Shaolia: Great Houses is an expansion to Shaolia: Warring States which brings not only new cards, but also new mechanics and game modes to give the players more options in pursuing their paths to victory.
The expansion introduces the titular Great Houses. There is also a solo mode new to Shaolia which introduces a Boss for the player to battle.
A game of Great Houses proceeds much the same as one of Warring States, but with the addition of the Noble House tiles and Quest cards. These two new components work in tandem.
Noble House Tiles
These tiles can be purchased during the purchase phase of the game. The currency to purchase them are Quest cards that players have earned in the game. After a Noble House tile has been purchased, it is immediately replaced by another from the deck.
Noble House tiles are placed near the player’s territory board, and function the same as Level 1 & 2 cards, with one important exception: They cannot be attacked, blocked, or destroyed, so a player will benefit from their abilities until the end of the game.
If a player completes the requirement listed on a Quest card during their turn, they get to take the quest card into their hands. Another Quest card from the deck is immediately drawn to replace the one taken.
As mentioned previously, Quest cards can be used to purchase Noble House tiles. Alternately, you may sell one a Quest card for 2 gold.
There are two types of Quest cards: ones that are immediately achieved by meeting their requirements, and ones with 2–3 open slots that require players to repeat the action listed on the card that many times before they complete the quest. Cards with these repeating quests can only be completed by whoever does the action first, claiming it with one of their quest trackers.
A game of Shaolia: Great Houses ends the same turn that someone either gains 18 culture, or does 12 damage to their opponent’s palace. Additionally, there will be that previously-mentioned third victory path achieved through completing quests.