How to Play Army Ants

Army Ants is a two-player strategy card game where you try to capture the opponents queen.

Army Ants Rules

| Players: 2 | Type: Strategy | Supplies: 1 Deck |


The objective of army ants is to capture the opponent's queen. You use higher ranking cards to capture lower ranking cards. Any ranked card can capture the queen.


You will only need the ace through 9s of each suit, one black queen, and one red queen. Remove the rest of the cards from the game.

One player will have all the black cards and the other player will have all the red cards. Each player will shuffle their cards and lay them out in four rows of five face up cards each. Players top rows should be connected. The bottom row for each player will have a gap in the center.

Army Ants set up: card layout
Army Ants set up

Card Rank

Ace: 1

2-9: Face value

Queen: 0

Types of Moves

There are four ways cards can be moved:

-Swap move: A swap move is made by swapping two of your adjacent cards. Only cards that are vertical or horizontal of each other can be swapped, you may not swap diagonally.

-March move: A march move is made by moving one or more cards in a horizontal or vertical line, through open spaces.

-Move out: A move out move is made by moving one card horizontally, vertically, or both through open spaces. However, a card can only be moved horitzonally once, and/or vertically once, per move out.

-Attack Move: An attack move is made by overtaking an opponents card with an equal or lesser rank. You may only attack an opponent's card that is vertical or horizontal to the card that is attacking. The attacked card is removed from the game, the attacking card is placed where the attacked card was placed. If the attacking card, and the attacked card have the same rank, both cards are removed from the game.

Game Play

Red goes first. Players alternate turns. You must make only one move per turn, then your turn is over. Each player's first five moves are the defense phase, where a player may only make a march move or a swap move. After each player has made their first five moves, the battle phase begins.

Once the battle phase begins, players can make any of the four moves allowed: march move, swap move, move out, or attack move. Turns continue alternating, you may still only do one move per turn.

Additional Rules

-The queen cannot make an attack move. Any card that isn't the queen can attack and capture the queen.

-If a queen is dealt in the first row, that player may choose to place their queen in the empty space in the bottom row instead of taking their five defensive turns. The other player makes all five of their defensive turns in a row, then the battle phase begins. If both players move their queen to the back row, the battle phase begins immediately.

-A card may never move diagonally, or jump another card.


The first player to capture the opponents queen, wins the game.

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