Lines of Action

Overview
Lines of Action is a two-player abstract strategy board game invented by Claude Soucie.

Board

Lines of Action is played on an 8x8 board.  There are two players: White (light color) and Black (dark color).  Each player has 12 checkers.

The initial position of Lines of Action is shown in the following picture:

 

Objective

The goal of the game is to bring all of your own checkers together into a connected group.  Checkers are considered to be a part of a connected group if there is a chain of checkers of the same color connected vertically, horizontally or diagonally between every two checkers found in the group.

Play

Players move alternately, starting with Black.

A player can move any of his checkers horizontally, vertically, or diagonally exactly as many cells as there are checkers (both the player's and the opponent's) on the line in which it is moving.

Checkers can jump over other checkers of the same player, but not over the opponent's checkers.

Checkers can land on an unoccupied square or a square occupied by an opponent's checker.  In the latter case the opponent's checker is considered to be captured and is removed from the board.

Below are several examples of moves:

White can move the highlighted checker exactly two cells to the right because there are exactly two checkers in the same line. White can move the highlighted checker in the specified direction exactly three cells because there are exactly three checkers in the same line (two whites and one black).  Note that the white checker can jump over another white checker. Black cannot move the highlighted checker in the specified direction.  The reason is that there are three checkers in this line (two blacks and one white) but moving exactly three cells requires jumping over the opponent's (white) checker. Such moves are forbidden.

End of Game

The game ends when one of the players brings all of his checkers into a connected group.  Please note that capturing an opponent's checker can help him form a connected group of his checkers.  Below are several examples of final moves:

By moving the highlighted checker White bring all of his checkers into a connected group and wins the game.  The "connected group" means that all of the white checkers are connected to each other either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. This is an example of "suicide" move for Black.  By moving the higlighted checker Black captures a white checker and help White to win the game since the remaining white checkers form a connected group. By moving the highlighted checker Black does two things simultaneously: bring all of his checkers into a connected group and capture the white checker forcing the remaining white checkers to form a connected group too. This is a special situation that is considered to be a win for the player making such a move, i.e. Black wins in this example.

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