Additional Rules for Battle for Rokugan

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Battle for Rokugan Additional Rules


Greetings! I’m here to walk you through some additional rules for the game Battle for Rokugan. These rules will help you enhance your gameplay and dive deeper into the exciting world of Rokugan. So let’s get started!

1. Expanding Your Game

Rokugan is a land full of secrets and hidden possibilities. By incorporating these additional rules, you’ll be able to unleash even more strategic maneuvers and surprising tactics. It’s like discovering a whole new side to the game!

1.1 Terrain Tiles

In addition to the main game board, you can now use terrain tiles to add complexity and variation to your battles. These tiles represent different types of terrain, like mountains, forests, and rivers. They provide new opportunities for tactical choices and can greatly impact the outcome of your battles.

1.2 New Clans

With these additional rules, you’ll also have the chance to play as new clans. Each clan comes with its unique abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Choose the clan that resonates with you and adapt your strategies accordingly. Will you be the cunning Scorpion Clan or the honorable Lion Clan? The choice is yours!

2. Exploring the Great Clans

In Battle for Rokugan, every move counts. By better understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each Great Clan, you’ll be able to develop clever strategies to outsmart your opponents. Let’s take a closer look at some of the Great Clans and what makes them unique.

2.1 Crane Clan

The Crane Clan is known for their grace and diplomacy. They excel at political maneuvering and can turn words into powerful weapons. With their diplomatic skills, they can influence other clans and gain the upper hand without resorting to violence.

2.2 Dragon Clan

The Dragon Clan embraces the mystical and mysterious aspects of Rokugan. They have a deep connection to the land and its spirits, granting them powerful insight and wisdom. The Dragon Clan’s unique abilities make them unpredictable and hard to anticipate.

2.3 Phoenix Clan

The Phoenix Clan harnesses the power of magic and the elements. They are skilled in the arcane arts and can manipulate the battlefield with their spells. Their magical abilities can support their allies or disrupt their enemies, making them a force to be reckoned with.

2.4 Scorpion Clan

The Scorpion Clan is shrouded in secrecy and deception. They excel at subterfuge and can easily manipulate others to further their own goals. With their cunning and deceptive tactics, they can create chaos among their enemies and turn their own mistakes against them.

3. Conclusion

By incorporating these additional rules and exploring the strengths and weaknesses of each Great Clan, you’ll be able to take your Battle for Rokugan experience to a whole new level. So gather your friends, choose your clan, and immerse yourself in the grand strategy and mystical world of Rokugan. Let the battle begin!

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When a province is defended successfully, I get to place one of my faceup control tokens there. This token gives the province a defense bonus in future battles. Even if an attack fails, that province is still considered defended. And if I decide to defend a province with an army, navy, or shinobi token and it doesn’t get attacked, it’s also considered defended.

Defense Bonuses

  • Some provinces have defense bonuses built-in, like provinces with a clan capital. These bonuses are shown on the map with an icon and a strength value. (A province with a clan capital always has a defense bonus, regardless of whether a player controls that clan or not).
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Yay! Bonus Protection!
Province Printout!

Special Tokens

Some special tokens, like scorched earth tokens, peace tokens, and other tokens, stay on the map for the whole game. In each province, only one special token can be there at a time.

Peace and scorched earth tokens can’t be taken by other special tokens. But they can replace other special tokens.

For example: I control a province that has a harbor token. Then, during the setup phase, I put my diplomacy token in that province.

When it’s time to resolve things, my diplomacy token makes a peace token take the place of the harbor token.

Scorched Earth

Who would have imagined that something as simple as fire could have such a powerful impact on the earth? It truly is a phenomenon to behold.

Fire has the power to transform the landscape, leaving behind a barren and desolate wasteland. It can consume everything in its path, reducing once vibrant forests to charred remains. The scorched earth serves as a haunting reminder of the destructive force that fire possesses.

But amidst the devastation, there is a glimmer of hope. Fire is not purely a force of destruction; it is also a force of regeneration. As the flames burn away the old, they make way for new life to emerge. The intense heat of the fire cracks open the hard outer shell of certain plant seeds, allowing them to sprout and grow. In this way, fire acts as a catalyst for change, bringing about a rebirth of the land.

The scorched earth holds a profound lesson for us. It reminds us of the delicate balance that exists in nature. Just as fire can be both destructive and regenerative, so too must we find balance in our own lives. We must learn to embrace change and adapt in order to grow and thrive.

When faced with adversity, we have a choice. We can either allow ourselves to be consumed by the destructive forces at play or we can rise from the ashes and find strength in the face of adversity. The scorched earth teaches us that even in the darkest of times, there is always a glimmer of hope.

So, the next time you find yourself faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, remember the power of the scorched earth. Allow it to serve as a symbol of resilience and rebirth. And know that just as the earth is capable of regenerating itself, so too are you. Embrace the flames of change and watch as new life emerges from the ashes.

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If there’s a scorched earth token in a province, you won’t be able to control or attack that province for the rest of the game. You also can’t put combat tokens in a province with a scorched earth token or on its border.

But don’t worry, you can still control a territory even if some provinces in it have scorched earth tokens. To take control of the territory, all you have to do is control the provinces without scorched earth tokens.


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If a province has a peace token, you can’t attack it, and you can’t attack adjacent provinces from the peaceful province. So basically, it’s off-limits for everyone.

Also, you can’t put combat tokens in a province or on its border if there’s a peace token there. It’s like a force field that keeps the fighting out.


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Hey there! Let me explain the rules about provinces and shrine tokens. It’s pretty interesting, I promise!

