Checkers: The Game that Spawned a Million Tournaments

Checkers is arguably one of the most well known board games of all times.  It’s been featured in countless movies and has been the subject of millions of tournaments hosted by international checkers associations.  You can hardly go for a walk through the park without seeing a pair of players ruminating over a checkers board.  But this timeless board game has reached international notoriety for two reasons: its simple rules and its endless strategies.  Even two players who know nothing about each other can connect over the mind sport that is checkers!

Jumpin’ Jumpin’

Checkers is played by two opponents who start out on opposite sides of the board.  The board is set up with dark and light checkered spaces, while each player plays with either light or dark pieces.  Only the dark checkered spaces are used in the game as players move their pieces across the board in an attempt to capture their opponent’s pieces.  Players are allowed to move one piece per round, either moving the piece diagonally into an unoccupied space or capturing the other player’s piece.  

To capture your opponent’s piece, you have to be able to jump diagonally over them.  You can’t jump over two pieces that are in a diagonal row, as there must be an empty space on the other side of the piece in order to make the jump.  However, you can jump over multiple pieces in one turn provided these are done in successive jumps.  Much of the fun of checkers comes with the zigzag moves where you sweep half the other player’s pieces off the board in one fell swoop (to their dismay).

King Me!

The simple setup of checkers makes it a bit more accessible to younger players than chess, although there is one thing that makes checkers more than just a game of jumping jacks.  If either player manages to get one of their pieces all the way to the opposite side of the board, their piece becomes a king.  Not only does this mean you get to stack a second piece on top of the first, but you also gain the ability to move your piece backwards and even capture pieces backwards.

Checkers In Different Countries

Many different countries have their own versions of checkers that add new rules and switch up the game board.  Because checkers is the American name for the English game of draughts, different versions of checkers are referred to as draughts.  

While American checkers takes place on an 8×8 game board, international draughts is played on a 10×10 board.  International draughts also allows kings to move more than one space at a time in one diagonal direction provided there are no pieces blocking the way.  Turkish draughts is unique in that it starts with the pieces placed one row forward, and also uses every space on the board instead of every other space.

Checkers Tournaments

Checkers has long been played in tournaments and championships ever since the World Championship was established in 1840.  These tournaments bring checkers players from all over the world to employ their own unique strategies to beat the competition.  Because checkers deals with abstract strategy, it can be as complicated or as easy as you want it to be.  Young kids will get just as much out of a game of checkers as the most advanced tournament player!

Checkers: The Ultimate Mind Sport

Checkers is a one-on-one game, so only two players can play it at a time.  However, if you have multiple checkers boards, you can easily play the game in rotating pairs to give everyone a chance to join in on the fun.  Playing time lasts around 30 minutes, so you have a decent amount of time to develop your winning strategy for capturing your opponent’s pieces.

Checkers is suitable for ages 6 and up, which makes it the perfect introductory game for kids.  With incredibly simple rules and endless possibilities, checkers is the kind of game you can play time and time again from childhood through old age.  There’s a reason it’s survived for hundreds of years, and chances are it will survive long after we’re gone.

 

Cribbage: The Classic Card Game

Cribbage is a card game that was invented almost four hundred years ago, but its classic wooden cribbage board is still spotted in countless cafés and parks across the world. Part of the charm of Cribbage comes from its quaint vocabulary describing all of the different moves you can make, such as “one for his nobs” and getting “stuck in the stink hole.” You’ll be sure to love watching the little pegs move along the board as you rack up points and get closer and closer to winning the game.

The Crib

Cribbage is played with a deck of standard playing cards as well as what’s called a cribbage board. Each player gets dealt a hand of six cards, two of which they then discard into a pile in the center of the table called a Crib. Players will then cut one card from the draw pile and turn it face up in between them. This card counts both as part of each player’s hand as well as the Crib.

Players will then go back and forth playing cards to try to make sets and sequences and earn points. Because you don’t know what the turn-up card will be until you’ve already discarded two of your cards to the Crib, you may find yourself parting with cards that you wish you’d held onto.Cribbage is very much a game of cat and mouse, as you’ll have to keep an eye on the cards you think your opponent has if you want a chance of setting a trap for them. 

