For 2 Players 🤼‍♀️ — Ages 12+👨‍👦— 1-15 minutes 🕓

Are you ready to… ENTER THE HEXAGON?

Use your tactical cunning against a well-matched adversary in simulated one-on-one, hand-to-hand combat. To win this fight, you’ll need to roll the die, and play your cards right.

With keenly acquired defensive skills, careful movement, and an array of attacks—from ♣️Striking and ♠️Grappling to submission ♥️Chokes and ♦️Locks—gradually grind your opponent down in a brutal war of attrition, or maybe, pull off a sudden highlight-reel victory! YOU can become the G.O.A.T. in the Hexagon Fighting Championship!

What You Need To Compete

  1. a Hexagon Fighting Championship board (see: Figure 1) to simulate a real-world 27′ diameter fenced fighting area;
  2. a Deck of 54 playing cards (ie. with Jokers) for your ATTACK and DEFEND phases, representing MMA ♣️Striking, ♠️Grappling, ♥️Chokes, ♦️Locks, and🃏Fouls;
  3. a regular six-sided die, for your MOVE phase;
  4. a stackable ‘Red Token‘ to stand as the Fighter in the Red Corner;
  5. a stackable ‘Blue Token‘ to stand as the Fighter in the Blue Corner;
  6. a number of poker chips (or coins, etc.), to represent DAMAGE from undefended ATTACKS.
Figure 1: A nine-HEX diameter, 61-cell Hexagon Fighting Championship board. Starting Corner HEX positions are marked in Red and Blue, Central Ring HEX positions are Yellow, and Neutral HEX positions are shown here marked with an ‘N’. The Central HEX bears the legendary Hexagon Fighting Championship emblem.

How to Play

  1. Please read this entire page before playing for the first time, or to refresh your knowledge of the rules.
  2. Decide who will play Red, and who will play Blue, and choose your Tokens. Customarily, Red goes first, and Blue is the challenger.
  3. Distribute chips fairly to both players. Players customarily start with the same number of chips, around 10-25 chips per player, each game. Variation can be understood as representing different MMA weight classes: consider 10 chips as “Atomweight” (105 lbs)… 15 chips as “Lightweight” (155 lbs)…. 25 chips as “Heavyweight” (255 lbs), etc. (For more information on MMA weight classes, see WPA COMMAND Ruleset, Section 2: Weight Classes). Keep in mind, the more chips you start with, the longer the fight may last.
  4. Place the Red Token on the Red Corner HEX, and the Blue Token on the Blue Corner HEX. These are your starting HEX positions, for each round.
  5. Shuffle the Deck, and deal five cards to each player (you both may look at your own cards). The rest of the Deck is the Draw Pile, representing Round One: place it nearby.
  6. Red Player, you begin the game by rolling the die, going immediately into your MOVE phase, as described below at no. 2, under the next heading: “Taking Turns“.

Taking Turns

Each player alternates turns, and each turn follows three phases, in order:

  2. MOVE


If your Token was subject to your opponent’s ATTACK in the previous round, now is your chance to DEFEND. Generally speaking, to DEFEND against an ATTACK, you must simply play a higher card in the SAME SUIT as the ATTACK (“outclassing your opponent“), or TWO lower cards in the SAME SUIT (“muscling through“). If you successfully DEFEND an ATTACK, you suffer no DAMAGE.

Imagine each time you DEFEND in the context of the fight: as a block, check, counter, dodge, duck, escape, guard, sprawl, or any other appropriate technique of evasion that you can conceive. If you DEFEND successfully, exactly “how” your fighter did it is up to you.

If you successfully DEFEND a ♠️Grappling ATTACK, take your opponent’s Token off your Token’s HEX (ie. they lose CONTROL), and place it on an adjacent HEX of your choice (“stuffing the takedown”). If your Token was on top, and you had been displaced by your opponent, put your Token back on the SAME HEX, in top CONTROL position.

When your Token is in the top position on the SAME HEX as your opponent, you may use ANY ♠️Grappling card to successfully DEFEND ♥️Chokes and ♦️Locks, but then you must immediately remove your TOKEN and place it on an ADJACENT HEX, relinquishing CONTROL.

