Thief Boardgame

prototypeThief Boardgame

In a turn-based, capture-the-flag style game, both players are attempting to steal the other King’s crown jewel and return the jewel to their own King to make him Emperor.  Movement and abilities of each unit change throughout the game based on their role. The unit with the jewel of the same color is the King. The King is protected by many guards, and a few elite guards. The unit with the jewel of the other player’s color is transformed into the Thief.  A unit with both jewels becomes Emperor and wins the game. Depending on play style, the role of King and Thief may change many times throughout the game.  The game can be played on a 5×5 or 7×7 board.


10-20 minutes per game

16 pieces on 5×5 board or 24 pieces on a 7×7 board

Victory Conditions

  • Thief Victory: Thief returns to the first rank of the friendly side of the board.
  • Elimination Victory: All of the other player’s units are eliminated.
  • Emperor Victory: The King becomes Emperor by holding both jewels at the same time.

Movement and Ability

Players take turns moving one of their own units.  Movement and ability change based on the 4 roles in the game.  Movement is not limited by direction (forward and backward movement allowed).  Units cannot move into an occupied square unless they can attack that unit.

  • King (same color jewel) can move one space in any direction (like a chess king), but may not attack -or- may pass jewel to adjacent unit.
  • Elite Guard can move one or two spaces diagonally and those movements may be attacks.
  • Guard can move one space diagonally and may attack.
  • Thief (opposite color jewel) can move one space in any direction and that movement may be an attack -or- may pass jewel to adjacent unit.


Attacking is simply moving into an opponent’s occupied square, removing that unit from the game, and replacing it with the attacking unit.  Attacking the other player’s King or Thief removes that unit from the board and places the jewel it was carrying onto the attacking unit (that unit now has a new role).  You may not attack your own units.

Role Transfer

The King and the Thief may pass their jewel to an adjacent ally unit in any direction as their movement.  The King or the Thief go back to whatever guard or elite guard unit they were before.  The new unit gains the movement and ability of the new role.


The King has the ability to sacrifice one of its own units from the board for a bonus action.  For each of your own units you eliminate on your turn you are granted a free action for this turn only. You may remove up to 3 of your own units on your turn, except your last unit or the King.  Sacrifice allows you to move any friendly unit one space in any direction including one it cannot normally take (such as an attack, or a guard moving orthogonally).

Special Conditions

  • Elite guards lose their double move ability when converted to King or Thief
  • When the King is the last unit of its color, it is able to double move/attack
  • You  may not Sacrifice on a turn you would win the game