A post by Fred Horn
Aug 10, 2015
A post by Fred Horn
A Checkers-like board game by Fred Horn © 1982
Game-Board & startsituation
36 Disks ; 18 Black and 18 White
= White starts, then Turns alternate.
= In his Turn a Player can either move or jump with 1 of his Disks (or “Sjek”s).
= Moving is always forward to one of the two adjacents crossings when these are empty.
= Jumping over an own Disk is too always forward to an empty crossing (direct behind
the own Disk) in the direction of the jump.
= Jumping over an opponents’ Disk to the next empty crossing can be done forward as
well as backwards and is obligatory when possible.
The opponents Disk is captured and removed from the Board.
= In a Turn, multiple jumps are not allowed.
= When the Player has more than one option to capture a Disk, he may choose which
one is for him the most valuable option.
= When a Disk reaches the last row of crossings it is promoted, by placing another Disk
of the same color on top, making it a “Sjek”.
= A “Sjek” can move in any direction in a straight line over empty crossings, to land
were it chooses, on an empty crossing.
It is not allowed to jump over an own Disk, only when the “SJEK” can act like a normal
Disk, thus jumping over an adjacent Disk and only forward to an empty crossing
= When a “Sjek” in his Turn jumps over 1 (and only 1) opponents’ Disk, this Disk is
captured and removed from the Board.
If such a jump is possible it is obligatory.
= Player who captures all opponants Disks WINS the game.
When neither Player can reach this goal the game is a Draw.
Variant Rules: Play the game using the ‘normal’ rules for Checkers.
A post by Fred Horn
A board-game by FRED HORN © 1991
Goal of the GAME:
To conquer with one CAMEL the opponents green home-field or to capture the four opponents CAMELS, which are able to conquer the home-field.
1 board consisting of two parts, each with 11x5 fields and two additional parts, one 11x1 fields and the other 11x2 fields.
Placing the animals: CAMELS and DROMEDARIES are placed conform the drawing, as are the ROCKS. Direction of play of a players animals is indicated through their placing on the fields. Opponent animals are facing each other.
The ROCKS are blockade pieces and do not move.
Before starting the game players decide on which board they will play.
The standard-size is 11x11. Use the two parts of 11x5 and in between the 11x1 part.
By choosing the 11x12 board, use the two parts of 11x5 and in between the 11x2 part. The 11x13 board can be made by using the two 11x5 parts and in between both additional parts.
Moving the ANIMALS:
The CAMELS walk 2 fields orthogonal and then 1 field diagonal in all directions.
The DROMEDARIES walk 2 fields diagonal and then 1 field orthogonal in all directions. Pieces on the board, animals and rocks, are obstacles that cannot be passed when moving an animal. Each field can only be occupied by 1 animal.
The youngest player starts by moving one animal, after which move his turn ends.
The other player then moves one of his animals after which move his turn ends .
Players then have alternating Turns and in their Turn move one of their own animals.
Capture: An opponents animal can be captured when the move with a players animal ends on a field occupied by an animal of the opponent. Player decide if he captures or not.
- When all four opponents CAMELS, which are able to reach players home-field, have been captured the game ends and the capturing player wins.
- Conquering the HOMEFIELD: When, at the end of a move with a CAMEL, this CAMEL reaches the opponents home-field the game ends and the player who succeeded this Goal wins double.
Aug 6, 2015
A post by Fred Horn
An abstract Board-Game for 2 Players from the late 19th Century
25 years ago, in 1990, I was asked by the Staff of “Slot Zuylen”, a Castle nearby the town of Utrecht, to come by to inventarize and sort out the contents of a coffer with old games, because they had heard about me as a “well known expert on games”.
The Castle had become a Museum focused on the family that had owned the place and this coffer was part of the former household and now in the Museum-collection. Everything in that coffer was mixed up – boxes, boards, pieces -, was a complete mess and the Staff had no idea what belonged to what and if the remnants were complete games.
