Uknight is a unification game based on the hexagonal knight's move. By its nature it is a distant descendant of Lines of Action.

Play Uknight interactively


Material
A base-5, -6 or -7 hexhex board and a sufficient amount of red and white stones.

Definition
A group is a stone together with all like coloured stones that can be reached from it by taking single steps to cells sharing an edge and holding like coloured stones.

Rules
The diagram shows a board with three stones of each colour in their initial position. White starts and turns alternate. Using a turn fully, or partly, or not at all, is optional.

Phases
The game has two phases separated by the first simultaneous presence of a required number of axes on the board, regardless of who owns them:
  • 4 on a base-5 board of 61 cells
  • 6 on a base-6 board of 91 cells
  • 8 on a base-7 board of 127 cells

Before that point a turns consists of either the placement of a single stone OR the throwing of an axe. After reaching the required number of axes, throwing an axe is possible as always, but further placements are forbidden and a turn may now only be used to move a stone.

Uknight initial position On his turn a player may always:

  • Remove every isolated single stone of his own colour of which all cells at a knight's move distance are occupied by the opponent. This may be done in any turn, before any placement or movement or axe-throwing occurs.

In the first phase a player may:

  • Place a stone of his colour. The stone must be placed a knight's move away from at least one friendly stone.
    Example: A knight's move away from A1 we find D2, D3, C4 and B4.

Axes
If a stone is placed on a cell that is at a knight's move distance of at least three friendly stones, it gets an axe, indicated by a dot.

The move option in the second phase
If a placement results in the required number of axes appearing on the board, counting those of both players', then moving becomes the only alternative for throwing an axe and the opponent therefore has the first chance to use it.The second phase is permanent, regardless of axes that may appear or disappear afterwards. Placement is now illegal and next to throwing an axe or passing the players' only option is now to move a stone.

  • Players may move a stone of their own colour to a vacant cell at a knight's move distance. The stone may or may not hold an axe. If on arrival at its destination cell a stone without an axe finds itself at a knight's move distance of at least three friendly stones, then it gets an axe, just like a placed stone.

Throwing axes around
A player can always use a turn to throw an axe. An axe is thrown in a straight line in any of the six cardinal directions. On its departure cell a regular stone remains in place. The axe may pass over vacant cells and own stones alike and it must land on a vacant cell or on the first opponent's stone it encounters. If that stone doesn't have an axe, it is removed from the board and replaced by a stone of the axe-thrower. If it is a stone holding an axe, then it is removed from the board and replaced by a stone of the axe-thrower that is also holding an axe.

Goal
The first player who unites all his stones in one group wins the game.




How I invented ... Uknight


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