Traditional Board Games

Alquerque Games

An ancestor of modern draughts is alquerque, first recorded in mediaeval Spain. As well as draughts, alquerque spawned a whole family of games which resemble it more closely than draughts, games that were spread around the world.

Alquerque games have a lined board, with pieces that sit on the intersections rather than in the spaces. Pieces can move in any direction on a marked line to an adjacent intersection. A piece is captured by jumping over it to land on the empty intersection beyond; captures are compulsory and may be chained as in draughts.



Alquerque is a war game, in which two sides of twelve pieces face each other on a board of 25 points. These are joined by horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, though not every point has diagonal connections. The aim of the game is to capture all of the opponent's pieces. Movement is to adjacent points along a marked line, and one piece can capture another by leaping over it to land on the empty point beyond. One of alquerque's ... (read more...)



The full name of this game is kolowis awithlaknannai, though it is usually known as awithlaknannai. It is a variant of alquerque, a game which also inspired the more common game of draughts, or checkers. Pieces in awithlaknannai move a single step from one point to an adjacent point along a marked line. They can capture enemy pieces by jumping, as in draughts. History of Awithlaknannai History of Awithlaknannai At some time after the Spanish conquest, the game of ... (read more...)

Dablot Prejjesne


Dablot prejjesne is a Sami game from the nineteenth century. It recalls historical struggles between nomadic Sami warriors and Finnish settlers farming the land. One side has a king, prince and warriors, while the other has a landlord, his son and tenant farmers. Despite the differences in names, the sides are completely equal in number and power, making this an even-handed game of war. History of Dablot Prejjesne The nomadic Sami people from Lapland have been quite innovative over ... (read more...)

Egara Guti

Egara Guti is an Indian battle game. Each player has eleven pieces, the contending forces facing each other on the points of a lined board. Pieces move to adjacent connected points, and capture by jumping. The first player to capture all of the opponent's pieces wins the game. History of Egara Guti This game was first recorded in 1924, in the Central Provinces of India, but its actual age is uncertain. It is part of the alquerque family of ... (read more...)


Felli is a simple game of strategy from Morocco. Two players face each other across an hourglass-shaped board, each player having six pieces set out at the start of the game. Piece move around the board from point to point, capturing by jumping. The player who captures all the opposing pieces is the winner. History of Felli and Lau Kata Kati The game of Alquerque, first documented in Spain, spread around the world, and its board adopted different shapes ... (read more...)

Lau Kata Kati

This game is similar to that of Felli, and is a version of Alquerque, the forerunner of draughts. Lau Kata Kati is played with nine pieces on each side, on a board in the shape of an hourglass. The board is similar in layout to that of Felli, but slightly larger, with the nine pieces of each player being arrayed in three rows. History of Felli and Lau Kata Kati The game of Alquerque, first documented in Spain, spread ... (read more...)


This attractive variant of alquerque, a forerunner of draughts, was played in Bihar in India. Its board is of three concentric circles joined by six spokes, the spokes not meeting in the middle. A variant with 7 concentric circles was also played. Though nowhere stated in Western accounts of the game, it is assumed that one piece may jump over another along a curved line. Rules for Pretwa Rules for Pretwa 1. Pretwa is played by two people on ... (read more...)

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 ... (read more...)


This is a variant of the popular game of Alquerque, described elsewhere on this site. In the Sahara desert, the board was quadrupled to give the game of zamma, each side having 40 men. There is a common version of the board where some of the lines are omitted from the board. A difference between this game and alquerque is that men may only move forwards, or diagonally forwards, though they can capture in any direction as in alquerque. ... (read more...)


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