Release Date: 
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Play Duration (experienced): 
Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Minimum Age: 

A roll-and-move game with lots of interaction, voting, and negotiation for three or more players.

by Jonathan Leistiko


Be the first player to reach the last space on the board.

You Need

  • A Hierarchy board. You can use a chessboard, but you should take a look at the “official” Hierarchy board to understand the difference between a chessboard and a Hierarchy board.
  • A full set of chess pieces (32 pieces)
  • A board marker for each player
  • A six-sided die
  • A deck of Hierarchy cards
  • A set of three “target” tokens for each player. Each set of target tokens should be homogenous and distinct from the other sets.
  • A large number of “timer” tokens – about 8 times the number of players.

hierarchy_cards_and_board.zipClick here to download the board and cards.


Put the checkerboard and die in the center of the playing area, where all players can reach it. Put the full set of chess pieces nearby.
Claim a board marker and a set of target tokens. Put your board marker on the starting space of the board. Put your target tokens in front of you.
Shuffle the Hierarchy deck. Deal three cards to each player. You may look at your cards and arrange them in any way you wish to. Do not show your cards to the other players.
The dealer goes first.

Play During the course of play, rules and events will enter play. The rules on these events and rules overrule the standard rules of the game.

On your turn do the following things, in the following order:

  1. Remove timer tokens
  2. Draw a card
  3. Play a card
  4. Roll and move.

Steps 2, 3, and 4 are optional.

1) Remove Timer Tokens
Remove one timer token from every Rule in front of you. Discard any rule with no timer tokens on it. Return any target tokens that were on the rule to their players.

2) Draw a Card
Draw a card from the Hierarchy deck.

3) Play a Card
If you play a card, it’ll either be an Event, or a Rule.

If you play an Event, the text on it takes effect immediately. If the event lasts until the end of the turn, keep it in play until the end of the turn and then discard it. Otherwise, discard the event after its effects have resolved.

Note that some events tell you when you can play them. You do not have to wait for your Play a Card phase to play these cards. You can play these cards when the card indicates you can.

If you play a Rule, place it face-up in front of you, read it aloud, and put a number of timer tokens on it equal to the number of players. You get to choose which players this rule will affect by placing a player’s target token on the rule. If you want a rule to only affect you, you would place one of your target tokens on the rule, and no one else’s target tokens. You may not take target tokens from other rules to place them on the rule you just played. You may not put more than one target token from the same player on a rule.

After you’ve placed all the timing and target tokens, the rule comes up for vote. Each player gets one vote. If there are more votes in favor of the rule than there are opposed to it, the rule stays in play. If the vote is tied or if there are more votes against it, return all tokens to their players (or the timer pool) and discard the rule. During the vote, you may remove a timer token from the rule to gain an extra vote; you may do this as many times as you want to.

Promotion and Demotion:
During the game, keep a chess piece in front of you. This piece indicates your game rank and gives you access to certain privileges.

Piece rank (from low to high) is: Pawn, Rook, Knight, Bishop, Queen, King

When you trade your piece in for one of the next-higher rank, it’s called promotion.
When you trade your piece in for one of the next-lower rank, it’s called demotion.

If you land on another player’s space, you may promote yourself or demote that player.

If a rule you play is voted in, you may promote yourself.

You may pass steps 2 through 4 of your turn to promote yourself.

Your rank gives you special powers as follows:
Pawn: Rules you propose can not be vetoed.
Rook: During Step 2, you may draw two cards.
Knight: When you roll to move, roll twice, pick one die, and move that many spaces.
Bishop: During Step 3, you may play two cards instead of one.
Queen: During a vote, you get two votes instead of just one.
King: You may veto a rule by demoting yourself.

4) Roll and Move
Roll one die. Move your board tracker that many spaces.

If your board tracker would go past the Finish, keep your tracker on the Finish.

When you enter a row with a rank and its rules printed in it, set your rank to that rank, regardless of what your rank is.

Play passes to the left at the end of your turn.

Ending the Game and Winning

The game ends when a player starts his or her turn with his or her board marker on the Finish space. That player wins the game.

Origin and Credits

This is a game I’ve had (in one form or another) since early July 2005. It still needs a little work, but it’s certainly playable as-is.