Pegging Points

Players will keep score of their points by moving pegs along tracks on their cribbage board. Each round goes until both players have used their entire hand of cards. At the end of each round, players will pick up their hand and figure out each scoring combination they can use. Whichever player is designated the dealer that round also gets to use the cards in the Crib to help them earn additional points.

The winner of Cribbage is whichever player is the first to win 121 points. This can influence your decisions each round as to how long you decide to let the round go on for. For example, if you can tell the other player is racking up some serious points, you may want to play the hand tight in order to keep both of your overall scores low.

The cribbage board is one of the most unique elements of the game, as it adds a fun aesthetic component to it. Sure, you could just as easily score the game with a pencil and a sheet of paper, but a cribbage board imbues the card game with a sense of beauty. Moving the little pegs along the board is incredibly satisfying as you see yourself visually take the lead from your opponent.

Cribbage Spinoffs

There are a couple of spinoffs and expansions of Cribbage that make the card game even more complex. Wild: Cribbage Expansion adds a deck of 31 playing cards to the original game that you set beside the crib board. Whenever a player counts a multiple of five, they then get to draw a wild card and follow its instructions. This can lead you to do things re-cut the deck or land you in the stink hole.

Mastermind Ultimate Cribbage is a card game that adds six new types of cards to the original card deck. The rules are similar to the original card game, but the six special cards add new rules that can help or hinder you. For example, the Super Wild is a wild card that can be played as one face value during pegging and used as a different face value during counting.

Peg Your Points and Don’t Forget the Crib With Cribbage

Cribbage is playable by 2-4 players, although it’s typically best suited as a 2-person game. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, as its mechanics are not too complicated for younger players to learn. Playing time lasts around 30 minutes, so it’s the perfect game to play for fun at a coffee shop or in the park.

Dive into the fun of this classic card game and buy Cribbage today!

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Patchwork: Can You Put All the Pieces Together?

Tile-laying board games can be super fun for anyone who loves abstract strategy or puzzles. Patchwork gives you all of the fun of these classic board tile-laying board games wrapped up tightly in a big, snuggly quilt. The goal of Patchwork is to piece together the most finely crafted, tight-knit quilt possible in order to earn the highest amount of buttons and win the game. Do you have what it takes to put the pieces together?

Purchasing Patches

Players are each given their own 9×9 game board on which to patch together their quilt, laying the pieces down in whichever arrangement they choose. In order to earn more buttons, you’ll want to cover up as much of your board as possible by making sure the pieces fit snugly together.

At the beginning of the board game, players are given five buttons with which to purchase patches for their quilt. Players will lay out all of the patches in a circle in random order, then place a spool on a spot along the circle. Each turn gives you two options: either purchase one of the three patches located clockwise to the spool or pass.

Buying patches requires you to pay the cost in buttons as indicated on the patch. If you choose to buy a patch, you’ll move the spool to that patch’s location in the circle and add the patch to your board. Remember, you’re trying to fit the pieces together as tightly as possible, so be sure there’s room for it on your board before you fork over the buttons.

Time Tokens

The length of the game is measured using tokens on a time track. Once your turn is up, you’ll move your token along the time track however many spaces are indicated on the patch you purchased. If your time token is either behind the other player’s token or on top of it, then you get to go again. If your time token is in front of theirs, then it’s your opponent’s turn.

If you decide to pass instead of buying a patch, then you’ll move your time token to the space directly in front of your opponent’s. You’ll also earn one button for every space you moved. The time track also contains five 1×1 patches, which players can claim if they manage to get there before the other player. These are perfect for filling in holes on your board and boosting your points.

Players also have a chance to earn button income each time they pass a button on the time track. Each of your patches will indicate a certain number of buttons between zero and three. Once you’ve passed the button spot, you’ll add up all of the button income on your quilt and take it from the bank.

