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Official Goat Lords Rules

Goat Lords is a fun and strategic card game where you build your herd of goats by matching cards and strategically hindering your opponents. Here's a breakdown of the rules:


Number of Players:

Goat Lords can be enjoyed by 2 to 6 players, making it perfect for family game nights or gatherings with friends.

What you'll need:

  • Deck of Goat Lord cards containing various goat types and action cards

  • Playing space with enough room for a discard pile and each player's hand/herd


The goal of Goat Lords is to be the player with the most points at the end of the game. Points are accumulated by collecting and matching goat cards to build your herd.


1. Prepare the Deck: Shuffle the Goat Lords cards and deal a starting hand to each player. The remaining cards form the draw pile.

2. Determine the Starting Player: Decide who will be the starting player for the first round. This can be done by any agreed-upon method, such as the player with the most recent birthday.


Goat Lords is played over rounds with turns for each player. Here's what happens during a typical turn:

  1. Draw Cards: At the beginning of your turn, draw five cards from the deck to fill your hand.

  2. Birth or Assisted Birth (First Turn Only):  On your first turn only, you have a special opportunity:

    • Birth: Play two identical goat cards from your hand face up in front of you. This establishes the foundation of your herd, and these cards cannot be stolen later.

    • Assisted Birth (Optional): If you don't have matching pairs in your hand, you can discard one goat card and ask another player for a matching card from their hand. If they have it, they must give it to you, allowing you to begin your herd. However, they can choose any card from your hand as compensation (except your base pair).

  3. Play Matching Goats or Action Cards (Optional):  During your turn, you can take two main actions:

    • Matching Goats: Play a goat card from your hand that matches one of the top cards on another player's herd. This creates a "duel" between your goat and theirs. If successful, you steal their entire stack of cards matching the played goat (adding them to your own herd).

    • Action Cards (Strategic Version Only): Some versions of Goat Lords include action cards with special abilities like stealing entire stacks, making opponents discard cards, or gaining temporary advantages. You can play an action card from your hand during your turn, following its specific rules.

  4. Discard (Optional):  If you cannot or choose not to play any matching goats or action cards, you must discard one card from your hand and your turn ends.

  5. Draw Back Up:  After any actions or discards, draw cards to bring your hand back up to five before ending your turn.

Winning the Game

The game continues with players taking turns, building their herds, and potentially stealing from each other. The game ends when the deck is empty and no player can draw any more cards. Each player then counts the total point value of all the goat cards in their herd. The player with the most points is declared the Goat Lord champion!


  • Goat Value:  Different goat cards have varying point values, so strategize to collect high-scoring goats for your herd.

  • Beware the Escape Goat: Some versions might include an "Escape Goat" card that allows you to avoid losing your stack during a duel.

  • Take-That Mechanics: Goat Lords utilizes "take-that" mechanics, where you can directly hinder your opponents by stealing their goat stacks.

  • Strategic Play:  While there's an element of luck in drawing cards, the ability to choose which goats to play and potentially use action cards adds a layer of strategy to the game.

Goat Lords is a strategic card game that combines humor, strategy, and competition in a fun and engaging way. With its simple rules and unpredictable gameplay, it's perfect for game nights, family gatherings, or any social occasion where players enjoy strategic challenges and friendly rivalry.

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