Linkage

Overview
Linkage is a two-player abstract board game invented by Ethan Larson (Almo) in 2007.

Board

Linkage is played on a 7x7 board with the center square blacked out.  There are 24 pieces, 6 of 4 different colors.  Each piece is a domino covering exactly two cells of the board.  The players share one set of pieces.

 


 

Objective

There are two players in the game: One player is called "More" and the other player is called "Fewer".

The goals of the game are opposite for the players.  "Fewer" wins a finished game if the number of distinct groups of cells of the same color is less than 12.  Otherwise "More" wins.

The "distinct group" is a group of horizontally or vertically (but not diagonally) connected cells of the same color.

Below is an example of a finished game:

There are 12 distinct groups. The "More" player wins.

Play

The game begins with an empty board.

Starting with "More", players take turns placing one piece per turn onto two unoccupied, adjacent cells of the board.

A piece may not be placed horizonally or vertically adjacent to the last piece placed by the opponent:

The last played piece is yellow.  The next piece
may not be placed covering any of the cells
marked with "x"
.

If a player's only available move is to place a piece adjacent to his opponent's last-played piece, then he skips his turn and his opponent may play again.  In this case, the opponent may play anywhere a piece fits, as there is no last-played piece from the first player to avoid.

The game ends when no further pieces can be placed on the board.

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