The first player with a palace to amass 12 victory points (VP) in constructed buildings and captive Emperors in Ekö wins the game.
To set up, fill the board with all the pawns, placed at random. Before starting the game, each player can exchange their Emperor pawn with another of their pawns elsewhere on the board. On your turn, you must do both phases in this order: the action phase, then the reinforcements phase. During the action phase, you must perform one single action:
- Move: Move to an empty space, regroup or attack; you can attack only a stack of enemy pieces that contains strictly fewer pieces than the attacking stack — except that a stack of four pieces can be attacked and destroyed by a stack of one piece.
- Construct: You can construct only one building per space; subsequent construction on the same space replaces the existing building. Each terrain type allows specific types of construction. In order to construct a building on an empty space or on a space already containing one of your buildings, you must sacrifice pieces from a single stack adjacent to this construction space.