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This page is written by the game's inventor, John Garwood.

Scrabble Battle Chess

By: John Garwood Copyright February 2001 to current.

(A sequel to Combat Chess II by same author)

This is a game mix of Chess, Scrabble, and Dungeons and Dragons/Magic. It has elements of each of the games and subtle strategies of its own.

What you need to play


  1. Setup a Scrabble board with chess pieces (that preferably are hollow and have open bottoms) as follows.
    Align the board where the scrabble example row is on the top left side....
    Set King on center Triple Score Square (Its Palace)
    Set Queen one square to the right next to the King
    Set one Bishop to the right next to the Queen
    Skip a space rightward, and place one Knight (Dragon) on Double Letter Score (its Den)
    Place both castles/rooks on the two corners of Triple Word Score
    Place other Bishop One space beyond to the left of the King (skip a space over leftward).
    Place other Knight (Dragon) on the other left side Double Letter Score. (Its Den)
    Now place a pawn directly in front of each piece except for the castle pawns (the garrison) which is placed on the diagonal Double Word Score.
  2. Place on board where it has example of scrabble the following letter tiles.
    S,C,R,A,B,B,L,E,(blank tile),S,E, and 2 t's, these are items which may be rolled for from the center Star Square (the cave).
  3. Get a hold of 5 six sided dice. Standard Yahtzee Dice
  4. Give one Tile Holder to each of the 2 players.
  5. Now place all tiles upside down in box and randomize their locations.

The Pieces

Pawn/Knights - Pawns move in a straight line in any direction.
*Pawns have no, 0 bonuses. [Exception if a pawn ever kills a king that pawn becomes a Bishop/HeroKnight with a +2 and is becomes a leader but may not cast spells.]

Castles - These pieces stay put all throughout the game.

Knight (Dragon) - The dragon, this piece can move over any number of pieces in a straight line as long as there is a space to land in.
*Dragons get a +1 to all attack and defense rolls.
*Dragons also have 6 times extra attacks fire weapons to any adjacent piece. This is kept track of using a Dice as a marker.

Bishops - Moves in a straight line and is considered a leader and spell caster.
*Bishops get a +2 bonus to all combat rolls.

Queen - Moves in a straight line and is considered a leader and spell caster.
*Queens get a +3 bonus to all combat rolls.

Kings - Moves in a straight line and is considered a leader and spell caster. Another thing a king can do is a called teleportation.
*Kings get a +4 bonus to all combat rolls.
*Kings may on a single dice try to roll a 6 instead of move, this must be called for ahead of time. If successful you may place the king in ANY unoccupied place on the board. This is called Kingly Teleportation.

Dragon Knights.... You may combine risky a Knight/Pawn and a Dragon/Knight by moving in a roll a knight to the location of one of your Dragons. You now roll one dice if it comes up a 5 or 6 knight may mount and fly the dragon. (This may be tried over in another turn until you become successful) [Place Knight on top of the pawn, or simply declare a successful mounting of this dragon and knight.] From now on these pieces move as one Unit one Piece but at a -1 space to the die roll to move them. They however Attack 2 times in one challenge with a +1 and may use up a fire breath as a third attack to any adjacent opponent piece. Now in a combat challenge if on the defensive if in an offensive challenge if both of the DragonKnights fail to succeed a challenge they are both killed. If one survives and one fails, the Knight is killed and the dragon remains. If they ever become separated, killed (captured) they are dismounted and must try to mount again if escaped. If a role to mount is unsuccessful 3 times then place the knight/pawn on a square to the right of the dragon.

Pope's You can also try if you are really brave to do a similar thing with your bishops where they may be stacked on top of each other. To elect/create a pope you move a bishop to another's location. Then you need to try to roll a 6 on a single dice. 3 attempts may be made to accomplish this in separate turns. If successful you place them on top of each other. The Pope moves normal, and attacks/defends as a King. A special thing a pope can do is simply attempt to convert/turn any called piece on the board up to 3 times. To do a conversion which is another way of killing/capturing a piece is the move must like a kingly teleportation be called before you move as your move. Pick any opponent's piece and have a normal Challenge. If piece fails it is captured. If pope fails he simply fails and may not try again upon that piece. If defeated in combat the pope is destroyed and must be rebuilt.

The Board

This is of course a larger board than a standard chessboard and also has many squares with special markings.

*Double letter, or double word score places are a magical zone where the occupant of that square receives a +1 to attack and defense rolls.

*Triple letter Squares like Double places, except the occupant gets a +2 to attack and defense.

