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Hi Guys,

This is a board game I've designed. I'm publishing it here to establish copyright, of a sorts. Obviously, I've got to have people play it and give minor suggestions, so I've got to let it out. It's an impossible secret to keep. In this way, forums like this, even Facebook, can be your friend. Here goes:


Ursus is an island in the far north, near the Arctic Circle. "Ursus," means "Bear." The island is loosely based on Bear Island, north of Norway.

A great silver treasure, a statue of a giant bear, lies forgotten in an old temple at the center of the island. A lost map has been found. The race is on. Mighty bands of adventurers, Norwegian, Dane, Swede, and Rus, fight to be the first to gain the treasure and the huge fortune it represents.


Ursus is played on a standard Chess board.

The "Temple," consists of the four squares that make up the center of the board.


THE TEMPLE is a true sanctuary. The treasure starts out at the center of the Temple. To gain initial control of the treasure, a player needs to be the first to reach one of the four squares and enter.

From then on, any player holding the treasure must move only one space at a time.

The Temple may not be entered diagonally. Moving into or out of the Temple takes one turn. Archers may not shoot through, or around, the Temple. A player inside the Temple may not fight a player outside the Temple and vice versa.

Moving into, or out of, the Temple is NOT considered Retreating.

A character may NOT move and attack during the same turn while entering, or leaving, the Temple.

THE BOAT HOME: The four squares that make up the corners of the board are the boats home. Get the treasure to a boat home and you win. Or kill all the other players, whichever comes first. One may never leave from the boat one came in on, only from one of the other three boats. The boat you came in on represents the corner you start from. That boat is closed to you for the duration of the game.

You have five characters, set up in this way:

The corner is the boat behind you. In front of that, from left to right: A Runner and the Chieftain. In front of them: The Polearms Man, A Runner, and the Archer. This is how you start the game.


FACE-TO-FACE FIGHTING: Face-To-Face fighting means the players are next to each other. If opponents are face-to-face, they MUST fight or Retreat. Any player that retreats from face-to-face combat loses his attack. They also take a hit to the back as they leave. The opponent gets a free attack,(without having to roll a chance dice).


(Here you need three dice; a 20-sided dice (D20) A 6-sided dice (D6) and another 6-sided dice, or a 12 sided dice (D12)


Two Runners: Runners move by rolling a 6-sided dice. They are fast, but they cannot move and attack during the same turn. Runners may only attack Face-To-Face. Runners may not carry the Treasure unless only Runners remain. The Runner with the treasure, as all characters, may only move one square at a time.

It doesn't do to run from a Runner. After a Face-To-Face encounter, while perusing a Retreating opponent, Runners may now move and attack during the same turn, but only after a face-to-face Retreat.

To kill a Runner

Roll 10, or higher, with the 20-sided dice to see if you hit him, or if he deflected the blow.

If you hit him, roll a 6-sided dice (or D12, Polearm) to determine how bad you hurt him.

Runners can lose 20 hit points before they die.

The Chieftain: The Chieftain moves two spaces during a turn. He can fight two spaces in any direction (face-to-face, or separated by one square).

To kill a Chieftain:

Roll 13, or higher with the D20 to see if you hit him (Chieftains wear armor and have shields)

Roll D6, or D12, to determine damage.

Chieftains can lose 30 hit points before they die.

The Polearms Man: The Polearms Man is slow. He can only move one square per turn. He has two attacks determined by, face-to-face, or one square separating:

When separated by one square, the Polearms Man is deadly. He has double the hit points, so he rolls a 12-sided dice to determine damage.

Face to face, the Polearms Man fights normally, with a D6.

To kill a Polearms Man:

Roll 11, or higher, with a D20 to see if you hit him

Roll D 6, or D 12, to determine damage

Polearms Men can lose 22 hit points before they die.

Both the Chieftain and the Polearms Man may move and attack during the same turn.

The Archer: Archers are deadly, but wear no armor. They move 2 squares at a turn and can kill three squares (two squares separating) in any direction. Archers may not shoot through, around, or out of, the Temple. Archers may not shoot through one of their own players.

Archers may never move and attack during the same turn. They have to set up.

To kill an Archer:

Archers have no armor, or shield. When fighting an archer, you get an automatic hit. One only rolls a D6, or D12 to determine damage.

Archers can take 20 hit points before they die.

By the way, the treasure must be taken from the square it occupies. If the carrier of the Treasure is killed, the treasure stays on that square till another player reaches it. Characters in face-to-face combat may automatically occupy their opponent's square after they kill them.

(Up to four players may play the game, as there are four corners, but I don't know yet how crowded that will be. Minor adjustments of damage dice and hit dice might be needed to even out the characters. Obviously, the character who reaches the boat home first isn't waiting on his friends, so really one character wins. Please play this game and tell me what you think).

Premium Member
4,054 Posts
I'd have to look at it a little closer... actually make some pieces and so forth, but from what I'm reading about attack distances and travel distances and more... You're going to need at least 3 or 4 times more squares to make it a really strategic minded game.

But in giving more squares you can add terrain effect to your pieces movement and attacks... For example, let's say you have 25 X 25 instead of 8 X 8... So you have a standard chess notation sequence, expanded out A1-Z1 bottom row and Z1-Z25 right column with corresponding squares in between....

For terrain effects you can have mountainous on one or two edges, say A1-A5 is the plateau, so full mobility there, but B1-C6 and A6 are slope so reduced mobility = -50% and weapon effect = -20%... but going downhill mobility effect = -10% but weapon effect is +20%

The concept can be expanded out for other terrain features as well, marsh, swamp, forest, desert, rivers, lake, valley, hills... sizes and mobility deficits would have to be determined after laying it all out and playing a few times... but one of the cool things you could do is, have terrain effects that can be changed game to game...

So instead of having dice determine features, you have magnetic cards that you lay out and they have board size matching squares printed on them that indicate the terrain and it's effect.

But from what I see right now, as it is, and with the ranges you're talking about, it's more of a melee than anything else.

5,722 Posts
Sounds pretty cool. But Backgammon was as far as I got past Feds 'N' Heads.

Premium Member
3,288 Posts
I will have to read more closely... but it sounds fun.

And I have the board and dice. I'm almost ready.
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