|Epaminondas is a two-player board game invented by Robert Abbott in 1975.|
Epaminondas is played on a 14x12 board. A board with 8x8 squares can also be used for faster games.
There are two players: Light and Dark.
The initial position of the checkers is shown in the following picture:
The objective of Epaminondas is to have more of your checkers on your opponent's home row (last row from your perspective) than your opponent has his own checkers on your home row (the 1st row from your perspective) after the opponent's turn.
In other words moving a checker to the opponent's home row does not result in the immediate win: the opponent can move his own checker to the player's home row or capture one of the player's "intruders" and thus avoid losing the game by making the number of checkers on both home rows equal.
Players move alternately, starting from the player controlling the light checkers.
A player may move a single checker in any direction to an adjacent empty square (like king in Chess).
A player may also choose to move a phalanx: any number of player's checkers located on a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line with no empty spaces or enemy checkers between them. A phalanx may move any number of squares equal to or less than the number of checkers in the phalanx. All checkers in the phalanx may move in both directions along the line of the phalanx.
A phalanx may not move to or over squares occupied by other checkers of the same player.
A phalanx may not move over squares occupied by enemy checkers as well but the head checker of a phalanx may land on a square with an enemy checker if the length of the enemy phalanx formed by this and subsequent enemy checkers located on the same line is strictly smaller then the length of the moved player's phalanx. In this case this entire enemy phalanx is captured and removed from the board. Capture is not mandatory.
Below are several examples of legal and illegal phalanx movements:
To keep the game from ending in a draw due to copycat moves, there is an additional rule: no player may move a piece onto their opponent's home row if that move creates a pattern of left-to-right symmetry on the board.