Era: Medieval


YOU HAVE THE POWER OF RELIGION. Armenia was the first kingdom to use Christianity to its advantage.

Starting configuration for Armenia

Your kings can also move like a bishop, and can jump two squares diagonally, but cannot capture.

Whenever one of your pieces moves to a square within two squares of an Armenian king and does not check any player, it can move again this turn. This ability can only be used once per turn.

Assassins' Guild

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF STEALTH. Assassins can strike without warning.

Starting configuration for Assassins' Guild

You may only have one knight in play at a time: if you have more than one knight at any time, you must remove all your knights except for one from the board. On your turn, instead of moving, you may permanently convert a bishop or rook you control into a knight.

At the beginning of your turn, you may choose to hide your knight. Knights may be hidden for up to three turns in a row. While your knight is hidden, its position is not shown on the board but is secretly written down each turn by you. Hidden knights may still be captured, but if a piece passes through a hidden knight, you may choose to reveal the knight’s location and automatically capture the piece that moved through it.

Byzantine Empire

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF RETREAT. When attacked, the Byzantines can quickly retreat back to their own borders.

Starting configuration for Byzantine Empire

On your turn, instead of moving a piece normally, you can move any of your pieces to any open square in your 2x4 starting area. If the piece is outside your 3x5 area and is not a pawn, you may use this ability to move it into a square in your 2x4 area that is occupied by an enemy piece, capturing the enemy piece.


YOU HAVE THE POWER OF CASTLES. With stunning speed, you can fortify your kingdom.

Starting configuration for Jerusalem

At the end of each of your turns, you may choose a non-royal piece you control that has not moved that turn. Until the start of your next turn, the chosen piece may not be captured, except by royal pieces.

Medieval China

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF CANNONS. Your cannons are difficult to mobilize but can be deadly when they strike.

Starting configuration for Medieval China

Cannons move and capture any number of spaces horizontally and vertically, but must jump over exactly one (friendly or enemy) piece to reach its destination. A cannon can only capture a king if it jumps over a friendly piece, not an enemy piece.

Chinese pawns capture forward, not diagonally. Chinese pawns do not promote normally, but once a Chinese pawn crosses the halfway line of the board (in your direction), it can move and capture one space horizontally or vertically.

Medieval India

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF TRIUMPH. When placed in certain formations, your warriors can suddenly decimate the enemy ranks.

Starting configuration for Medieval India

Instead of moving normally, your bishop can jump up to two squares in any direction.

Whenever you move a piece into the middle 4x4 square in such a position that it borders two other pieces that themselves both border the same piece (so that moving your own piece creates a "square" arrangement of four pieces), you may choose to have all three pieces destroyed. These pieces can include pieces of your own army, in which case they are captured nonetheless.

Medieval Japan

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF PROMOTION. The entire Japanese army is capable of promotion.

Starting configuration for Medieval Japan

Generals move one square either diagonally or forward. Japanese pawns capture forward, not diagonally.

Japanese pawns do not promote normally. If any Japanese piece moves into the final three rows (determined in the direction that your pawns go) it can move like a king until it is captured, in addition to its normal move.

Mongol Empire

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF SKILL. Each of your soldiers is equally well-trained, and all have ample opportunity for promotion.

Starting configuration for Mongol Empire

Your pawns can move one square horizontally or vertically and can capture one square diagonally in any direction. Your pawns may promote either vertically or horizontally, and may promote to any standard chess piece, provided that you have no more than one queen, two rooks, two bishops, and two knights.


YOU HAVE THE POWER OF DECEPTION. Nothing is as it seems, and the positions of pieces on the board may change very quickly.

Starting configuration for Ninjas

At the start of your turn you may, instead of moving normally, exchange places with one of your non-pawn pieces and an enemy piece, provided that you do not check any player by doing so. You may not use this power two turns in a row.

Ottoman Empire

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF DEPLOYMENT. Although you have a powerful army, you are forced to deploy it slowly because of the distance it has to travel.

Starting configuration for Ottoman Empire

You do not start with any pieces, but with four deployment squares (represented as ?’s in the diagram), and have one king, two pawns, two bishops, two knights, and one rook in reserve. On your turn, you have the choice of either moving a piece or placing a piece from your reserve onto an empty deployment square.

If you don’t have any pieces in play, and it is not your first turn, you lose the game automatically. However, your pieces may not be captured until the end of your second turn. Three of the first five pieces you play must be the king and two pawns.

The Aztecs

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF WARRIOR SOCIETIES. The Aztec warriors were able to change societies with little training.

Starting configuration for The Aztecs

On your turn, instead of moving you may change one of your knights into a rook, or vice versa.

The Incas

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF MANIPULATION. Your army starts small, but you can recruit other people into your army.

Starting configuration for The Incas

Delegates can move like kings but can also jump 2 squares horizontally or vertically. Every time a delegate starts a turn within one square horizontally or vertically of a nonroyal enemy piece, that enemy piece joins the Incan army.

The Mayas

YOU HAVE THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY. Though starting at a low technological age, the Mayan Empire ended up with very advanced technology.

Starting configuration for The Mayas

At the start of each turn you get a token. On your turn, instead of moving, you can use tokens to upgrade any piece other than your original king (which is your only royal piece) by giving it the movement capability of another piece:

  • 2 tokens – king (non-royal), knight, or bishop
  • 3 tokens – rook
  • 6 tokens - any piece on the board
You can combine powers (i.e. bishop + rook = queen). Once you upgrade a pawn it cannot move or act like a pawn and is no longer considered to be a pawn.

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