Friday, July 10, 2009

Senet 0.05

by Pedrocrespo

Senet, a board game from predynastic and ancient Egypt, is the oldest board game whose ancient existence has been confirmed, dating to circa 3500 BC. Soon you'll be able to play it in your Wii, and then you'll understand why Tutankhamen has two senet gameboards inside his tomb.

The objective in Senet is to remove your pieces from the board before your adversary do the same, following a few rules, advancing your own pieces and catching or blocking your adversary's ones.

It is a game for two opponents and consists of a board of three parallel rows with ten square squares each one and ten small pieces. Normally the pieces of both players were very different, being those of one of conical form and those of the other of carved cylindrical form.

The order of the squares is from the 1 to the 10 of left to right in the first row, from the 11 to the 20 of right to left in the second row and, from the 21 to the 30 of left to right in the third row, so at the start of the game, the first row must be full by the gamers' pieces, arranged alternatively (ABABABABAB). Several special squares exist that are the 15, 26, 27, 28 and 29 (these special squares can contain hieroglyphic drawings or symbols).

If a player falls in square 27 he must begin from square 15 as it happens in some squares of the 'Game of the Oca', but if square 15 were engaged, the piece that fell into square 27 must move to the nearest free square to square 1. Squares 26, 28, and 29 are squares where the pieces are protected.

Moving the piece out of the board (to a supposed square 31) is counted as a move.

Dices are not used to determine the advances of cards, but four small sticks with two white faces and the other two painted black: according to the faces that fall above watching, the moved one is decided; if a white falls above watching, a place moves, if two fall, move two, etc. If all falls mouth down, move six. It does not exist the 5 as a result of these small sticks. The faces counted are that are upwards.

Every time a player obtains like result 1, 3 or 6, he continues having game turn and, after moving the piece wanted or been able to move, he has another turn thus and until he scores 2 or 4.

When two pieces of the same player are in two consecutive squares any, they are protected mutually and they cannot be captured by the adversary; when they are three cards of the same player, instead of two, they form a barrier that the opponent cannot jump, but the barrier owner can jump.

The capture of a opposite piece consists of interchanging the position of this one by the one of the piece that captures, and only can be done when it is not protected and when the captured piece is in the last square of capturer piece movement.

When it is not possible to be advanced forwards (protected barrier or pieces) but moving backwards is possible, it is obligatory to do it backwards.

News Source (1)