The brainchild of David Cantebury, he has been playing Armageddon every winter since 1984. He’d been playing chess since Kindergarten (mainly due to having only 3 channels on TV at the time, having older siblings that played, and an intelligent, disciplined¬† dad that taught him). Marching chess pieces in columns under the dining room table as a child, while shooting them with a rubber band gun may have been the very beginnings of what would later become Armageddon

Basic features

Played by 2, 3, or 4 players

Four army game consists of two sets of allies

Board is 21 x 21 squares

Armies consist of 29 pieces, 6 stones

Armies are set up at player’s discretion

Up to 20 pieces may move in one turn, depending on the types of pieces and placement (roman Plalanxes)

Short and long range artillery are able to kill without relinquishing position

Short range artillery is basically defense, setting the stage of the battlefield

Long range artillery can be directed at enemy phalanxes to force them back, forward or disperse them. They’re also able to check King on first move and frequently, allowing partner moves. Can be good for switching attack from one opponent to the other

Successful allied double attacks on an opponent can speed up a four-army game

Lack of expertise may be offset by advantageous / disadvantageous initial setup of armies

Defeated armies may be used as slaves

Some modification of rules allowed


While being raised on a small farm near a small town in Iowa, with a small school, one has to make his own fun, especially when there are no friends or siblings with which to play. I spent some of my time practicing games by myself so that I could be more competitive when playing others. After experimenting with the rules of chess and combining my modifications with my interest in how Greek and Roman phalanxes met in battle, by 1984, I designed a new board game that involved aspects of both chess and checkers with the added dimension of artillery. Now, all these years later, my friends and I maintain a tradition of playing this game on winter Sundays, and a lively “discussion” among players ensues nearly every time.

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