Hanniball

Overview
Hanniball is a two-player soccer-like abstract board game that was invented by Christian Freeling and Arty Sandler in 2009 / 2010. 

Board and Pieces

Hanniball is played on a board containing 9x13 squares, with two additional "goals" of 1x3 squares. There are two "goal areas" of 2x5 squares (see picture below).

There are two players in the game: White and Black. Each player initially has 11  pieces: 1 Monkey (the Keeper), 2 Lions, 4 Elephants and 4 Horses. There is a special piece used in the game that represents the Ball.

The initial position of all pieces and the Ball is shown on the following picture (note two "goals" and two "goal areas"):

Object of the Game

The object of HanniBall is to shoot or bring the Ball into the opponent's "goal". If a player shoots or brings the Ball into his own "goal", he loses the game.

Play

White begins and players move in turn. Each turn a player is allowed to make up to 4 steps, which must lead to at least one change in the position. However, White on his first turn may make no more than 2 steps.

A step may be one of the following:

  • Moving a piece that does not control the Ball.
  • Moving a piece that controls the Ball together with the Ball.
  • Moving a piece (except for the Monkey) that controls the Ball and leaving the Ball behind.
  • Shooting the Ball (by a piece controlling the Ball).

The pieces move and shoot as follows:

  • The Horse moves as the knight in Chess, but may not jump to its target square if both intermediate squares are occupied by other pieces. A Horse shoots the Ball  to any diagonally or orthogonally adjacent square. Note that a knight's move is always possible between a cornersquare of the goal and the backrow of the field on that side (for instance b2 and d1), because there are no two intermediate squares beween these squares.
     
The highlighted Horse may move to any of the squares marked with yellow rings. The Horse cannot move to the upper right square marked with the red dot because both intermediate squares are occupied by other pieces.   The Horse may shoot the Ball to any of the marked squares.
  • The Elephant  moves to any diagonally or orthogonally adjacent square. An Elephant shoots the Ball  "knight's move" wise without any restrictions.
     
The Elephant may move to any of the marked squares.   The Elephant may shoot the Ball to any of the marked squares.
  • The Lion combines the options of Horse and Elephant, so it moves and shoots the Ball either way in any combination. Using the "knight's move" it may not jump if both intermediate squares are occupied.
     
The Lion may move to any of the marked squares.   The Lion may shoot the Ball to any of the marked squares.
  • The Monkey (Keeper) moves as a Lion, but it may not leave the "goal area" (except for the "goal" itself). A Monkey having the Ball cannot move leaving the Ball behind. A Monkey shoots the Ball in any straight direction up to five squares away. Direction and distance are the player's choice, but the Ball must land outside the "goal area".
     
The Monkey may move to any of the marked squares.   The Monkey may shoot the Ball to any of the marked squares. Note that the Monkey can only shoot the Ball outside of the "goal area".

A piece cannot move to a square occupied by a piece of the same player or by an opponent's piece that doesn't control the Ball. A piece can move to a square occupied by an opponent's piece controlling the Ball. In the latter case the opponent's piece is removed from the board and the player's piece takes control of the Ball.

     
The White Horse may capture the Black Elephant and take control of the Ball.   After the move.

When a piece moves to a square where the Ball is, the piece takes control of the Ball.

Note that if a piece controls the Ball, while still having two or more steps left in that turn, it may be able shoot the Ball to an opponent's piece and next capture that piece in the same turn!

Note also that the opponent's "goal" is a "safe zone"  for player's pieces, i.e. the opponent cannot capture player's pieces in his own "goal": a player would have to shoot the Ball into his own "goal" to do so, and thus lose the game.

When the Ball lands (after a shooting) on a square occupied by a Monkey (of either color) the Ball  "ricochets" off the Monkey in any straight direction up to five squares away, but not into the "goal" (though it may land in the "goal area"). Direction and distance are determined by the shooting player, whether the shot is directed at the player's own Monkey or the opponent's Monkey.

     
The White Lion may shoot the Ball to the square occupied by the Black Monkey.   The Ball "ricochets" to any of the marked squares (decided by the White player).

When the Ball  lands (after a shooting or after the "ricochet") on a square occupied by a piece of either color, other than a Monkey, the piece takes control of the Ball.

"Red Card" Situations

There are two situations in the game when a player is awarded with a "penalty kick":

  • when the opponent has committed obstruction, i.e. a situation, in which the player has at least one piece other than a Monkey, and not one of his pieces can reach the Ball in any number of moves.
 
If the Black player doesn't have any other pieces besides the Monkey and Horses then this position is a "red card" offence: no black Horse can reach the Ball in any number of moves.
  • when some opponent's pieces and the Ball has "clustered together", occupying more than 3 orthogonally adjacent squares:
       
This position is a "red card" offence because white pieces occupy 4 orthogonally adjacent squares.   This position is a "red card" offence because white pieces and the Ball occupy 4 orthogonally adjacent squares.   This position is not a "red card" offence because white pieces and the Ball occupy only 3 orthogonally adjacent squares. Note that the white Lion is not orthogonally adjacent and that the Ball and one of the White Horses occupy the same square.

Any of the mentioned situations is a "red card" offense against the rules. They are permitted but they award the player with a "penalty kick", i.e. the right to remove one of the opponent's fieldpieces on his move (so not the Monkey; the removal is counted as one step). If the situation is still in place at the beginning of the opponent's next turn, it is up to him to change the situation, or risk having yet another piece removed.

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