Goal - There are two ways to win:
1) build a continuous stack of six of your pieces on the board; or
2) possess six captured pieces.
Equipment - A 4x4 square board and each player has 12 color-coded disks.
Opening Move - Play begins with all of the pieces off the board, and the pieces are concealed from the opponent's view.
Black moves first by picking out two of his pieces and placing them in a stack on the perimeter of the board. White does the same on a different perimeter square.
This is an example of a typical opening move for Black and White.
Subsequent Moves - Players alternate turns. A turn can be one of three types:
1. Onboard a new piece. Onboarding is adding one new piece to the play.
2. Move a stack already on the board.
3. Exchange captured pieces.
Onboarding - Onboarding is adding one new piece to the play. This new piece can be placed on any square. Or it can be added to any stack as long as it is touching one of your pieces.
Movement direction - The direction that pieces move is determined by the color that is facing up. Some of the pieces have different markers on their two sides. Those pieces can be flipped over at the start of a move, which changes the direction they can travel.
|When a piece has a blue side showing it moves diagonally.||When a piece has a blank side showing it can move either diagonally or orthogonally.|
|When a piece has a red side showing it moves orthogonally (or straight).||When the orange marker is showing the piece moves in a crooked fashion. It moves one square straight and one square diagonally.|
Movement distance - A stack moves up to one space for each piece in the stack at the start of the turn. A stack moves in a straight line. As a stack is moving it can pick up and drop off friendly pieces from the bottom of the stack. A stack can jump over any pieces as it moves. The piece with the orange marker travels its path no matter how many pieces are in the stack. A stack topped by a blank can not end its move on top of an opposing stack.
Capturing pieces - Pieces with a color marker facing up, called a weapon, can capture opposing pieces. You capture pieces by landing a stack on top of them. A stack captures up to one piece for each piece it contains at the moment of the first capture in the stack. Captured pieces are removed from the board and become prisoners. Captured pieces are taken from the top of the stack down. When a stack performs a capture it has to stop its movement on that square. That means that pieces dropped-off during a stacks movement may not capture in that turn. A stack can travel zero spaces and capture on the initial square.
Captured pieces are displayed off the board where both players can see them.
Pinning pieces - As a stack is moving it may drop off weapons on opposing pieces. The opposing pieces then become pinned, which means that they cannot move. Blanks cannot be dropped off on opposing pieces except on the initial square. In that way blanks can perpetuate a pin but cannot initiate a pin. A stack topped by a blank can drop weapons on opposing pieces.
AFTER: White moves three spaces dropping pieces off along the way. On the original square he leaves a blank which continues to pin the black piece. On the next square he drops-off a weapon which pins that Black piece. On the next square he drops-off a blank.
The Pieces - Each player, White and Black, has 12 color coded disks:
|Pieces:||Markings:||Value in Prisoner Exchanges:|
|Four Mutes||blank on both sides||1 each|
|Two Blues||blue on both sides||4 each|
|Two Reds||red on both sides||5 each|
|One Blue Mask||blue on one side and blank on the other||8|
|One Red Mask||red on one side and blank on the other||10|
|One Twister||orange on one side and blank on the other||15|
|One Ace||red on one side and blue on the other||21|
Prisoner Exchange - Instead of Onboarding or Moving, a player can choose to spend his turn exchanging prisoners. Prisoners are exchanged using the point values of the pieces. A simple value-for-value system is used. Since the pieces range in value from 1 point (for the mute) to 21 points (for the Ace) there are usually several combinations and options available for the players.
The player initiating the exchange selects the pieces he wishes to exchange. These pieces will all add up to some point value. The responding player then has four options depending on the point values of the prisoners that he holds.
Option 1: Give an equal value. If he has a combination of values that exactly equals the value being tendered then he has to either exchange those pieces, or exchange a higher value if he would prefer.
Option 2: Give a greater value. If he has any combination of values higher than the value being tendered he always has the option of exchanging a higher value.
Option 3: Give the next lower value. If he doesn't have an exact match and chooses not to give a higher value, then he must exchange the next value below the value being tendered.
Option 4: Refuse the exchange. If he doesn't have an equal value, doesn't have a lower value, and doesn't wish to exchange a higher value then he can refuse the exchange. If the exchange is refused then the initiating player can tender a different combination of pieces or make another move.
Hidden information - Hidden information in the game consists of the true nature of the underside of pieces that have been onboarded. The significance of this information is that pieces can be flipped at the start of a move possibly changing the direction they can travel or possibly transforming a blank into a weapon. This information is revealed in the course of the game as pieces are flipped, captured, and onboarded.
The rule that controls what information must be revealed is called the One Hand Rule: Any manipulations of pieces must be done with one hand in full view of the opponent. For instance, if you onboard a piece inside one of your stacks you must do it in three steps: 1. Take pieces off the top (which displays the nature of the top of the next piece down). 2. Place your onboarded piece on the stack (which reveals the top of that piece). 3. Return the upper pieces to the stack.
Before play begins and throughout the game the players arrange their unplayed pieces such that the opponent can't see them. The game box is used as a shielding wall for this purpose.
You cannot inspect your opponent's pieces except for the ones you have captured. When pieces are captured they can be freely inspected by both players.
If a player has no legal moves, then his turn is forfeited. A draw can be called by mutual agreement of the players.
Copyright © Jim Albea 1986, 2009 All rights reserved.