Twelve Men's Morris

Traditional

Players
2
Age
5+
Time
10+
# Nine men's morris
# Mill game
# Placement
# three in a row
# Capture
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How to set-up

1. Twelve Men’s Morris is played on a board consisting of 3 nested squares with points at the corners and in the middle of each side of the squares. Lines indicate permitted moves.

2. Each player selects 12 BEADs the colour of their choice. All BEADs start off the board.

3. Players decide who begins the game by rolling a die.

How to play

1. In the first phase of the game, players take turns to place a BEAD on an empty intersection, trying to form mills; 3 of their BEADs in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row, following the lines on the board.

2. When a player forms a mill, they can remove any of their opponent's BEADs except a BEAD already in a mill. If the opponent only has BEADs in mills, these can be taken.

3. Once a BEAD has been removed, from the board, it cannot be replayed.

4. The second phase begins when all the BEADs have been placed on the board. Players take turns to move their BEADs to an adjacent empty intersection, along the play lines indicated trying to form mills.

5. If a player is reduced to just 4 BEADs, they can move the BEAD to anywhere on the board when it is their turn.

How to win

1. To win the game a player must reduce their opponent to 2 BEADs.

2. If the first phase of the game is completed without a single mill or the board is gridlocked and neither player will be able to make a move, the game is a draw.

History

1. Eleven and twelve men's morris were developed from the more widely known game of nine men's morris. The board was modified by adding diagonal lines, joining the concentric squares at their corners. In early forms of the game, the diagonal lines were for movement only, but in the modern form, it is permissible to form mills upon them.

2. Twelve men's morris was the game taken to New England by the first settlers in the 17th century. It is actually possible to achieve gridlock during the placement phase of this game, where the 24 men exactly fill the 24 points - if nobody has made a mill then the pieces may not move and the game is draw.