Mancala World
Inventor: Andrew B.
Perkis, 2001
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: UK (England)

Hackaback, a variant of Cirk, was invented in 2001 by Andrew B. Perkis (his name is misspelled by About Board Games). It was a finalist of the 2002 Unequal Forces Game Design Competition sponsored by Abstract Games Magazine, the Strategy Gaming Society and About Board Games. Perkis didn't think of it as a mancala game, but the move mechanism is sowing, so it clearly belongs to the mancala family of games.


The game is played on a board, which is composed of two rows of six holes each and one large storage cup at one end.

At the beginning, Black has three black seeds in each hole on his side of the board, while White may distributes his six white seeds in any way he likes on the other side.


Possible Starting Position

Black sows counterclockwise, White clockwise.

At his turn, a player picks up the contents of any hole, which contains at least one seed of his color and then sows them in his direction, one by one, into consecutive holes including the large storage cup, if he has still one of his own seeds in hand. It is never allowed to sow an opponent's seed in the store. If a player has no seeds of his own color, when he reaches the store, he skips it.

The first player to get all his seeds into the store wins the game.

The inventor suggested special rules for drawn games:

  • If exactly the same board position arises through a cycle of moves with the same person to move, then either of the players may offer a draw. The person refusing a draw in this circumstance must thereafter vary play, because on the third repetition of a position the person who offered the draw may claim a win.
  • If the game is still proceeding after 120 moves (i.e. 240 half moves), then White may claim a draw. If he does not, the game must go on until it is decided.


Handscomb, K.
Hackaback. In: Abstract Games Magazine 2002; 3 (11): 17.
Perkis, A. B.
Correction to Hackaback Rules. In: Abstract Games Magazine 2002; 3 (12): 3.


Adapted from the Wikinfo article, "Hackaback", used under the GNU Free Documentation License.