Cameron Browne (c) 2002

Triad is an abstract board game for three players which features an interesting move mechanic; the players dictate move order as the game progresses. It arose out of discussions with Joao Neto and Bill Taylor in November 2002.

The game is played on a tricoloured hexagonal grid with five cells per side. The three players are called Red, Green and Blue, and each player owns the cells and the pieces that bear their colour.


Each player starts with nine pieces of their colour.

Red moves first.

The official rules for version 2.0 can be found here.



 Each turn the current player must move, capture and drop.

  • The current player must move one of their pieces in a straight line in any of the six hexagonal directions to land on a vacant foreign cell; any intervening cells must also be empty. The opponent who owns the landing cell becomes the candidate and the other opponent becomes the bunny.
  • All opponents' pieces immediately adjacent to the landing cell are captured and removed from the board. The current player must make the move that captures the most pieces each turn, but may choose amongst equals. This is called the max capture rule.
  • The moving player must then drop a bunny piece on any empty cell, unless a player has just been eliminated.

 The candidate becomes the next player to move.

Goal: Play stops the moment any player is eliminated. The game is won by the player with the most pieces left, else is a tie between the two remaining players if they are both left with the same number of pieces.



One of the intriguing aspects of the game is the way in which micro-alliances form and evaporate between competing players with each passing turn. As soon as one player edges ahead the other two tend to cooperate briefly to pull the leader back, until one of these two has the upper hand and becomes the focus of attention.

The max capture rule allows an interesting twist on this theme; clever players can manipulate their opponents into returning control of the move next turn, or even eliminating each other. This can be achieved through judicious placement of the bunny piece.

Puzzle: The puzzle on the right shows these principles in action. Red to play and eliminate Blue in three moves.


Here is a screen shot of an automated Triad player free for download. It plays a reasonable game.

Triad.exe (Windows executable) 92kb.

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