*Triple word score. Consider these Safe Bases to their occupants you may attack a piece in such a square but you do so like roll your dice to attack once, and that piece in that square gets 3 chances to defend that roll at a +3 per each roll. Near impossible to achieve an attack.

The Star/Center (the Cave) space in the center of the board works like this...
If you move a piece to that square within an allotted move and it stops within square you may roll to search for a magic item. Once they are gone or a piece or letter is gone reroll until you get one. This is where the s,c,r,a,b,b,l,e,blank,s,e,2t's tiles come into play. Roll 2d6 and consult table...

2 C=(Chest roll 3x on this table if another 2 results it becomes a teleportation
Scroll like a King can do)
3 S=(Sword+ 1 to attack)
4B=(Boots of speed +3 spaces in move)
5 E=(Enter Skeleton Key +1 to escape rolls)
6 Blank (you get nothing this time)
7 E=(Enter Skeleton Key +1 to escape rolls)
8 B=(Boots of speed +3 spaces in move)
9S=(Sword + 1 to attack)
10R=(Ranged Weapon/[Bow and Arrows] Attack with a +1 up to two square away without fearing being killed in return.)
11A=(Armor +1 Attack and +1 Defense gives owner an extra life)
12L=(Levitation Cape, levitate over 1 square/obstacle as if a dragon would move)

Place the letter ('s) under piece and keep with piece as it moves about the board. Items may be given to any adjacent friendly piece. You may also loose them in combat as well to your opponent's piece if killed or captured. One piece can hold many items at once too!

Game Play


At the start of a turn a player rolls (except when any piece is at combat, and/or when trying an escape.) a single six sided dice. That is the number of spaces he/she may move a single piece. In combat chess all pieces (except castles) move in straight lines like a regular chess queen. It is possible to roll too many spaces. If this happens the player looses his turn. This is called over-planning. All pieces (except the dragons) cannot move through any piece. All pieces if chosen must move all of the number of spaces rolled. No piece may make any kind of turn. Pieces' bonus is not added to this roll. Another thing a player can do if his/her king is still alive is make a called teleportation. The moving player before the roll of the dice must declare ("kingly teleportation"). If it is not declared the king may not do this. After declaration the player then rolls the dice. For every leader of the players side is on the board the king gets a +1 to this roll. If the roll is equal to or greater than a 6 the player may place the king in any unoccupied space on the board. Pieces' bonus is not added to this roll.

You also take Combat/Challenges

When players piece becomes adjacent to an opponent's piece the moving player may then choose to challenge the adjacent piece of his/her choice. The challenger then rolls the six-sided dice and adds the challenging piece's bonus to it. The challenged player then rolls the dice (or his/her own dice) and adds the challenged piece's bonus to it. The higher of the two numbers wins. If a tie is rolled then the process repeats until there is a victor. Upon victory the player then moves that piece into the opponent's square. Removing the captured piece to the back edge off of the board. The player may now challenge, roll for movement, or try an escape. This means that as long as the player fights and wins the player continues to go. Upon defeat the player looses his/her piece to the other player who now must take that defeated piece and place it to the back edge off of the board. The player has now ended his/her turn and may take no further action. It is now the victors turn to move.

Escape Attempts

This is accomplished by moving a piece in a previous turn adjacent to any of the opponent's castles. The "hero" then rolls the dice once and adds to that their bonus. If that result equal or greater than a 6 the player may choose any captured piece and place it into any empty adjoining place next to the castle. This piece is now free to do what ever. If there is no empty adjoining spaces to place a piece in then there can be no escape attempt. The players turn now ends. At this time the opponent may try to get a piece there to protect it or if there is already an adjoining piece may make a combat challenge. If there are no pieces to be escaped then choose to do something else. Victory comes when all the leaders have been killed (bishops, queens, and kings).

Try to make and cast spells

This is where the scrabble element comes into play the play in his same turn and by the same number he rolled to move the player then takes that many tiles randomly out of the box of upside-down scrabble pieces and tries to spell out Spells. You may give, exchange and take as many pieces as you moved. Unless your slate is full with a spell in that case you must cast lettered spell or take its representative poker card. Place any spent or unused tiles back in box face down. If there becomes no more cards available then you may not store spell and must cast it immediately or discard spell.

Queenme (Queen of Spades)
[Take Q tile and place under any piece, that piece is now a queen as long as there is a spell caster alive/uncaptured. Any bonuses are non-accumulative in transference. Last 7 turns flip over tiles to mark spent turns]

Quicken (any 2's)
[Adds +1 to move for ALL of your pieces for 7 turns, you may also have another Non-movement based action per turn. Flip tiles to keep track of turns.]

