How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

A War of Whispers Game Rules

Welcome to the enchanting world of A War of Whispers – a game like no other! In this strategic masterpiece, I’ll guide you through the intricacies of the gameplay, helping you understand the concepts and strategies that will lead you to victory. Let’s embark on this exciting journey together!


In A War of Whispers, you take on the role of a powerful and cunning ruler, seeking to influence the fate of the realm. But here’s the twist – you don’t control the actions of the major factions directly. Instead, you manipulate secret agents, subtly guiding their choices and secretly backing the factions of your choice.

The Objective

Your goal is simple – gain the most points by the end of the game. To do so, you must carefully position your secret agents behind the scenes, ensuring that your chosen factions succeed and rise to power. But beware! Your opponents have the same objective, and their agents are just as crafty as you.

Game Setup

To begin, distribute the faction cards and secret agent tokens to all players. Each faction card represents a major faction vying for control, while the secret agent tokens represent your influence over these factions. As the game progresses, you’ll place your secret agents face down, showing your support for one of the factions.


Now, let’s dive into the heart of the game. Each round, you’ll have the opportunity to play one Influence Card from your hand. These cards come in different types, each with a unique ability that can tilt the balance of power in your favor. Choose wisely and adapt your strategy to the ever-changing state of the game.

Once all players have played their Influence Cards, the round enters the Whisper Phase. This is where the game truly comes alive! During this phase, players take turns whispering secret instructions to the agents of their choice. These whispers determine the actions that the factions will take, deciding their fate and ultimately shaping the outcome of the game.

Remember, your whispers are unseen by others, shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Will you openly declare your allegiance or deceive your opponents with clever misdirection? The choice is yours, but be cautious – trust is a scarce commodity in this world.


At the end of each round, the factions’ actions are resolved, and the game moves forward. You will earn points based on your secret agent’s presence within the factions that were successful. Your score will fluctuate as the game progresses, so stay vigilant and adapt your strategy accordingly.


Now that you know the basics of A War of Whispers, it’s time to immerse yourself in this thrilling world of strategy and deception. Remember, the key to victory lies not in brute force, but in the subtle dance of whispers and maneuvering. Will you emerge as the master manipulator, or be outwitted by your opponents? The choice is yours – now go forth and conquer!

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

Hey there! Have you ever played a board game called A War of Whispers? Well, let me tell you all about it! It’s a super fun game that you can play with 2 to 4 players. In this game, there are five powerful empires that are fighting a war for control of the world. But here’s the twist, you don’t actually get to be one of those mighty rulers. Nope, instead, you get to play as a secret society!

As a member of this secret society, your goal is to bet on who you think will win the war and manipulate the outcome to ensure that your bets pay off. It’s all about strategy and hidden agendas in this game. You’ll have to be sneaky and clever to come out on top.

A War of Whispers is a game that will really make you think. You’ll have to carefully consider your moves and try to predict what the other players are going to do. Loyalties can change in an instant, so you’ll always have to be on your toes. It’s a game that keeps you on the edge of your seat!

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess


  • 1 Game Board
  • 40 Empire Cards
  • 100 Banner Cubes
  • 36 Agent Tokens
  • 4 Turn Trackers
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 1 First Player Token
  • 20 Loyalty Tokens
  • Rulebook

Object of the Game

When you start the game, you’ll get 5 loyalty tokens. Each token represents one of the 5 different empires, with a loyalty value chosen randomly.

Your main goal is to make sure that by the end of the game, the empires you’re most loyal to control the most cities worldwide.


How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

To get started with the game, you’ll need to select your player board A, agents B, and loyalty tokens C. Keep them separate for now. Place the “1” turn marker next to the “Start” space on the board D, and put the other three turn markers close to the turn tracker E.

Now it’s time to set up the empires. There are five of them, each represented by a different color and animal: the Bear Empire (blue), the Lion Empire (yellow), the Horse Empire (brown), the Elephant Empire (green), and the Eagle Empire (red).

For each empire, gather all the banners (cubes) of that color and place them next to the board to create the Banner Reserve Piles F.

Next, the empire cards are divided into five decks and placed next to their corresponding empires G.

Let’s move on to the map.

The map on the game board is split into different-colored regions, and each of those regions is divided into empires. If you see a small banner image in a region, that means you should place a banner of the corresponding empire color there. For example, if there’s a yellow region with two yellow banners, you would place two yellow Lion empire banners there.

Who Goes First?

