Strategic Game of Maneuver and Capture3M Company - 1970
2 or 4 Players
This is another chess variation, but one that seems to work better than others. In Ploy the familiar chess pieces are replace by a "Commander" along with "Lances", "Probes" and "Shields". The game is played on gridlines and all pieces can move horizontally, vertically or diagonally. (Lances can move three spaces, Probes move two and Shields and the Commander only one.)
While any piece is capable of moving in any direction, they are limited as to which directions they can move in at any one time. Look at the detail image on this page. Notice the little "fins" on each piece? These are "direction indicators". Pieces can only move in a direction indicated by their direction indicators. On their turn, a player can move one piece in any direction allowed by its direction indicator or they can rotate a piece so that its directon indicators point in a different direction.
Pieces are captured by moving onto them as in chess. A player is out of the game when they have lost their Commander or all of their Lances, Probes and Shields. There are both two and four player versions of the game.
This is a very interesting variant of chess and one that is probably as complex. The restrictions on movement direction adds an entirely new dimenson to the game. The only negative I have about this one is that the game board is an absolutely hideous color of purple. (It looks more futuristic, I guess) This is another of my favorites in the 3M Bookshelf line.
The Game Pile
Dennis Matheson - (email removed contact us for address) epile.com
Last Revised - November 28, 1999