Aeroplane Chess Game (飛行棋): Sharing a Fun Piece of Childhood

By: Modern Asian Family
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Reading Time: 4 Minutes

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Growing up in Hong Kong in the late 80s, 飛行棋, also known as Chinese Flying Chess Game, Aeroplane Chess, and. “Fei Xing Qi”, was one of the first games I learned to play. Funny enough, I don’t remember winning or losing when playing the game, but I remember having a lot of fun spending time with my mom and enjoying the game with her. My heart swells with the warm and fuzzies when I recall my memories associated with this game, as it’s easy to yearn for the good old days of childhood now that I’m grown and have kids of my own. Since I don’t have a time machine to be able to go back to my younger days, I’ll settle for the ability to share this game with my children. Hopefully, we’ll be able to build memories that will bring them a lot of joy when they grow up as well!

What is the Aeroplane Chess Game?

Aeroplane chess is a classic Chinese board game that creatively blends elements of strategy, luck, and aviation themes into an entertaining experience for all ages. It was originally developed in China in the 20th century, and it has been beloved by kids and adults throughout its history as it’s simple to play and is a wholesome family game.

This game shares similarities with Ludo and Pachisi, familiar names in the Western and Indian gaming landscapes, respectively. However, Aeroplane Chess stands out with its distinctively aviation-themed pieces – replacing traditional abstract pawns and beehive-shaped tokens with fun, colorful airplanes. Today, the game ranks among other classic modern board games in China, such as Jungle and Luzhanqi.

What Do You Need to Play Aeroplane Chess?

Aeroplane Chess is as visually appealing as it is fun. The game comes with a colourful board featuring four starting hangars at each corner and a track comprising 52 spaces leading towards the centre of the board. The board is evenly divided among four colours: red, yellow, blue, and green, each representing a player’s base.

The game also includes four sets of four colored airplane pieces, matching the colors on the board, and a six-sided die.

What Are the Rules of Aeroplane Chess?

Aeroplane Chess can be played by two to four players, each aiming to manouvre all their airplane pieces from their respective hangars to the center base of the board, corresponding to their color. Players take turns rolling the die, and their moves depend on the number rolled. Here are some rules that keep the game exciting:

  • To take a piece out of the hangar onto the board, a player must roll a five or a six.
  • A piece that’s on the board can be moved clockwise around the track, the number of spaces indicated by the die.

Additional twists and turns add layers of strategy to the game:

  • Rolling a six grants an additional roll. Rolling a second six gives the player a third roll. But beware, if the player rolls a third six, any pieces moved by the first two sixes must return to their hangar, and play passes to the next player.
  • If a player lands on an opponent’s piece, the opponent’s piece must return to its hangar.
  • If a plane lands on a space of its color, it jumps to the next space of the same color. Any opponent’s pieces on these squares are sent back to their hangars.
  • Landing on one of the shortcut squares allows the player to take a shortcut. Any opponent’s planes in the path of the shortcut are sent back to their hangars.
  • When a plane lands on another plane in its own fleet, the player may stack the pieces and move them as one piece until they reach the centre or are landed on by an opponent.

To end the game, a plane must fly into the center base on an exact roll. Upon doing so, the plane returns to its hangar. The first player to get all four planes to the center of the board wins, while the game continues until there is only one player left.

Where Can You Buy a Set of Aeroplane Chess?

amazon flying chess game


Tomaibaby 1 Set Flying Chess Game Carpet


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Wooden 2-in-1 Game Magnetic Maze Flying Chess Combination

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Aeroplane Chess with Pouch



Do you have another recommendation on where to purchase the Flying Chess Game? Or if you’ve purchased one of the ones mentioned above, let us know how you and your kids like it! Comment below- we love to connect with our readers!

The editorial team at Modern Asian Family consists of parents who are passionate about sharing their Asian culture and heritage with their children in today's dynamic Western and Western-influenced societies. We believe it takes a village to raise kids in today’s complex world. By crowdsourcing wisdom, we not only educate our own families but lift up fellow parents along the way.

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