If you cannot DEFEND, or choose not to DEFEND (“pulling guard”), you must pay for the DAMAGE in poker chips now. In the case of a ♠️Grappling ATTACK, you must also accept your loss of position: now on bottom, beneath your opponent’s Token: under your opponent’s CONTROL, negating your MOVE phase entirely.

Naturally, on the very first turn, there is no ATTACK to DEFEND against, so on the first turn of any round, and on any similarly non-combative turns, you immediately proceed to phase 2: MOVE.


Roll the die, and MOVE your Token up to the number of HEX spaces shown on the die, in any direction(s) you like, (“using your footwork”). Or, you can choose to remain in place (“standing your ground“). You cannot enter a HEX occupied by your opponent during your MOVE phase (this is instead done via ♠️Grappling ATTACKS).

Whenever you land on your own starting CORNER HEX during your MOVE phase, if you wish, you may immediately discard any cards in your hand, and draw up to five new cards to refill your hand (“getting corner advice”).

When your Token is in the top position on the SAME HEX as your opponent, you are in CONTROL of your opponent: you can use your MOVE roll with both Tokens, keeping CONTROL, dragging your opponent’s Token where you want. Together, you can go half as far on the same die roll.

If you are under your opponent’s CONTROL (ie. your Token is in bottom position on the SAME HEX as your opponent), your MOVE phase is negated: your only options are DEFEND and ATTACK.

You may use your MOVE to give up CONTROL, advancing your token to an ADJACENT HEX. If you otherwise enter an ADJACENT HEX to your opponent during your MOVE phase, you must halt and immediately proceed to phase 3: ATTACK.


This is where ♣️Striking, ♠️Grappling, ♥️Chokes, ♦️Locks, and 🃏Fouls come into play. If you are in RANGE of your opponent (as described below; see also: Figure 2) by playing a card of your choice from your hand, you may ATTACK with:

  • ♣️StrikingRANGE=3 HEX RADIUS:

From long range TWO HEXES away; mid-range from the ADJACENT HEX to your opponent; and short-range, while sharing the SAME HEX with your opponent, ♣️Striking ATTACKS score DAMAGE on your opponent, if successfully landed (ie. your opponent fails to successfully DEFEND on their next turn).

Figure 2: Comparison of the effective range of ♠️Grappling ATTACKS (Red Token) and ♣️Striking ATTACKS (Blue Token). Not pictured:🃏Fouls have the same range as ♣️Striking; ♥️Chokes and ♦️Locks have single HEX range.

Picture each ♣️Striking card you play in the context of the fight: as a jab, hook, cross, uppercut, hammerfist, superman punch, backfist, head kick, body kick, leg kick, flying knee, spinning elbow, shoulder strike… whatever specific technique you imagine is up to you!

  • ♠️GrapplingRANGE=2 HEX RADIUS:

When you make a ♠️Grappling ATTACK while your Token is on the ADJACENT HEX to your opponent, place your Token on top of your opponent’s, and score DAMAGE. You’re in CONTROL now (see: Figure 3).

If you make a ♠️Grappling ATTACK when your Token is on the SAME HEX as your opponent, and you’re already on top, you slam your opponent into an ADJACENT HEX, scoring DAMAGE again, and staying in CONTROL.

If you make your ♠️Grappling ATTACK from the bottom position, you push your opponent off, onto an adjacent HEX of your choosing. This doesn’t score DAMAGE, but you’ve escaped their CONTROL.

Figure 3: A successful ♠️Grappling ATTACK scores DAMAGE (one point, here) and gives you CONTROL, shown by the Blue Token. From this position, you can DEFEND submission attempts with ANY ♠️Grappling card, apply your MOVE roll to both Tokens, and can now use SAME HEX-ranged ATTACKS: ♥️Chokes and ♦️Locks. The Red Token, on bottom, must DEFEND as normal, has no MOVE phase, but can now also ATTACK with ♥️Chokes and ♦️Locks. Both fighters can engage in short-range ♣️Striking and ♠️Grappling from here, too.

