How To Play: Inis – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Quick Summary

Inis is an immersive and strategic board game that transports players to the ancient Celtic lands, where they must compete to become the legendary High King. Building upon intricate gameplay mechanics, stunning artwork, and deep strategic depth, Inis offers an engaging experience for both seasoned gamers and newcomers alike.

Strategic thinking and careful planning are essential in mastering territory control and expansion, as players vie for dominance over key regions and sanctuaries. A well-crafted card drafting and management strategy, coupled with the ability to time actions effectively, can provide critical advantages on the path to victory. Building alliances and engaging in dynamic negotiation strategies will unlock new opportunities and alter the course of the game.

Understanding the victory conditions and exploring different paths is vital, as each game presents unique challenges and opportunities. The game's tactical depth allows for different strategic approaches, ensuring that no two playthroughs are the same. The importance of timing and making precise decisions at calculated moments cannot be overstated.

Ultimately, Inis offers an unparalleled and captivating journey through an ancient realm. Whether captivating territories, amassing power, forming alliances, or emerging victorious in different ways, the road to becoming the mythical High King is paved with choice, strategy, and memorable moments.


Welcome to the ultimate strategy guide for Inis! This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and tactics needed to dominate the ancient Celtic lands and emerge as the rightful High King. Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to refine your skills or a beginner seeking a competitive edge, this guide is your roadmap to victory.

Inis is a game that blends elements of territory control, card drafting, diplomacy, and tactical decision-making. It presents players with rich gameplay mechanics and diverse paths to victory, making strategic thinking and careful planning essential for success. This guide will walk you through the core game rules while providing you with expert insights to optimize your gameplay.

From setting up the game board to understanding the victory conditions, each aspect of Inis will be explored in detail. Discover how to strategically control and expand territories, master the art of card drafting and management, leverage alliances and negotiations to your advantage, navigate different victory paths, and make precise tactical decisions at crucial moments. By unlocking these strategies, you’ll gain the edge needed to outwit opponents and claim the crown of High King.

Whether playing with friends or testing your skills in a tournament setting, this guide will arm you with the essential knowledge and strategies to dominate the Celtic realm. So, sharpen your wits, gather your clans, and embark on this immersive journey into the world of Inis!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 16 Territory Tiles
  • 16 Epic Tale Tiles
  • 8 Advantage Cards
  • 8 Sanctuary Tokens
  • 57 Action Cards
  • 18 Leadership Cards
  • 3 Bren Statue Figures
  • 17 Tokens for Deeds and Conditions
  • 1 Round Marker
  • 16 Clan Figures in 4 Colors (4 per color)
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 5 Standard Figures
  • 17 Inn Tokens
  • 1 First Player Token
  • 4 Score Markers
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Inis: Rules Summary

Welcome to the captivating world of Inis! This rules summary will guide you through the core mechanics of the game, ensuring that you can jump right into the Celtic realm and start your epic adventure as a clan leader striving for dominion.

  1. Place the game board in the center of the table.
  2. Assemble the Territory and Epic Tale tiles, and place them face-down near the board.
  3. Shuffle the Action Cards, Leadership Cards, and Epic Tale Tiles, and form their respective decks.
  4. Give each player a Player Board, Clan Figures, Advantage Cards, and Influence tokens of their chosen color.
  5. Choose a First Player and give them the Round Marker.
  1. The game is played over a series of seasons, with each season consisting of different phases.
  2. During a season, players take turns performing actions in clockwise order.
  3. On their turn, a player must choose and perform one of these actions: Explore, Move, or Build.
  4. Exploring allows the player to discover new territories and reveal Epic Tale cards.
  5. Moving involves strategic placement of your clan figures and expanding your control over territories.
  6. Building allows players to construct sanctuaries and citadels, granting special advantages and victory points.
  7. Players also have the option to play Action Cards to manipulate the game’s dynamics and gain an edge.
  1. There are three main victory conditions in Inis: owning specific numbers of different sanctuaries, being present in certain territories, or having the highest number of clans in Leadership territories.
  2. At the end of each round, players compare the conditions and if a player is eligible to achieve victory, they are declared the winner.

