Copyright (c) 2004 Bill Taylor

The game is played on the following board:

  • FIRST PHASE - Both players alternate in placing one black stone in any empty cell. On any turn, a player may elect instead to "adopt" the blocking option (the Blocker). The other player is Runner.
  • SECOND PHASE - On each turn each player drops a friendly stone on any empty cell (Runner starts): 
    • Blocker drops one black stone.
    • Runner drops one gray or one white stone in any empty cell.
  • GOAL
    • Runner wins if he can create two paths, one from each of his start cells, in the appropriate colors, to any points on any of the three short sides. 
    • Blocker wins if Runner has failed in his goal when all the cells are filled.

Players may agree to play any number of stones they like on the first phase (e.g., between one and three stones inclusive). Also at the first phase, players may agree not to drop stones on cells already blocked by chains of black stones (i.e., cells where Runner could not connect to either one of the initial white stones). This two extra rules can speed the initial phase.

An opening example

With this position, the next player decides to adopt and become Blocker. Now the other player continues the game by dropping a white or gray stone.

Finishing the game

At this point, Blocker won the game by redirecting the gray chain to block the white chain, and so winning the game because Runner cannot connect the white chain anymore. 

The initial phase balances any disadvantage between Runner and Blocker. The board game can be made wider and/or deeper to increase the game depth and provide more strategic options. This may be a good game to practice your ability at Hex connections.