The rules

6th Spanish Friedrich Open Championship Tournament Rules (CAFE’23)


The tournament will be held in the Club Dragón, Calle Don Quijote, 5, Madrid from Friday 9 June to Sunday 11 June 2023.

Thursday 8 June. Pre-championship get-together to meet the other players. Exact time and place TBA.

Friday 9 June afternoon session starting 16:15

Saturday 10 June morning session starting 10:00

Saturday 10 June afternoon session starting 16: 30

Sunday 11 June afternoon session starting 10:00

Sunday 11 June Final starting 16:30

Prize-giving and closing ceremony

Players are expected to be punctual.


The tournament uses the Friedrich Anniversary edition board and the latest version of the rules of play available at The Cards of Fate will be set up as per the option in the expert rules (see I. below).

The tournament will be played in two rounds: first the qualifying round; then the final.

In the qualifying round every participant will play four games, one game in each of the four roles: Frederick, Elisabeth, Maria Theresa and Pompadour. As far as possible, players will meet different opponents in each of their four games (at least sixteen participants are needed for this). The line-up for all the games in the qualifying round will be made by drawing lots at the beginning of the tournament.

The best four players from the qualifying round go through to the final. The highest-ranked player has free choice of roles. The second ranked player has the choice of the remaining three roles, and so on.

The winner of the final is the winner of the tournament.


Qualifying round.

Each nation’s score is noted when it leaves the game, either due to a Card of Fate or because the game ends. The scores of Austria and Prussia are to be immediately noted down if an offensive option is called off.

A player’s final score is the best result of all the nations he controlled during the game. Exception: If control of the Imperial Army switches during the game, Austria can only use the score achieved by the Imperial Army at the moment of switching as a tie-breaker (see section D).


For a Prussian defensive victory, Frederick scores 10 points plus 0.1 point per turn the game lasts.

Each victorious attacking nation scores 13 points minus 0.1 point per turn the game lasts.


If defeated, Frederick scores 0.5 points for each turn the game lasts (hence a maximum of 23/2=11.5 points).

Losing attacking nations score %O/10 plus 1.6 points minus 0.1 points per turn they are in the game. (Where %O = percentage of objectives held, rounded to the nearest whole number).

The Prussian offensive option (OO)

Per the rules for the expert game, when Frederick decides to launch the OO, he must set aside any one TC, which should be placed face-up under a corner of the board.

If Frederick decides to go for the OO, at any one time later and as long the offensive hasn’t been called off, Austria may claim the conquest of any four objectives. To be able to do so however, she must already control at least one objective in Saxony. Mark the four claimed objectives with Austrian control markers. These objectives may be reconquered by Prussia in the normal way. Note: this is different to the published rules.

Scoring for the Prussian OO

Every nation scores according to the rules above, however:

If the Prussian offensive is victorious, Frederick scores exactly 13 points.

If the offensive is called off or Prussia is defeated defensively while the offensive is still active, Frederick scores %O/10 of the 14 Bohemian objectives that he controls at that moment.

In all cases, Maria Theresa scores 0.5 points per turn that the offensive lasts either until Prussia is victorious or the offensive has to be called off, plus 1 point for each Bohemian objective still controlled by Austria. The maximum score she can achieve is however 9 points. If she manages to pick up the tactical card laid aside by Frederick in turn 3, she receives an additional 1 point bonus (for a maximum possible score of 10).

Scoring examples

Prussian defensive victory. Prussia wins after 21 turns. Russia left the game in turn 11 with 7 objectives. Sweden finished the games with 2 (of 5). Austria controlled 11 of 12, while France went out in turn 18 with 9 objectives. The Imperial Army held 7 objectives when control passed to Pompadour, and 3 objectives when the game ended.

Double victory. Russia and the Imperial Army, controlled by Maria Theresa, win in turn 12. Sweden dropped out in turn 6 with only 2 (of 10) objectives, Austria controlled 11 (of 16) and France 7 objectives at the end of the game.

Failed Offensive Option, Russian victory. Prussia invades Bohemia and manages to capture 9 of the 14 objectives. Unfortunately, the Russians win the game in turn 13, while the offensive is still active. At the end of the game, Sweden controls 6 objectives. Austria has 11, (seven plus four claimed as soon as Russian victory was confirmed). The Imperial Army has only 2 (of 10) objectives and France 9. Because she managed to inflict a serious reverse on Prussia in turn 7, and picked up the tactical card set aside by Frederick, Austria gets the one point bonus.

Victorious Offensive Option. Prussia manages to win by turn 10. At that point, Russia had taken 7 objectives, Sweden 7, Austria only controlled 5 and was unable to claim four more because she didn’t hold any in Saxony. The Imperial Army had 5 objectives and France 8.

