The “official” 4-player rule

After the “official” rule for 3 players, here is the “official” rule for 4 players, from the same board game box: Abalone+ multiplayers.

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THE 4-PLAYER GAME

This variant opposes two teams of two players. Each player has nine marbles, disposed as shown on the diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Any communication between players of the same team is strictly forbidden.

GOAL OF THE GAME

The goal of the game for each team is to push six marbles of the opposite team out of play, into the board’s outer rim. The ejected marble can belong to one opponent or the other.

THE MOVES

They are exactly the same as those of the 2-player rule. Each player can move in a same time 1, 2, or 3 of his marbles to a free point. All the directions are possible, forward, backward (“inline moves”), and even laterally (“side-step moves”).

You are not allowed to push more than 3 marbles of your colour in the same time. Marbles over 3 are not considered, so it is impossible to have Sumitos of 4 against 3, 5 against 2, etc. The maximum marbles of your colour which can be moved is 3.

THE PUSHING MOVES

You can push opponents’ marbles if you are in a Sumito position, as shown on the diagram 2:

Diagram 2

2 marbles of the same team can push 1 marble of the opponent team.

3 marbles of the same team can push 1 marble of the opponent team.

3 marbles of the same team can push 2 marbles of the opponent team.

To make a Sumito, to can count the marbles (1 or 2) of your partner, but the first marble has to belong to you. You can push 2 marbles of the opponent team regardless of their colour.

THE EJECTIONS

A marble is ejected when a push make it go out of the board by any of the 6 sides of the hexagon, as shown on the diagram 3:

Diagram 3

Please note that the first team who pushed off 6 marbles of the other team wins the game.

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The “official” 3-player rule

You probably will not find it in English on the Internet: here is the “official” rule of the 3-player abalone game, translated from two documents in French found in boxed sets.

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Doc. 1

THE 3-PLAYER GAME


“Official” starting position for 3 players

THE GOAL OF THE GAME

To push six marbles (in all) out of play, into the board’s outer rim. The ejected marble can belong to one opponent or the other.

THE MOVES

They are exactly the same as those of the 2-player rule. Each player can move in a same time 1, 2, or 3 of his marbles to a free point. All the directions are possible, forward, backward (“inline moves”), and even laterally (“side-step moves”).

You are not allowed to push more than 3 marbles of your colour in the same time. Marbles over 3 are not considered, so it is impossible to have Sumitos of 4 against 3, 5 against 2, etc. The maximum marbles of your colour which can be moved is 3.

THE PUSHING MOVES

You can push an opponent’s marbles if you are in a Sumito position:

  • 2 marbles can push 1 opponent marble:

3-p2

  • 3 marbles can push 1 opponent marble:

3-p3

  • 3 marbles can push 2 opponent marbles:

3-p4

But you can push your opponent’s marbles regardless of their colour. For example, with 3 of your marbles, you can push 2 marbles of the same opponent or 1 marble of each opponent (diagram).

THE EJECTIONS

A marble is ejected when a push make it go out of the board by any of the 6 sides of the hexagon.

3-p5

Please note that the first player who pushed off 6 marbles of his opponents wins the game which stops at this moment. The two remaining players do not continue the game, because the winner’s marbles are still on the board.

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Doc. 2

GAME VARIANT FOR THREE PLAYERS

 SET UP:

Each of the three players have 11 marbles of one colour, placed in 2 rows, symmetrically disposed on 3 of the 6 bases of the hexagonal board.


“Official” starting position for 3 players

 AIM:

Push the marbles of your opponents.

The game stops when one of the players succeeded in pushing off 6 opponent’s marbles of one or the other of his two opponents.

DEVELOPMENT AND PARTICULARITIES:

The players’ turns follow on clockwise.

A group of 3 marbles of the same colour can push 2 opponent marbles of different colours.

Every ejected marble is placed in front of the player who pushed it off in order to make the scoring easier.

Excepting these particularities, the other points of the rule stay the same as those for 2 players.

To increase and to balance the games, the players may agree to play it in 3 rounds, each begun by a different player.

The gaps between opponent marbles ejected and lost marbles of each player are noted in order to determine the winning player in case of a tie.