The game ends once both players reach the center of the time track. Players will then score one point for every button they have and lose two points for every empty square on their board. The player who collected the most points wins the game!

Patchwork Sequels

Patchwork comes with two sequel board games that take the original fun of Patchwork and morph it into something new. Patchwork Doodle is a roll-and-write version of the original game, allowing you to draw in the pieces of your quilt instead of laying the pieces. 

Patchwork Express takes the original game and brings it down to a smaller scale. With a 7×7 game board and larger pieces, this board game simplifies the original game and makes it perfect for players as young as six.

Become the Button Master with Patchwork

Patchwork is a two-person game, as it comes with only two playing boards. It’s perfect for one-on-one games between kids and adults. It’s also suitable for ages 8 and up, as younger players can easily pick up the rules without too much trouble. The great thing about Patchwork is that it’s easy to learn, but hard to master.

Playing time lasts between 15-30 minutes, so you can easily play a few rounds or just fit in a quick game before dinner. Buy Patchwork today and become the ultimate master of the buttons!

 

Tak: Born In Fantasy, Built In Reality

If you’ve ever read the fantasy book series The Kingkiller Chronicles, you’ve probably heard about the fantastic abstract board game Tak. While this game was not yet in existence when the author first wrote about it, it has since been turned into a popular and beautifully intricate board game that stands up to its initial conception. Tak uses stunningly carved wooden pieces and a 5×5 grid board to see who can outsmart the other player and be the first to build their road to the other side.

Born From the Kingkiller Chronicles

The concept for Tak was first created by author Pat Rothfuss in his book “The Wise Man’s Fear”, which was the first in The Kingkiller Chronicles series. In the book, the game of Tak is described as being the best sort of board game due to the fact that it’s simple in its rules, but complex in its strategy. This is certainly true in the real-life version of Tak, which was created in 2017 by James Ernest.

Ernest took the game as described in the book and created a beautiful and complex board game with minimal rules and two conditions of victory. Players will lay down pieces on a board in an effort to build a road connecting the two edges of the board. However, if no player successfully builds a road by the time they run out of pieces, then the player who controls the most spaces wins the game.

Building a Road

In order to build your road, you’ll play your pieces into empty spaces or move them around the board. You can place pieces flat to act as a part of your road, or you can place them on their sides to act as a wall. Wall pieces will not count towards your road, but they do allow you to block your opponent from moving their pieces around.

By laying down multiple flat pieces on top of each other, you can create what’s called a stack. Whoever has the piece on top is the person who gets to count that stack towards their road. However, players have the option of placing what’s called a Capstone on top of the stack, which keeps the other player from stacking any more pieces on top of it and claims it for yourself.

Breaking Down a Stack

One powerful move you have in the game is to break a stack down, which allows you to move the pieces across the board and leave them behind one by one. This can help you take control of several spaces at once, foiling your opponent’s plans and moving you one step forward towards building your road.

The Capstone pieces also have another unique ability in that you can use them to flatten a wall. Once you or your opponent have placed a wall on the board, you cannot flatten it without a Capstone. Each player only gets one Capstone in the whole game, so be sure to use it wisely!

One of the best parts of the board game Tak is that you can play it without the board to switch up the gameplay a bit. By drawing your own grid on a sheet of paper, you can play on boards as big as 8×8 or as small as 3×3 to make the game even easier or more complex.

Tak: A Board Game From The Pages of Fantasy

Tak is a 2-person game, so it’s perfect for couples or one-on-one game nights. The board game is suitable for ages 12 and up, as it is very easy to learn and complex enough to entertain adults. Playing time lasts around 20 minutes to an hour, which makes it a good game to play on weeknights or lazy Saturday mornings.

Tak is brought to life with the aesthetics of the beautifully carved pieces and shiny wooden game board. The tactical element of the game is enhanced by the fact that you can actually visualize the road you’re building materialize right in front of you. It’s not quite as complex as abstract strategy games like chess, but it offers enough opportunity for strategy to engage even the most advanced players.

Buy Tak today and enjoy the beautiful simplicity of this cutthroat board game!

