This photograph was taken in August 1996 at a hill temple near Khejarala,
Rajesthan, India. Carved into the rock is the board for the game "Sixteen
Soldiers" or "Cows and Leopards".
Each player has sixteen stones placed on the intersection of the lines, one player to the left of the board and the other to the right. Players move alternatively and can move in any direction along a line to an adjacent point. A capture is made by jumping over an enemy piece to a vacant point beyond - several pieces can be captured in one move by a series of leaps over single enemy pieces. A player loses when all their pieces have been captured. As an additional rule it is suggested that if a player fails to make a capture, the piece is "huffed" and removed from the board. A variant gives each player seven extra pieces, placed on the points of the triangle to the player's left.
You can play the game on the grid above by dragging the soldiers from point to point.
This game is based on an extended four by four grid of squares and is called
"Sixteen Soldiers". What would be the name of a game based on a five by five
grid of squares? Would it be "Twenty Five Soldiers"? What would the board
look like? Investigate...
Reference: "Board games Around The World" Robbie Bell and Michael Cornelius. Cambridge University Press 1988 ISBN 0 521 35924 4
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