. Players may also withdraw Favors they owe to other fiefs.

All Favors owed are eliminated if a fief is conquered by a 500 or 600 type siege. If a fief owes more than 6 Favors, the oldest Favors are eliminated. Successful 600 type seiges eliminate the conquer's Favors since he changes fiefs.

You only need Favors for movement you order with Order #11. If you move to another player's fief and support his army, your army then moves with his army, using his Favors. Non-player fiefs never need Favors to move.


To fill out the turnsheet, insert the appropriate information in the spaces provided for the game number, turn number, fief name, player number, and account number. Below this, spaces are provided for the 12 possible actions during a turn. Each action has 3 columns: "A" for the Order number, and "B" and "C" for further detail when necessary. The order summary on the turnsheet is a quick reference aid for preparing the turnsheet. Write your name and account number on the turnsheet. The types of Orders are:

1) Change Tax Rate; Your tax rate will remain the same until you change it with this order. A tax rate of 20 is considered normal and is the starting value for all fiefs. You may set your fief's tax rate from 0 to 50 (%). Insert the new tax rate in column B. This tax rate will be collected from the townsmen's total income, which is a random amount from 25 to 35 Gold per Townsman. Thus a tax of 20 will yield about 6 Gold per turn in tax revenue. Each market increases the tax base equivalent to 20 townsmen. High taxes will drive off townsmen, low taxes will attract townsmen, and large changes in tax rate may further affect townsmen growth or decrease.

2) Convert Livestock to Food: If you have Livestock, you may convert some or all of them to Food units at the start of your turn. One Livestock becomes one Food unit. Only one order of this type can be used each turn (nor would there be any reason to order it twice).

3) Change Overlord: This order is to swear or renounce fealty to an overlord, or to change overlords. Enter the fief number of your new overlord in column B. If you want to renounce fealty, enter 0 in column B. This order can only be used once per turn.

If you renounce your fealty to an overlord, or change overlords, you must pay a fine of 1500 Gold times your rank, to your old overlord. There is no penalty if you had no overlord at the start of the turn. The fine is assessed from your starting Gold, before your Knights are paid. If you cannot pay the fine, you cannot change your overlord.

4) Grant Favor: Use this order to give a Favor to any other fief. Since you are a player fief, the Favor can only be used to permit movement through your fief. You may use this order any number of times per turn, but you can only owe 6 Favors at any one time.

5) Withdraw Favor: You can eliminate any Favor you owe to another fief with this order. Insert the number of the fief to which the Favor is owed in Column B. To remove more than one Favor, use this order once for each Favor to be removed.

6) Use Favor for Campaign Support: This order may only be used for non- player fiefs who owe you Favors. Player fiefs only go on campaign by order of their player. This order requires one Favor owed by your non-player vassal, or two favors by any other non-player fief. The order will result in the non-player fief moving to the fief you invade or defend with at least 50% of its troops in support of your army. The only way it will fail is if another player uses this order for the same non-player fief (who uses the order first is random). This order may be used once for each fief which owes you the necessary Favors.

7) Train Knights: Write the number of Knights you wish to train in column B. The cost of training is 1 Peasant, 1 Food, and 20 Gold for each Knight. New Knights are added to your army immediately, and may be used on campaign on the same turn you train them. This order should only be used once per turn.

8) Disband Knights: Write the number of Knights to be disbanded in column B. You may disband any number of Knights up to 1 less than you have, but this occurs after Knights are maintained for the turn. Disbanded Knights (a random number over 50% of them) will become Townsmen. This order should be used only once per turn.

9) Hire Mercenaries: You may hire mercenaries up to the number of Knights you have at a cost of 25 Gold per Mercenary. Mercenaries automatically go on campaign with you, or help defend your castle if you don't go on campaign. If you use sea movement, you will need enough ships to carry Mercenaries as well as Knights.

10) Lead Army on Campaign: Use this order to take your Knights on campaign. See Rule 4.0 for the details of campaigning. In column B, insert the campaign type or the fief number that you will support. In column C insert the number of Knights you are taking on campaign, up to 1 less than all the Knights you have. Knights left behind defend your castle while you're gone. Mercenaries go with you automatically, so do not add them to the Knights you are taking. You must leave at least 1 Knight defending your castle. If you don't specify how many Knights to take on campaign, all but 1 Knight will go.

11) Army Movement: You must move your army if you go on campaign unless you have a 100 type campaign. After inserting "11" in the order column, insert the fief number you are moving to in column B, and if you want to continue moving, insert the next move in column C. Thus you can move into two fiefs with each Order #11. You may use additional movement orders to continue moving. You begin the turn in your own fief, and each movement order is stored in the sequence you write your orders. Your movement ends in the last fief you move to, or the last legal fief (if you try to move to a non- adjacent fief), or in any fief on your route for which you don't have permission to move through. Wherever you end movement is where your campaign will be conducted.

