Tablut is popular board game that has been brought to the public mind during 18th century, thank to famous Swedish biologist Carl Linné. The game is played on a square board 9x9 fields. The white player leads a king and his eight bodyguards, the black player fights against the white one with a commando of sixteen mercenaries. At the start position, the king stands on the center square of the board [throne] which is, if the king does not stand on it, highlighted by a black square. King's guards are located at the four sides around the king and enemy mercenaries occupy the border fields as shown on this picture:
The object of the white player is to escape with his/her king to any edge of the board. The black player tries to capture the white king.
Movement of pieces
Each player can move with one piece per move. The king, his guards and mercenaries move in the same way - any spaces horizontally or vertically (as chess rook does) with these restrictions:
The pieces cannot jump over other pieces.
No more than one piece can stand on each square.
After the king leaves his throne, no piece can move to the throne (nor the king). However, a piece can go "over" the throne and finish its move behind it (e.g. the piece standing one space left from the throne can move to the square two spaces right from thr throne if no other piece blocks its way).
How to capture opponent's pieces
Each player can capture enemy soldiers by surrounding an enemy from both sides vertically or horizontally. If a player moves his/her piece between two opponent's ones, the piece is not captured. The king cannot capture enemies, this feature is available for guards and mercenaries only. The captured soldier will be removed from the board and appears at "Captured pieces" section. The following picture shows how the white player captures three black mercenaries at once (before and after capturing).
How to finish the game
The game is finished if one of the following conditions in fulfilled:
The king reaches any border square on the board. The white player wins the game.
Mercenaries surround the king from all four sides and capture him. The second possibility is that mercenaries surround the king from three sides and the throne stands on the fourth side (since nobody, including the king, can move to the throne). The black player wins the game.
A player cannot make a legal move. This player loses the game.