Mar 1, 2013


Colorito is a 19th century game. Boardgamegeek has the following description:

 Each player has 20 numbered pieces / counters of two colours (blue & red or brown & yellow), which are put on the two first rows of a 10×10 grid of octagons (topologically similar to squares, but without the diagonal adjacency). The fields of these rows are numbered from 1 - 20, so each counter has its definite starting place, making one complete row of either colour. The spaces of the central six rows are coloured according to the counters, either red, blue, yellow or brown, and build up a regular pattern. Counters can step one space, jump across one other piece (also more than once during a turn) when landing eventually on a space of its own colour or doing a step plus a jump move in this order in a turn. Aim of the game is to get the pieces on the opposite side onto the octagon with the corresponding number (similar to Salta, which maybe adopted this idea from Colorito). This game was one of the favourites of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, mentioned in several letters/diaries about 1915.

Fred Horn sent me photos of two of his sets:

(as usual, click to enlarge)

The rules, also from bgg:

There are three basic moves:

  1. the step, in which you can slide a counter in any direction into an adjacent octagon and stop there, provided that it is the same colour as the counter, or white (i.e. at the ends of the board);
  2. the jump, in which you can jump over any counters in any direction as long as the octagon you finally end up on is the same colour as the counter;
  3. the slide and jump, which combines both moves, meaning you can slide to any one adjacent octagon whatever the colour to start and then jump in the same move.
Although you are competing against another player, you are also partially dependent on each other, and game strategies are an interesting balance between exploiting your opponent for self-interest, and blocking your opponent. There are certain combinations of moves, particularly in the openings, which are optimal for a good middle game, and the end game also needs good planning to get the counters onto the right number octagon at the other end.
The winner is the one who has used least number of moves to get all his/her counters in the right places. Sometimes it is necessary to bring some counters out into the midfield again, in order to bring stragglers home.

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