Fireball (Hearts 3-6)
[Attack at spell casters +# ANY piece's within a 9 square tile anywhere on board. May destroy (Roll Dice) forests (2-6) and water (5-6) and walls (4-6) and spell based castles 2-6)]

Lightning (Clubs 3-6)
[Attack at casters +# with immunity ALL (including yours) pieces in desired straight or diagonal line from spell caster. Any reflections from *'s may come back and attack you as well.]

Hideme (Jokers or Jack of Club or Spades)
[Invisibility/Invulnerability of one piece for 6 turns, if piece attacks spell is negated. Remove Piece from Board and move about honestly until spell is finished. Turn over tiles to mark turns spent invisible]

Flyme (Jack of Hearts, Queen of Spades, Queen of Clubs)
[Place the F tile under desired piece, that piece can now fly/move about like a dragon for 5 turns. Replace rest of tiles in box face down]

Shields (Spades 3-6)
[All of your pieces have a +1 defense for 7 turns, flip pieces to mark turns till spell is finished]

Freeze (Diamonds 3-6)
[Pick one opponents^ piece, that piece may not move nor be attacked or function for 6 turns flip over pieces until spell is finished. Knock over piece that is selected.]

Sleep (Diamonds 7-10)
[Opponent^ may not move for 5 turns, flip over each tile until turns are up. If any opponent's pieces are attacked the spell is negated and player may move there after]

YoureDead (Any Ace)
[Pick 1 piece of opponent's^ and that piece is permanently dead throughout game]

MagikHole (Jack of Diamonds)
[Place H tile in desired square towards opponent^ and replace others into box face down, that place becomes a secret entrance to opponent's^ castle(s).]

Water @ (Hearts 7-10)
[Take all letters and place them on board adjacently to create rivers, lakes, and moats. All pieces may not move through or into in water in normal moves. Water takes 5 turns to cross it no matter how wide it is at point of entrance or exit, and direction at end of turn Exit is that of the same direction in which entered. Player in water may be attacked upon impuna otherwise the defense roll of the dice does not kill the attacker.]

Forest @ (Clubs 7-10)
[Place tiles on board anywhere in any adjoining fashion these squares become a zone of +1 attack and defense of any occupants. Score tiles increase this in that place. (Doubles +2, Triples +3) Dragons may kill off one square of forest by spending one of its fire weapons if adjacent to forest, simply place such tile upside down to mark it destroyed. Movement in a forest takes away one move per square traveled through]

Catapult *!@ (Any Red queen of Hearts of Diamonds)
[Creates an extra castle of which ever choice your or opponent's^ in any desired location. Stack up pieces to represent new castle, you may also take over an opponents castle permanently]

Wall *!@ (Spades 7-10)
[Place letters on board in any adjoining fashion this wall may not be occupied by other pieces and becomes an obstacle pieces must move around]

Castle*@ (Red Kings)
[Like wall, except more pieces and pieces may occupy them. Place letters on board in any adjoining fashion.]

Zebra (Black Kings)
[You may swap sides of the other player^, all spells all pieces everything is swapped]

Teleport (No card available)
[Place both E's at desired locations on board, all pieces may move through E to E on board with no cost to movement. This also may change direction a piece was travelling to any desired one at exit. Must be played immediately and last for the whole game. Your basic wormhole like effect. Place remaining pieces back in box face down]

* Lightning bounces/reflects/ricochets in straight or diagonally.

! Kills effect of any score places on board where tiles are placed.

@ Dragons may fly over as normal as long as there is a place to land.

Playing the game

  1. Each player rolls the six-sided dice; the highest number goes first, in case of tie reroll.
  2. The winning player then can choose to either roll to move, declare kingly teleportation, or if possible declare challenge or escape attempt.
    1. After any combat the winner then gets to do step 2.

    2. Once the player has moved or been defeated the player then hands over the dice to the opponent and the opponent gets to move doing step 2.
  3. This continues until all leaders/spellcasters are killed or captured. Kings, Queens, Bishops (Pope's) or Knights who are promoted to Bishops for Killing a King.


A combat victory: the taken piece may be placed on either side (left right) back part off of the board. That piece is then assigned to that castle and may only be escaped from that castle.


Player may opt to in a turn to declare scry/spy on another players cards...roll 2d6 instead of 1d6 to move.