Picture each ♠️Grappling card you play in the context of the fight: as a trip, ankle pick, single leg, double leg, hip throw, slam, sweep, blast double, back take, reversal, or any other dominant MMA clinch or takedown maneuver you can think of… whatever specific technique you imagine is up to you!

  • ♥️ChokesRANGE=1 HEX RADIUS:

You have to be sharing the SAME HEX as your opponent, but if your opponent fails to DEFEND, you win the fight instantly. Good night, and sweet dreams!

Successful ♥️Chokes DO NOT SCORE DAMAGE on your opponent, but they end the fight, all the same.

NOTE: from top position, ANY ♠️Grappling card can be played to DEFEND against ♥️Chokes, but you lose your position and have to place your Token on an ADJACENT HEX. This defensive option isn’t available to you if you’re on bottom.

Imagine each ♥️Choke card you play in the context of the fight: as a Rear Naked, Anaconda, Triangle, Guillotine, Ezekiel, Peruvian Necktie, or any other MMA submission ♥️Choke technique you can think of. You can even invent and name your own unique signature ♥️Choke technique!

  • ♦️LocksRANGE=1 HEX RADIUS:

If you’re on the SAME HEX, an Armbar, Kimura, Heel Hook, or other devastatingly injurious finish is always a good way to end the night… for the winner.

♦️Locks score DAMAGE on your opponent, if successfully landed, and can end the fight, too.

NOTE: from top position, ANY ♠️Grappling card can be played to DEFEND against ♦️Locks, but you lose your position and have to place your Token on an ADJACENT HEX. Again, this defensive option isn’t available to you if you’re on bottom, sorry.Imagine each ♦️Lock card you play in the context of the fight: as an Armbar, Americana, Kimura, Heel Hook, Twister, Neck Crank, or any other MMA submission ♦️Lock technique you can think of. You can even invent and name your own unique trademark ♦️Lock technique!


In MMA, these are usually excused as ‘accidental’; nevertheless, 100% of the time, these work every time, whether from TWO HEXES away, the ADJACENT HEX, or the SAME HEX as your opponent.

Only another🃏Foul will successfully DEFEND against a 🃏Foul, which itself can be used to DEFEND ANY ATTACK.

Whether successful as ATTACK, or used to DEFEND, 🃏Fouls score DAMAGE, and end your turn when you play them.

If you don’t DEFEND it, restart Tokens in Neutral HEX positions, unless your opponent landed the🃏 Foul in bottom position (under your CONTROL). As the fouled player, you pay the price in DAMAGE, and proceed to your MOVE phase.

Imagine each 🃏Foul card you play in the context of the fight: as a groin shot, eye poke, wound gouge, headbutt, hair pull, fishhook, or any other dangerous 🃏Fouls that you can think of… feel free to get creative, and get nasty!

Once you’ve played your chosen ATTACK card (and placed Tokens appropriately if you played a ♠️Grappling ATTACK) draw from the Deck until you once again have five cards in hand.

If you are not able to ATTACK, or choose not to, you may discard one card from your hand before you draw from the Deck, until you once again have five cards in hand.

Now, your turn is over.


DAMAGE is paid into a pot, which may be awarded as the Winner’s Purse. The exact toll of the DAMAGE inflicted depends on which HEX your opponent occupies (see: Figure 4). :

Figure 4: an image detailing DAMAGE point values for ATTACKS from different HEX spaces. The Central HEX scores FIVE. Each of the six Central Ring HEXES (Yellow) and each Starting HEX (Red and Blue) scores THREE. Each other HEX scores ONE.


The Deck represents one five-minute Round of fighting, so think of each card as about 6 seconds of a Round (ie. if the game ends with 15 cards left in the Deck, imagine the fight ending with a minute and a half left in the Round). If you reach the bottom of the Deck, the Round is over. Reshuffle the cards for Round Two.

If an ATTACK is played and the Round ends before the opponent’s DEFEND phase is resolved, no DAMAGE is scored. Submission ATTACKS played, without the opponent’s DEFEND phase being resolved before the end of the Round, do not end the fight. Saved by the bell!

Return Tokens to starting positions, and continue play. Repeat for Round Three, if necessary (or even Four and Five, if there’s a “Championship Belt” on the line).

