As we know the game should be played by each one of the 4^12 empire citizens that populate the nearly 2.000 star systems.
Now we don’t know at what age they start to “play for living” and we don’t know how many want to participate in the tournament.

But we know that as the tournament begin every 6 years, only 12.000 players take part in it, so it took 6 years to select these players (as always with some math I’ve calculated the amount of people for each of the 27 levels, but these are details that will be explained in the game documentation).

The purpose of the tournament is clear for the players :

  • Entry and be promoted within the empire’s religious, educational, civil administrational, judicial and military establishments. [06.10]

And is also very clear to the empire :

  • Determine which tendency within the empire’s ruling class will have the upper hand, which branch of economic theory will be followed, which creeds will be recognized within the religious apparat, and which political policies will be followed. [06.07]

There are 12.000 players to fill the roles left uncovered for various reasons (death, incompetency, retirement, sickness, etc…). Some of these are very important key roles and are intended only for trusted contenders in order to put the most loyal people in these roles.

It is evident that in order to stand out from the others, the players put in play also prestige, honors, possessions, slaves, favors and land. [10.01]

The reference to the arenas with gladiators is evident, a violent show (on the chessboard) where the people can sublimate their condition of slavery without any real physical consequence (apart the physical option for the players). Let us remember that a real war is very costly in terms of resources especially when it spans multiple star systems. The promise of a high rewards due to the game is the glue that holds the empire together among other things representing the hope for a better position and future.

For the empire it’s of capital importance to know how to act to keep the grip on the 2000 star systems and maintain the power centralized in the hands of the emperor.

How the players advance in ranking ?

As always we need to do some reverse engineering.

Lo Pequil Monenine, AAB, “Level Two Main“, Empire Medal, Order of Merit and bar. [61.07]

Lo Wescekibold Ram is ranked as “Level Five Main“, which meant he was one of the sixty best game-players in the Empire. [111.14]

At the end of the fourth match the players are 120 (at the end mean that the next 5th match will start with 120 players) [158.02]

So we know at least that there are several “Level” in the main series, and that each player has a “Level” assigned.
My hypothesis is that the level represents the value of the player, the better he is, the more he rises in level but counting the other way around, that is, level 1 represents the highest value as it currently happens in tennis tournament.

“Anyway there are other interesting opinions related to the level that you can read in the discussion in the comments below. To present a more complete analysis I have also included this additional hypothesis. The tables includes both”.

According to my calculation Lo Pequil should be in the range of the best 10 players and probably don’t need to be promoted or to change his position or career. In fact he is not playing in the game and is the chaperon of Gurgheh throughout the tournament.

In the table below in yellow are highlighted the values taken directly from the novel as of the 8 match of the tournament.

To be noted that the match.nr 7 is played in group of 3 instead of the standard group of 10.
The group of Gurgheh is composed with the 3rd and 4th qualified from the previous 5th match.
If we assume a standard game of 10 players split apart in group of 3 then we have the correct number of 30 total players in game, pratically instead of 3 group of 10 we have 10 group of 3.



How are the players rewarded ?

This is a brief list of the rewards described in the novel :

  • Colonel
  • Bishop
  • Under Minister
  • Liutentant of the army
  • Civil Service

Moreover in the game you are wagging for :

  • Prestige
  • Honors
  • Possessions
  • Slaves
  • Favors
  • Land [10.01]

In addition, this is a partial list of all the various titles and professions scattered through the whole novel :

  • Sir
  • Empire Medal
  • Order of Merit and Bars
  • Governing Director of the Monopolies of the Imperial Chessboards
  • Rector
  • Mentor
  • Junior Imperial Priest
  • Admiral

I believe that all these professions and titles are a small part of the possible rewards and many others promotions and assignments are possible.

At which level correspond each assignments ?

I can only make an estimate, but we know that reaching the second match in the Main Series let you have the opportunity to join the Civil Service and so to travel. [72.16]

And of course we know that the winner of the great six years tournament (or the winner of the eight match) become emperor, so all the others titles and professions are in the middle.
Assuming to use the same scale of importance like our in the various sector (army, navy, aviation, administration, instruction, religion, etc…) it is now possible to compile the rewards table.

As always, comments are welcome!

4 thoughts on “RANKING

  1. My interpretation is that the level number indicates the highest or most recent round of the great tournament a citizen has won through. So, Pequil being near top 10 strikes me as a rather egregious typo. Also I’d like more explanation as to why the participant numbers work out so oddly in the chart.


    1. Hi Lheticus, thank you for your interest.
      On the odd number of participants you are right, there is a small typo in the table. In the second game the participants are 3,600 and not 1,200. So I will correct the published table. However the various matches alternate in rounds of 10 players and the two winners move on to the next round. Then a new match of 10 players from the various groups participating in the tournament is collected. And once again the two winners move on to the next game. So with each game the total number of players decreases in a very simple and linear way. Regarding the level I reasoned about the meaning based on various phrases like “Lo Wescekibold Ram, government director of the Imperial Monopolies Board. It was rated as Level Five Main, which meant it was one of the sixty best-player games in the game. Empire.” As you can see, the level appears to be related to skill in the game and not to the round. However, any further suggestions is welcome.


      1. Do you have any evidence at all for the ranking system to be based on progressively lowering numbers, though? My theory that “level 5 main” means winning through the 5th round of the Main Series is based on 2 things: the use of the word “main” in the rank’s description (what else could that refer to BUT the main series?) and the fact that a player who wins through the 5th round is one of 60 players left in the Main Series. This corresponds precisely with the character in question being considered one of the 60 best players in the Empire.

        Not to mention, Governor of the Imperial Monopolies Board seems like a rather important and prestigious post compared to Lo Pequil’s post, dealing directly with “the alien” every day. Neither does Pequil conduct himself in any kind of manner that the kind of power being in the TOP TEN of the entire Empire would imply.

        My thinking is that there are a whole host of ranks, with ranks including the word “main” encompassing an uppermost echelon that includes all who survive the first round of the Main Series. Directly below them would be players with a rank ending in “secondary” for those entered into the Secondary Series, and a number of lesser rank echelons below that.


      2. Hello Lheticus, thanks to your suggestion I took another look at the details about the levels. I’ve noticed that when both Pequil and Ram are presented in the novel, the indicated level does not coincide with the match number. Let me explain. Pequil in the novel is presented as level two main, but at that moment the tournament has not started yet. Ram is presented as level five main, but at that moment in the novel we are only in the second round. At this point we both have to consider that the level of the players is probably what they acquired / gained in the previous full six years great cycle. So the assignment of the level to the players is not clearly defined. My guess is that it is linked to the final result obtained in the tournament (perhaps based on points). Anyway I’ve modified the post adding a note about your hyphotesis.


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