From Looney Pyramid Games Wiki
by Fogus
Malice. Get some.
:Players Players: 2
:Time Length: Medium?
:Complexity Complexity: Medium
Trios per color: 3
Number of colors: 2
Pyramid trios:
Monochr. stashes: 2
Five-color sets: 3
- - - - - - Other equipment - - - - - -
Setup time: 1 minute
Playing time: 5 minutes - 20 minutes
Strategy depth: High
Random chance: None
Game mechanics: Capture, Perfect information
Theme: Abstract
BGG Link:
Status: Playtesting (v1.0), Year released: 2014

Under development

This game is currently under development, in the Playtesting stage. Feedback is strongly encouraged! Feel free to give comments on game design or structure on the talk page.

Malice is an abstract strategy game of piece movement, capture and teleportation.

Goal[edit | edit source]

To be the player with the highest captured point total when the game ends.

Materials and setup[edit | edit source]

Malice requires two special 4x8 gameboards to play, although a checkers board can be used in a pinch. In addition, Malice requires 18 pyramids of differing sizes: 6 small, 6 medium, and 6 large. You can use 18 stones or pieces of paper or even coins: 6 dimes, 6 pennies, and 6 nickels. The color of the game pieces does not matter, in fact all 18 can be the same color.

In any case, the starting setup for Malice is as follows:

All of the instructions in this guide assume that you’re using the special gameboards.

The gameboard[edit | edit source]

The gameboards, there being two, are transpositions of each other. For any square on one board, when setup as in the diagram above, there is a dual square on the other board on the opposite side. Dual squares are specially colored to more easily identify across the two boards. This coloring is important for devising plans involving teleportation, which is described later.

You can download and print a copy of the Malice gameboard if you’d like to play.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Since the colors of the pyramids on the two boards are not important, then you might wonder which pyramids are under your control. The answer is that the pieces that you control are any that reside in the two quadrants nearest to you. Your opponent’s pieces are therefore those that are on the two quadrants farthest from you. This is exactly the same as in Martian Chess.

Piece movement[edit | edit source]

The three pyramids sizes in Malice move in different ways, as described below. However, one important point of note is that pyramids cannot move directly from one board to another. To get from one board to another requires teleportation – described later.

Small pyramids[edit | edit source]

Small pyramids can move in any direction exactly one square, as shown below:

In other words, smalls move like Chess kings.

Medium pyramids[edit | edit source]

Medium pyramids can move three squares away, in an L-shaped fashion, as shown below:

In other words, mediums move like Chess knights.

Large pyramids[edit | edit source]

Large pyramids can move in any direction, any number of squares, as shown below:

In other words, larges move like Chess queens.

pyramids capture[edit | edit source]

Capturing in Malice happens much like in Martian Chess. That is, to capture a pyramid you need only to move into a square occupied by another pyramid, but only within one of the two opposite quadrants. A summary of capturing is shown below:

Each captured pyramid is removed from the board and kept for final scoring, described next.

Capturing points[edit | edit source]

Each pyramid captured is worth points equal to its pip-count:

  • A small is worth 1-point
  • A medium is worth 2-points
  • A large is worth 3-points

Teleportation[edit | edit source]

The trick in moving in Malice is that almost every movement causes your pyramid to teleport to the dual square on the second board. When you move a pyramid that you control to a square on your side then it teleports to a square on the other board in your opponent’s side. Conversely, when you move a pyramid that you control onto a square on the opposite side of the board then it’s teleported to the opposite board on the same colored square on your side. An overview of teleportation is shown below:

As you see, teleportation is the only way that you can get from one board to the other. However, because teleportation happens on almost every move and capture, you have to be careful where you move your pyramid.

Blocked teleportation[edit | edit source]

The only time that teleportation does not happen on a move or a capture is when a pyramid resides on the dual square of the other board. This condition is shown below:

In the diagram above, both the capture and the move are teleportation-free because there are pyramid (smalls in this case) residing in the dual squares on the other board. Blocked teleportation, like allowed teleportation, can be a bane and a blessing. You must keep your whits about you to avoid nasty captures or unexpected game endings.

Ending the game[edit | edit source]

The game ends when any one of the four quadrants is devoid of pyramid. The player with the most points when the game ends wins.

Acknowledgements[edit | edit source]

Malice is inspired by a variant of Chess called Alice, where it adopts the idea of teleportation. Also, Malice obviously adopts the board sizes and piece control mechanisms from Martian Chess..