How to Win

Customarily, play is limited to Three Rounds, with Five Round limits reserved for “Championship Fights” (optional play). Regardless, most fights end well before this limit is reached. If not, it’s in the hands of the “Judges”…

  • The player who suffers the least DAMAGE is declared the winner by “Judges” DECISION.
  • A tie that goes to the “Judges” is declared a DRAW.

A loss of all chips by any player due to DAMAGE immediately ends the game, and:

  • if the finish is by ♣️Striking, it is declared a KO (Knockout)
  • if the finish is by ♠️Grappling, it is declared a TKO (Technical Knockout)

If the finish is by ♥️Chokes or ♦️Locks, it is declared a SUB (Submission). If the player has lost all their chips, they can at least say they “never tapped“.

If the finish is caused by a 🃏Foul, the fouled player is declared winner by DQ (Disqualification)

If one player cannot continue for any other reason, it is declared a loss by FORFEIT.

If both players refuse to advance play, and cease drawing cards from the deck, it is declared NC (No Contest).

Are you ready to enter the Hexagon Fighting Championship? Good luck, and may the best fighter win!

Sample Tokens


Legend of the Hexagon
HEX (noun): harmful magic; relating to the number six
AGON (noun): a gathering, assembly, conflict, struggle or contest.
Introduced at the Olympic Games of 648 BC, Pankration (“All-might”) was the world’s original organized ‘mixed martial arts’ sporting competition. Back in those elemental days of Olympians battling with striking, grappling, chokes, and locks, offensively and defensively, the only forbidden techniques were eye gouging and biting.
The greatest of these warrior-athletes would compete in a six-sided arena dedicated to Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and War, to fight in the Hexágono (“Battle of the Harm Masters”) to lay claim to the title of Pantokrator (“All-ruler”). Through countless ages, over oceans of time and space, this combat ritual has passed down to us today as the legendary HEXAGON FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP.
—The Legend of the Hexagon

Optional Play

♠️EMBRACE THE GRIND♠️: At the Gravediggers Wrestling & Grappling Academy, fighters train without ♣️Striking, instead using those cards as longer-range grappling attacks (ie. hit the takedown from TWO HEXES away when you play Clubs). DAMAGE is scored normally.
♦️SNAP, TAP, or NAP♥️: At the Diamond Hearts Submission Jiu-Jitsu school, fighters roll without ♣️Striking, instead using those those cards as longer-range grappling attacks (ie. you can hit the takedown from TWO HEXES away when you play Clubs). DAMAGE from HEX position is not calculated, so no chips are required. Only a submission victory is possible: first fighter to get a ♥️Choke or ♦️Lock submission wins.
♣️STAND AND BANG♣️: In the basement of the Strike Force Underground Fight Club, fighters spar without ♠️Grappling, ♥️Chokes or ♦️Locks. All suits are used as ♣️Striking ATTACKS in terms of range and effect. DAMAGE is calculated by HEX position, multiplied by the number of ATTACK cards played together as COMBINATIONS: runs of two, three, four, or even five consecutive cards, respectively doubling, tripling, quadrupling, quintupling DAMAGE). Jokers still trump all, even COMBINATIONS.

More Optional Boards

Wax On Jinx: The greatest fighters from around the globe travel to train at the world famous Johnson Winklejack MMA gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here, sparring sessions are just as brutal as championship matches, but the competition is usually friendly. Here, the King of Hearts is wild…
On Deadly Ground: Though he rose to international fame as a Hollywood action star, The Sensei‘s lifelong passion has always been his quest for martial arts mastery. In his dojo, his disciples learn some deadly stuff, including two or three things that we once thought were illegal. Here, the King of Clubs is wild.
Thai for Two: On the beautiful beaches of Bangkok, Tiger MMA‘s waterfront fighting facility is a legendary landmark. The dank, cramped gyms and dark, cold arenas to which most MMA fighters have become accustomed, in camp and competition, are a distant cry from this picturesque pugilist’s paradise. Here, the King of Diamonds is wild.

Hexagon Fighting Championship on BoardGameGeek

Hexagon Fighting Championship on Steam Tabletop Simulator Workshop

Enter the HEXAGON!

Hexagon Fighting Championship is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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