EMERGO

Copyright (c) 1980s Christian Freeling & Ed van Zon.

This game is played on the following empty board:

 
  • OFF BOARD - Each player starts with 12 stones each off-board.
  • PIECE -  A piece is a stack of one or more stones of either color. 
    •  The piece belongs to the player that has the top stone.
  • CAPTURE - A piece jumps an adjacent (orthogonal) opponent piece, landing on the immediate cell that must be empty. Doing so, he captures the top stone of the jumped piece.
    • Capture is mandatory, i.e., it must be done before a drop or a move (see below).
    • Capture is multiple (several jumps must be made if possible) and must be maximize the number of captured stones. Jumps of 180 are invalid.
    • In a multiple capture the capturing piece may visit a cell more than once as well as jump a piece more than once.
  • DROP - An off-board stone can be dropped on an empty cell.
    • Dropping may not force an opponent into making a capture, unless the entering player is already being attacked by his opponent.
    • Each player may not enter more than one stone, unless his opponent has all twelve stones on the board, in which case he must enter his remaining stones as one piece. This piece is called the shadowpiece.
  • MOVE - If a player has no captures available, and all stones were already dropped, then he must move one of his pieces into an adjacent (orthogonal) empty cell.
  • GOAL - Wins the player that captures all enemy stones. 
    • However, draws are possible if a player has at least one piece left and cannot move; or a 3-fold repetition of the same position with the same player, occurs.
 
An example

White drops a stone at g6 (the cell with the marked dot). He can do this because Black already is attacking him. Then, Black must capture 5 white stones (jumping sequence 1 to 5) making a piece like the one showed in the top left corner. Then, White drops a stone above it at cell [6], and black must make a second capture to square 3. After that white captures the top black stone of that stack and gains a better position.

Freeling's words: The game is a joint effort by Ed van Zon, who got me interested in Lasca's way of capture in the first place, and me. [...] Emergo derives from the Latin 'Luctor et Emergo', the motto of the Dutch province of Zeeland, and meaning 'I wrestle and emerge'. You'll find this name to be very appropriate. Emergo originates in the game Lasca, invented by the legendary Chess world champion Emanuel Lasker. Lasker made a classic mistake: he left a great idea where he found it, which was in the game of Checkers. Thus he hooked it up to three interrelated principles of this game: an initial position, a forward orientation and promotion. None of these is needed to implement the essence of his idea, and applying them makes Lasca an overcomplicated game. [www.mindsports.net/Arena/Emergo/AboutEmergo.html]

You can also play and read extensive information about the game at the MindSports Arena.

There's a variant of Emergo to the hexagonal board, HexEmergo (the first player has a decisive advantage).