12) Export Gold: This order exports Gold to another fief, up to 10,000 Gold per order #12 used. Insert the number of Gold sent in column B and the fief sent to in column C. You cannot export Gold to a non-player fief.

13) Export Food: You may send up to 1000 Food to another fief with each order #13. Insert the number of Food sent in column B and the fief number in column C. You cannot export Food to a non-player fief.

14) Export Ships: You may transfer any number of ships you own to another fief except ships you need for army sea movement that turn. Put the number of ships in column B, and the fief in column C. You cannot export ships to a non-player fief.

15) Buy Food: You may buy up to 1000 Food with each Order #15 used at the market price to buy Food. Put the number of Food to be bought in column B.

16) Sell Food: You may sell up to 1000 Food with each Order #16 used, and receive the selling price per Food. Put the number of Food to sell in column B. It is advisable to keep enough Food to feed your own population.

17) Give Food to Townsmen: Normally Townsmen will buy their own Food at market iwth their after-tax income; however you may give Food to your Townsmen and set a maximum price per Food unit, not above the market price to sell Food. Your Townsmen will pay the price you set if they can, otherwise they will pay what they can afford. If you give them a lot of extra Food, or tax them heavily, or if the market price is high, they will not be able to pay the market price. This order insures that the Townsmen get whatever Food you give them, so you can prevent starvation when the Food price is high, but it does not guarantee your income. If you want top price for Food, sell it at market with Order #16. Put the number of Food in column B, and the maximum price in Column C.

18) Give Food to Peasants: Your Peasants will automatically receive any Food left, up to the number of Peasants. With this order, you may give additional Food to improve your Peasant growth. Put the actual number of Food units to be given to the Peasants in column B. Say how much TOTAL food you want your peasants to have, not just how much extra. You cannot use this order to deliberately starve your peasants. If you write in less food than you have peasants, we will assume that the amount is now much extra you want them to have.

19) Transfer Peasants to Townsmen: You may transfer up to 10% of your Peasants into Townsmen with each order used. This order may be used more than once per turn. Note that there is no way to transfer Townsmen back to Peasants. Specify the number of Peasants to be transferred in column B.

20) Buy Livestock: You may purchase up to 100 Livestock with each order used, at the cost of 1 Food and 5 Gold each.

21) Agricultural Research: You may spend from 100 to 1000 Gold in column B to try to improve your agricultural yield rate. The chance of success is random with each increment of 100 Gold improving the chance of success. If successful, it costs an additional 1 Gold per Peasant to apply the improvement which is automatically deducted in addition to the cost of research, and you will not be able to attempt research if you do not have enough Gold to apply the research. The number of improvements is indicated by the Agricultural Bonus value, and may never exceed .9. Each improvement increases the fief's harvest by .1 Food per Peasant.

22) Bribe Fief: Only non-player fiefs may be bribed. You may spend from 100 to 1000 Gold for a bribe, with increasing chance of success for each increment of 100 Gold spent. A successful bribe gains you one Favor owed by the fief bribed. This order may be used more than once, but no fief may owe more than 6 Favors at any one time. See Rule 5.0 for the use of Favors.

23) Spy: The cost to spy on another fief is 100 Gold. The spy will report who the player of the fief is, if any, who are the vassals and overlord of the fief, Favors owed to and by the fief, the size of the castle, and the number of Peasants, Townsmen, Knights, and ships. The spy will report these values as of the end of the current turn. The economic data will be accurate within 10%. This order may be used any number of times.

24) Mining: This is an order to explore for potential mines. You may spend from 100 to 1000 Gold to explore for mines, with a greater random chance of success for higher amounts spent. If a mine site is found, you will automatically construct the mine at an additional cost of 100 Gold and 10 Peasants, which will be deducted form your assets. If you do not have at lest 200 Gold and 10 Peasants at the time the order is processed, you cannot explore for mines. The type of mine found is also random, with the least profitable mines (stone) being more likely than the most profitable (gem); this is weighted, however, towards the more profitable mines based upon the number of adjacent mountain areas. Each fief may have at least 3 active mines,plus 2 additional for each adjacent mountain area. No fief can have more than 9 active mines.