2 (snake-eyes- You may blindly TAKE one of the players spell cards for your own.)
3-4 (you may look at his full deck)
5-7 (Nothing happens)
8-9 (you may blindly pick and view one card from opponents deck and give it back)
10-11 (your opponent may pick and view one of your cards instead)
12 (Bad Bones- Opponent may take one of your cards from you blindly and keep it)

OPTIONAL RULE 4 Players set up and game play....

Rules Changes

Players are not on teams (black vs. white etc...) and may not act like they are, it is every player for himself, unless otherwise bespelled. Order of play is different and can change radically over the period of a game. You all roll dice, highest goes first from then it normally goes in a clockwise fashion around the board. Unless in combat/defensive victory in which the victor may skip over to his turn and cause a player to loose his/her turn. That can happen especially when attacking a third or forth player away from yourself. If it does it reflects how things are in real world battles where warring sides would push out from the spotlight so to speak other opponents/players. This is a total victory based game. 4 players enter only one may come out the victor by eliminating all the other players' leaders/casters.

In cases of multiple attacks like from dragon knights and spells you may continue to attack anyone adjacent to your position in the same turn.

In spells mentioned above where you cast a spell on an opponent follow this rule...Everybody Rolls a d6, and gains a +1 to that roll for every leader/caster that player has. The lowest looses and becomes the victim. This leaves out ganging up on players and makes the game more balanced and less likely to get into favoritism. This is a war simulation. In some case the Highest and the lowest are victims of spells. (Like Treaty)

In some cases you can also use this rule to select victims of spells or combat...

1-2 next player in line from you
3-4 player that is next after that (opposite the board from you)
5-6 player that is right before you

{If 3 players remain...1-3 Next player | 4-6 Player right before you}

{If 2 players remain no roll is needed, simple}

Enter/Escapes, you must rescue your players from the player who took them. [And where] Makes things a bit more interesting when one player becomes defeated....

Defeat is also handled differently as well...

The object to win is to kill opponent(s) is still the same remove all leaders!

But what happens afterwards? When defeated any spells cast by defeated player are destroyed walls, castles, treaties, etc...

Spoils of victory

You automatically get all Star space Items from defeated opponent that's a given.

Roll d6 on and consult this table when anytime a player eliminates another. +1 per extra leader of yours...{1 leader = +0 | 2 leaders =+1 | 3 leaders= +2 | 4 leaders= +3 etc...}

1-3 You get nothing! None of your own pieces, nobody's pieces ...(scorched earth)

Remove eliminated player's pieces from the board.

4-5 You get only players remaining if any pieces as your own...(oh boy more pawns and dragons)
6 You get all of your captured pieces plus any of the other player's pieces defeated opponent may have had in 'custody'.
7 You get all your pieces and his/hers and also control over there castles which will remain. Not always a good thing for must defend them too. {Optional rule of placement of captured pieces may be re shifted at this time once}
8+ All of the below plus you get ALL his/hers spell cards as well...(the motherload)

Placement of pieces

Must have 2 sets of white and 2 sets of black preferable different in style from each other and with hollow bottoms for stacking. You must have 2 complete scrabble games with all tiles mixed together face down. Still lay out S,C,R,A,B,B,L,E,(BLANK TILE),S,E, & T,T Give a scrabble slate to each player..

With the word scrabble example being in upper left start laying pieces on board as follows.

King1 at top left corner on Triple Word Score (his palace)

Queen1 directly under King1

Bishop1a under Queen1

Dragon1a under Bishop1 on Double Letter Score (his den)

Skip a space down

Under skipped space place Castle1a to left of Triple letter score

To the right of King1 place Bishop1b

To the right of Bishop1b place a pawn

To the right of that pawn place Dragon1b on Double letter score (his den)

To the right of Dragon1 Skip a space

To the right of that skipped space place Castle1b above Triple letter score

Place a pawn under Castle1b (the garrison)

Place a pawn under Dragon1b

Place a pawn under Bishop1b

Place a pawn under that pawn

Place another pawn under that pawn

Skip a space and place last pawn on triple letter score to the left of castle1a (the garrison)

Turn board 90 degrees clockwise and repeat for players 2,3, and 4


#= blank spaces



Spells for 4 player rules

Use a different deck of playing poker cards with a different face.

Truce (any Heart number card)

Forces 1 opponent^ to refrain from attacking you until you attack that player

Treaty (any Diamond number card)

Forces 1 opponent^ to ONLY attack another opponent* until A. that player is eliminated -or- B. Until you attack either of them and then BOTH players may ONLY attack you.

