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A Game of Skill for Two Players by S. John Ross. Copyright © 1998, 2002, 2006.
All Rights Reserved. "Mastery", "Draume" and "Draume Crown" are trademarks of S. John Ross.

Board and Pieces

The Mastery playing field is an ordinary checkerboard (an 8x8 grid). Each side consists of thirteen pieces: three Masters, four Officers, and six Pawns. Each side's pieces should be easily distinguishable by color. A Mastery set can be built easily by scavenging the pieces from two identical chess sets, using Rooks for Masters, Knights for Officers, and Pawns for Pawns.

Imperial Board


Draume Crown Board

Diagram A There are two possible setups, shown in these diagrams. The first setup is traditional - the "lock" or "imperial" board, with both sides closely tangled and ready to fight. The second setup is the "Draume Crown" board, which provides a less immediate conflict, and a more subtle opening game.
Diagram B: Draume Crown Board

The Game's Object

The Turn

Each player acts in turn, with the darker-colored side moving first. On his turn, a player must do one of three things: Move, Capture, or Control.


All pieces must move in straight, unobstructed lines to their destination. No piece can jump over another.

Masters may move in any single orthogonal direction (up, down, left, right), up to three squares. See the diagram to the right.. The Master M may move to any X shown, provided that the path is unobstructed. Masters may never move diagonally.

Master Movement

Officer Movement

Officers may move in any single orthogonal direction as well, up to two squares. See the diagram to the left, in the lower right corner. The Officer O may move to any X shown, provided the path is unobstructed. Officers may never move diagonally. (for the bit about Z, keep reading).
Pawns may move only one square, but it can be to any unoccupied adjacent square, including diagonally adjacent ones. Pawns are the only piece capable of diagonal movement. See the diagram to the right. The Pawn P may move to any X shown, provided the square is unoccupied.

The double-x squares XX represent the movement treacherous pawns are capable of (see below).

Pawn Movement



When making a Move or Capture, players must move one of their own pieces. When making a Control play, however, players must move one of the enemy's pieces. When a piece is moved by an enemy, it is referred to as a treacherous piece. For the duration of a Control move, the treacherous piece is considered to be of it's opposite color, and follows the normal rules for movement and/or capture. Thus, a Control play will be either a Move or a Capture, using an enemy piece as if it were your own.

Controllable Pieces

Only those enemy pieces sitting in the Zone of Control of one of your ally pieces may be controlled. Furthermore, pieces only exert control over pieces of lower rank: Masters may exert control over Officers and Pawns; Officers may exert control over Pawns only, and Pawns exert no control at all.

Officer Zone of Control

The Zone of Control Z for an Officer O extends to all adjacent squares, both orthogonally and diagonally. Any enemy Pawn in the Officer's ZOC may be controlled. See the diagram to the left, in the upper left corner.
The Zone of Control Z for Masters M is a diamond shaped pattern surrounding the Master. See the diagram to the right. Any enemy Pawn or Officer in the Master's ZOC may be controlled. Note that the four orthogonally adjacent squares are not part of the Master's ZOC! An enemy piece may sit in these "blind spots" without any risk of being controlled.

Master Zone of Control

Treacherous Pawn Movement

Treacherous Pawns

Officers under enemy control gain no special powers: they're just Officers, with no additional rules. Pawns, on the other hand, are more powerful in the hands of the enemy! A treacherous pawn may move up to three squares in any single direction, instead of just one, to either move or capture.

The Reflection Rule

The Lost Power Rule

Whenever either side loses either all six Pawns, or all four Officers, it loses the power to make Control moves. This remains in effect for as long as that side is completely without either Pawns or Officers.