| © 2004,|
|8 holes per row|
Afrika (German for: "Africa") was designed on March 2, 2004, by Ralf Gering in Bad Breisig, Germany. The game was added to Super Duper Games on November 2, 2006.
Afrika has several unusual features:
- capturing is compulsory
- capturing is considered a complete move
- capturing occurs when you have an empty hole
Afrika is played on a board with 2x8=16 holes. Initially, there are 8 stones (the author takes black Go stones) in each hole.
Play is counterclockwise and single-lap.
If you have no empty holes which are opposite to a non-empty hole of your opponent, you distribute the contents of one of your holes, one by one, into the following holes. If there are enough stones, the starting hole is skipped. Then your turn ends without anything being captured.
If you have an empty hole which is opposite to a non-empty hole of your opponent, you must capture its contents. If more than one capture is possible, you can capture the contents of only one hole per move. You must capture the hole which contains the smallest number of stones, but if there are several holes with the same minimum number, you decide which contents you take first. If you can capture, you must capture. You may not distribute the contents of a hole and capture in the same turn.
The game ends when the board is empty. At Super Duper Games the game ends when one player has reached 65 points, but this is not an official rule.
The player gaining the largest number of stones is accounted the winner.
Several strategies are known:
- Sacrifices and forced moves are crucial for winning the game. Often players try to keep "sente" (a term borrowed from the Japanese game of go) by sacrificing the contents of at least two holes by winning a larger number of stones from just one hole.
- In the opening the second player must play very carefull until he emptied each of his holes at least once. Otherwise the first player might be able to set up an advantageous 1 to 2 exchange and keep sente.
- At the end of the game players try to move as many of his stones into the opponent's camp so that they can be attacked by him.
A statistical analysis of the game has been conducted by its designer.
- The game has a slight first move advantage (53%). Although a draw is possible, not one was observed. The rate of draws must be less than 3%.
- The first move appears to be about 2.5 points worth (i.e. the first player should make at least 67 points to win by half a point).
- The longest game (if played to its very end) took 108 half-moves (or "plies"), the shortest game 50 half-moves. The average length of a game was 74 half-moves.
- The total score is always 128 points. The largest win that was recorded in a real game was 88:40 points.
|South to move and win!|
Be careful or you achieve just a draw.
The pits of the lower row are called A to H, the pits of the upper row a to h, both times as viewed by South from left to right.
- Dalton, A. et al.
- (2007) 'Game keeps disappearing (Afrika)', in Boardgamegeek, January 31. [Web site]
- Gering, R.
- (2004) I love "Afrika", email to Mancala Games maling list (firstname.lastname@example.org), 5 March.
G!; e; xf (+1); xD (+3); xb (+4); c; xf (+1); xF (+2); xe (+1); G; xd (+1); H; A; xC (+1); B; xE (+1); C; xF (+1); D; xG (+1); E; xG (+1); F; xG (+1); H; a; xc (+1); b; xd (+1); c; xd (+1) South wins with 65:63 points.
D?; xE (a+1); xe (+4); b; xe (+1); xG (+5); xd (+1); c; xf (+1); xF (+3); xe (+1); h; xd (+1); xA (+2); B; xC (+1); xf (+1). Draw.
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