Nine Man Morris
Nine Man Morris is played by two players who take turns. The players start with nine different coloured pieces each.
There are 3 phases to the game.
Players take turns placing their pieces. If a player is able to form a row of three pieces along one of the board's lines, he/she has a "mill" and may remove one of his opponent's pieces from the board; removed pieces may not be placed again. Players must remove any other pieces first before removing a piece from a formed mill. In the opening, it is possible to form two mills by placing a single piece. The player still gets to take only one of the opponent's pieces.
At the beginning of the game, it is more important to place pieces in versatile locations rather than to try to form mills immediately and make the mistake of concentrating one's pieces in one area of the board.
Once all eighteen pieces have been placed, players now move their pieces. A piece can be moved from one circle to another along the lines. Pieces can never be placed or moved to a slot that is already occupied.
Whenever a player forms a mill (three in a row), they can take any opponent's piece that doesn't belong to a mill. If all of the opponent's pieces are inside some mill then an exception is made and the player can take any piece.
The game is won by bringing the opponent to a position where they cannot move, or by reducing them to only two pieces.
Once a player is reduced to three pieces, his pieces may "fly", "hop" or "jump" to any empty intersections, not only adjacent ones.
Nine Men's Morris is played all over the world and it's known under many different names and spellings: 9 Men's Morris, Nine Man Morris, Mill, Mills, Merels, Merelles, Mérelles, Merrills, Mühle, Muehle, Mühlespiel, Molenspel, Jeu de Moulin...
The game's origin is uncertain. It has been speculated that its name may be related to Morris dances, and hence to Moorish, but according to Daniel King, "the word 'morris' has nothing to do with the old English dance of the same name. It comes from the Latin word merellus, which means a counter or gaming piece." King also notes that the game was popular among Roman soldiers.
In some European countries, the design of the board was given special significance as a symbol of protection from evil, and "to the ancient Celts, the Morris Square was sacred: at the centre lay the holy Mill or Cauldron, a symbol of regeneration; and emanating out from it, the four cardinal directions, the four elements and the four winds."
HOW TO PLAY
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Play 'Nine Man Morris'