Variant of Traditional Game
(c) Joćo Pedro Neto (2002)
with special thanks to Jacques Treatment and Claude Chaunier
This game is played on a 10x5 square board with the following setup:
- STACK - a stack of one or more tokens of either color.
- A stack ownership is given by the color of the top token.
- TURN - On each turn, each player must do one of the following things:
- Move a friendly stack
- Pile two friendly stacks
- Capture an enemy stack
- MOVE - A stack moves forward or sideways (no diagonals).
- The exact moving range of any stack is defined by the size of the biggest enemy stack (e.g., if the enemy has a stack of size 4, the player's stacks can move exactly four cells).
- Moving stacks cannot jump over other stacks.
- A player cannot make two consecutive sideway moves.
- PILE - A stack can be piled over another friendly stack.
- While piling, the maximum moving range is also defined by the highest enemy stack (e.g., if the enemy has a stack of size 4, the player's stacks can move one to four cells).
- Piling may be forwards or sideways (no diagonals) and can jump over friendly stacks (not enemy ones).
- There is no un-stack mechanism.
- CAPTURE - If a stack moves into a cell occupied by an enemy stack (with a less or equal number of tokens), this stack is placed under the moving stack.
- Captures may be forwards, backwards or sideways (no diagonals). Captures cannot jump over other stacks (of either color).
- Captures are mandatory.
- The player has the liberty to decide between two or more capture choices
- The capturing range for any stack is defined by the size of the biggest enemy stack (e.g., if the enemy has a stack of size 4, the player's stacks can move one to four cells).
- PROMOTION - If a stack reaches the last row, two things happen:
- If it has prisoners, it restarts at the first row on that column, and all enemy tokens are removed.
- If it has no prisoners (i.e., the stack is made only of friendly tokens), the stack itself is removed!
- GOAL - Wins the player that stalemates the adversary (either by owning all stacks or by leaving no valid moves to the adversary stacks).
This game has a tension in building high stacks (they are powerful to capture) but then it gives more moving and capture range to the adversary. Since no backward move/piling is allowed, captures decrease the number of stacks (and restrict the moving range) and stacks that make no captures are eliminated, the game has a finite deadline that will ultimately decide the game's outcome.
Black's move. He must capture stack a6 with stack d6, creating a stack with size 6. Now, White gets moving range 6, and is able (in fact he must, since capturing is mandatory) to move d8 to d3 and making 3 prisoners against the sacrifice of the two tokens at a6.
After the White move (which it would build a stack of size 9) no black moves are possible. Anyway, Black must capture c5:e5.
This game was based on the original dice game PULUC, a traditional game from Central America.