This rules summary provides a high-level overview of Inis to get you started on your journey. Our congratulations are in order! You’re now ready to immerse yourself in the engaging gameplay, utilize your tactics, and outwit opponents to become the High King of Celtic lands.

Best Inis Strategies

Mastering Territory Control and Expansion

In the fierce world of Inis, territory control and expansion are essential strategies to claim the title of High King. Effectively establishing dominance over regions and expanding your influence can greatly impact your chances of victory. Here are strategies to help you conquer the land:

Secure key regions

  1. Identify and prioritize regions with Leadership tiles that align with your victory condition.
  2. Control territories with sanctuaries for scoring points and accessing special abilities.
  3. Strategically position your clans to block opponents and maintain control.

Prevent opponents’ expansion

  1. Deny opponents easy access to territories by moving your clans strategically.
  2. Form temporary alliances to contain players who threaten to overpower the board.
  3. Block opponents’ routes and cut off their expansion options.

Promote stability in contested regions

  1. Maintain control over contested regions by playing Actions that prevent unrest.
  2. Use Peace Cards strategically to maintain stability and avoid unnecessary conflict.
  3. Negotiate truces with opponents to ensure peace in crucial territories.

Mastering the art of territory control and expansion in Inis is key to gaining an advantage over rival clans. Implementing these strategies will enable you to establish dominance, secure valuable regions, and strengthen your position on the path to victory. Remember, navigating the delicate balance between expansion and defense is often the key to conquering the Celtic lands.

Ace Card Drafting and Management

In Inis, harnessing the power of card drafting and effective management is crucial to outsmart your opponents and secure victory. Carefully selecting and utilizing your Action Cards can greatly influence the outcome of the game. Here are strategies to optimize your card play:

Strategic card drafting

  1. Prioritize Action Cards that synergize with your chosen victory condition.
  2. Consider the card’s immediate value as well as its long-term potential.
  3. Draft cards with diverse abilities to maintain flexibility and adaptability in different situations.

Timing your card plays

  1. Observe the game state to assess when to play powerful Action Cards for maximum impact.
  2. Calculate the ideal timing to catch opponents off guard and disrupt their plans.
  3. Hold back valuable cards until they can generate significant advantage or win you the game.

Strategic card management

  1. Plan ahead to efficiently use your limited hand size.
  2. Consider playing weaker cards strategically to manipulate the game and create openings.
  3. Use card abilities that complement your overall strategy and strengthen your position on the board.

Mastering the art of card drafting and management in Inis provides you with a strategic advantage and enhances your chances of victory. By selecting the most impactful cards, timing your plays effectively, and making astute choices, you can outmaneuver your opponents and pave your path towards triumph. Remember, the cards in your hand are tools, and utilizing them strategically will elevate your game to new heights.

Mastering Alliances and Negotiations

Forge alliances and utilize diplomatic skills to your advantage in Inis. Navigating the intricate web of alliances and negotiations can be a game-changing strategy that may tilt the scales in your favor. Here are key strategies for successful alliances and negotiations:

Identify potential allies

  1. Observe players seeking similar victory conditions to find shared interests.
  2. Assess the game state and evaluate players whose alignment can benefit your goals.
  3. Target players whose territories are geographically advantageous to your expansion.

Negotiate mutually beneficial agreements

  1. Engage in open discussions, conveying your intentions, and listening to other players’ propositions.
  2. Offer incentives and compromises to entice players to align with your strategic vision.
  3. Ensure the terms of the agreements are clear, holding both parties accountable.

Strategically time and maintain alliances

  1. Consider the right moment to propose an alliance when it can provide maximum advantage.
  2. Maintain open lines of communication to adapt to ever-shifting game dynamics and coordinate actions.
  3. Remain flexible and be ready to adapt alliances when new opportunities or threats arise.