The following spells may be used in a 2-player game as an optional rule with in this optional rule.

Dispel (any Spade number card)
[Breaks you free of 1 spell that forces you to do something.]

Mirror% (any queen)
[Reflects any spell cast towards you back to caster as a defensive action.]

Storespell% (any king
[Stores any spell cast towards you, basically take the card cast into your own deck.]

Stealspell (any ace)
[Takes blindly 1 spell card from any opponent.^]

Sabotage (any jack)
[Destroy blindly one spell card -or- erase an opponents^ slate of tiles, card is placed back into deck.]

Missile (and Club numbered card)
[This works the same way as the item Range attack. One of your leaders/casters may attack any chosen player up to your +# squares away with impunity. Therefore the defenders dice roll to defend your attack does not kill you. Use spell once.]

Resurrect (any joker)
[Once all your leaders are killed play this card to get back one bishop back from any opponent* who has one. Place back in your own king's corner palace on triple word score. Place any other piece yours or otherwise occupying that place to the star square in the center. Any piece in that Star location is captured by the players whose piece is there. If on the same side as player then it is captured by you automatically. If your own piece is there on the square it is DEAD permanently and removed from the game and considered part of a sacrifice. Very complicated spell and should be used lightly.]

% Must be used as spell is cast.

Further notes on this optional rule of 4 players

A four-player game can get to be quite complicated as to who is getting attacked by whom. Especially when spells are involved. Use your judgement as a caster to judge which rule truly applies to you in that case. Every body still moves the same as before but as you notice the board is laid out in a more protective way than before. Especially when it comes to castles and garrisons. And it is more spell intensive then before as well. Adding in more spells to handle the obvious mismatch of 3 against 1.

Strategies to win...

Use castle like this example


To guard a piece from attack the best way place the center of the castle on a triple or double score place, or perhaps the star square to keep it from looting.

~Use walls for castle walls like this

2 player...this allows for unidirectional attack and fortifies your castle immensely.


4 Player...this allows for a tri-directional attack only and protects your castle from the sides.


In any player if you can Wall up an opponents leaders you have WON over that opponent by default of siege and catacombing that player from winning at all. To the point they must come up with a fireball spell and hopefully they can withstand their own attack and also be successful destroying a part of wall. The player is not eliminated but quite contained..

~Use water around castles for moats

2. Player this basically makes one castle an island and keeps captured pieces captured.






4. Player this also makes a castle hard to infiltrate 1 allows access 2 shuts it off completely.

1______ or 2 ________
#WCR         #WCR#
#APE         #ATE#
##T##        ######

~Use Forests around castles it may hinder movement but makes it a real pain to rescue anybody from there. Put your King in a forest.

~Use water around a leader like a pope or a dragon knight or a king to basically isolate them.

~Wall up your entire troops with but one entrance to come and go out of with multiple wall's

~Balance your offence and defense well...if you go heavy on the attack you can loose quickly. If you stay defensive only you're ripe for the slaughter and don't win that way.

~Create special teams for rescues. One to get them out, while the other stands guard.

~Stay on base...Move a player to a score square and stay there allow others to die trying.

~Guard the center and go for it till it is robbed of all items.


You may include other games of this and merge them so to speak by simply making the star square a transferring point from one game to the other. You must simply stop within the square and take one turn to cross over. If there is an opponent in the cave already on the other side that turn you may declare a challenge.

1. You keep your spells from one game to the other but you must have a leader/caster on that board to cast spells there.

2. All players must be eliminated

3. Spells may go from one board to the other like Magikhole and Teleport.

4. It is important to establish a stronghold on a board a player enters from another game.

5. Kings can teleport to any game too. Foolish but possible!

6. When spells have determinates as to how many leaders are present it also comes into play how many leaders are on that board.


As you can see this game is rather in depth and quick and brutal form of chess that makes for a lot of dwelling more on strategy then normal chess with its pre known moves and such. If you want to make up more spells go for it but the ones mentioned are well within any possible use in a game of this nature. You can also set up a game with this with sertin walls and lakes and rivers in place to create terrain difficulties. A Wall can become a mountain of sorts if aligned in a (4) square. I have designed this game with so many possibilities for outcomes and may strategies all of its own to truly be a stimulating experience of wit verse wit.

That's it!

I hope you enjoy :-)

John Garwood

poetgent at

Written by: John Garwood. Trademarks used in this text are owned by their respective owners, (i.e., not by us.)
WWW page created: February 22, 2001.