Veletas

Overview
Veletas is an abstract board game for two players (Black and White) invented by Luis Bolaños Mures in 2013.

Material

Veletas is played on the spaces (squares) of a 10x10 checkered square board, which is initially empty. Apart from the board, the necessary material comprises seven neutral shooters and a sufficient number of black and white stones.

10x10 checkered square board

Definitions

A trapped shooter is a shooter that cannot make any legal move in the current position. To claim a shooter is to place a stone of your color on top of it.

A group is a set of one or more like-colored, orthogonally interconnected stones. The size of a group is the number of stones in it. Stones on top of shooters are not part of any groups.

Objective

The objective of the game is to claim the majority of shooters. To claim a shooter, you must have the largest group orthogonally adjacent to it when the shooter becomes trapped, as explained below.

Play

The first player begins by placing three shooters and one black stone on empty squares of the board. The second player then chooses which player will be Black and which will be White. Next, White places the remaining four shooters and one white stone on empty squares of the board. In both cases, no shooters can be placed on the perimeter of the board. This restriction does not apply to the rest of the game.

From then on, the players take turns, starting with Black. On your turn, perform the following actions in the stated order:

  1. Select an unclaimed shooter, i.e. a shooter with no stone on top of it.
  2. Optionally, move the selected shooter to an empty square in a straight orthogonal or diagonal line, without jumping over any stones along that line.
  3. Place a stone of your color on an empty square that is a straight orthogonal or diagonal line away from the selected shooter, with no stones in between along that line. This is called shooting. Note shooters can move and shoot over claimed or unclaimed shooters.
  4. Let every unclaimed trapped shooter be claimed by the player who owns the biggest group orthogonally adjacent to it. If there is no such group or the biggest such groups of each color are the same size, the shooter is claimed by your opponent. Claimed shooters remain unchanged for the rest of the game.

The game ends when a player has claimed the majority of shooters, i.e. at least four of them. That player wins. Draws are not possible.

White moves and shoots a stone.

Illegal: movements and shots from shooters cannot involve jumping over stones. Jumping over other shooters is fine.

Black claims the trapped shooter, as he owns the biggest group orthogonally adjacent to it. White’s group on the left is irrelevant because it is only diagonally adjacent to the shooter.

White has ended her turn trapping the shooter. The sizes of the biggest black and white groups orthogonally adjacent to the trapped shooter are tied, so the shooter is claimed by the opponent (Black in this case).

Smaller versions

For shorter but still reasonable games, the following variants are suggested:

  • 7x7 board with three shooters. The first player places one shooter, and White places the other two. Whoever claims two shooters wins.
  • 9x9 board with five shooters. The first player places two shooters, and White places the other three. Whoever claims three shooters wins.

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