Chain of Command

Chain of Command is a simple board game played with just a chessboard and some checkers. It has a very military feel to it, trying to coordinate a front line of soldiers in the field as you send orders down the chain of command.


Each unit is a stack of checkers. The color of the checkers tells you who owns the unit, and the height of the stack tells you its rank. So a stack of two white checkers is a rank-2 unit for the white player.A

Moving and Passing Orders

Basic Movement


Let's start with a few simple examples of movement before we get to the actual rules. It's your turn, and you have three units on the board: a rank-3 in the corner, a rank-2 to its right, and a rank-1 below that.


Each turn, you get to pick one unit to give orders to. Let's say you pick the rank-1 unit. (Notice that this turn's unit is circled.) Because it's only a rank-1, you can only give it 1 order to move. When a unit follows an order to move, it can move one step in any direction. (Stepping into an enemy-occupied square is how you defeat units, we'll get into that in a moment. Stepping into a friendly-occupied square isn't allowed — you can't have two units in the same space.)


Moving the rank-1 just 1 space each turn is boring. It's your turn again (never mind what the other player was up to), and you'd like to move something more interesting. You decide to move the rank-3 unit. Because it's a rank-3, you can give it 3 orders to move. This means it could move up to 3 times. Each of these movement orders is independent, so the unit doesn't even have to move in a straight line.

Passing Orders Along


Sometimes a unit has more orders than you have any use for. You could just throw some away, but that would be a waste. Instead, you'd rather pass those orders on to another unit. Let's say you choose the rank-2 this turn, giving it 2 orders. It keeps one order for itself, passing the other one on to the adjacent rank-1 unit.

Once the orders are all distributed, they have to be followed. You move the rank-1 one step to the right, then you move the rank-2 one step to where the rank-1 had been standing. (You're allowed to move them in any order, but in this case you'd have to move the rank-1 first to get out of the way of the rank-2.)

(units can only pass to adjacent-at-start-of-turn 1-rank-lower units)

(units can pass orders to multiple other units)

(capturing enemy units)

(a unit stops for the turn when entering enemy space)

(promotion or reinforcement: if any of your units captured an enemy piece this turn, pick one)

(promotion: pick any unit involved in a capture (either doing the capture or passing the order that led to the capture), add 1 rank)

(reinforcement: get a new rank-1 unit on any empty space of your home row)

(game ends when you have no pieces left above rank-1)

(knights variant: a moving unit starts with a strength = its rank, X captures Y is actually X loses Y.rank strength and Y loses X.rank ranks, X can continue using orders until it runs out of strength)


1 2 2 2 2 2 2 1
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

starting setup

Start with a rank-2 unit on each space in your home row, except the corners, which start with a rank-1 unit. Place a rank-1 unit on each space in your second row.