1. Overview
2. Components
3. Setup
4. Gameplay
5. Sites
6. Other Card Types
7. Damage and Destruction
8. Game End

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Overview↑ TOP

TIME BARONS is a fast-paced card game that pits two players in a struggle across the ages. Each player controls several follower tokens which are placed on site cards.

To win the game, you must either:

1. Kill all of your opponent’s followers.

- or -

2. Have the most followers when the cards run out.


52 Gameplay Cards

2 Reference Cards

35 Blue Follower Tokens

20 Red Damage Counters

1 Black Level Marker

1 White Level Marker

1 Rulebook (You're Reading It!)

Setup↑ TOP

1. Find the two green cards called HOMELAND. Place a Homeland card in front of each player. Homeland is the first of many site cards which the players will use throughout the game.

2. Notice the roman numerals (I-IV) on the back of the remaining cards. The roman numeral represents a card’s technology level. Separate the cards by their level into FOUR FACE DOWN STACKS. Shuffle each stack.

3. Place 10 FOLLOWER TOKENS on each player’s Homeland. Place the remaining followers in a pile to the side somewhere. This pile is called the supply.

4. Each player draws a hand of 5 CARDS from the Level I stack. Each player then claims a LEVEL MARKER and places it next to the Level I stack to show that they begin the game on Level I.

5. Determine randomly which player will go first.

Gameplay↑ TOP

Each player starts their turn with 3 ACTIONS. Actions can be spent during your turn to do a variety of things:

DRAW A CARD from a stack of a level equal to or less than your current level. For example, if you are on Level II, you may draw from either the Level I or Level II stacks. [1 action]

GAIN A FOLLOWER from the supply and place it on any of the sites you have in play. [1 action]

RELOCATE. Pick up any number of your followers from any number of your sites and redistribute them across your sites in any new arrangement you want. [1 action]

Before spending one action.

After spending one action to relocate.

PLAY A CARD from your hand. Each card has an action cost that’s displayed in the top right corner of the card. For example, the following card costs 2 actions to play:

UPGRADE to the next level. Advance your level marker accordingly.

—Upgrading from Level I to Level II costs 2 actions.

—Upgrading from Level II to Level III costs 3 actions.

—Upgrading from Level III to Level IV costs 4 actions.

(Keep in mind that it takes 4 actions to upgrade to Level IV, and you only start your turn with 3. Certain cards let you gain more actions to upgrade to this level.)

During your turn, you may also ACTIVATE SITE ABILITIES (more on this later). Sometimes site abilities cost actions and sometimes they don’t.

When you are unable or unwilling to spend any more actions or activate any more abilities, you may declare the end of your turn. Your opponent then begins his or her turn.

The player who starts the game only gets 2 actions on their first turn.

Sites↑ TOP

SITE CARDS are designated by a house symbol in the top right corner. Sites are played face up and remain in play until destroyed. When sites are in play, followers can be placed on them and relocated to and from them. In the beginning you only have one site card, the Homeland. As the game advances, you will want to put other sites into play so you can spread out your followers and gain benefits from site abilities.


Many sites have ABILITIES that can be activated when certain requirements are met. Most abilities require that a minimum number of followers are on the site before the ability can be activated. To activate some abilities, you have to spend actions, too. These requirements are displayed as icons before the ability text.

The above ability requires that the player have at least 3 followers on this site and spend 1 action.

Restrictions on Abilities

As soon as the requirements of an ability are met, the owner of the site may activate the ability, even on the turn the site was played. However, the site owner can only activate a particular site’s ability DURING THEIR TURN and ONLY ONCE PER TURN.

For example, the card shown at left has two abilities listed, but only one of these abilities may be activated per turn, even if you can meet the requirements for both.

Some sites have multiple abilities. You may ONLY CHOOSE ONE of these abilities to activate per turn.

Infinite Abilities

Some site abilities have an infinity symbol next to them. INFINITE ABILITIES are less restrictive than normal abilities. They can be activated during any player’s turn, and as many times as the owner wants, provided the conditions on the ability are met. For example, you may activate the following ability whenever your opponent relocates:

Additional Text

Some sites contain additional text explaining how the site works. These descriptions are not considered “abilities” for the purposes of the game. Abilities will always have an icon and a colon to introduce them.


A site’s INTEGRITY determines how much damage it can take before it is destroyed and is displayed on a shield in the lower right corner of the card. Most sites have an integrity of 3 (Homeland has 6).

For more information on destroying sites, see Damage and Destruction.

Other Card Types↑ TOP

EVENT CARDS are designated by a star in the top right corner. Events take effect immediately after they are played. Follow the instructions on the card and then place it in the common discard pile.

ATTACHMENT CARDS are designated by two circles in the top right corner. Attachments are placed on site cards owned by either player. Attachments affect the site they are attached to either positively or negatively, and remain in play. If a site with an attachment on it is destroyed, discard the attachment as well.

REACTION CARDS are designated by two opposing arrows in the top right corner. Reactions can only be played when certain conditions are met (as described on the card). These cards may be played during an opponent’s turn and cost zero actions. Discard them after they’re played.

Damage and Destruction↑ TOP

Time Barons is not a peaceful game, and many cards allow you to harm your opponent (or even require you to harm yourself). You will need to know the following terms:

KILL a follower by returning it to the supply.

DO DAMAGE to a site by killing followers on the site (if any are present), and placing damage tokens on the site.

For example, doing 2 damage to a site means killing 2 followers on that site and adding 2 damage counters to the site itself. Unless otherwise specified, damage is only directed at sites, and only at one site at a time.

A site is DESTROYED when the number of damage counters on it equals or exceeds its integrity (displayed on the shield in the lower right corner of the card). Some cards and abilities can destroy a site immediately, as well. When a site is destroyed, all the followers on the site are killed and returned to the supply. The site is discarded.

DISCARD a card by placing it in the common discard pile off to the side. The discard pile should be kept face up and may be freely looked through by both players.

To SACRIFICE a follower is to kill a follower you own. To sacrifice a site is to destroy a site you own.

Some sites are FORTIFIED. Damage done to a fortified site does not kill the followers on it unless the site is destroyed.

(Note: Unless otherwise specified, THE OWNER OF A PARTICULAR CARD MAKES ALL CHOICES about which followers are killed and which sites are damaged or destroyed.)

Game End↑ TOP

The game ends when:

1. One player loses all of his or her followers. The player who still has followers is the winner.

2. If three of the four card stacks have run out at the end of a player’s turn, the player with the most followers wins. If both players have the same number of followers, victory passes to the player at the higher tech level. If the technology level is also the same, the game is a draw.

Time Barons Card Game and Website © 2009-2014 Jonathan Perry and Derek Yu