An old Tatarian legend says that Batu Khan, Mongol leader and a grandson of Genghis Khan, always took an extraordinary board game along when he had gone to a war, and carefully hid this game from all trespassers. Batu Khan usually played one game before a battle, just to get into a right warrior mood. The legend does not specify any particular game but it was most likely Jarmo, an old battle-and-race Tatarian game where players are expected to have concentration, observation and imagination.
Start position and game object
Jarmo is played on 5 x 5 square board. Each player starts with five pieces - archers - standing on player's first row:
The goal of this game is to reach opponent's first row with as many own archers as possible. However, the winning strategy is more complicated than simple moving pieces towards opponent's base, it will be described in the next sections. Likewise at Tank Battle, the player who gets more points at the end of a game, wins.
How to move pieces
An archer can move to any circle which is directly connected with the circle he is currently standing on. The following images show an archer before and after the first move:
When an archer reaches the last row (opponent's first row), it cannot make any more moves and must stay on that circle to the end of a game (or until it is captured).
How to capture opponent's pieces
If an archer moves to a circle occupied by an opponent's archer, this enemy piece is captured and immediatelz removed from the board. An archer that captures at least one enemy is marked by a small black (white) line. It is important to know which archers had captured enemies when a "loop" rule is used (see below).
How to finish the game
The game is finished if one player moves all his/her non-captured archers to the opponent's first row. At this moment, the final score is calculated and the player with more points wins. In case of even points of both players the game is a draw. The points are counted in the following way:
2 points for an archer standing on the opponent's first row.
1 point for an archer standing elsewhere on the game board.
Other important rules
If a player has at least one of his/her archers in the opponent's first row and this archer had captured an enemy archer before (it means that the archer is "marked"), he/she can place one of own captured archers back on his/her first row. It can be done by clicking on the first piece captured by the opponent (unlike in Loop Chess where pieces captured by the player must be clicked on) and then clicking on any empty circle in the first row. Once this rule is used, the corresponding marked archer is "unmarked" and cannot be used for another captured piece.
It is not allowed to make the same move forth and back more than two times in a row. For example, if a player makes moves A1-C2, C2-A1, A1-C2 and C2-A1, he/she cannot make the third A1-C2 move before some other move is performed first.