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Running-fight games are board games that essentially combine the method of race games (such as backgammon or pachisi) and the goal of elimination-based games such as chess or draughts. Like race games, pieces are moved along linear tracks based on the fall of dice or other lots; but like chess, the object is to capture opponent pieces. They might be most easily conceptualized as race games with two main differences: First, when a piece lands on a space or point occupied by an opponent, instead of sending it back to the beginning to start over, the opponent piece is captured, permanently removed from the game. Second, there is typically no "end" to the track; pieces keep moving around their circuits, gradually capturing more and more enemy pieces. A player wins and ends the game by capturing the last of the opponent pieces.

Running-fight games are found almost exclusively in Islamic-influenced cultures, ranging from West Africa to India, often bearing the names Tâb, Sig, or variations thereof; in fact, the whole running-fight family is sometimes referred to as Tâb games. However, three European examples exist: Daldøs/Daldøsa (Danish/Norwegian), Sáhkku (Samit), and Að elta stelpur (Icelandic). Also in this group is the pre-Columbian Mesoamerican game known variously as Bul, Boolik, or Puluc.

The modern cross and circle game Headache is also a running-fight game.

ReferencesEdit

  • Bell, R(obert) C(harles). Board and Table Games [1]. Oxford University Press, 1960. rev. OUP, 1969. Board and Table Games 2. OUP, 1969. rpt. in 1 vol as Board and Table Games of Many Civilizations. Dover, 1979.
  • Depaulis, Thierry. “Jeux de parcours du monde arabo-musulman (Afrique du Nord et Proche-Orient)” in Board Games Studies no. 4. Leiden: CNWS Publications, 2001.
  • Michaelsen, Peter. “Daldøs, an almost forgotten dice board game” in Board Games Studies no. 4. Leiden: CNWS Publications, 2001.

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