Nine Men’s Morris
Very popular during medieval times, this challenging board game has lapsed somewhat into obscurity, but the rules have remained intact and largely unchanged.
Number of Players
A square board consisting of 3 concentric squares. Each square is connected to each other square on each side by a straight line in the middle of each side. There are points located at every corner of every square, as well as at every intersection of a line and a square (for a total of 24 points).
18 round stones or counters (9 black, 9 white)
Players decide on who plays white and who plays black. All pieces start off of the board.
White plays first by placing a single piece on the board at any point. Play alternates back and forth with each player placing one piece per turn on any open point on the board until all 18 pieces have been played. When all of the pieces are on the board, players on their turn may then move one piece along the lines of the board from one point to another. A point must be unoccupied and adjacent for a piece to move there, and no jumping is allowed.
Whenever a player manages to line up three of their pieces in a row on adjacent points in any direction (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal), that player has formed what is called a “mill.” Whenever a player forms a mill, they may remove any one of their opponents’ pieces from the board, except for pieces that are also part of a mill (the exception is when all of the opponents’ pieces form mills…in which case any one of them may be removed). It is perfectly acceptable for a player to move a piece away from a mill on one turn, and then move it right back into the mill on the next turn to capture another piece. Once a piece has been captured, it remains out of play for the rest of the game.
To remove as many of your opponents’ pieces from the board as possible, or to block your opponent so they cannot move. Whenever a player is unable to move, or have been reduced to their last two stones (and cannot form a mill), that player loses.