Lines of Action  

Copyright (c) Claude Soucie  

The game is played on a 8x8 square board with the following setup:

GOAL - Get all your pieces into a single connected group. A group of pieces is connected if they occupy an unbroken chain of adjacent spaces, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
MOVE - Players alternate moves. The distance that a piece can move along a row, column, or diagonal is equal to the number of pieces on that row, column, or diagonal. A piece may jump over friendly pieces, but not the opponent's pieces.
CAPTURE - A player may land on and capture the opponent's pieces, which are then removed from the game. He may not land on his own pieces.

An example

Black has a winning position. The stone at g6 can move to [1], since there are three stones at row 6.

A nice place to play LOA is at the UofA GAMES group. For more info, check Dave Dyer's Lines of Action page.

A variant of LOA, called GEMMA, rules that the cell from where the last stone has moved out is removed from play (but pieces may jump over these "holes"). There is another rule that if a stone is immobilized (cannot move or capture), the owner can be remove it from play and that counts as a move. More information at ETEROSCACCO, from where I record this sample game:

A sample game

Tony Gardner-J.J.McCallion Nost Vention 1996

1.cē3 a2c4 2.f1xc4 a6xc4 3.g1e3 h7f7 4.b1b3 h6f4 5.d1xa4 h4d4 6.b8e5 h5xe8 7.c8e6 h2xe5 8.f8d6 f7f5 9.e6c6 a5d5 10.e1xe5 a3c5 11.b3b4 a7xe3 12.g8xd5+ c4d3 13.c6e4 E8 14.d8e7+ c5xc3+ 15.e7xe3 c3c2+ 16.d5f3 F4 17.b4b5+ d3xd6 18.a4xd4 f5xf3 19.d4f6 c2xe4 20.e3f2d6xf6 21.e5g5 h3g4 22.f2g3 f6g6+ 23.resign (check diagram)

There are several other variants. Scrambled Eggs LOA only differs in the setup:

Parachute LOA starts with 12 stones (6 for each player) offboard. For the first 6 turns, each player makes a normal move, and then takes one of the opponent's off-board stones and places it anywhere on the board. Once all stones have been placed, the game continues as in standard LOA.

AMBILOA - In this variant, there are two different pieces:

These pieces must be moved in strict rotation. First the black soldier, then the green soldier, then the black King, and finally the green King, and so on... If, on a given turn, the player does not have that kind of piece, he must pass that move! The object is the same as standard LOA -- to get ALL pieces (of both types) into one group. This game is also played as a partnership game for four players.

Matthew Montchalin invented NEIGHBORS, (published in the April 1995 issue of GAMES & PUZZLES Magazine). This is the initial setup:

The move range of each stone is based on the number of adjacent (orthogonal and diagonal) stones of either color. A stone may also, while moving, jump over stones of either color (not only friendly pieces as in LOA). This game has the same goal.