Let’s decide who will take the first turn. It doesn’t matter how you choose the first player. Whoever it is will take the first player marker. This marker will change hands during the game, and we’ll call the player holding it the first player.

Loyalty Matters

When setting up the game, you and your opponents need to place your initial loyalty bets on the five Empires. To do that, take your five loyalty tokens, shuffle them, and randomly place them face-down on the five slots for loyalty on your player board.

When you play the game, each loyalty token represents one of the five empires. The slot where you place the token represents your “bet” on that empire. This is explained in more detail on page 5.

Symbols on the Map

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Farm: I’m sure you’ve heard of them before. They’re these neat things that councils can do to increase the amount of stuff they have in a certain region. It’s like growing stuff on a big scale, but instead of crops, they’re growing supplies. And when I say supplies, I mean anything that a council might need to keep things running smoothly.

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

Hey there! Let’s talk fortresses, shall we? They’re pretty important when it comes to battles and stuff. So, here’s the lowdown on forts:

First things first, when we talk about forts, we’re actually talking about those places that play a big role in council positions. You know, those strategic moves and decisions that can really make a difference. Well, forts add something extra to the defending army during an attack – an extra banner, to be precise. And trust me, that can be a game-changer.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “What’s a banner?” Good question! Think of it this way: a banner is like a symbol that represents a group of fighters. It’s kind of like the team flag that they carry into battle. So, when a fort adds a banner to the defending army, it’s like giving them a boost of confidence and unity. They feel stronger and more united, and that can really make all the difference in a tough fight.

But let’s not forget, forts are a double-edged sword. Yeah, they can boost your defense, but they can also be a target for the enemy. You see, when someone attacks a fort, they’re not just trying to get past the walls and stuff. They’re also trying to take away that extra banner, that added strength. So, it’s important to protect your fort and keep it from falling into enemy hands.

So, remember, forts are crucial in the world of battles and wars. They add strength and unity to the defending army, but they can also become a target for the enemy. So, keep an eye on those forts and make sure to protect them. They could be the key to victory!

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City: A term that plays a significant role in determining the final score.

When it comes to scoring, the city you live in can make a big difference. It’s amazing how where we live can influence our lives in so many ways. Let me explain why the city is such an important factor to consider.

As I think about it, the city is like a hub that connects us with various opportunities and experiences. It’s a place where you can find a diverse range of jobs, schools, and cultures. Different cities offer different resources and amenities, making them attractive for different reasons.

Take a moment to reflect on the city you live in. Consider the availability of job opportunities. The job market in a city can greatly affect your career prospects and earning potential. Some cities have thriving industries and a high demand for specific skills, which can lead to more job opportunities and better pay. On the other hand, some cities may not offer as many job prospects, which can make it challenging to find suitable employment.

Education is another crucial aspect influenced by the city you reside in. Cities often have a variety of educational institutions, ranging from elementary schools to universities. This means you have more options when it comes to choosing the right school or college for you or your children. The quality of education can vary from city to city, so it’s important to consider this aspect carefully.

Cultural experiences are also shaped by the city. Many cities have a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, with theaters, museums, galleries, and music venues. These cultural offerings can greatly enrich our lives, providing opportunities for personal growth and enjoyment. Some cities are known for specific cultural highlights, such as Broadway shows in New York City or film festivals in Cannes.

Let’s not forget about the available amenities and infrastructure. Cities differ in terms of transportation systems, healthcare facilities, parks, and recreational spaces. Access to these amenities can greatly impact our overall well-being and quality of life.

So, the next time you’re considering a move or planning your future, remember to take into account the city you are in or will be in. It’s a significant factor that can influence your career, education, cultural experiences, and overall happiness. Choose wisely, and enjoy the opportunities that come with being a part of a vibrant, thriving city.

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Banner: This is where an empire’s starting banners are placed before the game starts.

Loyalty Tokens and Scoring

Important: Your loyalty tokens are crucial for winning the game!

You have a total of five loyalty tokens, one for each Empire. On your player board, you will find five loyalty slots: Devout (x4), Dutiful (x3), Affiliated (x2), Unallied (x0), and Opposed (x-1).

Your loyalty tokens will earn you points at the end of the game. The number of cities controlled by each empire determines the points you score. These points are then multiplied by how loyal you were to that specific empire.

Example: At the end of the game, the empire side of your loyalty tokens is revealed by flipping them over.