Chess: The Original Game Of War

Chess is the kind of game that separates the men from the boys. While most board games try to ease in newer players as they learn the game, Chess throws you right into the center of the battlefield. Warring kings send their loyal subjects to capture the enemy’s forces and defeat their rivals in this classic yet enduring board game. The opportunity for endless strategies and maneuvers makes Chess the kind of game where no two plays are alike.

Moving the Pieces

As difficult as Chess is to master, it’s incredibly simple to learn. Each piece on the board has its own unique movement that it can use to traverse the board and capture your opponent’s pieces. While the pawns can only move forward one space (or two spaces on the first move), they can only attack diagonally. Bishops can move an unlimited number of diagonal spaces, while rooks can move an unlimited number of spaces left and right.

The knight can move in an L-shape of three spaces forward and then two spaces perpendicular, although you can aim the direction of their movement either forward, to the back, or to the side. The queen is the most powerful piece on the board, capable of moving an unlimited number of spaces in any one direction.

However, the whole game is centered around the king. Although the king can only move one space in any direction, he must be protected at all costs. If another player captures your king, it’s game over. Players typically call out “check” when they’re one move away from capturing their opponent’s king, and “checkmate” when victory is certain.

Chess Strategies

Chess is notable in that there are a number of popular strategies that you can employ to win the game. While new players can certainly play without a strategy, you’ll need to think several steps ahead in order to beat a more advanced player. There have been countless books devoted to chess strategies, laying out classic defensive and offensive strategies for opening the game and capturing your opponent’s king.

Chess is also played in championships all over the world, pitting players of various ranks against each other in an effort to win titles, fame, and fortune. However, you don’t have to be a Grandmaster to enjoy the thrill of Chess. This board game can be enjoyed just as easily by two friends in the park as it can by two masters in a heated championship.

Chess Spinoffs

There are countless spinoffs of Chess that add new elements to the game in order to make it even more chaotic and fun. Code Geass: Knightmare Chess uses two decks of cards in addition to a chessboard that allow you to bend the rules of the game with special abilities. Players will play a standard game of Chess while also drawing and playing cards from the deck, giving you increased opportunities to thwart your opponent and get the upper hand.

Devil’s Chess is another spinoff card game that adds a deck of cards to your typical chessboard. It’s marketed as bringing Chess out of the 6th century and into the 21st by adding modern-day mechanics to this classic game. Players will draw playable cards throughout the game as well as Rule cards, which add special conditions that can mess up your game. It also adds new conditions for winning that can allow you to sneak a victory without taking your opponent’s king.

Take a Dive Into the Classic World of Chess

Chess is a 2-person game, pitting the minds of two players against each other in an incredibly intimate and competitive setting. It’s suitable for ages 6 and up, as younger players can easily understand the mechanics. In fact, younger players are often the ones who become the most adept at the game as they quickly learn new strategies and develop into Chess prodigies.

The playing time for Chess really depends on the expertise of the people playing the game. It can end within minutes if you make a sudden wrong move, but it’s also been known to go on for hours with more advanced players. Buy Chess today and put your mind to the ultimate test!

 

Only Logic Can Crack The Code With Mastermind

Do you love using your skills of deduction to crack codes and solve puzzles? If so, you’ll love Mastermind, a code-breaking game developed by Israeli telecommunications expert and postmaster Mordecai Meirowitz. Meirowitz invented the game Mastermind based off of the pencil and paper game called Bulls and Cows, putting a unique spin on it and swapping out the pencil and paper for colorful plastic pieces. Mastermind is a game of logic and deduction, where players must alternately make and break codes in an attempt to prove who’s the true mastermind.

Codemaker Vs. Codebreaker

In this two-player game, each round will have one player taking on the role of codemaker while the other becomes the codebreaker. The codemaker must secretly place four different colored pegs behind a secret screen on the game board, while the codebreaker is allowed to make several guesses as to which pegs are located where. The codemaker wins points for every guess the codebreaker makes until they either crack the code or run out of turns.

