Mancala World
Inventor: Michał Zapała, 2020
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Poland

Herd was invented in December 2020 by Michał Zapała who lives in Warsaw, Poland. It was inspired by Christian Freeling's Glass Bead Game. Zapała first described his game in the Facebook group "Abstract Nation".


Herd is a sheepherding mancala for two players: North And South.

Each player owns a row of 5 Pastures that form the board, plus a farm to store herded Sheep. There are 10 Herders and 20 Sheep in play. At the beginning, there should be 2 Sheep and 1 Herder on each Pasture.


To make a move, a player choses on of his Pastures. Then, he places every Sheep or Herder from this Pasture in a different one. He places one Sheep or Herder at a time, starting from the Pasture to the right of the one he chose, and then going counterclockwise: if he makes a full circle, he must skip his original Pasture and go further.

If a Herder goes to a Pasture controlled by the other player, and if there are no other Herders on this Pasture, all the Sheep from this Pasture are "herded" to the player's Farm.

If the other player has no Sheep and no Herders on any of his Pastures, you must help by sending him some!

The first player to herd 10 sheep wins. However, the players might agree to set a lower goal (to make the game more dynamic) or a higher one (to allow draws).


© Michał Zapała
Text and image published under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.