If you place your Elephant loyalty token on the Dutiful Loyalty slot and your Elephant empire has 3 Cities at the end of the game, you will earn 9 points for your bet on Elephant (3 Cities x 3 Loyalty = 9 points).

In the image below, you can see the final scores for this player’s Loyalty Tokens:

– Lion: 4 Loyalty x 2 Cities = 8 points

– Elephant: 3 Loyalty x 3 Cities = 9 points

– Bear: 2 Loyalty x 1 Cities = 2 points

– Eagle: 0 Loyalty x 4 Cities = 0 points

– Horse: -1 Loyalty x 2 Cities = -2 points

The player’s total score would be 17 (8 + 9 + 2 + 0 – 2).

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How to Play the Game

Playing the game involves going through four phases:

  1. Deploy Agents Phase: In this phase, you and other players take turns placing your agents in different positions on the empire councils. These positions are marked as Sheriff, Steward, Marshall, and Chancellor on the board.
  2. Empire Turns Phase: Once the agents are deployed, each council position on each empire council takes an action. This means that you and the other players get to make moves and decisions based on the council positions you’ve chosen.
  3. Cleanup Phase: After the empire turns, it’s time for a cleanup. Move the turn marker to the next space on the turn tracker, and then each player needs to discard down to a hand limit of 5 cards. This ensures that everyone starts each turn with a fair number of cards.
  4. Swap Phase: Lastly, there’s the swap phase. Here, you have the option to swap two of your unrevealed loyalty tokens. If you decide to do so, you must reveal both of the swapped loyalty tokens, and they will remain revealed for the rest of the game. This adds an element of surprise and strategy.

Hey there! Let’s take a look at how everything flows in this game. Just follow the arrows around the board, and you’ll see the different stages. They start at the Deploy Agents area and move through each council position, the turn tracker, and finally end at the Swap and Reveal Loyalties spaces.

Keep an eye on the turn marker piece as it moves along the edge of the board. It will help you keep track of where you are in the turn.

The gameplay follows this order four times. Once you reach the “End Game” space on the turn track, the game ends right away, and we move on to scoring.

Phase I: Deploy Agents

Each empire council has four council positions: Sheriff, Steward, Marshall, and Chancellor. You can place your agents on these positions.

So, here’s how the game works: I’ll start, and then we’ll take turns going clockwise. First, I’ll remove one of my agents from the board (if I have any), and then we’ll each place one agent on an open council position. We’ll keep doing this until every player has placed two agents.

Now, the effects and descriptions of these council positions are written down in the next section called the Empire Turns Phase. You can find it on page 7.

When there are only two players: Well, things change a bit. Instead of placing two agents, each player will place three.

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Here’s an example of agents being deployed to the Bear Empire’s Steward and Chancellor positions.

II. Empire Turns Phase

Let’s talk about the Empire Turns phase. It all starts with the Bear Empire. They take their turn, and then it’s the next player’s turn, going clockwise around the board.

When it’s a turn for the empire, each council position in the empire’s council will get to take an action. The player who controls the position determines the action, starting with the Sheriff and moving along the arrows up to the Chancellor. To know what actions are available, check out the Council Positions section on page 8.

So, how do you determine who controls a council position? Here’s how:

  • If one of your agents is in a council position, then you control that position.
  • If a council position doesn’t have any agents, the player who owns the first agent to its right within the council will control it. But if there are no agents to the right, then no player will control it, and it won’t do anything for its action.

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For example: The Pale Raven has strategically positioned one of their own as the council’s Marshall, while the Endless Serpent has done the same for the Sheriff.

Currently, the Steward and Chancellor do not have any agents from either empire. During the empire’s turn, the Sheriff, acting on behalf of the Endless Serpent, will take the first action. Next, the Steward and Marshall, loyal to the Pale Raven, will each take their own actions. The Chancellor, however, will remain inactive since no one controls it.

An Important Note on Empire Control

A region is considered under an empire’s control if it has at least one banner belonging to that empire or if it is a home region of the empire and does not have any enemy banners. A home region, in this case, refers to a region that shares the same color as the empire’s color.

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Example: The Horse Empire claims ownership of all brown regions on the map. So, if there’s a brown region without any banners, the Horse Empire controls it. But, if there’s a brown region with a blue banner, that means it’s under the control of the Bear Empire. Conquering Cities

Now, let’s talk about how cities can be conquered. You have two options: you can either eliminate all enemy banners within a city or place your own banners on every intersection within it.

