How to win
The Veil is a game of power set in a modern horror/fantasy setting. Each player represents a conspiracy trying to gain dominance over the other Factions.
You win by gaining the most powerful position at the end of the game, or by gaining Dominion. To gain Power you take control of Assets, Locations and Agents by drafting them with Influence – and attack against the Assets and resources controlled by the other players.
Power is measured by the green circle on the cards, in play. The light green circle next to power is Hidden Power of the card while in hand, which adds to your power at the end of the game (if the game does not end in Dominion). The other circles are white for Influence created per turn, and purple for drafting Cost (in Influence).
An example card: a Veiled (Black) Agent with 1 Influence, 1 Power, 5 Hidden Power and drafting cost of 5.
Should you ever reach 20 power in play, you must declare Dominance. If none of the other players declare Dominance before your next turn, and you still have 20 or mover at the start of the turn, you win the game instantly.
Each player has a 11 card Starter deck.
There are 2 draft decks, one for Actions the other for Assets. For the game to last 8 turns a starter deck needs to have 3 + [n. of players] x 8 cards. (Note: beta 2 decks are 15 cards and thus enable us to play 6 turns of 2 player demo). You can count the turns with a turn counter, or just by remembering, that when a draft deck has less cards than players, it’s a players last turn.
Players draw 3 cards from their Starter, and Action and Asset draft Tracks are filled up to 4 cards.
Each player gains 10 Influence, and 10 Influence is added to the bank.
Playing a turn
The game has 8 rounds, where players take their turns in clockwise order.
Each turn consists of following phases.
- Draw 2 cards, fill up the draft Tracks.
- Play any cards form your hand, and play any Actions granted by the cards you have in play. (note: Instants may be played outside of this phase).
- Collect Influence from cards you have in play. Amount of Influence granted at this phase is the black number on a white circle at the left side of the card.
- Purchase 1 Action and 1 Asset from the draft Tracks, or remove a card from each Track you did not purchase a card. (take the cards purchased to your hand). The Cost of each card is noted in the purple circle at the left bottom corner of the card. Starter cards can not be bought.
- Discard to 5 cards if you have more than 5 cards in hand.
- Burn all Free Agents and Activate the Inactive Assets you control.
- Move your discard to the bottom of your deck.
If there are less cards in a draft deck than there are players, this is the players last turn.
There are 7 different card types. Instants, Runs and Events are Actions with cyan title bar. Agents and Locations are Assets and come in two varieties: black for Veiled and purple for Mundane Assets. (there is a 8th card type called Vote, but they are omitted from this version of the game)
All Cards except Instants are played on your turn after draw. Instants are playable any time the Instant states they may be played. Assets, and Actions with special effects are played to your play area. Actions without a special effect on card text burn as they are played.
An example play area with 2 Actions, 2 Locations and 4 Agents in play. The player’s total Power is (2+2+1+1+1+3=) 10 and they gain (1+1+1+2+2=) 7 Influence per turn. Note that the Private Investigator is played as a Free Agent, and burns at the end of the players turn.
A card with + symbol (See Private Investigator Above) lets you draw a card as you play the card. The numbers inside the VEIL logo are Votes, which have no game-play effect at this stage.
Different card types
Locations: place the Location in your play area Inactive (An Inactive card can not be used)
Agents: place the Agents in a Location you control, or to your play area as Free Agents. Agents enter play Inactive.
Instant: you may play an Instant Action at any time, if the card text does not limit the card to a certain scenario. Instants are played and resolved in the play order, and the player who played a card or an action can play a Instant (and another, and another) before others get to play cards.
Event: Events are played when you play cards in your turn.
Run: Runs are played when you play cards in your turn. In addition, playing a Run requires using an Asset as specified in the run. Used Assets are Burned.
Vote Action: Vote Actions are played during your turn just like Events. The Action’s effect requires more Votes for the the Action to pass, than for it to fail. Each player can cast any Votes they have for or against the Action. The Votes granted by the Vote card are usable as the card would be in play.
Card effects and keywords.
Playing a card with + symbol lets you draw from your deck (if not empty) a card instantly.
A card in play can grant you an additional Action or effect while in play. The Actions granted by Assets can only be played when the Asset is in play and active.
Burning, or Using a card moves it to your discard. You can only use an Active card you control.
Frozen cards can not be used or burned, but they can be target of an Action.
A card with Cover can not be target of an Action, but it can be used.
Removing a card moves it to the Removed from play stack.
There are multiple roads to victory. This advice is aimed for a novice player.
Your first priority is to get Influence generation to a reasonable level. When you gain at least 8 Influence each round, or can safely stash 5 influence while still being able to buy the most expensive cards on the draft track, its time to move to the next phase.
To win, you need to have 2 things. Power on play, and hidden power in hand. And you need to have more than your opponents. There are three ways to achieve this:
- Hurt their power in play
- Attain more power to your hand and table
- Grab all the influence, and force the others to fight over the scraps
When you get the hang of the balance between influence and power gain – you can start to learn how to combine the runs, events and instants for more efficient strategy.
Agent: An Asset.
Asset: The black and purple cards.
Burn: move the Asset to your Discard.
Cost: the drafting cost required to purchase the card from the draft track.
Cover: A card with Cover can not be target of an Action, but it can be used.
Dominion: A victory condition. Having 20 or more power in play at the end of your turn and being able to keep the position until the start of your next turn.
Faction: A conspiracy trying to take over the world.
Free: a Free Agent is discarded (burned) at the end of your turn.
Frozen: Frozen cards can not be used or burned, but they can be target of an Action.
Hidden Power: The light green circle with + symbol. The Hidden Power of a card is added to your end game score if the game ends after full 8 rounds (and not by Dominance or other effect)
Influence: currency of the game, used to pay for some effects and to buy cards form the draft deck.
Instant: An Action playable at any time by default. The card text may limit when the card can be played.
Location: An Asset, where you can play Agents.
Power: The middle green circle of a card in play.
Starter deck: 11 card
Track: the 2 draft tracks with 4 Asset and 4 Action cards.
Votes: The number inside the game logo.