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In short:

The rules are the same as those of 2-player games, with these few exceptions:

– each player has only 11 marbles (see diagram above).

– with 3 marbles of their colour, a player can push 2 marbles of different colours.

– a player has to eject 6 opponent marbles, without distinction of colour.

Naturally, as always with abalone, you can adapt the rules as your fancy!

An Abalone game review, by Slouching towards Thatcham (reblog)

Read the complete post on Abalone game review — Slouching towards Thatcham

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Abstract (themeless) strategy games such as chess, draughts, Go and Reversi/Othello are among the most popular and enduring that people play. How does Abalone stack up against these? I was provided with a copy of this game for review purposes. The first thing you notice when you open Abalone’s eye-catching hexagonal box is how simple […]

I was provided with a copy of this game for review purposes.

The first thing you notice when you open Abalone’s eye-catching hexagonal box is how simple its contents are. Two pleasingly solid sets of 14 marbles – one black, one white – and a black hexagonal board. That’s it.

There are no convoluted rules to learn: it’s more like draughts than chess in this respect. The instruction booklet, such as it is, is just four pages long. From opening up the packaging, you can be all clued up and playing for the first time within five minutes.

The board itself initially seems light and plasticky but is actually strong and durable and stands up to repeated play. It comprises 61 holes that can hold individual marbles. A six-sided ‘moat’ runs around the outside, ready to catch any marbles that are pushed over the edge.

And that’s the aim of Abalone… [Read more on Abalone game review — Slouching towards Thatcham]

Mind Sports Olympiad: Abalone World Championship 2018 live stream

The 2018 Abalone World Championship took place in London on Monday, August 20. And the winner is…

The event is presented by Paco Garcia de la Banda and Steve Raine. Enjoy!

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Basic rules of an abalone tournament

An abalone tournament is played mostly with the same rules as casual abalone. It is also governed by the main rules and regulations used in a chess tournament for every possible dispute or situation one might come across during a game in a tournament. Simply understanding these basic rules is more than enough to confidently play in any tournament.

• When in doubt, ask!

Never hesitate to ask a tournament director to clarify any confusion you may have about the rules. If you and an opponent have a disagreement, stop the clocks, find a director, and ask them to make a ruling.

• If you touch a marble, you must move it.

This is known as the touch-move rule, and is often a source of difficulty for players new to tournaments. Of course this rule only applies if you can make a legal move with the marble you touched. There are some exceptions. If you accidentally brush a marble, you are not required to move it. If a marble is awkwardly placed, you can adjust it; like in chess, simply say “I adjust” before touching the marble to make it clear to your opponent that you don’t intend to move it. It goes without saying that you are not allowed to touch an opponent’s marble.

• When you make your move, you must not hide the move from your opponent.

When it is your turn to move, be careful not to hide the move from your opponent, even accidentally with your hand, especially when you play a side-step move. During all the game, your opponent must be able to see what you are doing on the board.

• Some tournaments require players to record their moves.

This helps provide evidence of what has occurred during the game in case of a dispute. In order to record your game, you will need to know or to learn how to read and write an abalone notation (in most cases Aba-Pro).

• Never interfere with a game in progress.

In most abalone tournaments, you will be able to walk around the playing area and watch other games, provided you do so quietly. Observers are forbidden from telling players anything about their games, even if they notice a violation of the rules.

• Turn off your cell phone.

In recent years, new rules have been written to deal with loud phones, which can break the concentration of abalone players. If your phone rings in the playing area, you will likely be subject to a penalty, and may even have to forfeit your game.

• Understand how to use a chess clock.

An abalone tournament is played with time limits, which vary by event. Time is kept by using a chess clock. Using these clocks can be distracting at first, but will soon become second nature. Most importantly, remember to hit your clock after each move you make. This stops your clock and starts your opponent’s time. Also, be sure to use the same hand to move your marbles and touch the clock.

• After the game is over, record your result.

Win, lose, or draw, both players are required to make sure the proper result is recorded. If you are not sure where to mark down your result, ask a director for help.

Now, good games, and have fun!

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Adapted for abalone from this article about chess: http://allyearchess.blogspot.fr/2011/04/basic-rules-of-tournament-chess.html