Let’s say you want to capture a city controlled by the Horse Empire. First, you must eliminate all Horse Empire banners within the city. Once you do that, the city will be up for grabs, and you can place your own banners on every intersection within it.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to take control of all cities on the map to win the game. It’s all about strategy and making strategic moves to gain the upper hand. Good luck!

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When the game is over, you want to have as many points as possible. To maximize your points, you need to control as many cities as you can and have a high level of loyalty to your empire.

To control a city, all you have to do is make sure that your empire is in control of the region where the city is located.

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Example (above): I’m telling you, the Bear Empire has full control over this region, including the city!

Council Positions

I’m gonna break it down for you. Here are the things that each council position can do.


How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

Hey there! Let me break down this rule for you. Whenever you see an icon in any region that is under the control of this empire, you get to add 1 banner to another region controlled by this empire. Pretty cool, right?

The One in Charge

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

Whenever an empire has 3 icons in all of the regions it controls, you get to draw a card from that empire’s deck and add it to your hand. Isn’t that cool? It’s like getting a surprise gift for being so powerful!

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I’m going to tell you about a cool feature that you can add to any region controlled by your empire. You can add 2 banners to make your empire look even more impressive!

The Commander

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I am going to tell you about attacking an enemy empire that is next to a region controlled by my empire. This action allows me to attack only one region.

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Hey there!

So, here’s the scoop: every time the empire I belong to has an icon in any of the regions it controls, we get to add 1 banner to one of those regions. Pretty cool, huh?

Now, let’s talk about the Chancellor.

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When I’m in the thick of it, facing off against an enemy army, I know there’s a move I can make that might just give me the upper hand. It’s called a Strategic Strike. With this move, I can attack an army right next to a region that my empire controls. It’s a risky move, but sometimes you have to take risks to come out on top.

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

When you’re playing this game, you have the power to switch out one agent for another within your council. And when you do, you can immediately take the new agent’s action. It’s like a special ability that lets you shake things up and make a move right away.

Special Council Actions

Each Council has a few positions that offer unique actions. These actions are different from the regular ones, either because they limit the number of actions or change them in some way. Let me explain what these modified actions do:

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When you choose this empire, you get to draw a card and add it to your hand. It’s like getting a surprise gift! You never know what you’re going to get, and that makes it exciting. So, go ahead and take a chance with this empire – who knows what treasures you’ll discover!

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

Okay, let’s break this down. If the empire has 2 icons in different regions, you get to draw a card from that empire and add it to your hand. It’s like a little bonus that comes with controlling certain regions. So, the more regions you control, the more cards you can potentially get. Pretty cool, huh? I love getting extra stuff like that!

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

If you control regions for this empire with 2 icons, you get to draw a card from the empire’s deck and add it to your hand. It’s like finding a surprise that belongs to them and getting to keep it for yourself.

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

When you control this empire, something magical happens. For every 3 icons you have in all regions under your rule, you get a special reward – a card from this empire’s deck! Isn’t that amazing? It’s like a little surprise waiting for you, just for being in charge.

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If your empire controls any icons in a region, you get to add 2 banners to any region your empire controls. It’s like a boost for your empire!

Keeping Things in Balance

At the end of your turn, a region can only have a maximum of 4 banners. If there are more than 4 banners in a region, you have to return the extra ones to the supply. But if a region has a farm, then it can have up to 6 banners.

The Art of Attacking

You can choose a region controlled by another empire and take any number of banners from an adjacent region controlled by your empire and move them into the chosen region. However, you can’t attack across oceans or seas – you have to stick to land!

If you’re moving banners out of a region that you conquered, you gotta leave at least one banner behind. You can’t just abandon the whole place after an attack.

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Example: Let’s say the blue Bear army wants to attack the brown Horse home region. In order to maintain control of that region, the Bear army must leave a banner behind. Simply shifting banners among an empire’s controlled regions is not allowed – the Attack action must be used to attack into an enemy controlled region.

So, if you’re looking to shift banners or take control of a new territory, it’s important to understand the rules around the Attack action. By following these rules, you can strategically plan your moves and make the most out of your army’s capabilities.

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Example: The brown army can’t use an Attack to move into another region it controls.

Let’s Fight!

We have battles when soldiers from one country move into a region owned by another country. In a battle, both sides lose soldiers at the same pace until one (or both) of them have no more soldiers left. If one side still has soldiers, they win!

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Example: One side, the brown Horse Empire, has 3 banners, while the other side, the blue Bear, has 2 banners. Let the battle begin. In the end, the Horse Empire emerges as the victor. The banners that were used in the battle are returned to their respective banner reserve piles.

