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.