So, here’s the deal: if a province has a shrine token, you can’t attack it. It’s like a shield that keeps the province safe. But here’s the twist – the player who controls that province can still attack other provinces that are right next to it. Sneaky, right?

Now, if you don’t control the province with the shrine token, you don’t get to put your combat tokens in it or on its borders. It’s like you’re not invited to the party. Bummer!


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Let me tell you about the battlefield token. It’s a special item that guarantees fair fights in a province. When there’s a battlefield token in a province, you can’t put diplomacy tokens or raid tokens there. It’s like a rule to keep the battles honest. Now, let’s talk about the harbor.

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Did you know that in the game, there’s something called a harbor token? It’s an important item that needs to be placed in a special type of province – a landlocked province, to be precise.

Now, here’s the interesting part: when you put a harbor token in a province, that province magically transforms into a coastal province. Pretty cool, huh?

But wait, there’s more!

Once a province becomes coastal, the player who controls it can defend it using navy tokens. These tokens work like a protective shield, preventing other players from taking over the province. It’s like having your own little navy army!

Here’s the twist: other players can still attack a coastal province, even if they don’t control any adjacent provinces. They simply need to place navy tokens on the borders of the province, and voila! The battle for control begins.

Here’s an important tip for you:

If you want to gain an advantage in the game, try to control provinces with harbor tokens. This way, you can defend them with your navy tokens and make life harder for your opponents. It’s all about strategizing and making the right moves!

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Honor and defense bonus tokens are special tokens that are placed on the board by territory cards. The honor bonus tokens give you extra honor points, while the defense bonus tokens increase your defense strength. Each defense bonus token also grants you one additional honor point.

In order to play territory cards, each territory on the game board has a designated space for a territory card. After each resolution phase, you need to check if you control any territories. If you have control over all the provinces in a particular territory, you can take the territory card from its space.

If you lose control of a territory during the resolution phase and you haven’t played its territory card yet, you must return the card to its original space on the board.

Did you know that territory cards in this game give you special abilities that you can only use once? You can play a territory card during the upkeep phase, except for the two Shadowlands territory cards. These two cards have different rules, so read about them in “The Shadowlands” section below.

To play a territory card, all you have to do is read the text on the card and follow the instructions. After that, you put the card back in the game box. But here’s the catch – once you play a territory card, you can’t use it again for the rest of the game. It’s a one-time deal. And once a territory’s card is played, it’s not replaced. So even if someone else takes control of that territory later on, they don’t get a card for it.

What happens to the tokens?

When a combat token is removed, it goes to the discard pile of the player who owned it.

When you take away a control token, you put it back where it came from. If you’re told to remove one of your control tokens by a card, you get to choose which province it comes from. If that province has multiple control tokens, you have to remove the ones that are face-up before the ones that are face-down.

When you remove a special token, you put it back in the pile.

The Shadowlands

South of Rokugan is a dark, cursed place called the Shadowlands. It’s controlled by Fu Leng and his corrupted armies from Jigoku.

The Crab Clan are the ones protecting Rokugan from the Shadowlands. They built the Kaiu Wall and defend it against any threats.

If the Wall ever collapses, a horde of goblins, ogres, undead, and infamous demons called oni would pour out from the Shadowlands, their sole goal being the annihilation of civilization.

The southwest areas on the map make up the Shadowlands. Both of these regions are separate territories with a defensive advantage.

Two territory cards correspond to the Shadowlands, one for the northern region and one for the southern region. (You can identify north and south by the arrows next to the Shadowlands symbol).

When a player controls a territory in the Shadowlands, they acquire the appropriate territory card just like any other. However, Shadowlands territory cards differ in that they are not played during the upkeep phase; instead, they are played at the beginning of a player’s turn during the placement phase. These cards bestow dark and potent abilities upon the daimyo who wield them, but they come at a price.

Hey there! I want to talk about something really cool in the game called Shadowlands. Have you ever heard of it? The Shadowlands are a special place where players can explore and have lots of fun!

So, here’s the thing: when you’re playing in the Shadowlands, you won’t earn any honor at the end of the game. Honor is something you earn for doing well in the game, but it doesn’t work that way in the Shadowlands. You won’t get any honor for controlling territories in the Shadowlands or for having control tokens there.

But don’t worry, there are still plenty of other cool things you can do in the Shadowlands! It’s all about exploring new areas, facing challenges, and having a great time with your friends. So, go ahead and dive into the Shadowlands adventure!

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In the Shadowlands, there are two territories, marked in blue on this map, that consist of only one province each.

Scout and Shugenja Cards

Scout cards are special cards that daimyo can use to send their scouts into battle and gather information about the enemy forces.

During the placement phase, you have the option to play one or both of your scout cards at the beginning of your turn, before placing a combat token. After using a scout card, it cannot be used again for the remainder of the game.

Shugenja cards are also single-use cards that allow daimyo to utilize their shugenjas’ magical abilities to eliminate the enemy forces. Like scout cards, you can play a shugenja card at the start of your turn during the placement phase. However, once a shugenja card is used, it cannot be used again for the rest of the game.


If you don’t have any control tokens on the board at the beginning of the upkeep phase, you become a ronin. As a ronin, you can place army tokens on any land border during the placement phase of that round, but you cannot place raid or diplomacy tokens.

If you’re a ronin player and you’re unable to place any tokens during your turn, your turn is skipped. You won’t be able to take any more turns for the rest of that placement phase.

However, if you have at least one control token on the board at the beginning of the next upkeep phase, you’re no longer a ronin and all regular rules apply to you again.

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Unicorn is a ronin. During this placement phase, the Unicorn can place tokens wherever they want, without worrying about adjacency rules.

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