Failed Offensive Option, Prussian defensive victory. Prussia invades Bohemia and manages to capture 7 of the 14 objectives before the OO has to be called off in turn 15. Frederick then goes on to win in defensively in turn 22. Russia dropped out in turn 10 with 9 objectives, Sweden in turn 13 with 4. At the end of the game, France held 9 and Austria had 11 (of 12). The Imperial Army had 6 objectives when control passed to Elisabeth and 4 when the game ended.


Ties between players will be resolved using tie-breakers in the following order:

Qualifying Round:

  1. Sum of the player’s second-best scores in the roles of Elisabeth and Maria Theresa. Higher sum wins. If tied:
  2. The player’s scaled TC-coefficent (sTCC) when playing as Frederick

Where N is the number of turns the game lasted (or would have lasted) for a Prussian defensive victory. The lower sTCC wins. If tied:

  1. The quality of a player’s three opponents when he was playing as Frederick. The opponents’ quality equals the total of their scores from the qualifying round. The higher total wins. If tied:
  2. Draw a lot.


  1. The player controlling the most winning nations. If tied:
  2. The player in the role with fewest wins in the qualifying round. This will not be revealed to the players until after the final has finished. If tied:
  3. Pompadour wins all ties, Maria Theresa loses all ties.


Although it is a tournament, players are expected to have fun and should show special consideration to first-time participants.

All the players should work together to ensure that:

  • there is a pleasant yet competitive atmosphere at the table;
  • the clock is used correctly throughout;
  • rules violations are avoided or rapidly corrected;
  • each nation’s cards are kept separately;
  • the pieces are moved according to the rules;
  • control markers are correctly placed or removed;
  • scoring is accurate during battles; and
  • supply is checked.


  1. Each player exercises complete sovereignty over his own moves and actions during the game. It is perfectly legal to attack Prussian or Hanoverian forces away from areas where you have objectives or to retreat enemy pieces so as hinder other opponents (even to the point of interfering with a winning move).
  2. However, no unfair conduct! The attacking nations are allied. They should not use their own pieces with the main purpose of obstructing the conquest of objective(s) by other allied players. A player who thinks he has been unjustifiably obstructed may call the jury to make a ruling.
  3. It is strictly forbidden for players and spectators alike to comment on the game in play. You may not declare your intentions, make joint proposals (e.g. plan coordinated attacks) nor reveal the contents of your hand(s).
  4. Pieces should be moved slowly and deliberately in order to avoid mistakes and ambiguities.
  5. The movement of a piece can be redone as long as the current movement phase has not yet finished, and only if there is no doubt that the final position of the piece could have been reached through a legal move. Similarly, the retreat of a piece can be redone as long as the retreat sub-phase has not yet been finished (either by stopping the clock or by clearly starting a non-retreat action).
  6. In tournaments in which Friedrich de Luxe or a similar system is used to assign troops to generals, the other players have to look away while new troops are being distributed by the active player.
  7. When players realize that they accidentally missed a supply check, this supply check must be made immediately if the configuration of the pieces still allows for it unambiguously. However, if the affected nation has already finished its next movement phase, the general’s current facing (face-up or face-down) stands.
  8. Similarly, when players realize that they accidentally failed to mark a (re-)conquest, this must be immediately corrected if the (re-)conquest happened unambiguously and if the first nation of the other side (attacker/defender) has not yet finished its next movement phase.
  9. Legal play of a TC cannot be revoked. A card laid is a card played. Reserves are played in two steps: a) physically playing the card; b) stating the new current score (or its value, when recruiting). Neither of these steps can be revoked. So be careful and take your time.
  10. In accordance with the game rules, TCs must be played strictly one at a time during battles. Playing more than one TC at once is an illegal play and must be revoked. Furthermore, the current score must always be stated out loud and it must be stated from the player’s own point of view. For example: When your score is currently –3 and you play a 10, you have to state: ‘7’ or ‘plus 7’. Stating something like ‘minus 7’, ‘minus 7 for you’, or ‘you are down by 7’ is against the game rules and leads to confusion.
  11. At the end of combat, players may briefly examine the TCs that have just been played.
  12. If a player declares a combat a tie, a jury member or a player from another table should be called to check his hand to confirm this is possible.
  13. It is not allowed: a) to count the game turns of a game by writing, by counting out loud, or by any other method (except by memory); b) to hide your TCs (e.g. under the table) except briefly to rearrange them; c) to write down army allocations of opposing players or played TCs; or d) to go through the discard piles at any time.
  14. If there is a dispute about a game or tournament rule or a possible rules violation, players should call the jury if at least one player thinks this is necessary.
  15. Unless specifically called, members of the jury are just ordinary spectators.


Pompadour will be provided with a game report sheet on which to note down the players’ names, the start time of the game and later, the first Card of Fate. Once the game ends, Pompadour has to call the jury, who will note down the scores. The game situation may not be changed and the Cards of Fate may not be touched until the jury has arrived. During play, Pompadour has to call the jury as soon as a nation drops out or as soon as a Prussian OO has failed.

