Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Martin Miller.

External Link

This is a link to an external site for: Balad


There are some obvious similarities with chess, however Baladãna™ is more abstract and even more complex and dynamic.

The biggest difference is that while in chess the way each playing piece can move is always the same, in Baladãna™, the way figures can move is dynamic, determined by their 'powers'. The configuration of these powers represented by the colored rings is updated throughout the game - players can change the position of one ring as part of each move, placing up to 3 rings on any figure. When more rings of different colors are placed on a figure the powers combine and as the game progresses, you can gradually build up more and more powerful figures.

Baladãna™ Rules Summary

Starting in the initial position as illustrated, players take turns making a move. White figures go first. The objective is to capture both of your opponent's golden rings.


Each move has two parts:

1. Ring Move (optional, may be skipped)

a) You can pick up the top ring from one of your own figures and place it on any other figure or square anywhere on the game board, or

b) You can pick up a free ring (one that is not placed on a figure) and place it on one of the adjacent figures, but only if the ring is surrounded by more of your own figures than your opponent's (counting the 8 adjacent squares). The maximum number of rings that can be placed on any figure is 3.

2. Figure Move

Move one of your figures according to its powers (it may or may not be a figure that took part in the ring move). A figure may not jump over other figures or free rings and it cannot land on a square occupied by a free ring. You can capture an opponent's figure by moving to a square it occupies. The captured figure is removed from the game. If the figure has any rings, one of them must also be removed from the game (the 'tax'), but the rest of the rings (if any) may be kept as 'loot'. The player making the move can select the ring(s) he or she wants to keep and place them on any figure(s) or square(s) on the game board.


When rings are placed on a figure they give it different 'powers' to move, according to the ring's colors, as shown in the table below. The order of the rings does not matter. Figures with no rings cannot move.

Golden Rings

A player must have at least one golden ring on one of his or her figures to be able to continue to play. To be able to capture opponent's figures, the player must have both golden rings and they must be placed on the same figure!


When a player has at least one golden ring, but cannot make any move (and there is no Ring Move possible that would enable him or her to make a move), then the game ends in a draw.

Copyright © 2005 Citta Computing Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This 'link page' is meant to provide a link to another website. Note that we have no connection to, nor bear responsibility for the linked sites.

By Martin Miller.
Web page created: 2005-10-29. Web page last updated: 2005-10-29