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Designed by Liam Bryan
Setup for play
Two races of creatures fight to make the other go extinct.
:Players Players: 2 - 2
:Time Length: Long?
:Complexity Complexity: Medium
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 2
Five-color sets:
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
Setup time: 5 minutes
Playing time: 30 minutes
0.5 Hr
- 60 minutes
1 Hr
Strategy depth: Medium
Random chance: None
Game mechanics: capture
Theme: Abstract, Strategy, Survival
BGG Link: 59948
Status: complete? (v1.0), Year released: 2987

Extinction is a game for two players. On a planet called Mars in a parallel universe, there exist two races of creatures. While superficially different, they are actually quite similar, in the fact that neither one really likes the other, and that each race is comprised of three species.


Find a nice, quiet place where the two players will be fairly undisturbed for up to an hour. Then, using all the pieces in the set, put them on the board as pictured, with each color occupying one corner.

Setup diagram for Extinction

Verbal directions for setup: Place a chessboard diagonally between the two players, so that each is at an opposite corner. Each player will set the fifteen pieces of their own color in the sixteen-square quarter of the board nearest to them. Leave the corner nearest each player empty. Place Queens (large pyramids) in the next two spaces adjoining the near corner. Place Queens in the next nearest three spaces. Place Drones (mediums) in the four spaces that run diagonally across the quadrant. In the next diagonal rank, place a Drone in the center flanked by Pawns (smalls, one on each side). Place three Pawns in the remaining squares around the forward Drone.

Another description: The central diagonal axis running between the players A and B should have the following contents: empty - A Queen - A Drone - A Pawn - B Pawn - B Drone - B Queen - empty. On the transverse diagonal between the Drone and Queen on each side, there should be four Drones of that player's color. The remaining spaces of the quadrant should be filled with the player's remaining Queens (closer to the player) and Pawns (closer to the opponent).

How to Play

Pick a player to go first. Each player moves one piece, then play progresses to the next player. The pieces can move as follows:

  • Pawns (one-pip pieces): Pawns may move one or two squares along any unobstructed diagonal. They may only capture Queens.
  • Drones (two-pip pieces): Drones may move one or two squares along any unobstructed orthogonal. They may only capture Pawns.
  • Queens (three-pip pieces): Queens move in an L-shape (like a knight in chess), skipping over any intervening pieces. They may only capture Drones.

To capture an opponent's piece, simply move into it and remove it from the board. Note the specific hierarchy: Queens capture Drones whom capture Pawns whom capture Queens.

How to Win

To win the game, simply capture four pieces of your opponent's that are of one particular species, i.e., four Pawns, four Drones, or four Queens. After all, if only one piece of a species is left, how can it breed?

Historical Notes

This game was designed in the year 2000, when Looney Pyramids were being produced as the game Black Ice. This package included monochrome sets of Black and Clear Pyramids, and a cloth Chessboard. This game used all the pieces in that set very nicely. In more recent times, getting 5 monochrome trios is a bit harder. However, players could use 3 Rainbow stashes, with one player using Red and Yellow pieces, and the other player using Blue and Green pieces, and setting aside unused bits.

Another even more economical alternative would be to play Rainbow against Xeno, for players who are familiar with those color classes.

External Links

  • A link to the original, outdated rules in a PDF