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Gamehelpquattuorreges

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Overview

Quattuor Reges is a 2 player game played with 32 pieces representing a classic deck of cards (7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A in four suits). The suits are divided between the players: ​♦ ​♥ for the Red player, ​♣ ​♠ for the Black player.

The Red player goes first and can move a single piece (see Movement). After the first turn, Black and Red alternatively make up to 2 moves with their pieces each turn, one with each suit. The goal of the game is to reach the last rank of the board with a Q, a K, or an A.

Game Board

The board consists of 15 ranks of squares arranged similarly to a hexagonal grid. 6 ranks on each side of the board make up Red and Black territories, with the remaining 3 ranks being the neutral territory. In addition to the winning last rank, player territories contain 2 special squares on the 4th rank, called Bases (see Capturing Pieces).

Before the game begins, each player arranges their pieces in their territory in secret, after which all piece positions are simultaneously revealed. Each space can be occupied by at most one piece at a time.

Movement

Each piece has a maximum number of steps that it can make during a single movement, each step being to one of the 6 neighboring spaces on a board. Pieces cannot move through occupied spaces, but they don't necessarily have to move in a straight line.

The movement range is 4 spaces for 8, 3 spaces for 7 and 9, and 2 spaces for all other pieces. The movement options become restricted if any of the K is captured (see Capturing Pieces).

If a Q, a K, or an A of a player ends its movement on the last rank of the opponent's territory, that player immediately wins.

Capturing Pieces

An opponent piece can be captured by moving a valid piece to its space. The captured piece is removed from the board (but can be returned to it later, see Rescuing Pieces). The valid captures are as follows:

  • 🃏 A capture Court pieces(J, Q, K) and other Aces
  • 🃏 Court pieces capture Number pieces (7, 8, 9, 10), with an exception that 7 captures J, not vice versa
  • 🃏 Number pieces capture A
  • 🃏 Number pieces capture other Number pieces that have smaller value
  • 🃏 Court pieces capture each other in a circular fashion (KQ, QJ, JK)

The capturing piece must stop at the space where the captured piece was, even if it hasn't used up all its movement. If an A makes a capture, it may retreat to the space it was at the start of the turn for free.

If a K is captured, all other pieces of its suit except A cannot be moved until the K is rescued (see Rescuing Pieces). Therefore, capturing all opponent's K and A also results in an immediate victory, as the opponent is out of valid moves.

Rescuing Pieces

Each side of the board has 2 special spaces called Bases, located on the 4th rank of the player's territories. If a piece ends its movement on an opponent's Base, it's immediately captured, but can in return rescue one previously captured piece(including itself). The rescued piece is placed on one of the player's own unoccupied Bases. If both Bases are already occupied, no piece can be rescued.

A rescued piece cannot move on the same turn even if its suit has not moved yet. However, if a K is rescued and its suit has not moved yet, other pieces of that suit immediately become available to move. If an A captures a piece on an opponent's Base, it still has an option to retreat without being captured itself.

If a piece other than a Q, a K or an A ends its movement on the last rank of the opponent's territory, it is also immediately captured in the same fashion, but can make up to 2 rescues.

Game End

The game ends immediately once a Q, a K or an A reaches the last rank of the board, or all K and A of a single player are captured.