Coming there they had already sorted out the Boards, thus I did start there with my investigation. A lot of the Boards belonged to (for me) known games like Chess; Dammen; Halma; Reversi etc., so I began trying to find the corresponding Game-pieces, gamerules, and if possible a (part of) box.
Puzzles –like a Tangram- and dexterity games –like Skittles- were also easy to sort out.
Then there was also a beautiful game: THE NEW GAME OF THE WASP from J. Jaques & Son from London which was easy to collect together, board and rules and metal bees and a wasp. Next to a Go-board, here obvious used for the game of Go-Moku (the Pieces were stored in a small box with that name!), there was also a Go-like-board with a design of a kind of bastion in the middle. Luckily the rules were there so I could trace the matching pieces for this game Fort Chitral. After some hours work I made a few notes, but unluckily I had no camera with me, so I could not take pictures. But I did write down the rules and the start for Fort Chitral.
Board and start position
Aim of the game
To occupy with 4 of your pieces the four squares of the Fort in the middle of the Board
- 36 identical Gamepieces in 2 colours (white and black), 18 of each colour.
- White starts than Turns alternate.
- In his Turn a Player moves one of his pieces.
The movement of a piece is for the most like that in the game of Halma:
or - 1 step to an adjacent empty square, horizontal; vertical; diagonal,
or - jumping over an adjacent own* piece when the square directly behind is empty
and multiple jumps are allowed, but not returning to the startposition.
- When an opponents piece is trapped between 2 enemy pieces (Custodian capture) it is captured and removed from the board. More than one capture in a Turn is possible.
- When a piece ends after an own move between 2 opponents pieces it is not captured and stays in play.
- The first Player occupying the Fort (the 4 squares) in the middle with 4 of his pieces, wins the game.
N.B. note from F.H.: A Player perhaps also loses the game when he has only 3 pieces in play / the opponent has reduced his amount of pieces to 3.
Aug 3, 2015
A post by Fred Horn
STRAAT, a one-time-game-idea by Fred Schuurhof
More about Fred Schuurhof (in Dutch): www.home.kpn.nl/schu3988/mobiel.html
In September 1984, returning from my Holiday, one of my colleagues from the “Organisatie-Bureau van de Gemeente Amsterdam” where I was working, attended me on an Exhibition of Games that would take place within a short time at a small Gallery in the Jordaan- the workingman’s living part of old-Amsterdam-.
Thinking I would like it he already had put my name on the list to be invited. Not long thereafter I did receive a postcard in which the Exhibition was announced:
It was held in the Gallery BINNEN –Eglantiersgracht 31- and it turned out to be an Exhibition of only 4 Games.
I was curious about them, because I had never heard of or seen these Games, so these games could be a nice addition to my Collection.
HOUTEBAL and CYCLO were not that interesting for me, but the other two: TANG and STRAAT were exactly “my cup of tea” +abstract/strategic games+.
In the end I did buy all 4 games and they are now in the collection at Brugge and documented at the Dutch website: www.hong.vlinden.com .
The complete story about TANG and the small firm COBRAIN (Jonathan Schouten & Paul Velleman) is something that will be told in the future, but during my research for that story I also tried to locate the small shop SPEEL that had published the game STRAAT.
But in the late 90th of the last Century the shop did not exist anymore and searching on the Internet was something you not even knew about!
When Rob van Linden put my information about these 4 games on HONG, he looked further and and found the name of the author of the Game: Fred Schuurhof .
With a website about his work as a photographer it was 1) easy to locate him and 2) to make contact to get more information about him; his game; his shop.!
Let’s see what Fred has to tell after he received my message:
“ What an extremely surprising message I did receive from you. Indeed an echo out of the past from a long time ago. Very curious to find out the game STRAAT still do have some place somewhere. For me it is hidden in a dusty corner of my memory, although in some closet in the house I still keep a tangible sample.
In the 80th I was very busy for some years to handle with a friend the firm Speel, a game-manufactory with at most its own hand-made products. This was some reaction on my not so concrete (in those days) job as a youth-worker.
