MOXIE

Copyright (c) 1956 Harold C. Manley

This game is played on an empty 4x4 square board. Each player has 8 stones off board.

 
MOVE - On each turn, each player must do one of the following actions:
Drop a stone into an empty cell.
Move a stone into an adjacent (orthogonal or diagonal) empty cell.
Jump over an enemy stone landing on the immediate empty cell, and capturing it.
Jumps are mandatory and take precedence over drops and moves.
Multiple jumps, if possible, are required (no max capture rule)
GOAL - Wins the player that makes an orthogonal or diagonal 3 in-a-row, or captures 6 enemy stones.
 
An example

White's turn. White drops a stone at [1]. Black must sacrifice two stones to remove the open 2.

Mark Thomson (which described the game) says: It looks to me as though White can make a first move on a central square and win pretty quickly; Iím not even sure the game would consist of anything other than onboarding and capturing.  But I havenít analyzed the game completely yet. Possible variants suggest themselves:  what if jumps took priority over any other move except a move to win, or to avoid immediately losing?  Or if a player with a jump available could make a different move at the expense of sacrificing one piece of his own choice?  What if the object were to achieve a row of three that could not be broken up by the opponentís next move?  How would it play if the object were to achieve some different pattern?  Would some of these variants play better if the movement power were changed -- perhaps to a knight move?  How would the natural hexagonal variation (onto a board of 19 hexes) play?

I agree with Mark. A slight advantage is enough to win this game. The player can produce many threats that enable him to capture the required 6 stones. Another possible variants: allow only for diagonal 3 in-a-rows, a player that captured 6 enemy stones would lose (that's nasty!), or even, a player would have an extra turn after an opponent 3 in-a-row in order to remove the winning pattern.