How to Win
Rules for Bräde (Swedish Boardgame)The following rules are described as they are implemented in The Board. There exist several differences and variants of this game and we have implemented the most common and interesting of them.
[BILD PÅ BRÄDET, med förklaringar]
There are thirty checkers, fifteen for each player. One player gets the dark checkers and the other the light ones.
The game uses two six-sided dice (or one pair of dice for each player) that are thrown together. If both dice comes up with the same number of eyes the throw is called a double.
At the beginning of the game each
stacks all of his checkers on his home point. The game begins with the
players rolling one die each to decide who goes first. Any ties are
The player with the lowest die score begins the game by rolling both
A player may never forfeit a die score if he in any way can take for it. This means that if the second die can only be taken for by making a particular move and no other with the first, that particular move must be the one made. If a player only can take for either of the scores but not for both he must take for the higher. If a player rolls a double each die score is taken for twice. The player must then make four moves, moving one, two, three or four checkers while in all other respects adhering to the same rules as for a normal move. If a player can not take for all the dice he must take for as many of them as he can. The player must also maximise the score on the dice he takes for.
Movement is made counter-clockwise, from right to left along the upper side of the board and from left to right along the lower side. A checker enters the lower side when it passes or leaves the head. There is no obligation to land on the head before entering the lower side of the board. Since the opponent has his home in the other player’s lower left corner, the two players sort of chase each other round the board.
[BILD PÅ HUR MAN GÅR?]
A single checker on a point is called a blot. Two or more checkers of the same colour stacked on the same point is called a prime. The first point you may start building primes on is on your head and then continuing in the whole opponent’s home- and outer boards. The opponent may not land on the primes. However, primes only stop the opponent from landing on a point; jumping over them, with a sufficiently large die score, is permitted.
Even though the checkers on a player’s home point initially form a prime and continues to do so as long as more than one checker remains there, you may not stack any more checkers there until it has become completely empty. Thus, once the second-to-last checker has left the home there can never again be a prime by that player there, since in his home- or outer board he or she may only build a prime on the head.
If a player lands one of his checkers on one of the opponent’s blots he hits the checker already there. A hit checker is taken off the board and placed on the bar. The owner of the hit checker then may not move any of his other checkers until all his checkers on the bar has been re-entered onto the board. To re-enter checkers is called to bring in checkers. Checkers are brought in by taking for a throw as normal but as if starting to move from just outside the home. On a die score of one, the checker is re-entered on the home point, on a score of two on the second point, and so on. The point on which the checker is to be brought in must not be occupied by one of the opponent’s primes, since these block movement on that point. It must also not be occupied by one of the player’s own blots, since in the first two quarters one may not stack more than one checker on any point other than the head. Specifically, this means that a player can not bring in checkers on the home as long as he still has other checkers on it. It is possible, and common, to be unable to take for several throws in a row because one or several of your checkers are stuck on the bar. If a checker is brought in from the bar onto a point that is occupied by a blot of the opponent, that checker is hit and sent to the bar as usual.
There is an exception to the rule that primes block re-entry: if a player has checkers on the bar and no free points in his home board, any opposing primes there may be hit in order to bring the checkers in. Example: White has three checkers on the bar, three on the home and a blot on the sixth point. Black has primes on the second, third and fourth points, each consisting of two checkers. White rolls 5-2. One checker is brought in on point 5 and since there is now no free points left the next checker hits the prime on point 2, sending two black checkers to the bar. If white instead had rolled 4-2, no checkers could have been brought in since the primes block movement and cannot be hit as long as there are free points available.
Much of the game’s strategy
building of primes to block the opponent and hinder his movement. A
may not be longer than five points, blocking five consecutive points,
may not be longer than five even during a move. There exists one
to this: if a player has borne off (see How to
below) with all his checkers but one, his opponent is then
to build as long primes as he likes. A prime on one’s own head point
however, never included in the prime length calculations, since the
will never blocked passed that point.