Winning a round requires more than just a lucky guess, however. Codebreakers will have to build upon the information gleaned from their previous guesses in order to figure out the right combination of colored pegs. Every time the codebreaker makes a guess, the codemaker will give them feedback as to which part of their guess is correct. You may have all the right pegs in all the right places, but are they all the right color, too? Only the smartest brain can crack the code fast enough to win the game.

Pieces Of The Game

Mastermind was inspired from the paper and pencil game Bulls and Crows, but the cool little game pieces are what make it truly a standout game. Players will use a cutely designed decoding board to make their guesses, which is set up with cool little rows to place the pegs and view previous guesses. The hidden compartment visible only to the codemaker is a neat little addition that adds to the secrecy of the game.

The colored pegs are also fun to play with, as they make quite a colorful sight when you arrange them across the board. The code pegs come in six different bright colors with round heads, while the smaller key pegs come in black and white with flat heads. One of the most unique elements of Mastermind is that, since you communicate solely through pegs, you don’t even need to speak the same language to play the game!

Mastermind Variations

Mastermind was released in 1972, and since then there have been several different variations that expand upon the simple peg-based game. Royale Mastermind reduces the amount of holes per row to only three instead of four, but adds five differently shaped pegs to make the game even more advanced. Mastermind44 also expands upon the initial game by allowing four players to enjoy it instead of two players.

Word Mastermind combines the logical deduction of Mastermind with the wordplay of Scrabble by forcing you to come up with four letter words for the other player to guess. There’s even a Walt Disney Mastermind that uses your favorite beloved Disney characters instead of colors!

Mastermind: Some Codes Were Made To Be Broken

Mastermind is a two-player game, although the 20-minute playing time means that you can easily pass it around and give everyone a chance to play. Players will decide how many rounds they want to play in advance, so the game really can last as short or as long as you want it to. Mastermind is also suitable for ages 8 and up, so if you’re looking for a game that allows kids to play around with the concept of logic and deduction, Mastermind is the perfect introduction.

Mastermind is a simple game with a very simple premise, although the competitive nature of the game can make for some pretty high stakes. There’s nothing like pulling out the decoding board and lining up the pegs to settle a score on who’s got the higher IQ. If a battle of the minds sounds like your idea of a good time, Mastermind is the game for you!

Set your code and let’s get cracking!

 

KeyForge: Card Game Of The Gods

Nothing is more motivating than the ever-present thirst for knowledge and power. In the world within KeyForge, power is nothing without knowledge, and you’ll have to fight tooth and nail to access the hidden secrets in the Vaults. A strong heart and a diligent mind are required to find the right combination of cards to grow your stores of Amber while also fighting your enemies. With thrilling battles and a beautifully realized fantasy world, KeyForge is a card game with plenty of imagination.

The World Of The Crucible

KeyForge is set in the world of the Crucible, which was artificially built by the god-like Archons. These powerful beings forged the Crucible from the pieces of countless planets, and are in constant battle with each other in the pursuit of knowledge of their origins. KeyForge is a race between different factions of Archons to be the first to collect three keys and gain the invaluable knowledge and power locked away within the Vaults of the Crucible.

Archon Decks

KeyForge is the first unique deck game in that it is sold in individual decks, each with their own random selection of 37 cards. Unlike most deck-building games, each KeyForge deck is designed to be unchangeable and played right out of the box. One of the best parts of KeyForge is the fact that each deck comes with its own name, which includes such gems as “The Boy Who Basically Head-butts Heaven.”

You won’t need to worry about shelling out countless dollars to collect different decks, but can enjoy the knowledge that you’re the only person out there with that exact combination of cards! This can create a fun challenge that forces you to make the most of the cards you’re dealt, finding the winning combination to push you forward into victory.

Declaring Houses And Collecting Amber

Gameplay involves two players each using their own deck of cards to play different creatures, actions, upgrades, and artifacts. Every card in KeyForge is associated with a specific House, and each deck comes with cards from three different Houses. At the beginning of each turn, you’ll have to declare which House you’re playing from. You can then play as many or as few cards as you like from that House during your turn. The potential to play multiple cards at once can help make for some pretty eventful turns where you can savage the competition.

