Frondeurs et Frondeuses is a political game about the events that took place in France between 1648 and 1652 AD, collectively known as the FRONDE, a 'time of troubles' when the famous Sun King was just a boy and his regime was struggling with a broken economy, unpaid armies, and over-mighty subjects. The Fronde had many facets. This game focusses on high politics and intrigue, involving four key factions: the Mazarinists, who aim to preserve the status quo and save the state from bankruptcy; the Cabalists (les Cabale des Importantes), a group of high aristocrats who want Mazarin gone and their own power augmented; the Retzists (pronounced ‘reyists’) under Coadjutor Retz, who also want Mazarin gone so that Retz can take his job; the Condéeans, following the Great Condé, who aims to turn himself into a new ‘Mayor of the Palace’. Apart from these selfish aims, each side sees itself as defenders of the King, the young Louis XIV. There is no thought of supplanting him, but all want to be in the most advantageous position when he reaches his majority. Meanwhile, the lower classes groan under high taxation and shortages. They demand an end to the ceaseless war with Spain. Or else.
You will play one (or more, if the player count is less than 4) of the four factions, seeking both political and military influence among your peers. Will you champion the cause of the common folk (whether honestly or cynically) to exert leverage on the Crown, form networks among the noble houses to oppose the will of your rivals, or rely on the Army to crush all opposition?
The game uses the same mechanics as RSG’s popular Parcel o’ Rogues. Action cards allow you to place and remove cubes of your colour from a board representing the connections between those people, places, and institutions who were relevant to the Fronde. Having Influence (your cubes) in a location allows you to score it; locations score for both their political and military value. Special Season cards advance the turn marker and trigger various events. Rules unique to this game include the arrest of certain individuals, military campaigns on the frontiers, the ability to make a Royal Progress, Spanish Gold, Mazarin‘s cunning use of voluntary exile to confuse his opponents, and the presence of the resourceful d’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers!