Shogun (Teruo Matsumoto)

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Game data
author Teruo Matsumoto
graphic Grafisches Büro Otto Meier Verlag
publishing company Epoch Playthings (1976),
Lakeside Industries (1977),
Ravensburger (1979)
Publishing year 1976, 1977, 1979
Art Board game
Teammates 2
Duration 30 minutes
Age from 8 years


Game of the Year 1979: Shortlist
Der Goldene Pöppel 1980: 2nd place

Shogun is a board game that the Japanese Teruo Matsumoto invented in 1976. In the same year the game was released by Epoch Playthings and in 1977 by Lakeside Industries . The game was also published by Sears under license from Epoch Playthings. In 1979 it was published by Otto Maier Verlag ( Ravensburger ).

It is played by two players from a recommended age of eight and is similar to chess . It is both a tactical and a game of chance and takes about 30 minutes. Shogun was in the shortlist for the first game of 1979 and, in the 1980 choice of the Golden Pöppel, together with Risk, came second.

Historical meaning of the name

The eponymous Shogun ruled Japan as an imperial general. He was more powerful than the emperor in Japanese politics from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

The game board and the game pieces

Starting grid
Shogun pieces: Red Shogun and other game pieces

A Shogun game consists of a black plastic game board with small magnets on the underside. It has eight by eight fields and is structured like a chessboard.

There are eight white and eight red plastic tokens. Inside are small metal plates with printed numbers. In each color there are seven normal game pieces, which are marked with an arrow and one Shogun piece, which is marked with a crown.

The rules of the game

Game preparation

The game board lies between the two players sitting opposite each other. Before starting a new game, the game board is rotated 90 °. This prevents a player from memorizing the magnetic positions. The eight pieces are placed on the baseline. The arrows on the pieces point to the opponent. The Shogun token is the fourth stone from the right on the baseline.

The goal of the game

Each of the two players tries to defeat the opponent's Shogun stone by pulling and striking stones. This is achieved when he is no longer able to move. The second possibility to end the game victoriously is to capture the opposing pieces so that only the Shogun piece and another normal piece remain (i.e. six opposing pieces are captured).

Game flow

The players take turns drawing a piece. The normal token shows a number between 1 and 4, the Shogun token shows a number between 1 and 2. The number displayed at the start of a move determines the number of spaces the token has to be moved. Direction may only be changed once in a move and you may not move back and forth at the same time. Game pieces may not be skipped.

Due to the magnets under the board and the magnets in the pieces, the numbers change with each move. During the move, the displayed number changes. This has no relevance for the train.

If the opponent's Shogun Stone is threatened, the threatening man utters “Shogun!”. This allows the opponent to seize the opportunity to free himself from the threatening position. He achieves this when the Shogun stone is moved to a free, non-threatened space, the opponent's stone is captured or a third stone is drawn between the two stones.


The normal game pieces are captured when you reach the field of the opponent's piece exactly by pulling the piece. The token is removed from the game. The only pawn that cannot be captured is the Shogun Stone. If this stone is threatened and it cannot free itself, the game is over.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Shogun ( Memento from January 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) at Game of the Year
  2. ^ Shogun at
  3. Image of Shogun (Sears) in the board game database BoardGameGeek (English)