Pompadour is responsible for the TC decks. She must make sure that the TC decks are very thoroughly shuffled. To ensure this, it is advisable that the discard piles are repeatedly shuffled in advance, for instance during the Prussian action stage. The few TCs that become available due to last-minute purchases or combat must all be rapidly shuffled into the preprepared deck before any TCs are dealt to the players. Pompadour’s own hand should always have a player aid card placed on top to avoid it being accidentally shuffled in with the draw deck.


Chess clocks are used in all the tournament games. Each game starts with 130 minutes on Frederick’s clock and 130 minutes on the attacker’s clock for Elisabeth, Maria Theresa and Pompadour together. Section H provides detailed rules for when to start and stop the clock.

If a side uses up its time on the chess clock, it goes on the stopwatch; from then on, nations of that side have the following amount of time per action stage:

  • Prussia: 150 seconds.
  • Hanover: 30 seconds.
  • Russia: 60 seconds.
  • Sweden: 20 seconds.
  • Austria: 60 seconds.
  • Imperial Army: 20 seconds.
  • France: 60 seconds.

The jury will use the stopwatch and give fair warning as to how much time players have left by declaring, for example, ‘one minute left’, ‘thirty seconds left’, ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1, stop’. Unused time may not be saved from one turn to the next. However, unused time from a player’s first nation is added to the time allotted to his second nation (if there is one).

If a player on the stopwatch has to choose a retreat path, he receives 3 seconds plus 1 second per retreat length (e.g. a –3 retreat would give him 6 seconds). This time is separate from the time allocated for the action stages. If he is unable to conduct a legal retreat in time, the combat loser may choose the retreat path. He will be on the chess clock for that. However, if he is on the stopwatch as well, the same stopwatch time limit is valid for him too. If he does not manage to find a legal retreat either, choosing the retreat will switch back again to the combat winner, and so on, until a legal retreat is found. When a player on the stopwatch has paid for new troops, but does not manage to allocate them in time, then those troops are not lost, but must be allocated at the very beginning of that nation’s next movement phase. Similarly, a purchased supply train that has not been brought back into play in time will remain off the board until the beginning of that nation’s next movement phase, when it must re-enter.


In order to speed up play and to avoid misunderstandings, the following procedure is used for each game turn:

  1. Pompadour deals TCs to Prussia and Hanover and then starts Frederick’s clock. Frederick may not look at the new Hanoverian TCs until the Prussian action stage is finished.
  2. Frederick plays the Prussian action stage, clearly indicating when he has finished and starts Hanover’s action stage.
  3. Frederick starts the attackers’ clock at end of Hanover’s action stage.
  4. Pompadour deals TCs to all the attacking nations. Elisabeth/Maria Theresa may not look at Sweden’s/the Imperial Army’s new TC until the Russian/Austrian action stage is finished.
  5. An attacking player should clearly indicate when he has finished a given nation’s action stage and always hand off to the next player in an unambiguous manner.
  6. Pompadour stops the clock when the last attacking nation’s action stage is finished.
  7. There is a short pause between turns to handle Fate and if necessary, to incorporate the TCs of a nation that has just dropped out back into the discard piles. Notes: Although the attacking nations receive their TCs simultaneously, the action stages are carried out strictly one after the other as per the game rules; attacking players whose action stage is yet to come should not give any hint about their intended moves.

In addition to the above:

  1. The clock is stopped:
    • to resolve combat;
    • when the jury is called;
    • for rules discussions, other clarifications, and breaks.
  2. Retreats are on the combat winner’s time. After the retreat, depending on the situation, the combat winner either
    • stops the clock to resolve the next combat; or
    • begins his own retroactive conquest phase; or
    • starts the opponent’s clock for him to begin his retroactive conquest phase.
  3. When a new TC deck is needed, shuffling is:
    • off the clock (for a rapid final shuffle);
    • on the attackers’ clock if Pompadour has failed to properly shuffle the new deck in advance.

For combat and retreats, ‘stopping the clock’ means the player currently on the clock either physically stops it himself or asks for it to be stopped (typically by Pompadour), e.g. by saying ‘Please, stop the clock!’ At other times, any player, but preferably Pompadour, can stop and start the clock as appropriate.


The Cards of Fate will be shuffled as per the optional rule in the latest version of the rules.

  1. Set aside Elisabeth; Poems or Lord Bute; and America or India.
  2. Shuffle the remaining 15 Cards of Fate thoroughly. Then set aside the top 4 cards.
  3. Merge the remaining 11 cards and the three major fate cards set aside in step 1. Shuffle this deck thoroughly.
  4. Finally, put the 4 cards from step 2 on top of these. The Clock of Fate is now set; the game is ready to start.