Rule Changes

Adding another dimension to the game board also forced Bill and I to add another dimension to the rules. New features like lakes, canyons, forests, and bridges created ambiguities for many of the pieces. How does a squire (who moves like a knight in chess) travel in three dimensions? How high (or low) can archers shoot? Which pieces, if any, can jump across a chasm or swim a lake? Also, the sheer size of the board forced changes, encouraging us to expand the number of pieces. And as long as we were changing the rules anyway, we added a few new flourishes of our own.

The original rules can be found online. Following is a summary of the changes we proposed for Feudal 3D.


King Moves 1 or 2 spaces horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Can move freely on golden paths.
Prince Mounted men move any number of spaces horizontally, vertically or diagonally, but may not move onto or across rough terrain. Can only be taken by mounted pieces.
Duke Same as Prince. Can castle with sergeant (see below).
Knights Same as Prince. None.
Sergeants Move up to 12 spaces diagonally OR 1 space horizontally or vertically. Can castle with duke (see below). Name changed to "Axeman".
Pikemen Moves up to 12 spaces horizontally or vertically OR 1 space diagonally. None.
Squire Moves 1 space horizontally or vertically followed by 1 space diagonally over vacant or occupied spaces. Can cross defended bridge, swim, and scale two-level cliffs.
Archer Moves up to 3 spaces horizontally, vertically or diagonally OR shoots (removes) first enemy in line of fire up to 3 spaces away horizontally, vertically or diagonally but does not move onto space vacated by enemy. He may shoot over own man, not over mountains or castles. Can destroy bridge defense without taking bridge. Can only shoot out of forest. Can shoot across lakes, rivers, and chasms - one level up, three levels down.


The original game included six armies (three in shades of blue, three in shades of brown). For the two-person game, each player was to use one army each with a fixed number of each kind of piece, a total of 13 pieces and one castle. Since the majestic scale of our board would dwarf so small a contingent, we decided to use all available pieces in the two-person game as follows.

Each side would start with two castles, the king's castle and the duke's castle, and three armies. The duke's castle and army would use the lightest shades. If the duke is taken, his castle remains intact. If the duke's castle is taken, the duke, if still alive, is removed and all members of the duke's army become prisoners of the attacking army (but cannot be manuevered by the attacker until his next move). If the castle is taken by a member of the attacking duke's army, the prisoners become members of that duke's army and are themselves subject to capture if the attacking duke's castle is later taken. The game is ended when either the king's castle or both the king and prince are taken.

Instead of a fixed number of pieces, each player would be allowed to alter the makeup of each of his three armies according to the following quotas:

1 Castle

1 Castle
1 King 1 Prince 1 Duke
Up to 2 Knights Up to 11 Knights Up to 5 Knights
Up to 8 Axemen Up to 4 Axemen Up to 6 Axemen
Up to 9 Pikemen Up to 7 Pikemen Up to 11 Pikemen
Up to 3 Squires Up to 2 Squires Up to 1 Squire
Up to 2 Archers

Up to 1 Archer

To assemble their rosters, players would choose 16 pieces from each of the above armies (not counting the royalty) for a grand total of 51 pieces and 2 castles on each side. Many variations are possible, each with complex pros and cons for any given strategy. Like the starting positions, these assignments would be made in secret before the start of the game, thus adding an additional element of surprise.


Bridges Pieces can halt upon the bridge or move across it horizontally, vertically, or diagonally as the board allows. A bridge may be defended by placing a piece on the bridge. If this piece is taken, the attacking piece is placed on the opposite side of the bridge from whence it came and the bridge is removed (unless the attacker is an archer in which case the bridge remains intact). Squires can cross a defended bridge without taking it. To rebuild a bridge in your posession, one piece is removed from the defender's army, the bridge is replaced, and another piece moves onto the bridge. For an enemy to rebuild a bridge, three pieces capable of moving across the bridge in one move must be aligned in front of the bridge. Once this is accomplished, the bridge is replaced and in the same move the first enemy piece is removed and the second piece travels across the bridge and halts on the first space on the other side. The bridge is then in the enemy's posession.
Depression Any foot-soldier entering or leaving the battle plain must stop immediately and await the next turn to move. Any horsed rider may proceed three spaces before halting.
Forests Horsemen are not permitted to go through or enter forests except on designated paths. Any foot soldier travelling through a forest must halt at some point before leaving the forest. An archer can shoot out of a forest, but not through or into a forest.
Paths A path is distinguished by its stairway-like appearance and by its colored guide lines. Any piece may travel directly on a path as the nature of the piece dictates without halting for level changes.
Golden Paths The king, and he alone, is permitted to travel from one end of a golden path to the other in one move. In taking a piece, however, the king must move normally. All other pieces must treat this as a normal path.
Lakes An archer can shoot (up to three spaces) across a lake. A squire can swim across a lake but is not permitted to stop in the lake itself. No other pieces may cross an unbridged lake.
Levels A level is defined as three physical boards, approximately the height of a piece. Whenever a piece moves from one level to another, he must halt unless he is descending to the main level or following a path. No piece, save the squire, may scale a two- or more-level cliff. (The squire is limited to two levels.) An archer can shoot on level upwards and up to three levels downwards. When shooting downward, the archer must be standing on the edge of his level; when shooting upwards, his victim must be standing on the edge.
Rivers and Canyons Archers can shoot across rivers and canyons. No piece is allowed to cross an unbridged canyon without actually descending into the chasm.
Miscellaneous A duke and an axeman can castle if they wish. To do this, the duke dismounts, becomes an axeman, and, leaving his horse, travels at least one space. In the same move, the axeman moves onto the square with the horse in it (the duke's former position), mounts, and becomes a duke. The effect is like a ricochet shot with axeman bouncing off the duke. A prince can only be taken by another horseman. No two castles can occupy the same green.