The Map Game is a 2-player game that can be played on any map with subdivisions (or a network). This could be a political map or board game.

1.                   The players place their pieces alternately. A piece may be played into an empty area or an area with 1 or 2 of your pieces. (Therefore you are limited to 3 pieces in an area). Pieces can never be played into an enemy-occupied area.

2.                   After playing your piece, you can remove all the enemy pieces from any area where the total number of enemy pieces in the area and adjacent to the areas is less than the total number of friendly pieces in adjacent areas. More than 1 area can be cleared this way. You may clear enemy  areas that become vulnerable as a result of  captures during the same turn.

3.                   The game ends when both players pass.

4.                   Each player adds up the total number of areas controlled to determine victory. Empty areas count for whoever has the most adjacent pieces. The high scorer wins.

5.                   Diagonal connections on the map do not count as adjacent.


1.                   The first player has a big advantage. To eliminate this, play the games in pairs with each player getting a chance to go first. Another trick is the 'pie rule', one player makes a move and the other player chooses which side to play. Or simply bid for first move, 

2.                   This is a generalization of the computer game Fortress, published by SSI in 1983. The designers were listed as Jim Templeman & Patty Denbrook. Their version was played on a 6x6 grid and limited to 21 moves each.

3.                   Feel free to give areas different values (an Axis & Allies map would be good).

4.                   Feel free to vary the limit on the number of pieces in area. For example, sea areas could be given a value of  0 and a limit of 1 piece.

5.                   You could also give areas defensive advantages. For example, a mountain area could receive an extra point on defense.

6.                   If you like some randomness try this rule. Instead of clearing enemy areas automatically, you have to attack instead of a moving. Each player adds the pieces normally and add the result of dieroll. If the attacker is higher, he removes the defending pieces and places 1 piece of his own in the area. If the defender is higher, the attacker loses 1 piece (attacker's choice). On a tie, nothing happens.

7.                  You can play this multi-player. Attacks only count the active player and the controller of the area, any other players are ignored.

8.         This could also be played simultaneously. If both players choose the same area, neither gets it and the area can't be played into  until a successful move is made. Removals are also done in simultaneous rounds.

Some suggested boards:

  • Any Axis & Allies. Sea areas can only have 1 piece. Use area values for victory
  • Risk. Count continent bonuses for victory
  • Diplomacy. Sea areas can only have 1 piece. Only supply centers count for victory. 
  • Chess board
  • Checkers board. Use only 1 color square, diagonal connections count.
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Small World. Only 1 piece in sea areas. Only count land for victory. 1 point defense bonus in mountains.
  • A map of the United States. Count each state as 1 or use electoral votes.