You’ll have to collect enough Amber in order to forge your three keys and unlock the Vaults. Certain creatures can provide you with Amber and can also be used to fight the competition. You’ll have to balance your efforts to collect Amber with your battle tactics in order to defend yourself long enough to win the game.

KeyForge Expansion Sets

KeyForge releases new cards regularly through their expansion sets, which add new Houses to the mix that provide for even more card combinations. The original set, KeyForge: Call of the Archons, comes with two starter decks and two unique Archon Decks for a total of 370 cards. Later expansion sets such as Age of Ascension or Worlds Collide add over 200 new cards each, while also throwing in new Houses such as Saurian Republic or Grand Star Alliance to make gameplay even more exciting.

Answer The Call Of The Archons With KeyForge

KeyForge is a 2-player game, so it’s definitely more suited for one-on-one situations than it is for a family game night. Fans of Magic the Gathering or other fantasy will love the creativity and potential for complex strategy building that KeyForge allows. Newcomers to card games will also enjoy the fact that they won’t have to invest a lot of time and money into building their deck—all you need is a starter deck and you’re ready to play!

Playing time lasts around 15-45 minutes, but turns go very quickly thanks to the potential for playing many cards at once. Players will love the fast-paced back and forth as they’re forced to strategize on the spot and outmaneuver their opponent’s every move. KeyForge is also suitable for ages 14 and up, so young adults will especially enjoy the fantastical world within the game.

Gain the knowledge and power to make you victorious!

 

Fog of Love: Lose Yourself with Someone

Every day people meet, fall in love, and enter into the hard work of making their relationship last. Any lovebirds looking to play a fun game full of love and optimism need look no further than Fog of Love. Playing Fog of Love is like being the romantic leads in your very own rom-com, dealing with all of the ups and downs of making love work. Similar to the real world, Fog of Love forces you to follow your own dreams while trying to do the best you can for your partner. Will you make it through with your relationship intact?

Creating Your Character

Fog of Love begins with the two players choosing a scenario, which consists of several fun scenes that your characters will have to work through in their efforts to find happiness and true love. Once the board has been set, each player will create their own character by drawing different cards. Trait cards will determine different aspects of your personality—are you cocky or sensitive? Are you an extrovert? Whatever you draw, you’ll keep these to yourself throughout the game.

Players will then draw occupation cards to determine their career, which they’ll reveal at the same time. Not everyone can have the romantic job of bookstore owner—you may have to settle for a boring banker or disgruntled parking attendant. Players will then draw feature cards, which they’ll assign to the other character. These represent what drew you to your partner, whether it was their cute little glasses or intriguing scar.

Role Playing

Some of the most memorable moments from Fog of Love come from the wild things you come up with during the role-playing portion of the game. Once you’ve created your character, you’ll then be given a chance to role-play that character by introducing yourself to the other person. Feel free to be as imaginative as you can without revealing the secret traits that drive you!

Final Destiny

Fog of Love is notable in that the end of the game may result in one, both, or neither players winning the game. Players will have to draw different scene and destiny cards that will determine whether or not their relationship will make the final cut. Scene cards will represent different crazy situations the two lovebirds find themselves in during the game, while destiny cards will represent the end of game goals you’re shooting for. These goals usually involve achieving a specific level of happiness, getting your personality dimension to a certain score, and whether or not you ultimately want to stay together or break up.

Fog Of Love Expansions

Fog of Love has a number of meet-cutes and hijinks that your pair of lovers can get into throughout the course of the game, and the expansions only add to the crazy factor. With the It Will Never Last expansion, you’ll deal with 24 new feature cards that make your characters even less compatible than they already were. The Paranormal Romance adds 24 new occupation cards to be used in any story, while the Trouble With The In-Laws expansion throws a new wrench in the mix as you have to appease your partner AND your parents!

Can You Withstand The Fog Of Love?

