Objective of Goat Lords
The objective of Goat Lords is to create the largest herd of goats to score the most points at the end of the game.
Setup for Goat Lords
- Choose a player to be the dealer. They will shuffle all of the cards together.
- The dealer deals four cards to each player. If there are only two or three players, you will deal five cards to each player.
- Any player that receives an Action card(s) immediately places it face down in front of themselves. They will then receive an additional card. Players can have up to three Action cards in front of them. If you ever receive a fourth Action card, you will choose one of your Action cards to add to the Trash Pile. Once a card is added to the Trash Pile, it will not be used for the rest of the game.
- The rest of the cards are placed face down on the table to form the Draw Pile.
- Turn over the top card from the Draw Pile and place it next to the Draw Pile. This starts the Discard Pile. If the card is a Wild, return it to the Draw Pile and reveal a new card.
- The player to the left of the dealer starts the game. Play moves clockwise throughout the game.
Playing Goat Lords
On your turn you can choose one of five actions.
- Assisted Birth
- Play an Action Card
After you have taken one of the actions, all of the players will draw cards until they have the maximum number of cards in their hand. In 2-3 player games each player should have five cards. Otherwise players will have four cards. The player who took the most recent turn draws first. The player to their left then draws. This continues until all of the players’ hands are full.
Players will not refill their hands until the end of the turn, even if they play multiple cards on their turn such as through a duel or an action card.
Should you ever have more cards in your hand than the limit (4 for 4+ players, 5 for 2-3 players), you will choose which cards you want to discard at the end of the turn.
If any player draws an Action card, they will place it face down in front of themselves. They will then draw another card. If any player has more than three Action cards in front of them, they need to choose which Action cards they want to move to the Trash Pile.
The next player in clockwise order takes the next turn.
Birth Action in Goat Lords
The first action you can take on your turn is the birth action. Look at the cards in your hand. If you have two identical goat cards in your hand, you can play them to your herd. You can also combine any goat card with a wild card to create a pair. You cannot create a pair with two wild cards. When taking the birth action you can only play two matching cards. You can never create a pair with more than two cards.
The first pair that you play is called your Base Stack. Players can never steal another player’s Base Stack. You should place your Base Stack vertical in front of you.
After your Base Stack you should place the next pair so it faces the opposite direction. Each pair you play for the rest of the game should face the opposite direction as the previous pair. This is done to make it easier to tell between different pairs of cards.
You can choose to take the assisted birth action if you have a card in your hand that matches the top card on the Discard Pile. If you take this action you will take the top card from the Discard Pile and add it to the card from your hand. You will then play the two cards in the same way as the birth action.
If the Discard Pile ever runs out of cards, you cannot take this action until another card is added to the Discard Pile.
Dueling in Goat Lords
If you have a goat card in your hand that matches the top card on another player’s stack of cards (Herd), you can choose to duel them.
There are a couple of rules that you need to follow to duel another player.
- You cannot duel until you have your own Base Stack.
- You cannot try to duel for another player’s Base Stack. A player needs to have two or more stacks in their Herd before you can duel them.
- When dueling you can only use cards from your hand. You cannot use cards from the Discard Pile.
- You can only choose to duel an opponent’s top stack. Any stack that is covered up is safe from a duel.
Dueling Another Player
If you choose to duel you will play the matching card. You can also choose to play a Wild card.
The player you are dueling then has the chance to defend. If they have a matching card or a Wild card, they can play it at this time. All Wild cards are considered the same during a Duel. If the other player played a 50 point Wild, you can play a 25 point Wild on it.
This back and forth continues until a player is unable to play another matching/Wild card or chooses not to play one.
Results of the Duel
If the attacker (the player that initiates the duel) plays the last card, they win the duel. They will take the top stack from the other player’s Herd/stack and add it to their own Herd/stack. They will also add all of the cards played during the duel to their stack.
If the defender plays the last card, they get to keep their top stack. They also get to add all of the cards played during the duel to the stack.
Play an Action Card
If you have an action card face down on the table in front of you, you can choose to play it. You can only play an action card if you already have at least one stack in your Herd. You may only use an action card against a player that has at least one stack in their Herd.
When you choose this action, you will choose one of your action cards to play. You will take the corresponding action and then place the action card in the Trash Pile. See the corresponding section below for details on how to use each card.
When you play a card with +1 Play or +2 Play on it, you get to take the corresponding number of additional actions on your turn. For your additional actions you must play cards from your hand. If you play a +1 Play card, you cannot use another action card. If you play a +2 Play card though, you can play another action card.
