King’s Traverse

Object of the game

The object is to capture your opponent’s four kings. What might feel like an advanced form of checkers will surprise you in its complexity of moves and strategy. It requires a nimble mind and the forward thinking of a chess player. Be alert because the balance of power can shift very quickly in this game.

Game basics

Each player starts out with 4 kings and 13 squires. Kings must always stay on white squares and squires must always stay on brown squares. Only squires can capture kings and only kings can capture squires. Capture happens when a king or squire moves into an adjacent space that shares the same sides. Both kings and squires can jump forward if they have a piece to jump over. They can jump over their own pieces or their opponent’s pieces, or a combination of both. When a player’s king or squire reaches the opponent’s side of the board their king changes into an emperor or their squire changes into a knight. These changes give the pieces enhanced abilities to move. It is possible to reach the opposite side of the board in one jump, or a combination of multiple jumps in a single turn.

Examples of moves from the above illustration
  • 1. A silver squire moves into an adjacent space to capture an emperor. Squires must always move a forward motion and cannot move sideways.
  • 2. A silver squire jumps over an opponent’s squire and king to capture the king. Bridges can be formed from both a players pieces and an opponent’s pieces.
  • 3. A silver king makes multiple jumps to reach the opponent’s side and change into an emperor and capture two silver squires. Capture only happens at the final resting point and not at each junction where a piece launches from one jumping point to the next.
  • 4. A silver king traverses across two spaces to capture four gold squires. Kings, emperors and knights can traverse (go sideways) as long as there is not another piece blocking its path. A piece cannot jump over or go around pieces when traversing.
  • 5. A gold squire makes two jumps to become a knight and capture two silver kings.
  • 6. A silver knight traverses three spaces to capture two gold kings. When a squires changes into a knight it gains the ability to traverse and move forward or backwards. When a king changes into an emperor it can also move forward or backwards, but it also has the ability to jump to the next row of white spaces without needing a bridge.