Fog of Love is a 2-player game, usually best suited for couples. However, friends can easily find joy in the premise and in the fun role-playing aspects of the game. Fog of Love is suitable for ages 17 and up, mostly due to the adult situations that these characters find themselves in time and time again. Playing time also lasts between one to two hours, so it’s the perfect game for an anniversary or a romantic night in.

If you’re a die-hard fan of romantic comedies, you’ll love the cute scenarios and wild romance you’ll find in Fog of Love. One of the best parts of the game is the way it gives you the opportunity to role-play a completely different person than you are in real life. Even the best boyfriend in the world may find his character tasked with the secret agenda of being a ruthless heartbreaker! With Fog of Love, anything is possible.

Pucker up to the possibilities!

 

Hive: It’s Queen Bee vs. Queen Bee

Chess is a time-honored classic that pits two players against each other as they strategically move pieces around a game board in order to capture the other side’s King.  The game of Hive turns chess on its head, getting rid of the game board and replacing the pawns and rooks with spiders and beetles.  Hive lets your build the game board yourself as you deftly place these hexagonally shaped bugs in an attempt to capture the powerful Queen Bee of your rival hive. 

Insects of the Hive

There are 22 total pieces in the game, so each player gets 11 pieces for their hive.  Each of the pieces contains a colorful insect carved onto a shiny black or white hexagonal tile. Unlike a traditional beehive, both hives in this game are populated with additional insects that defend the Queen Bee and attempt to trap the other player’s Queen Bee.  Each player gets one yellow Queen Bee piece, which can only move one space at a time.

Players also get two brown Spiders pieces and two purple Beetles pieces.  While Beetles can only move one space at a time, they can climb over other pieces and prevent them from moving.  The Spider, on the other hand, can move three spaces around the outside of the layout, which tends to be more useful early on in gameplay rather than later.

The three green Grasshopper pieces can jump over pieces in a straight line, while the three blue soldier ants can move as many pieces as it likes around the edge of the hive.  Each insect must be deployed to either protect the Queen Bee or surround the other player’s Queen Bee.

Capturing the Queen

Players take turns setting down their pieces and forming patterns, allowing them to play their pieces however they see fit.  The Queen Bee piece must be played within the first four turns of the game, which gives each player a limited amount of time to develop their opening strategy.  Every turn after that forces you to decide between putting another piece on the game board or moving one of your current pieces.

The publisher recommends a couple of opening strategies, although potential strategies are limitless.  One recommended strategy is to place a Spider, Bee, and Ant in a V formation, allowing the Ant to protect the Bee while the Bee is free to roam.  Another strategy is to form a V with two Spiders and a Bee, giving you the freedom to move quickly to block your opponent.  Once a Queen Bee has been surrounded on 6 sides by the other player’s pieces, the game is over.

Hive Expansions

Several expansions to Hive have been released that add new pieces with their own unique moves.  The Mosquito piece can be used as a wild card, taking on the movement of whichever piece it currently touches.  The Ladybug expansion released in 2010 and Pillbug expansion in 2013 create additional offensive and defensive opportunities that can allow you to pick up other bugs or rescue your ailing Queen Bee.    Because the original gameplay of Hive is only 20 minutes, these expansions can extend playtime and make Hive last almost as long as a chess game.

Build the Hive and Capture the Queen

If you’re looking for something a little more kid-friendly than chess, Hive is the perfect option.  It’s just simple enough that kids can enjoy it while still allowing for adults to enjoy a more complex game.  The beautiful wooden hexagonal tiles are also one of the biggest standout elements of the game, creating a visually stunning board as the game goes along.

Similarly to chess, Hive is designed for only two players.  While this is not the game for family game nights or group hangouts, it’s an excellent game for couples or lighthearted tournaments.  Hive is suitable for ages 9 and up, so two kids squaring off can have just as much fun as a parent and child can.  The more you play Hive, the more you’ll begin to uncover the numerous strategies and methods you can employ to win the game and avoid the dreaded stalemate.

 

 

How to Play Hive

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