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

Regions that have Forts are really interesting because they give the defending army an extra banner during combat. It’s like having an extra boost of power to help protect the region from attackers.

How to play A War of Whispers Official Rules UltraFoodMess

Example: Ahoy, my friends! The blue Bear kingdom charges into battle with 3 flags, while the valiant brown Horse kingdom defends with 2 flags and a Fort. It’s an intense clash! But in the end, it’s a draw. All the flags are wiped out and sent back to their respective supply.

But fear not! The Horse kingdom retains control of the disputed region since it’s one of their home territories. Victory is still within their grasp!

Now, let’s mark the turn, shall we? Take the current turn marker and plop it on the next available spot on the turn tracker. And don’t forget, the first player marker gets passed to the next player in a clockwise direction. If the last turn marker is placed, that’s it folks! The game comes to a close (without doing the Swap and Cleanup Phases), and it’s time for the final reckoning during the Final Scoring phase. Exciting stuff, indeed!

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III. Swapping Loyalty Tokens

Alright, it’s time to mix things up! Starting with me and going around the table, we all get a chance to swap two of our mystery loyalty tokens.

Here’s how it works: I just pick two tokens that I want to switch. Then, I take those two tokens and swap their positions by flipping them over. Ta-da! Now, everyone can see the empire symbols on the tokens I chose.

Oh, and one more thing – once I reveal my swaps, I can’t change them later. From here on out, these tokens are set in stone.

IV. Cleaning Up

Alright, everyone, time to tidy up! Each of us needs to check our hand and make sure we don’t have more than 5 empire cards. If we do, we’ve got to get rid of the extras.

Once we’ve all cleaned up, it’s back to the Deploy Agents Phase, and we start a whole new round of the game.

Empire Cards

As you play the game, you’ll collect Empire Cards that you can use to change the course of the game. These cards have unique symbols at the top of each one.

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Note: When it comes to playing the card game, there may be times when a card ability contradicts a general rule. In such cases, it’s important to follow the instructions on the card.

Limit of 5 Cards

While you have the freedom to add as many cards to your hand as you’d like, it’s important to remember that during the Clean Up Phase, you must reduce your hand to no more than 5 cards by discarding the extras.

Playing Your Cards

To play a card, simply choose which card you want to play and decide on one of the abilities listed on it. To activate the chosen ability, you’ll need to pay its cost. This can be done by discarding cards from the empire and matching the quantities shown in the cost next to the ability you’ve chosen.

It’s worth noting that the card being played counts as one of the cards discarded to fulfill the cost. Because of this, the first ability on each card can be played without having to discard any additional cards.

When one of your Agents is active, that’s the only time you can play Cards. Each time you play a Card, it needs to go back into its corresponding empire deck.

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Example: If you want to use the ability mentioned above from an Influence card, you have to discard two Influence cards: this card with its Bear/Blue empire ability and a Lion/Yellow Empire card. You don’t need to discard any additional cards, just two cards in total.

The Game’s Conclusion

The game ends after the Reveal Loyalty Phase of the 4th round. At this point, we score all loyalty tokens, and the player with the highest score wins.

If two players have the same number of points, the player who changed loyalties the least during the game is declared the winner. If the players are still tied, then the player with the most empire cards in hand comes out on top.

Player Scores

You earn points from loyalty tokens based on the level of loyalty they represent and the number of cities controlled by the corresponding empire.

So, here’s the deal: the person who gets the highest score wins the game, and their secret society gets to control the world in secret.

Advanced Rules

Now, I want to talk about assigning agents to regions. When it’s time to deploy agents, instead of assigning an agent to a council position, you have the option to assign it to any region on the map.

Here’s the thing: when a player has an agent in a region, that region counts as a city for that player at the end of the game. Each player can have a maximum of two agents on the map. A region can have more than one agent, as long as they’re not of the same type.

Now, keep this in mind: during the Deploy Agents phase, the agents in a region can be brought back, just like any other agent. You can’t move or remove agents from the map in any other way, though.

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Example: A sneaky spy from The Pale Raven has been sent to this territory of Brown. At the conclusion of the game, the player who has dominion over this territory will earn points based on the loyalty of the spy to their empire.

Let’s say, for example, that the Bear controls this territory when the game ends and The Pale Raven has a strong loyalty to the Bear. In that case, The Pale Raven player will earn a total of 4 points for their crafty spy.

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