"You Shall Not Pass!" draws inspiration from all sectors of the strategy genre, including Starcraft 2 and other RTS games, the Fire Emblem series, and classic strategy games like chess and checkers.


In "You Shall Not Pass!" two armies face off on a narrow bridge, each attempting to clear a path through the opposing force to the other side of the bridge. Two players alternate turns. Each player's army occupies a four-by-three grid and consists of soldiers with three types of weapons: swords, axes, and lances. On their first turn, the players fill their girds with soldiers. Players initially cannot see what weapons their opponents' soldiers have. On each turn, players do one of the following: reveal the weapon of a unit in their opponent's front row, switch the places of two of their soldiers, call in a new soldier with a weapon of their choice at the back of their army, or order one of the units in their army's front row to attack the corresponding unit in their opponent's front row. Combat is resolved according to a weapons triangle: swords beat axes, axes beat lances, and lances beat swords. If two units with the same weapon fight, both are eliminated. Whichever player completely clears out a column of their opponent's army first wins the game. If a column on both sides is cleared simultaneously, the game is a draw. Players have 20 soldiers of each weapon type to deploy over the course of a game.

Design goals

  • Limited information: you must find out how your opponent's units are arranged and make inferences about units that have not been revealed in order to counter effectively.
  • Maintain a mixed-strategy equilibrium: the weapons triangle ensures that for every strategy there is always an effective counter and rewards players for balancing their army's composition.
  • Emergent strategy: an elegant rule set leads to a dance of attacks, counters, deceptions, and bluffs.
  • Casual gamer appeal: with simple mechanics, brief turns, and a straightforward game concept, "You Shall Not Pass!" can bring the essence of great strategy gaming to a casual audience.

Next steps

Since the current prototype only allows for hotseat games on Windows, Mac, and Linux, I hope to implement online and local multiplayer for "You Shall Not Pass!" using Photon Unity Networking and create a suitable control scheme for an iOS and Android version. Ultimately, I would like to release the game on the Mac, iOS, and Android app stores and post it to Steam Greenlight.

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