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Category Board, Space, Territory


Lava is a territorial stacking game invented by Alek Erickson and Michael Amundsen in August 2021.


Lava is a territorial stacking game for two players, Red and Black. Play using a Hexhex board size 4 or 5, and a sufficient supply of Red/Black stacking checkers. To setup, place one Red and one Black checker in opposite corners of the hex hex board.

Stack: One or more checkers occupying the same cell.
Control: You control a stack if your color is on top of it.

Players take turns, with Black moving first.

Each turn, take N checkers (where N is any number from 1 to stack size) from the top of a stack you control and move them N spaces in a straight line to a destination containing N or less checkers. Then, add a new checker of your color to the destination. Stacks may not jump over enemies, but may land on enemy or friendly stacks, thereby burying them.

If you at any point cannot make a move, you must pass. This does not end the game, only your turn.

When the board is full, the player controlling more stacks wins the game.


Alek Erickson and Michael Amundsen

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lkjh Maastricht University Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE), Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN Maastricht, Netherlands Funded by a €2m ERC Consolidator Grant (#771292) from the European Research Council