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First Online on 2010/01/07
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Rules of the game Alea evangelii

Presentation and goal

Alea Evangelii, is part of the Tafl family of games, played in Northern Europe from around 400 AD
It is played on a 19x19 board. one us
The game is played on a 19x19 grid of points (or less commonly spaces), exactly like a Go board except for that the points marked are the center point and a square of four points at each corner (Here on the site, the background color of those squares are in a different color)
The diagram below shows the initial position of the attackers in black and defenders in white, with the king in the center marked by a bold cross.
The guards (mentioned by a light cross) occupy the four points non-diagonally adjacent to the king initially but are shown on the diagram otherwise as ordinary defenders.



The king, guards and defenders are controlled by the defending player, and the attackers are controlled by the attacking player.
The attacking player moves first and play then alternates with each player moving a single piece each turn.
If a player has no legal move, that player loses. Otherwise, the attacking player wins by capturing the king and the defending player by moving the king to any of the four "citadels",
i.e., any point within the marked squared square of four points at any corner of the board.

All pieces-- the king, guards, defenders and attackers alike-- move much like rooks in Chess.
Specifically, a piece may move any natural number of spaces horizontally or vertically (but not diagonally) in a uniformly straight line.
A piece may neither jump another piece (or empty point) nor occupy the same position as any other piece.
No piece other than the king-- whether attack, defender or guard-- can occupy or pass over the center position or any of the four points of the citadels, i.e., the square of four points marked at each corner.

Defenders and attackers-- but not the king or guards-- are captured and hence removed from play by ordinary custodial capture. Namely, if a player moves one of the pieces he controls into a position so that an opponent's piece is
horizontally or vertically (but not diagonally) immediately adjacent to the piece moved and another piece controlled by the player making the move is immediately
adjacent to the same enemy piece on the directly opposite side, again horizontally or vertically but not diagonally,
then the enemy piece is captured and removed from play. Multiple captures are made simultaneously if the situation applies on more than one side of the piece moved.
Neither piece involved in making the capture can be either a guard or the king.
Either player may use either the center position (if unoccupied) or one of the points of a citadel in lieu of a friendly piece in making a capture.

The guards cannot be captured and removed from play, but the attackers are free to immobilize any number of guards by blocking them on all sides so that they are unable to move.

Finally, the king is captured if he becomes immediately surrounded on all four sides (excluding diagonals) by attackers.
If the king is against the edge of the board, attackers need only occupy the three remaining points immediately adjacent to the king horizontally or vertically (again not diagonally).
The center point of a point of one of the citadels may also be used in lieu of an attacker in capturing the king.