Fanorona

Overview
Fanorona is a two-player ancient board game that originates in Madagascar and derived from Alquerque.

Board

Fanorona is played on a board with a grid of 5x9 points connected with lines indicating valid movements (see picture below).

There are two players: White and Black. Initially 22 pieces of each color are placed on the board as shown on the following picture:

 

Objective
The goal of Fanorona is to capture all opponent's pieces.

Play

Players move alternatively, starting from the player controlling the White pieces.

There are two kind of moves: non-capturing (called paika) and capturing moves:

A paika move consists of moving one piece to an adjacent point along any drawn line .

A capturing move results in removing one or more pieces of the opponent. A capturing move is mandatory, i.e. if a player on his turn can capture some pieces of the opponent then the player must capture.

There are two kind of capturing moves: by approach or by withdrawal.

  • An approach - if a player moves one of his pieces to some point and the next point on the same line is occupied by an opponent piece then the opponent piece is captured and all successive opponent pieces located on the same line are captured as well (as long as there is no interruption by an empty point or an own stone) .
 
Before the move  

After the move

(two black pieces are captured
by approach)

  • A withdrawal - if a player moves one of his pieces from some point and the previous point on the same line is occupied by an opponent piece then the opponent piece is captured and all successive opponent pieces located on the same line are captured as well (as long as there is no interruption by an empty point or an own stone) .
 
Before the move  

After the move

(two white pieces are captured
by withdrawal)

If a player can do an approach and a withdrawal at the same time, he has to choose which one he plays.

The capturing piece is allowed (but is not obliged) to continue making successive captures, with the following restrictions:

  • The piece is not allowed to arrive at the same point twice during the same turn.
  • The piece is not allowed to make two successive capturing steps in the same direction. This can happen if an approach follows on a withdrawal.

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