Choose another player to attack. The top stack on their Herd is removed and placed in the Trash Pile.
The Escape Goat card is used to avoid an action card played by another player or a duel.
If you use the Escape Goat against an attempted duel, you take the card played by the other player and add it to your top stack. You must play the card at the start of the duel.
If you use it against an action card, the action card has no effect. The Escape Goat card needs to be played before any effects of the action card are applied.
Should an action card be blocked, the +1 Play still takes effect.
The Escape Goat has no effect against the following cards:
- 50 Shades of Goat (from the expansion pack)
- Raining Fire-Goats
- Russian Goatlette
When you play the card you will draw one more card. You then get to take two additional actions. You cannot refill your hand at any point until the end of your turn.
When choosing which actions to take, you can choose any combination of actions. You can only play one additional action card though.
After playing the Goatinhood card, starting with the player on your left you will ask them for their highest valued Wild card. If they have a Wild card they have to give you their highest valued Wild.
If they don’t have a Wild card, you will ask the player to their left. This continues until someone gives you a Wild.
If no one has a Wild, you don’t get anything from the card.
You may not play a Escape Goat card to avoid this card.
When you play this card you will choose another player. You will draw a card from their hand. The rules do not state whether you get to choose the card, or if it is randomly selected.
Loaf of Goat
Choose a player. They will lose their next turn.
Once the Raining Fire-Goats card is played, all of the players select one card from their hand to use for the rest of the current turn. They cannot use any of the other cards from their hand. They should place the rest of their cards facedown in front of them so they don’t use them.
When a Raining Fire-Goats card is played, no player may use an Escape Goat to block the card or defend for the rest of the current turn.
After the turn is over, all of the players take back all of their cards into their hand.
When you play the card you choose a direction (left or right). All players will pass their top stack to the next player in the chosen direction. If you only have your Base Stack, you will pass it to the next player. The stack you receive from another player becomes your new Base Stack.
You cannot use the Escape Goat card to defend against this card.
You will draw two cards and add them to your hand. These additional cards can be used this turn.
At the end of your turn you must discard cards until you are back to the normal amount of cards.
Choose another player. You can choose any of the stacks in their Herd stack and move it to the top. This makes the stack vulnerable to another player’s duel.
If you cannot or don’t want to take any of the other actions, you will take the discard action. Choose one of the cards from your hand and add it to the top of the Discard Pile. You will then draw a new card from the Draw Pile.
If there are no cards in the Draw Pile, you will still have to discard a card if you take this action.
Winning Goat Lords
Players will keep taking turns throughout the game. Once the Draw Pile runs out of card, the players will keep playing cards but will no longer draw new cards. If there are five or more cards in the Discard Pile, you will shuffle the Discard Pile to form a new Draw Pile.
When a player plays the last card from their hand and can no longer draw new cards, players can no longer play action cards on their turn. The rest of the players can still play the cards left in their hand though.
Once everyone is done playing cards, each player counts up the value of all of the cards in their Herd pile. The player with the most points wins the game.
Alternative Goat Lords Game Modes
Instead of just playing one round, you can choose to play multiple rounds. At the end of each round, each player writes down how many points they scored. You will then play another round. When a player has scored 1,000 or more points, the game ends. The player that scores the most points wins the game.
Another alternative mode for playing Goat Lords is to not use any of the action cards.
Goat Lords FAQ
If you have any questions about how to play Goat Lords, leave a comment below on this post. I will try to answer any questions asked as best and as quickly as possible.
- 4 Goat Lord (Wild) cards
- 8 Magical Goatini (Wild) cards
- 8 Flying Goat-a-Corn cards
- 10 Fire Breathing Dragon Goat cards
- 10 Friendly T-Goat cards
- 10 Goat Ninja cards
- 10 Krakengoat cards
- 10 Fairy Goat Mother cards
- 10 Fainting Baby Goat cards
- 10 Gleeful Ghoast cards
- 10 Ladypug cards
- 10 Foodie Goat cards
- 3 Escape Goat cards
- 2 Sneak-A-Goat cards
- 2 Russian Goatlette cards
- 2 Raining Fire-Goats cards
- 2 Hypnotized Goat cards
- 1 Santy Goat card
- 1 Loaf of Goat card
- 1 Flower Goatee card
- 1 Atomic Goat card
- 1 Goatinhood card
Year: 2016 | Publisher: Gatwick Games
Genres: Card, Family, Party
Ages: 7+ | Number of Players: 3-6 | Length of Game: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate
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