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This page is written by the game's inventor, Tony Quintanilla.

Lions and Dragons Chess

by Tony Quintanilla



Lions and Dragons Chess is a kind of "game within a game" played on an 84-hex board. It represents a "ball game" where two Wizards are trying to get a Ball into a goal in their opponent's end of the field. Instead of carrying the Ball themselves, however, the conjure Dragons to do so. 

The Lions actually represent randomly selected non-spaces in the hex board. I chose the lions simply for visual appeal.

Lions and Dragons Chess is submitted to the 84-Spaces Contest!


See the piece images and descriptions below to explain the above setup. The highlighted hexes are the goals. The 7 red lion images are randomly selected "non-hexes" to reduce the board to 84 hexes, to comply with contest requirements. The arrangement of the 7 non-hexes in the illustration above is only one possible arrangement. Any randomly selected arrangement can be used, or, if preferred, some agreeable regular arrangement is also acceptable. A non-hex is not part of the board and may not be entered by either player.


The Wizard may move one hex towards any of the six adjacent along the sides or any of the six hexes adjacent along the edges. The Wizard may not capture any piece. A Wizard may also shoot a Fireball. If it does so, the Wizard does not move, but a Fireball is created and moved two hexes in any straight direction. A Fireball cannot be shot at an adjacent hex.

The player that captures the opponent's Wizard wins the game.

The Ball is neutral. It does not belong to either player. It does not move and may not be moved by either player on its own. However, it may be captured by a Dragon. When it is captured, the Dragon becomes a Dragon-with-Ball. If the Dragon-with-Ball enters the opposing player's goal hex, that player wins the game.

The Proto-Dragon may not move. If it is hit by a Fireball, it becomes a Dragon. It may be captured by a Dragon or a Roc.


The Dragon may move one hex to any of the 6 adjacent hexes, or may move 2 hexes outward and then one hex to the left or right to reach another 12 hexes. In total, the Dragon can reach 18 hexes. The Dragon can capture Balls or Dragons-with-Ball; when it does so it becomes a Dragon-with-Ball. The Dragon can also capture an opponent's Proto-Dragons, Dragons, or Rocs.

The Dragon-with-Ball may move to any of the 6 adjacent hexes. It may capture any opposing Roc, Proto-Dragon, Dragon, Dragon-with-Ball, or Wizard. It may also capture a Ball, which is then eliminated from play. If a Dragon-with-Ball enters the opposing goal hex, that player wins the game. If it captures the opposing Wizard, that player also wins the game.

The Roc moves 5 hexes outward and one hex outward to the left or right. Due to the size of the board, only 4 hexes may be reached from any position. The Roc may capture opposing Rocs or Dragons.

A Fireball is shot off by the Wizard. It is a neutral piece.  Upon being shot off it moves two hexes. If it hits a Dragon-with-Ball, the Dragon-with-Ball and the Fireball are removed and a Ball is left behind. If it hits a Proto-Dragon, the Proto-Dragon and the Fireball are removed and a Dragon is left behind. If it hits a Wizard, a Fireball, a Ball or the edge of the board, the Fireball is removed. If it hits a Dragon or a Roc, the Dragon or Roc and the Fireball are removed. If the Fireball is not removed for one of the above reasons, it is moved in the direction it started two hexes between the White and Black turns. 


  1. This game is played on an 84-hex board.
  2. The initial array is as shown in Setup, above.
  3. Randomly select 7 hexes that will be removed from play, as non-hexes.
  4. The pieces move as described above in alternating turns: White, Fireballs, Black, Fireballs, etc..
  5. To win, move a Dragon-with-Ball into the opponent's goal hex or capture his Wizard.

Playing Tips

To start drop Proto-Dragons near your Wizard and shoot them with Fireballs to convert the to Dragons. Once you have enough, try to capture a Ball and move it towards the opposing goal. Be careful to avoid the Rocs! If the Wizard starts crowded in by non-hexes, move it to a better spot. Remember that the Wizard can only be captured by a Dragon-with-Ball!

Computer Play

If you have Zillions of Games you may play Lions and Dragons Chess Chess against your computer or by e-mail using saved Zillions files. You may download a zip file that includes the rules file and all the needed image files. 



A paper set can be made by printing and cutting out the below board and pieces.



Thanks to David Howe and to Glenn Overby for the piece images, and to Peter Aronson and Glenn Overby for play testing.

Written by Tony Quintanilla
WWW Page Created: November 30, 2002.