Some clarifications on the rules

The MAD rules are simple… but sometimes you can't help but have a doubt…

Basic rules


Can a ship move diagonally?
No. The movement from one square to another is done horizontally or vertically.
Can a ship with 2 sails move one square?
Yes, a ship with 2 sails can move 1 square or 2 squares.
If a ship with 2 sails expels an opposing ship by moving one square, can it still move one square?
No. The expulsion ends the movement.
Can a ship move 2 squares by passing over another ship?
No. A ship that moves 2 squares must pass through a free square.
Can a ship with 2 sails go back and forth to its starting square?
No. The position of the ships cannot be the same at the beginning and end of the turn (except in the positioning turn).
Can a ship move to a square occupied by an allied ship?


Is the expulsion considered a move?
No. An expulsion is part of a movement. A movement that ends up on the square of an enemy ship causes its expulsion in the same move.
If the red ship 211 arrives on a square occupied by the blue ship 121, is the red ship expelled at the same time as the blue?
No. The attacking ship (the one which moves) expels the defending ship and takes its place on the arrival square.
And what happens if the red ship 211 arrives on a square occupied by the blue ship 112?
This cannot happen. A ship with 1 cannon can not go to a square occupied by a ship with 2 shields.


What are the possible permutations?
There are four possible permutations:
If the cruiser 222 is exiled, can it be swapped with corvette 111?
Yes, but this immediately causes the game to be lost.


What are the possible rotations?
There are four possible rotations:
Can you rotate by moving only two of the three ships?
No. All three ships (frigates or destroyers) must move.
Can you rotate the frigates when two frigates are exiled?
No. At least two of the three ships must be on the board.

Game turn

Can I make more than one move per turn?
No. On his turn, each player must make one and only one of the three moves: movement, swap, rotation. There are however two exceptions: the positioning turn (where you can pass) and in case of a bonus move (where there is in the same turn a movement followed by a permutation or rotation).
Can I continue playing after a corvette has been exiled?
No. As soon as a 111 corvette is exiled, the game ends. The player whose corvette is still on the board wins.

Special rules

Bonus move

The rule: If a player moves a ship one square and the arrival square is on the last row of four or five squares (the one on the opponent's side), he may immediately swap or rotate that ship.

If a ship arrives on the last row by moving one square, does it have to be swapped or rotated?
No. The bonus move is optional.
If the ship arriving on the last row expels an opponent ship, is the bonus move allowed?
Yes. The expulsion ends the movement but does not prevent the bonus move.
If I play the bonus move, can I make any permutation or rotation?
No. The bonus move must involve the ship that just arrived on the last row.
Is the bonus move allowed if the moving ship has 2 sails?
Yes, the bonus move is possible with any ship, as long as it arrives on the last row by moving only one square.
If a ship moves sideways one square to the last row, is the bonus move allowed?
Yes. It does not matter whether the ship comes from the last or the second to last row.

Positioning turn

The rule: In the first turn of each player (and only in the first turn), you cannot make a movement, but you can pass. This particular turn is called a positioning turn.

Is the positioning turn only for reds?
No. It is the same for the first turn of the blues.

N.B. You can play without this rule; by the way, it does not appear in the rules booklet.


The rule: After 40 consecutive turns without an expulsion (20 for each player), or if the players agree that they will not be able to exile a 111 corvette, the game is stopped and the last player to expel an opposing ship is the winner (or if there were no expulsions, blue wins).

Are there any draws in MAD ?
No. The tie-break rule always results in a winner.
What situations lead to a tie-break ?
Either there are only a few ships left on the board and both players are forced to remain on the defensive or risk losing the game, or else one player is able to threaten the opposing 111 every turn, but the opposing 111 is also able to flee every turn.
Does this happen often?
No. Even if there is a material balance at the end of the game, the positioning of the ships most of the time allows one of the players to expel the opposing corvette.
Does a permutation or rotation in which I exile one of my own vessels count as an expulsion?
No. An expulsion is the exile of an opposing ship.
Does winning by tie-break have the same value as winning by exiling the opposing corvette?
No. Victory by tie-break is only a semi-victory.
Should the moves be recorded to know when to stop the game?
No. In a friendly game, the game should be stopped when the players agree that there is no longer any possibility of exiling a corvette. The 40 turns without ejection rule is only there for official games.