Mastering the art of alliances and negotiations in Inis can potentially turn rivals into allies and secure vital support. By identifying potential collaborators, negotiating favorable agreements, and strategically maintaining these alliances, you can tip the balance of power and pave your way to victory. Remember, alliances are a delicate dance of mutual interests and trust, so tread carefully and exploit these diplomatic strategies to emerge triumphant.

Charting Victory Conditions and Paths

To claim the title of High King in Inis, understanding the victory conditions and exploring different paths to achieve them is crucial. Each victory condition presents its own challenges and strategic approach. Here are strategies to consider for victory conditions and paths:

Sanctuary domination

  1. Focus on occupying key sanctuaries for increased points and abilities.
  2. Control territories surrounding sanctuaries for added stability and defense.
  3. Prioritize drafting cards that aid sanctuary control and manipulation.

Territorial expansion

  1. Strategically expand your influence by claiming and holding multiple territories.
  2. Utilize actions that allow rapid movement and occupation of unclaimed areas.
  3. Monitor opponents’ movements in hotly contested regions to counter their advances.

Leadership tile dominance

  1. Align your strategy with taking or maintaining control of designated leadership territories.
  2. Use actions to manipulate leadership positions to your advantage.
  3. Secure influential leadership tiles early on to establish an advantage over opponents.

Developing a versatile strategy is essential, as victory conditions can shift throughout the game. By adapting your approach and pursuing different paths, you can maximize your chances of securing victory in Inis. Understanding the intricacies of each victory condition and cleverly navigating various strategic paths will position you as a formidable High King contender.

Mastery of Timing and Tactical Decision-Making

In the Celtic realm of Inis, timing and tactical decision-making play a pivotal role in securing victory. With a keen sense of timing, you can seize opportunities, disrupt opponents’ plans, and outwit your rivals. Here are strategies to enhance your timing and tactical decision-making:

Seizing pivotal moments

  1. Observe the game state and anticipate critical moments to unleash key actions.
  2. Avoid premature moves that could jeopardize your position or invite unnecessary conflict.
  3. Hold back until the opportune moment, catching opponents off guard.

Adapting to changing circumstances

  1. Stay agile and adjust your plans according to the evolving game dynamics.
  2. Be flexible in your decision-making, considering the actions and moves of your opponents.
  3. Identify potential threats and acquire necessary resources to counter them effectively.

Calculating risk versus reward

  1. Assess the potential benefits and drawbacks of each decision or action.
  2. Analyze the possible consequences and weigh the risks before committing to a move.
  3. Evaluate the probability of success versus the potential setback, ensuring your actions align with your goals.

Mastery of timing and tactical decision-making in Inis is vital to outmaneuver your opponents and secure victory. By seizing pivotal moments, adapting to changing circumstances, and calculating risks versus rewards, you can skillfully navigate the Celtic lands and position yourself as the High King. Remember, every move counts, and strategically wielding your decisions can tip the scales in your favor.

Conclusion: Reign as the High King

Congratulations! You have made it through this extensive strategy guide and are now armed with the knowledge, tactics, and insights needed to conquer Inis and emerge triumphantly as the High King. By mastering territory control and expansion, card drafting and management, alliances and negotiations, victory conditions and paths, and the art of timing and tactical decision-making, you possess the tools to outmaneuver and outwit your opponents at every turn.

Remember, Inis is not just a game of brute force or luck; it requires strategic thinking, careful planning, and adaptability. Each decision you make will shape the outcome of the game, and success depends on clever maneuvers, diplomatic negotiations, and seizing pivotal moments with precision timing.

Now that you understand the core mechanics and have learned various strategies, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Gather your clans, rally your resources, and stride confidently into the enchanting Celtic landscape. Reign supreme as the High King, command the loyalty of your people, and leave a legendary legacy in the annals of Inis.

May the power and wisdom bestowed upon you guide you towards greatness. Best of luck as you embark on your triumphant journey!

Want to know what we think of Inis? Read our detailed review of Inis here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.