Bearing off is performed by moving all your checkers into the opponent’s outer board and then moving them off the board by taking for the dice. You must have all your remaining checkers in that quadrant to be allowed to bear off with them. If a checker gets hit it must be brought back into that player’s home board as usual and no checkers may be borne off until you once again have collected all checkers in the opponent’s outer board. If a die score "overshoots" when bearing off, meaning that the die score is higher than what is needed to move the checker off the board, the excess is simply dropped and not used. There is no obligation to bear off. If a player wishes to move his checkers inside the quarter instead. he may do so. If a player bears off all his checkers before the opponent has done the same or won in any other way, he wins.
Building nice prime structures are done in the opponent's outer board. There are four prime structures that can be built in order to win. All of these are considered superior to bearing off, and hence, giving more points if you are playing more than one game. They are explained below.
Single crown is built by making a five point prime with three checkers on each prime on the last five points in the opponent’s outer board.
Double crown is built by making a three point prime with five checkers each on the three last points.
Staircase is built by making a three point prime on the last points, with seven checkers on the opponent’s head, five checkers on the prime one point next to the opponent’s head, and three checkers stacked on the prime two points away from the opponent’s head.
Tower is created when you stack all your fifteen checkers on the opponent’s head point. This formation is rare and is considered even nicer than the other structures.
As stated above, if at all possible, both dice must be taken for. This is true even if just one would complete a structure. That is, the structure is not counted as a winning move unless it is completed after all dice have been taken for.
[4xBILD PÅ VAD MAN KAN BYGGA]
Jan, finally, means that one player has more checkers on the bar than there are points in the home board to bring them all in again. That is, if a player at any time has more checkers on the bar than he has points in the home board that are not occupied by his own checkers, he immediately loses by jan. A blast-jan occurs if a player wins the game by making the other player jan by striking his opponent’s prime(s). Because of the jan-rule, it is generally a very bad idea to have more than five, or six if the home is unoccupied, blots on the board at any one time.
The player who lost the last game
to go first in the next.
A player may build as long primes as he wishes, but as soon as a prime is longer than five points the individual primes may be stricken by the opponent, whereby sending those checkers to the bar. Once a long prime has been stricken in this way making it less than, or equal to, five points long, the remaining primes are no longer strikeable. The exception to this rule is if a player has borne off with all his checkers but one, as explained in the basic rules. If a player has built a six prime or longer which covers points in the opponent's home board, those primes may be immediately stricken if the opponent brings in checkers from the bar, thus overruling the free spot restriction when bringing in checkers.
Bearing off must be done from the back,meaning that you may only bear off with the checker farthest from the end of the board and no other. If that means that you cannot bear off with every die roll, you must instead move checkers as usual. For example, if you have one checker on point 19, one on 20, two on 21 and the rest on 22 and roll a 6 and a 3, you must bear off the checker on 19 with the six and may then choose to move either the one on 20 or one of the ones on 21 three steps. You may not bear off one of the checkers on 22, because they are not in the back. This will make it a lot easier for the trailing player to be lucky and hit one of your blots while you are bearing off.
Both dice are not always needed to be taken for. If a winning move can be accomplished by taking for only one die (for example by completing a structure), then that player may make that as a complete move. Also, it is not allowed to land on a winning move and then continue to take for more dice. For example, if the player has only one checker left to make a single crown (which is missing on the opponent’s head) and has the blot in the first point in the opponent’s outer board and has rolled 5-1. The player may not first move the blot to the head with the 5 die, fulfilling the single crown, and then move one other checker from the back one step forward, thus ruining the single crown. However, it is completely legal to first move the blot one step, and then bear that checker off with the five die afterwards.
The easy-reentrant rule is used in the Vasa competiotion rules from the start.
The Vasa competition rules make the one-die rule obsolete since you can use one die to perform a winning move with every roll.
The Vasa competition rules
hinders the players from winning by bearing off, so a good tactic would
be to try to win by one of the other ways.