Latrunculi is a two-player Roman board game. It is sometimes called Roman chess and has been developed based on the Greek game Petteia. There is no standard set of rules attached to the game. So, one has to agree upon the rules when playing Latrunculi. That is why some Latrunculi players (including me) decided to create their own version: The Rügen version

The Rügen version

This version of Latrunculi has been created on the beautiful German island Rügen.

Required items

  • 8×8 board
  • 2 x 16 soldier pieces
  • 2 x 1 eagle piece

Setting up the stage

  • Build two rows of soldiers at the beginning of each player’s side.
  • Put the eagles on the spot left next to the center of the respective third rows.
  • Assign randomly who is the start player (i.e. who is white).

Playing instructions

  • The start player opens the game with the first move. Then players alternate with moving pieces.
  • One can move only exactly one of one’s own pieces per turn.
  • Moving a piece is obligatory until the game ends.
  • After each player’s move it has to be checked whether an enemy piece has been captured.

Rules for moving pieces

  • Soldiers can move in one straight trajectory of any length as long as the spaces on the trajectory are unoccupied. No change of direction is allowed during a move. No diagonal moves are allowed.
  • Eagles can move only one space at a time. No diagonal moves are allowed.
  • Cycling into the same total board state a third time is illegal.

Rules for capturing pieces

  • A soldier is captured when the opponent moves so as to bring it about that the soldier is being surrounded by enemy units either completely (including edges & corners) or at least on two opposite sides. (Thus, moving between enemy units does not amount to being captured.)
  • One can capture more than one soldier with one move.
  • The eagles cannot be captured.
  • [Optional: A row of soldiers is captured when the opponent moves so as to bring it about that the row is being surrounded by enemy units either completely (including edges & corners) or at least on two opposite sides.]

Rules for ending the game

  • A player wins when
    • the opponent has no soldiers left.
    • the opponent’s eagle is surrounded by enemy units (including edges & corners).
    • the opponent has no legal moves available.
  • The players arrive at a draw when
    • fifty moves were made without any capture.