25) Foreign Trade: Any fiefdom which owns ships can conduct foreign trade. All ships not used for military sea movement conduct foreign trade if this order is used. Insert in column B the amount of Gold (representing purchase of export goods) per ship, up to 1000 Gold per ship. In column C specify the distance of the trade, from 1 (nearby, cross-channel) to 9 (very distant spice trade). The risk of loss of ships is related to the distance travelled, but the income from the trade is also related to distance. Distance 9 is for gamblers, since the risk of loss is high, but potential profits are great; distance 1 is very conservative, with little risk and possibly little gain (or even loss). This order can only be used once per turn.

26) Improve Castle: This order is to improve or repair your castle size, and thus increase the defensive bonus for troops defending the castle in a siege. In column B specify how much you are spending on castle improvement. The minimum is 1000 Gold and the maximum is 10,000 Gold. The cost to increase castle size by 1 is 1000 Gold per 10 castle size; thus a castle size 10 will be raised to size 11 for 1000 Gold, but a castle size 34 will cost 3000 Gold to increase to 35. Note that the castle defensive bonus is based upn the value of the 10's digit, thus a castle size 29 has the same defensive value as a castle size 20. If you spend less than the minimum alue to raise the castle size by 1, the Gold will be spent but will have no effect on the castle (e.g. spending 5000 for a castle size 30 will only raise the castle to 31, and you will have wasted 2000 Gold). You may use this order more than once in a turn. To raise a 20 castle to a 30 castle would require using this order twice, spending 10,000 Gold each time, or up to 10 times, spending 2000 Gold each time. No castle can be larger than 90.

27) Build One Ship: The cost to build a ship is 400 Gold and 10 Townsmen. Your fiefdom must be adjacent to the sea in order to build ships with this order. This order may be used more than once per turn.

28) Build One Marketplace: This order builds 1 market at a cost of 300 Gold. You cannot have more than one market per 50 Townsmen, nor more than 20 markets. You may use this order more than once per turn.

29) Build One Fishing Village: This order creates a fishing village at a cost of 300 Gold and 10 Peasants. Anyone can have 2 fishing villages, or 5 if adjacent to the Fens, or 8 if adjacent to the sea. This order may be used more than once per turn.

30) Build One Lumber Mill: This order constructs one lumber mill at a cost of 100 Gold and 10 Peasants. Any fief can have 2 lumber mills, plus 2 for each adjacent forest area, up to a maximum of 9 lumber mills. This order may be used more than once per turn.

31) Designate Alternate Fief: This order allows you to designate one of your non-player vassal fiefs as a priority fief for you to move to in the event you are conquered by a 500 or 600 type siege. To use this order, insert the fief number in column B. This order remains in effect until you change the designated feif using an Order #31 later. To cancel this order, insert 0 in column B. If the designated fief is conquered or is no longer your vassal, then the normal random process is used for determining your new fief.


The sequence in which the computer executes your orders is important for proper planning of your turn activities. In general, the Orders are numbered in the sequence in which they are executed. There are 4 main points at which orders are processed:

  1. Orders 1-9 and 31 are processed as your orders are being keyed into the computer. You must therefor have enough Gold, Food, and the proper Favors available at the start of the turn for these orders. In addition, the cost of maintaining your Knights is deducted before Order #7 (Train Knights) is processed. You must have enough Gold to maintain your Knights at the start of the turn. If you cannot afford to maintain your Knights, the excess over what you can afford will leave before you can disband them, and you will not be able to afford to train new Knights or hire Mercenaries.
  2. Orders #10 through #14 are processed afte all player orders have been entered. This means, for example, that Favors given by a player (Order #4) can be used to permit movement through his fief (Order #11) on the same turn, and that export orders use only the fief's starting factors, less military costs.
  3. Orders #15 through #18 are processed first in numerical order as the player's turn results are printed; therefore you may purchase Food to give to Peasants, or conversely Food sold is not available to give to Townsmen or Peasants.
  4. Orders #19 through #30 are then processed in the sequence of actions as specified on the turnsheet. The one exception is Order #22 (Bribe Fief) which is processed after all other orders.
You may not spend or allocate more factors than you have at the time the order is processed. The sequence of order execution can be observed from your Turn printout, since the Turn is printed in the sequence in which orders are executed. The one exception is that military combat and results are determined prior to any player turns being printed.


The majority of the fiefdoms in the game are not controlled by any player. These are called non-player fiefdoms, and are managed by the computer. Non-player lords will not swear fealty to an overlord unless conquered by siege. They can be bribed to gain Favors to permit movement through their fief or for support on campaign. They will increase modestly in population each turn, and will increase their army in proportion to their population. They will also train new Knights to replace combat losses. They will not make any economic investments, but will maintain any investments the fief already has. They may go on campaign, randomly attacking any adjacent fiefdom (even that of an overlord).


