This game is similar to popular board games called "Stratego" or "Marshall and Spy". However, there are certain differences and even if you know the mentioned games, it is recommended to read these rules as well.
Start position and game object
Each player controls an army of several kinds of soldiers to capture enemy's headquarters or all enemy mobile pieces. Before the actual game is started, players must place their soldiers and other pieces to a start position, this process is similar to Battleboats or Screen Chess game setup:
A player can see only positions of opponent's pieces, their ranks are hidden to him (until they are recognized by a Spy, see next paragraphs) and shown as question marks:
Movement of pieces
All mobile pieces can move one space horizontally or vertically. The piece cannot return to its previous position in the next turn, a different move must be done first. In standard Espionage, a player makes a move with two different pieces per turn (for example, he moves a General and a Spy, then submits the move). If a piece moves to a square occupied by an enemy piece, special rules of capturing are applied. They will be described closely in the following sections, dealing with piece ranks and their features. However, there are general rules of moves and capturing:
No piece can move to a square occupied by a Volcano.
All pieces can capture opponent's Headquarters.
When a stronger pieces tries to capture a weaker one or a piece with the same rank, the attacker wins and opponent's piece is removed from the board.
When a weaker pieces steps on a square occupied by a stronger one, the attacker loses and is removed from the board.
Pieces and their relations
Each player starts with 5 Corporals, 4 Lieutenants, 3 Captains, 2 Colonels, 2 Generals, 5 Spies, 4 Sappers, 4 Mines and 1 Headquarters.
Ranked soldiers: Soldiers are shown with their rank (1-5) to make it clear which one is stronger than other one. All soldiers can capture another soldier with even or lower rank, a Spy or a Sapper. There is one exception - when a General is attacked by a Sapper, the Sapper wins (however, when a Sapper is attacked by a General, the General wins). All soldiers die when they step on a Mine.
Spies: A Spy reveals an identity of all enemy pieces which are currently located one space next to its own position (horizontally, vertically or diagonally). Once a piece is "unmasked", it stays visible for the opponent to the end of the game. Such situation can happen either when a Spy moves next to enemy pieces or if a piece moves next to enemy Spy. A Spy can capture only another Spy or a Sapper and dies when steps on a Mine.
Sappers: A Sapper is the only piece that can destroy opponent's Mines. When a Sapper moves to a square occupied by an enemy Mine, the Mine is removed from the board. A Sapper is also the only piece (except a General) which can capture a General. However, when a General attacks on a Sapper, the General wins. Apart from this, a Sapper can capture other Sappers or Spies.
Mines: Mines are immobile pieces and stay on their initial positions to the end of the game unless the are destroyed by a Sapper. If any other piece steps on a Mine, dies and the Mine remains on the board.
Headquarters: Headquarters cannot be moved as well and can be captured by any enemy piece. Whichever player loses their headquarters, loses the game.
Volcanoes: Volcanoes do not belong to any player, they just stay on the board (randomly placed at the game beginning) and no piece can move to their positions.
How to finish a game
The game is finished when one of the following conditions is fulfilled:
A player captures opponent's Headquarters. This player wins the game.
A player cannot make a legal move. This player loses the game.