Playing Games
By Leia Fee

(With thanks to the Sevencyclopaedia and the episode transcripts.)

I started looking at this as I wanted to refer to a game in a fanfic story I was writing... and well, I got carried away.

Most of the games played seem to be competitive strategy games or one kind or another.  I’ve included the games Vila plays, with Orac's help, on Freedom City, but haven’t included those on the Orbiter in Games.

Note: I have followed the episode titles with an abbreviation indicating the season number.


The most common game seen in the series..

Standard Version

There was an abandoned board found on the Ortega which had been left mid-game.
(Mission to Destiny S1)

Carnell plays with a computerised game.
He'd beaten it 6 times in a row despite it being apparently the best chess computer available and very expensive.
He gives it to a junior officer before he goes into hiding.
(Weapon S2)

Avon and Vila claim to have been playing chess while waiting in the teleport section when Blake was searching for Travis on Freedom City and Vila shows him the board.  It is part way through a game.  I’ve counted this when doing the stats.
(Gambit S2)

Quute and the tracer on Helotrix are playing a game of chess.
(Traitor S4)

Belkov plays with Gambit.
(Games S4)

Orac plays with Gambit.
(Games S4)

Pindar and Egrogrian have been playing a game over some time it seems.  Pindar wins but Egrorian recalls the past 6 moves.
(Orbit S4)  

Speed Chess

This has same rules as standard chess except that if a player takes longer than five seconds to move they forfeit a pawn.  It was played on a computer and may be a speciality of the Big Wheel casino at Freedom City.

Thrills plays the Klute and loses.
(Gambit S2)

Vila plays the Klute, with Orac’s help and draws.
(Gambit S2)  

Galactic Monopoly.

The monopoly-like game the crew play.  The name Galactic Monopoly was never given but seems to have become commonly accepted in fandom. 

As in monopoly players could acquire properties and hotels.  Space City was one of the properties.  Players could also acquire spacecraft.  Rule 10 stated that “A player may miss two turns while on a penal colony planet.  On his third turn, he must pay a ten thousand credit fine, and leave the colony.”  There would appear to be a computerised element to the game.

Played on the flight deck by...
Vila - who was losing rather badly (which was apparently nothing new), being 20 thousand credits down, stuck on a penal colony and having only one space shuttle.
Avon - who was using one cruiser to attack Vila, although Vila thought he had a whole battle fleet.
Dayna - who had a hotel in Space City priced at five thousand credits per night.
Orac - who was apparently winning and claimed that the odds of his wining control of the galaxy were ten thousand four hundred and fifty to one.
(Dawn of the Gods S3)

Played in the teleport section by...
Dayna - who was dithering over whether to make a risky move which if it worked would win her the game.  Vila told her she should make the move, but when she did it lost her the game.
Cally - who assured Dayna she couldn't and wouldn't use her telepathy to cheat.  After Dayna's move Cally says the game is hers in 9721 moves.
Vila was kibitzing over Dayna's shoulder, claiming to play the game up to Galactic Master standard.  This is somewhat at odds with his dismal performance in Dawn of the Gods, which Dayna saw, so why she takes Vila's advice on the game is anyone's guess.
(Terminal S3)


A strategy game played on a triangular board with coloured, pyramid shaped pieces. Again the name is not given in any episode but I've heard several references to it by this name.  It seems to be a draughts-like game.

Played by Gola and Jenna.
Gola wins but Servalan tells Gola that Jenna let him win deliberately.  Jenna denies it but probably did.
(The Keeper S2)

Played on the flight deck by Avon and Tarrant.
(Children of Auron S3)

Played on the flight deck by Avon and Vila.
The game had apparently been going on for some time as Avon was not present when Vila was deciding on his move.
Vila tells Avon he thinks he is going to win but Dayna is unsurprised when he loses again.
Sarcophagus S3)

Other games

Avon and Jenna play a game on the flight deck on a circular board with lines radiating out from the centre. 
There were two sizes of playing pieces with the larger ones being near the centre. 
(Trial S2)

Tarrant mentions the game Hide and Seek.
(Sarcophagus S3)

Gunsar plays a game of 3D noughts and crosses.
He appears to cheat by removing some of the pieces when no one is looking.
(Power S4)

In the crew room on Xenon, Vila, Dayna and Soolin play a game with piles of red, green and blue coloured beads.
(Warlord S4)


We don't see many of the gambling games played at the Big Wheel at Freedom City but Vila plays Roulette with Orac's help and Speed Chess is said to be the only game of skill at the Big Wheel.
(Gambit S3)

Statistics and Notes

Going through this list, I came up with the following statistics.  I think I’ve got my sums right but if anyone wants to use their fingers and correct me, feel free ;-)

When are they played?

Season 1 1  game 0 by members of the crew
Season 2 6 games 4 by members of the crew
Season 3 4  games 4 by members of the crew
Season 4 6 games 2 by members of the crew

They were obviously kept busier during the first season and were too depressed during the last one...

Who plays?

  S1 S2 S3 S4 Total
Vila 0 3 2 1 6
Avon 0 2 3 0 5
Dayna - - 2 1 3
Cally 0 0 2 - 2
Jenna 0 2 - - 2
Orac - - 1 1 2
Tarrant - - 1 0 1
Soolin - - - 1 1
Blake 0 0 - - 0
Gan 0 0 - - 0

I was slightly surprised to find Avon up near the top of the list.  Otherwise the stats confirmed the impression I'd got from watching the series.  Blake presumably doesn't want to waste time on games!

The games played among members of the crew break down as follows…

Avon/Vila 2 1 chess game.  1 pyramid game.
Cally/Dayna 1 The monopoly game.
1 The monopoly game.
Avon/Jenna 1 The game with the circular board and different sized counters.
Avon/Tarrant 1 the pyramid game
Vila/Dayna/Soolin 1 the game with the beads

Other people seen to play games during the series include…
The Ortega crew, Carnell, Quute, tracer, Thrills, the Klute, Belkov, Gambit, Egrogrian, Pindar, Gola, Gunsar

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