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Mweiso (Ruweisho, Bahendagabo)DLP Game   

Leaderboard

Period Modern, 1900s

Region Eastern Africa

Category Board, Sow, Four rows

Description

Mweiso is a four-row mancala-style board game commonly played in the Kagera province of Tanzania.

Rules

4x8 board. Two counters in each hole. Opening play: Two players play simultaneously, lifting and sowing counters from their outer rows. Rules for sowing and capturing are the same as in the main phase of the game. Sowing cannot begin from the fourth or fifth hole from the left in the player's outer hole. Players play until both drop the final counter in an empty hole, the first to do so plays first in the main phase. Players then move alternately. Main phase: Play begins from any hole on the player's side of the board with counters in it. Singletons cannot move. Sowing happens in an anti-clockwise direction. If the last counter lands in an empty hole, the turn is over. For capturing: Holes are in 'opposition' when one player has the front row hole occupied and the opponent has both of the holes opposite it occupied. If the last hole in a sowing is in opposition, the player takes the counters in both of the opponent's holes and places them in the empty hole from which the player lifted the counters. The player then sows the captured counters from this hole. Further captures in the sowing can occur in the same way. However, each player has two hole from which clockwise plays can be made: the leftmost hole in the outer row and the second from the left in the inner row. Clockwise moves can only be made from these holes if they immediately lead to a capture. When the captured counters are sown, starting from the same hole, they can also be sown clockwise if they lead to a capture. If they cannot lead to a capture, they are sown anti-clockwise. Another alternative the player has is that, if the player plays clockwise from one of these holes and therefore makes a capture, the captured counters may be placed in the hole and left there, and the player may play instead from the other hole from which clockwise captures are allowed in a clockwise direction, if it leads to a capture. The player may continue playing from this hole as above until the possibilities to move are exhausted, and then may move from any hole in an anti-clockwise direction. Multiple captures can only be made in a clockwise direction from these holes if it is made on the first sowing of the turn. Otherwise, only one clockwise capture can be made and sowing must proceed in an anti-clockwise direction. If the last counter lands on a hole that is occupied but not in opposition, these counters are picked up and sowing continues. Play ends when one player captures all the opponent's counters or one player cannot play. The player who cannot play loses. A player may also win by capturing the counters from both of the opponent's end holes in the inner row in a single turn.

Murray 1951: 217.

Origin

African Great Lakes

Ludeme Description

Mweiso.lud

Concepts

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Evidence Map

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Sources

Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Identifiers

DLP.Games.242

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