Mancala World
Atomic Wari
Inventor: Jeff Erickson, 1996
Ranks: One
Sowing: Single laps
Region: USA

Atomic Wari, a mancala game played on a one-rank board, was invented in 1996 by the American computer scientist Jeff Erickson while writing his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of California at Berkeley about Lower Bounds for Fundamental Geometric Problems. He is now assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The name of the game almost sounds like "atomic war", obviously a play on words. The game bears resemblance with Oware which is called Warri in the Caribbean.


Initial Position (Suggested)

Erickson didn't give a particular position to start a game. After extensive play-testing, Ralf Gering found that a board of 36 pots, each of which has initially four seeds leads to an interesting game.

Players are called Left and Right as usual in Combinatorial Game Theory.

Left starts.

Left sows his seeds, one by one, from left to right, while Right sows in the opposite direction, from right to left in consecutive pots.

A pot must contain at least two seeds to start a move.

The seeds are distributed as in Toguz Kumalak, that is, one seed must remain in the pot that was just emptied.

There must be a sufficient large number of pots in the direction of play for each seed distributed, otherwise the move would be illegal.

Passing is not permitted.

If the last seed falls in a pot which then contains two or three seeds, its contents are captured and removed from the board.

If there are, in an unbroken chain directly behind this pot (i.e. against the direction of the move), more pots containing two or three seeds these are also captured.

The last player who is able to make a legal move wins (the number of captured seeds doesn't matter).


Erickson, J.
Sowing Games. In: Nowakowski, R. J. (Ed.). Games of No Chance. Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Publications 29, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (USA) 1996, 287-297.


© Wikimanqala.
By: Ralf Gering
Under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.