Afro-Celt Mancala System, A Stonehenge Abstract Strategy Game by Rich Hutnik
The basic board for Stonehenge reminded me of an old 3M game I saw called Oh Wah Ree, which is a Mancala variant. Inspired by that game, I had a desire to do a Mancala based game for Stonehenge. This is the byproduct of the idea, which actually resulted in 3 games based around Mancala.
Number of players: 2–5
Object of the game: The object of the games is to score the most points after a set number of rounds, depending on the game variant selected and number of players.
Equipment: Stonehenge board
10 disks per color (50 total)
1 neutral figure (to mark which space players picked up disks from to use during their turn)
5 colored figures (to mark score per color per turn)
10 bars per color (50 total) for use in the gambling game.
5 Trilithon cards, for use in the deduction and standard games.
Some way to record scores for each round to be totalled at end of game. Paper and pen or pencil would work for this.
Setup: Before first round, randomly determine the starting player for the first round.
At the start of each round:
1. Place 2 disks of each color on each of their own colors. Each white space will have two white, each green space two green, each yellow two yellow, and so on. The black spaces will be empty at start of game.
2. Place the 5 colored figures and the 1 neutral figure in the middle of the board.
Playing the Game
There are three possible game. The first is a standard game, which will be used to describe the basic rules. The other two games, the deduction and gambling games, will then described with how they differ from the standard game.
1. Before start of first turn, starting with the first player (and going clockwise), each player picks a color not selected they will control and score with. Players will play a number of rounds equal to number of players in game.
2. The starting player then picks a space that contains at least one of their colored disks on it.
3. Once that player picks a space, that player then picks up all the disks in that space and places the neutral figure in the space where he took the pieces from.
4. The player going from smaller number to greater around the Stonehenge board (clockwise), places one of the disks from the pile of disks they picked up and places it in the space with the next number sequence. After this, the player then places the next disk in the next number sequence and so on until all disks are placed. Example: Player picks the 14 space which contains one of their disks and three other disks. The player then takes all 3 of the disks and puts one of the disks in the 15 space, another one in the 16 space, a third in the 17 space, and a final disk in the 18 space.
5. After the player does this (also can be done while placing disks), the player checks for two conditions: First, if the space the player put the disk into already has at least 10 disks in it, the new disk he put the disk into is removed from the board. Second, if the space the player put the disk into matches the color of the disk put a disk into, that disk is removed. For example, player puts a green disk on space 15, which is also green, the green disk is removed. All removed disks are placed into a pile with the same color pieces, off the board, to be reused for a future round. Pieces are only removed when they land on their color, whether or not they started their movement on their color.
6. After a player is done, he then passes his turn the player on the left and they go.
7. Play continues all pieces of one color is are removed from the board. At this point, the figure of the color removed is placed on the space numbered 5 on the board. This represents that the color is worth one point for the round. The next color to be removed is worth four points, and its colored figure is placed on the 4 space. The third color is worth three, and its piece is put on the three space, and so on. Once there is only one player left in the round, the round ends, and this player scores zero points.
8. Players then record their scores, the board is reset (see Setup), and the player to the left of the start player then starts next round (if any rounds are left). The figure pieces are put back in the middle of the board, and starting with the new start player
1. Plays nearly identical to the standard game, except players conceal and don't reveal the trilithon card they used for scoring at the end of the round. At that point, players score based on what card they had Players also are able to pick ANY colored pile on the board and sow pieces around the board via the regular rules.
1. Five piles of 10 bars are put to the side of the board. After a player goes, that player then takes one of the colored bars on the side. At the end of a round, players multiply the number of bars they took of a given color times the score of that color, and they do it for all colors. For example, if a player took three red (worth three points each), five blue (worth 1 point each), and 4 yellow (worth 5 points each, 5), that player would score 34 (9+5+20) points for that round. Like in the deduction/bluff game, players are allowed to pick any pile with any colors in it.
Varying removal areas variant:
In this variant, players have the option, of removing any disk off the board they are distributing, if the piece lands on a space with at least one disk of the same color. For example, if a blue disk lands in a space where there is a blue piece it can optionally be removed from the board. This variant has several other varieties. One there needs to be at least two disks of the color to be removed before it can be removed. Another variety is where removal is not optional, but mandatory. A third one is if there are on ore more pieces of a color on the board, the pieces on the board are removed and that piece is removed (only the color matching piece is removed). A fourth variety involves all pieces in the pit the piece lands on, if last piece to be distributed is placed in there (this includes the piece being put in). The fourth variety is like traditional Mancala.
Quicker end of round variant: Once one player is out, then count up how many remaining pieces each remaining player has left. Players score in order of least to most remaining. In event of a tie, use the score of the least combined position. For example, in a 4 player game, if second and third place players tie, they both score what third place player would score. All played tied for last place score as in last place.
Low score variant: Object of the game to score the least amount of points.
Ending the Game
Game ends after a number of rounds equal to the number of players in the game. For example if there are three players in a game, the game goes 3 rounds. Each new round the next starting player is the player to the left (clockwise) of the player who started the first round.
Rich Hutnik has created a variety of games for Stonehenge, with this game being an attempt at a game in the Mancala family. Its names is based a band he likes, Afro Celt Sound System.
This rule set is for use with
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