Morabaraba

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Morabaraba is like tic tac toe on steroids. It is a three in a row game with quick to learn rules, and easy to make equipment. Played extensively in South Africa, it is a game that attracts enough players to have yearly international tournaments.

Players 2
Equipment:
Morabaraba board
12 white checkers and 12 black checkers (sometimes called cows)
How to play:
Starting with white, the players take turns placing one checker at a time on empty intersections of the board

Players are trying to make a mill, which is three checkers in a row. When a player makes a mill, they remove from the board an opponent’s checker. The checker that is removed can not be in a mill, unless all the opponent’s checkers are in mills.

After all checkers have been placed on the board players take turns moving a checker to an adjacent empty intersection.

When a player’s move creates a mill they capture just like when he or she was placing checkers.

When a player has only three checkers remaining a new rule comes into play. The player with only three checkers can move to any empty intersection, not just the adjacent ones.

The game is won when a player makes it so the opponent can not move on his or her turn or captures all but the last two of the opponent’s checkers.

If both players have only three checkers or neither player captures a checkers within ten moves, the game is drawn.

Variations
In some tournaments there is a rule that a player may not move a checker out of a mill that was formed on the last turn into a new mill.

In Somalia they play a variation called Shax. Shax is played as above except for the following differences:

Checkers can not move or make a mill diagonally.

When a mill is created during the placement of checkers, the player does not make a capture. When a mill is created during placement the player who made the first mill can capture a checker regardless of it being in a mill. After this capture, his or her opponent captures one checker.

Finally if all the checkers of a player are blocked his or her opponent must make a move that allows for the player to move. If a mill is formed by the unblocking move it does not result in capture.

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