It was an intense and creative period for a stimulating firm, but it failed in its business sense.
For years I was deeply involved with the board-game Carrom, a dexterity game from India (some kind of ‘poor-mans-billiard’) trying to give it more attention in the Netherlands, but at a certain moment I could not combine it anymore with my daily job.
Although bringing in heavy PR and a lot of time the Dutch were not interested in Carrom after all.
With the factory we made Carrom-boards, but I also organized tournaments, even international ones, with people from Germany, Switzerland, India and even Sri-Lanka; I looked after all the work in the association: secretary;handling the journal etc.etc..
When it became too much I quit, but the game itself is still my passion and with a small group of friends we still play the game!
In 1988 we closed the shop and the manufactory and up to my retirement, in 2012, I started to work as a photogrpher for the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.
Returning to STRAAT, this was an idea that came to my mind when the Gallery asked for something as part of their Exhibition on new games. To be fair, I did not play the game very much because it was hard for me to “image” both sides during play and lay down the pieces strategically. We did not produce the game in large amounts and as far as I remember it also sold poorly. At the end both the game and the firm Speel did die patiently.
Of course I do like the idea that somewhere the game is remembered, but for me it is something from the past and not a possibility for the future.
The game Straat was invented and submitted 30 years ago on the spur of the moment, but from that moment on I never looked after it. I think it still needs testing and developing, because it is a game asking for good memory and abstract-thinking to visualize and remember how the ‘lines’ go on both sides. For me it was (and is) too complicated.
When the game could be some inspiration for young inventors I will be more than satisfied.
I nearly forget to mention that this game is the only one we, the firm Speel, developed ourselves. At most we were busy manufacturing luxurieus, mostly wooden, designs of well-known board-games like backgammon; chess; halma; etc..
To end, I will mention the name of my friend and partner in business: Rob van der Wardt, still a good friend. “
So far for Fred Schuurhof as his story goes. But what IS the game?
Front side with removable transparent lid
This is the example of the game STRAAT that I bought at the Gallery BINNEN. Some time later I also bought a version, with blue in stead of black faces, at “de Bijenkorf” a large department-store in Amsterdam. Both are now in the Vlaams Spellen Archief in Brugge. F.H.
The Idea behind STRAAT, playing in your Turn on the visible side as well as on the other –not visible- side of the Board, was for the time innovative.
I still do not know many games that explore this principle.
After all these complains of Fred Schuurhof about his game the funny thing of it is:
I played the game very often especially with mathematical interested friends. But it still is an unknown game in the world of abstract/strategic-games.
The game is nowhere mentioned in works on “Connection-Games”, but this omission can now be rectified and corrected on behalf of this article!
One of the few other ‘games’ with a similar principle is Alex Randolphs’s FAX, but that is more a puzzle than a game.
The problem here is to solve the puzzle at both sides, one side a H, other side a U:
Gerhards Spiel& Design from Germany has published the game MOGULI from my friend Reinhold Wittig.
In this game you really play on both sides!:
And then there are all kind of games with magnetic devices and a hidden labyrinth underneath like GOBLIN’S GOLD from Jumbo.
But with STRAAT I can only say: “Small – 10x10 cm board- Material à Great Game”.
I do finish with a picture of the original Rules (in Dutch) of STRAAT:
Maybe someday we experience a Rivival of this most interesting Game.
Fred Horn, 18 August 2013
Translated Rules in English
STRAAT is a Puzzle-game for 2 Persons.
16 Square Pieces, each on 1 side half-Black/half-White and on the other side 8 total-Black and 8 total-White.
Play-frame of 4 x 4 Squares from transparent material (glass/perspex/etc.) .
Transparent lid to cover the Pieces after filling the frame.
One Player takes the 8 all-White- the other the 8 all-Black-Pieces.
White starts. In his Turn a Player lay down one of his Pieces to his wish anywhere on the Board, according to the grid. The orientation is up to the Player.
