Initial positionThe diagram shows the Rotary board with the pieces in their initial position.

  • The king may, at the cost of a turn, rotate on its place, provided this effectuates a change in orientation. It may also move one square in any of its directions and rotate, but only after the move, as part of the same turn

checkmateThe right to rotate stationary makes stalemate an impossibility. Another unique and implicit feature is that a king may give check, even deliver mate (as shown) to its counterpart.

The pieces follow a logical sequence. All are subject to the following rules:

  • A piece may, at the cost of a turn, rotate on its place, provided this effectuates a change in orientation.
  • A piece may move one square in any of its directions and rotate, but only after the move, as part of the same turn.
  • A piece may move any distance in any of its directions, but if it moves more than one square, it loses the right to rotate in the same turn. The only exception is the Scythe that has the right to rotate in the same turn regardless of the length of its move.

pieces
  • The first piece is the Axe. It has a middle direction flanked by two directions making a 45 angle with it.
  • The second piece is the Rook. It has a middle direction flanked by two directions making a 90 angle with it.
  • The third piece is the Trident. It has a middle direction flanked by two directions making a 135 angle with it.
  • The fourth piece is the Scythe. It has a middle direction flanked by 'two' directions making a 180 angle with it. Here the variable directions melt into one. The Scythe's right to rotate after any move compensates for the actual loss of one direction.
  • Pawns are basically chess pawns, but do not have the option of an initial double step. They promote - optionally on moving to the seventh or eighth rank, compulsory on moving to the ninth - to Queen. A 'queen' is a rotaryrook with four instead of three directions. The player may choose its initial orientation.

Strategy
The strategic implications of the pawn structure differ little from Chess. Apart from this, it is difficult calculate deep in the game's rather capricious tactics, and in consequence also to make a specific overall plan.

The pieces are of roughly equal strength, but differ rather dramatically in timing. The forward oriented Axe, for instance, has no immediate possibility for retreat, so its encounter with an opponent's pawn structure should be avoided. The Axe usually becomes active in the later stages of the game when the number of pawns has reached safer levels.

The Rook, to a lesser degree, encounters the same problems. The best orientation is usually with its middle direction obliquely forward or even sideways, to ensure the possibility of a retreat.

The Trident can be brought into play in an earlier stage. Its directions are rather roundabout ensuring a greater flexibility.

The Scythe is the opening piece par excellence. Its greatest joy is penetrating behind the opponent's pawn structure and finding the pieces, from its opponent's point of view, in precisely the wrong orientation. The amount of havoc a Scythe can create in these circumstances is unbelievable!