Olympus Mons

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Under development

This game is currently under development, in the Initial Design stage. Feedback is strongly encouraged! Feel free to give comments on game design or structure on the talk page.

Olympus Mons is a chess-like game, in the spirit of Pikemen and Martian Chess. Think of it as 'overlap chess'. It's not the newest idea, but it might foster other better ideas. I myself was inspired by the field promotion rules for Martian Chess.

What you need

  • 2 players
  • 1 stash of stackable pieces per player
  • a chessboard


Board setup is identical to that for 2-player Pikemen.


Inspired by the Fischer-960 chess variant, each player secretly arranges their pieces upright on their home row of the board, the one closest to them. Pieces may be singular or in stacks of up to 3 pieces, with no nested pieces. Once both players are done, formations are revealed and the game starts. This will invariably put some of your pieces within capturing range on turn 1. (This could be remedied by limiting the movement range of pieces to X squares.)


Players take turns moving pieces according to the rules of movement.

Singular pieces move thusly:

  • A pawn moves like a knight in chess.
  • A drone moves like a rook in chess.
  • A queen moves like a bishop in chess.

Stacks of pieces are treated like individual units. They are moved and captured like singular pieces, but they are able to move like any piece within the stack can. For example, a small-on-medium stack moves like a knight or a bishop. When you choose to move a stack, you can opt to move just one piece from the stack instead, which can move only according to that piece's size; the unmoved pieces in the stack stay put.

There are no restrictions on capturing. When a piece or pieces are captured, they are removed from the game, and the capturer scores that many pips worth of points.

Winning the Game

The winner of the game is the first player to score some number of points, maybe 15.


Obviously, stacking your pieces can make them a powerful piece for offense, but it also makes the stack worth more points to capture. Yet a stack is just as vulnerable as a lone piece, which gives your opponent a big reward for taking it down. You may quickly lose options as your stacks are captured, while your opponent racks up a bigger score. A defensive player may tend to keep their pieces loose.

I chose Olympus Mons as the working title for the game because it sounds like Amazons, which in the singular sense is a common variant 7th chess piece, one that moves like a queen and a knight. A 1-2-3 tree would have the same properties as an Amazon piece. Also a nod to the Martian volcano, which goes with the Martian theme.

Credits and Copyright

Olympus Mons, v0.50

25 January 2006

designed by Ryan Hackel and was placed on the IcehouseGames.org wiki.


Comment and Questions

  • Comments and suggestions on improvements are welcomed at Talk:Olympus Mons.
    • Thanks for the input!