Ploy - Strategic Game of Maneuver and Capture


Strategic Game of Maneuver and Capture

3M Company - 1970
2 or 4 Players


This is another chess variation but one that seems to work better than others. In Ploy the familiar chess pieces are replace by a "Commander" along with "Lances", "Probes" and "Shields". The game is played on gridlines and all pieces can move horizontally, vertically or diagonally. (Lances can move three spaces, Probes move two and Shields and the Commander only one.)

While any piece is capable of moving in any direction, they are limited as to which directions they can move in at any one time. Look at the detail image on this page. Notice the little "fins" on each piece? These are "direction indicators". Pieces can only move in a direction indicated by their direction indicators. On their turn a player can move one piece in any direction allowed by its direction indicator or they can rotate a piece so that its direction indicators point in a different direction.

Pieces are captured by moving onto them as in chess. A player is out of the game when they have lost their Commander or all of their Lances, Probes and Shields. There are both two and four player versions of the game.


This is a very interesting variant of chess and one that is probably as complex. The restrictions on movement direction adds an entirely new dimension to the game. The only negative I have about this one is that the game board is an absolutely hideous color of purple. (It looks more futuristic, I guess) This is another of my favorites in the 3M Bookshelf line.

6 comments on Ploy:

Dario at March 1, 2014 20:01 said:
I bought today a preowned copy from a guy selling it at local site similar to eBay.

It is in prety good condition, but now I need a partner to play with it.

I also own Twixt (unopened), and Feudal. Needing partner too.

All the best. Great Site!!!!
Baron McCausland at July 11, 2012 15:44 said:
A very interesting game! We played this a great many times, but much like 3M's High-Bid, it never reached that "Hey!,.. let's play PLOY!" status; as was the case with the 3M's All-Mighty 'Acquire'.

The funny thing about this game was that the token resembled space ships from 'The Jettson's', and the kid on the cover looks like Mr. Spock - with bobbed ears!

Again, an overall GOOD game, and best used for a change of pace.
Matthew at October 15, 2010 09:04 said:
Do you know of any software versions or implementations (eg, in Zillions)?
j smith 6/1/10 at June 1, 2010 16:28 said:
Just found Ploy, feudal, and twixit in asmall town thrift store. No directions, but this web site helped some. Now what do i do with the games? Are they valuable?
Joe Wilger at September 3, 2009 22:41 said:
My mom bought it for me when I was 8 years old. My sister, mom and I would play for hours.

Game grid was kind of hard to keep level, but great game.

I still have it somewhere in our garage.

Hi at April 12, 2008 15:06 said:
I bought today a copy of PLOY

it was on an old forgotten shelf in a wargame store.


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