When all Pieces have been placed, each Player counts his Straten (Streets) :
–a connection of opposite edges with his color-
place the lid and turns the Board over and also counts his Straten on the back.
Player with highest sum WINS.
A post by Fred Horn
An unknown Abstract Boardgame from Sweden © Folke Eriksson 17/01/1966
When, more than 30 years ago, I did visit “Het Nederlandse Octrooibureau” (the Dutch Patent Office) in search for information on Dutch games that had been ‘geoctrooieerd’ (in some way like ‘patented’ in other countries)* I also found a Dutch Octrooi for a Swedish game:
Different from what is normal in a Dutch Octrooi not only “Industrial Handling” (How things can be manufactured and/or what kind of equipment must be used)* was described but also the Rules for the game had been recorded. This was due to the fact that it was translated from a Swedish Patent; filed Jan. 17, 1966, Ser.No. 521.003 for a: FOLDABLE GAME BOARD WITH GAME PIECE SEATING AND STORAGE MEANS.
This information comes from the registered Patent at the United States Patent Office where the game was accepted and patented on Aug. 19. 1969 under No. 3,462,150. I really have no idea if this game was ever published and brought on the market. But it has some nice features and it is a good game to play. But there was no name for the game. I gave it roughly the name of the authors’ home-town: TRANGALLA.
* In Holland the concept of “Patent” is not known. This is devided in two elements:
1) ‘Octrooi” for Industrial Handling and 2) ‘Auteursrecht’ for Ideas and Work of Art. To get an idea of what the game is, here is the accompanying drawing to the Patent, giving a picture of the board and the text of what really was patented:
“FOLDABLE GAME BOARD WITH GAME PIECE SEATING AND STORING MEANS”
Which game can be played with this apparatus is in fact secundary to the Patent, but not for us. We are interested in the game and luckely enough the Rules are part of the Patent-description:
Line 36: “The present game is played substantially according to the same rules as known games of the same kind. Assuming that the distinctive characteristics are the colours black and white, each of the two opponents, called Black and White, puts five pieces into the initial positions marked S 1…S 5 and V 1…V 5 respectively in the drawings.“
So far for the Patent-text.
To reach first the remotest position on the opponents half of the board with your King.
- Board, see Pict. 1.
- 10 Pieces, all-in the form of identical cylinders;
- 8 cylinders with a black bottom and a white upper face (soldiers);
- 1 cylinder with a black bottom and black upper face (black King),
- 1 cylinder with a white bottom and white upper face (white King).
- White takes the one complete white Piece (King)+ four other Pieces (soldiers); Black takes the one complete black Piece (King)+ four other Pieces (soldiers).White plays with the white sides up, Black with the black sides up.
- Without showing the opponent your King, each Player places his 5 Pieces at the initial positions described in the Patent-text line 36. That means on the 5 positions of the two lines closest to the Player, ignoring the goal-position. Player has to remember which Piece is his King!
- White begins than Turns alternate.
In his Turn a Player ‘moves’ one of his Pieces.
Each move may comprise a movement:
a) only 1 step forward or tranversely (but not backward) along marking lines to an
empty adjacent position.
b) a jump over a (own or opponents) Piece standing on an adjacent position, provided
that there is an empty position in alignment therebehind.
In this way it is possible in one and the same move to jump over several pieces in a
sequence in all directions (thus also backward) but it is not permissable to return to
the initial position of that move.
The opponents ‘ Pieces which are jumped over must be turned upside down so as
thus to increase the number of the jumpers’ own Pieces.
If the jumper jumps over the single-coloured King of the opponent this Piece is won
and must be removed from the board.
N.B. 1: The opponent may not for the purpose of delay repeat a move more than
N.B. 2: If a soldier reaches the target (goal-position) it is lost and must be removed
from the board.
If the Players both conquer the opponents’ King the game ends as a draw.
The first Player reaching the target (goal-position) wins the game.