Uckers is a more interesting form of Ludo played in the Royal Navy (and apparently some non-British navies). Ludo is a children's game based upon the ancient Indian game of Pachisi. There are other Western versions of Pachisi such as Parchís from Spain, Parcheesi from the USA.
Uckers is played by four people with the players opposite each other partnering to form 2 teams. It is essentially Ludo with extended rules that make it a more absorbing and skilful game.
Uckers is played on a Ludo board but is played with two dice instead of one.
Players take turns in a clockwise order; the player with the highest throw of the two dice starts.
Each throw, the player decides which pieces to move. A piece simply moves in a clockwise direction around the track. There are 2 options:
If only one piece is left, then the total of both dice must be used, if possible. If the total cannot be used, then the largest number of the two dice must be used, if possible and the other dice throw is forfeited. If no piece can legally move, both dice throws are forfeited.
The only way for a player to move a piece from the starting circle onto the track is by throwing a 6. Whenever a 6 is thrown, the player has the option of moving a piece from the starting circle to the first square on the track instead of moving a piece already on the track. A double 6 can be used to start 2 pieces on the track.
A throw of a 6 or a double 6 gives one additional throw of both die. The additional throw happens even if the player cannot move with the 6. The only exception to this is that no additional throws are allowed when a player has just captured a blob (see below).
If the additional throw shows a 6 or a double 6, another additional throw is granted, and so on.
If a piece lands on an opponent's single piece, the piece jumped upon is returned to its starting circle.
If a player's piece lands on a square with one or more of their partner's pieces this is called a 'mixed blob'. If an opponent lands on a mixed blob, all the pieces are captured and returned to their starting circle.
If square containing one or more pieces of the same colour forms a barrier known as a 'blob'. By default a blob cannot be passed or landed on by an opponent but a blob does not block a partner's pieces.
A blob can be captured but only by following the proper series of events viz.:
A piece in a starting circle can challenge a blob on the adjacent starting square. However, an additional 6 is required. For example, to capture a blob consisting of three pieces from a starting circle would require a challenge followed by 4 more throws of 6.
A player cannot challenge a blob from a mixed blob.
Once a player has reached the home triangle with all 4 pieces, that player must then throw a six. Once a six has been thrown, from the next turn onwards, that player moves their partners pieces, if possible.
When a piece has circumnavigated the board, it proceeds up the home column. A piece can only be moved onto the home triangle by an exact throw.
The first team to move all 8 pieces into the home triangle wins.
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