Traditional Board Games

Sixteen Soldiers

In Sri Lanka and parts of India, the standard alquerque board was expanded with a triangle on each side, with sixteen pieces per player. This is the game of sixteen soldiers. The triangle to the left of each player was filled with his pieces to give the game of perali kotuma, and the last two points beside the centre of the board were filled in another variant, called kotu ellima, in which the central square is therefore laid out like a standard alquerque board.

Rules for Sixteen Soldiers

Rules for Sixteen Soldiers
1. Sixteen soldiers is played by two people on the intersections, or points, of a lined board. Pieces are set out in the pattern in the diagram. Players decide at random who will make the first move.

2. In his turn a player will move a piece one step along a marked line, to an adjacent empty point.

3. A piece captures a neighbouring enemy piece by jumping over it to land on the empty point beyond. If a capture is available, it must be made.

4. Having captured an enemy, a piece must make a further jump and capture from its new location if possible. Any number of captures can be chained in this way.

5. The game is won by the player who captures all the opponent’s pieces.


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