The Rules of




  1. Background
  2. Setup
  3. Tiles
  4. The Units
    1. Rabble
    2. Spearmen
    3. Crossbowmen
    4. Light Horse
    5. Heavy Horse
    6. Trebuchet
    7. Catapult
    8. Elephant
    9. Dragon
    10. King
  5. Rules of Battle
    1. Movement
    2. Combat
  6. End Game
  7. Game Pieces
  8. Notes


Cyvasse is a game from Old Volantis oft mentioned in the book series A Song of Ice and Fire. Played by lords, ladies, and commoners in the east. It has developed quite a following and has been used for everything from a good wager to teaching wisdom to the young.


The board consists of an 8 by 8 play area with 64 tiles in total. Each half, referred to as a homeland, is an area of 8 by 4 and is separated at the start of the game by a screen providing sufficient cover so as each player cannot see the other’s homeland. During this phase each receives their tiles and may construct their homeland by placing tiles according the each of the tile’s attributes and considerations as defined below. After the tiles are arranged, players then place their pieces. Once both players have agreed that they are finished the screen is removed and play commences.


Mountains x 6 (carnelian, reddish-brown)
This tile is impassable to all units except Dragons. Ranged units may attack Dragons that are on mountain tiles but they cannot attack through one. Players may not have more than two contiguous mountains. This prevents mountains from being built into impassible walls.
Water x 5 (lapis lazuli, blue)
Water stops a unit’s movement once they enter it. That unit can not be moved next turn and must wait until that turn is passed before it moves again. Trebuchets, Catapults, Crossbowmen can not attack while they are in this tile.
Forest x 6 (jade, dark green)
A forest tile diminishes a unit’s maximum range by one upon entering it. For example: If a light horse, which has a range of three, enters a forest on it’s first move, it may now only move one more space.
Grass x 14 (jade, green)
Grass does not hinder or improve any unit’s abilities.
Fortress x 1
A fortress is a tile that provides an occupying unit salvation. A unit can only attack an occupied fortress if it is capable of capturing the unit inside. If a unit is occupying a fortress and is attacked and would normally be taken, it is instead left in play and the fortress is ‘ruined’ in it’s stead and the attacking unit is placed on the last tile in it’s path to the fortress. A ruined fortress cannot be used again in this manner. Unoccupied fortress tiles can be occupied by any unit.

The Units

There are 10 pieces, each with their own unique abilities. Each player receives one of each at the start of the game to place where they wish inside of their homeland. All pieces can capture a piece of their same type or lower, the one ranked above it, and the King. The list below has the weakest pieces at the top progressing to the strongest.

Rabble can move one space at a time.
Spearmen can move one space at a time. It cannot be taken by cavalry when defending.
The Crossbowman can move one space at a time and can attack in a 1 block radius. Crossbowmen are capable of capturing dragons.
Light Horse
The Light Horse can move three spaces at a time.
Heavy Horse
The Heavy Horse can move two spaces at a time.
The Elephant can move one space at a time.
The catapult can move one space at a time and can attack in a 2 block radius. The catapult is capable of capturing dragons.
The trebuchet can move one space at a time and can attack in a 3 block line in the direction it was last moving. The trebuchet is capable of capturing dragons.
The dragon is capable moving any number of squares vertically, horizontally, or diagonally with no penalty. It can move the entire length of the board and is only blocked by the enemy dragon. It can roost on mountains, but it cannot attack units that inhabit forests.
The king can capture or be captured by any other unit. It may move one space.

Rules of Battle


Pieces move and attack at the same time similar to chess. When moving you count how many spaces you have moved. This can translate into straight, diagonal or turning movements on the board. This applies to all pieces with the exception of the dragon which must move in straight horizontal/vertical/diagonal paths. Enemy pieces may block your path and need to be removed in order to continue.


Pieces are taken by one player from another by skillful maneuvers across the field. An attack ends movement for that turn. Players may attack their own pieces.


Melee pieces attack other pieces by moving into and occupying the space of the target piece, which is then destroyed. When a piece is engage in melee all movement is stopped for the remainder of that turn.


Ranged pieces (Crossbowmen, Catapults, Trebuchet) do not have to move to attack but can target and remove appropriate pieces that are within their range.

End Game

The game ends when one player’s king is captured.


I’ve created rudimentary game pieces which can be printed out for game testing.


These rules are a work in progress. Based on several mentions, descriptions, and transactions in George R.R. Martin’s excellent series. I’ve tried to construct a game that matches the story and makes for an interesting/deep/dynamic board game.

Thanks to Mr. Martin for creating an amazing world and spinning tremendous fiction. I’ve spent more than a decade enjoying your work.

Please file suggestions/issues here on github, or fork and improve the repo.