The game ends when one player has achieved victory by becoming King (or Queen) of England. This occurs when one of the following conditions is met:

  1. A player has at least 23 vassals and subvassals, or
  2. There is only one player left in the game, or
  3. One player is overlord of all player-controlled fiefs.
The player becoming King or Queen is the grand winner, and his vassals are winners in the sequence of their own rank. Players not on the winning side are considered the losers.


If you think an error was made in the processing of your turn, please tell us what you think is wrong. If we made an error, or the error is due to a program bug, we will try to correct it. We will not make any changes that materially affect another player (such as combat results). Any requests for corrections must be made before the next turn is due, and you must still submit your orders by the due date, but you may submit alternative orders in case we make any data corrections. If we made an error, but cannot fix it for you, we will give you two free turns in the game as an apology for the error.


Instead of our usual practice of forwarding diplomatic messages, on the first turn we will print the names and addresses of all the players in the game. You should be aware that if you sign up for a Feudal Lords game, your name and address will be published. We will publish the final results of each game in FBQ.

Each player is allowed to submit a 1-line 'World News' message each turn. This message will appear on all players' printouts on the following turn. Maximum length of the message is 80 characters. Longer messages will be truncated or omitted. The message can be anonymous; or you can sign it with your fief name, real name, or player number. You can't pretend to be another player when signing your message. Obscene messages, or messages that show incredibly poor taste will not be printed. Write your world news message in the empty space below your orders on your turn sheet.


  1. Albany
  2. Alcester
  3. Avalon
  4. Buxton
  5. Cair Gai
  6. Cairleon
  7. Caistor
  8. Cambridge
  9. Camelot
  10. Cardigan
  11. Carmarthen
  12. Cheshire
  13. Cornwall
  14. Denbigh
  15. Devon
  16. Dorchester
  17. Dover
  18. Durham
  19. Essex
  20. Exeter
  21. Glamorgan
  22. Gloucester
  23. Gwynned
  24. Hereford
  25. Kent
  26. Lancaster
  27. Leicester
  28. Lincoln
  29. Manchester
  30. Middlesex
  31. Newton
  32. Norfolk
  33. Northumber
  34. Plewre
  35. Rochester
  36. Salisbury
  37. Silchester
  38. Stafford
  39. Stoke
  40. Suffolk
  41. Sussex
  42. Towchester
  43. Uxworth
  44. Warwick
  45. Wessex
  46. Wroxeter

Summary of Orders
1. Change tax rate to (b) (range 0 to 50)
2. Convert (B) Livestock to Food
3. Change Overlord to (B) (range 0 to 46)
4. Give Favor to Fief #(B) (range 1 to 46)
5. Withdraw Favore owed to Fief #(B)
6. Use Favor(s) owed by Fief (B) for campaign support
7. Train (B) Knights (20 Gold, 1 Food and 1 Peasant each)
8. Disband (B) Knights
9. Hire (B) Mercenaries (25 Gold each)
10. Lead army on campaign
(B) Type: 1-46: serve under Fief #(B)
100: Defend fief
200: Raid fief
300: Battle only, no siege
4xx: Siege, make Fief #(xx) new overlord
5xx: Siege, remove player, (xx) new overlord
600: Siege, take as your new fief
(C) # Knights taken on campaign

11. Move army to Fief (B), Fief (C)
12. Export (B) Gold to Fief (C), maximum 10,000
13. Export (B) Food to Fief (C), maximum 1,000
14. Export (B) Ships to Fief (C)
15. Buy (B) Food at market, maximum 1,000
16. Sell (B) Food at market, maximum 1,000
17. Give (B)Food to Townsmen,(C) max Gold per Food asked
18. Give (B) Food to Peasants (total # Food)
19. Transfer (B) Peasants to Townsmn (10% of Peas. max)
20. Buy (B) Livestock (100 max @5 gold and 1 Food each)
21. Agri. research, spend (B) gold (1000 max, 100 min)
22. Bribe, spend (B) Gold on Fief #(C) (1000 max, 100 min)
23. Spy on Fief #(B), cost 100 Gold
24. Mine exploration, spend (B) Gold (1000 max, 100 min)
25. Foreign trade: (B) Gold per ship, distance (C); (max 1000 Gold, distance of 9)
26. Improve castle, spend (B) Gold (10,000 max, 1000 min)
27. Build one ship (costs 400 Gold and 10 Townsmen)
28. Build one Marketplace (costs 300 Gold)
29. Build one Fishing Village (cost: 300 Gold & 10 Peasants)
30. Build one Lumber Mill (cost 100 Gold and 10 Peasants)
31. Declare alternate Fief (B)

You can submit your turn for Feudal Lords by sending an email to games (at) flyingbuffalo (dot) com

To see a copy of the MAP, click here.

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