Strategy board game Nine
men's morris is standard for kids, and comes in sets of board games.
It has many versions, but is always a game for 2 players. I was wondering
how it would work for 3 or 4 players, so I extended the board from 3 concentric
squares to 4 squares, enabling more room for game pieces. Simple math gives
the optimal number of pieces per player proportional to a 2 player game
on a 3 square board. The proportion yields 8 pieces for 3 players on the
4 square board, or 6 for 4 player game. Regardless of that, game was successfully
played with 9 pieces for 3 players, and 7 pieces for 4 players.
Rules for the 2 player game, same applies for 3 or 4 player game:
The board consists of a grid with twenty-four intersections or points. Each player has nine pieces, or "men", usually coloured black and white. Players try to form 'mills'—three of their own men lined horizontally or vertically—allowing a player to remove an opponent's man from the game. A player wins by reducing the opponent to two pieces (where they could no longer form mills and thus be unable to win), or by leaving them without a legal move.
The game proceeds in three phases:
Placing men on vacant points
Moving men to adjacent points
(optional phase) Moving men to any vacant point when the player has been reduced to three men
Phase 1: Placing pieces
Nine men's morris starts on an empty board.
The game begins with an empty board. The players determine who plays first, then take turns placing their men one per play on empty points. If a player is able to place three of their pieces on contiguous points in a straight line, vertically or horizontally, they have formed a mill and may remove one of their opponent's pieces from the board and the game, with the caveat that a piece in an opponent's mill can only be removed if no other pieces are available. After all men have been placed, phase two begins.
Phase 2: Moving pieces
Players continue to alternate moves, this time moving a man to an adjacent point. A piece may not "jump" another piece. Players continue to try to form mills and remove their opponent's pieces as in phase one. A player can "break" a mill by moving one of his pieces out of an existing mill, then moving it back to form the same mill a second time (or any number of times), each time removing one of his opponent's men. The act of removing an opponent's man is sometimes called "pounding" the opponent. When one player has been reduced to three men, phase three begins.
Phase 3: "Flying"
When a player is reduced to three pieces, there is no longer a limitation on that player of moving to only adjacent points: The player's men may "fly" (or "jump") from any point to any vacant point.
DIY (Do It Yourself) instructions
Print this photo on a A3 format paper (297 x 420 mm). The original board was made on a A4 document folder cardboard to be foldable for easy carrying when you play outside of your home (at friend's home, in a park, or in a pub / bar). The board should be a square whose side is 300 to 350 mm, to match crown caps game pieces.
back to Mihailo Alic's
crown cap collection