Mancala World

Murus Gallicus → Portuguese.

Murus Gallicus
Inventor: Phil Leduc,
Ranks: Seven by Eight
Sowing: Single laps
Region: USA, Internet

Murus Gallicus (Latin for: "Gaulish Wall") was invented in 2009 by the American Phil Leduc. Its name is derived from the impenetrable walls of stone players create during the game, which are reminiscent of those built by the Gauls against the Roman aggressors in the Gallic Wars.

Murus Gallicus is a two-dimensional sowing game.

The game was implemented for online play at ig Game Center on September 23, 2009.

But this is usually the form of all the Gallic walls. Straight beams, connected lengthwise and two feet distant from each other at equal intervals, are placed together on the ground; these are morticed on the inside, and covered with plenty of earth. But the intervals which we have mentioned, are closed up in front by large stones. These being thus laid and cemented together, another row is added above, in such a manner, that the same interval may be observed, and that the beams may not touch one another, but equal spaces intervening, each row of beams is kept firmly in its place by a row of stones. In this manner the whole wall is consolidated, until the regular height of the wall be completed. (...) it possesses great advantages as regards utility and the defence of cities; for the stone protects it from fire, and the wood from the battering ram, since it [the wood] being morticed in the inside with rows of beams, generally forty feet each in length, can neither be broken through nor torn asunder.

Julius Caesar (Commentarii de Bello Gallico, 52/51 BC)


Initial Position (ig Game Center)

Murus Gallicus is played on a 7 x 8 board.

There are two players: Light (Romans) and Dark (Gauls). At the start of the game each player has 16 stones of their color, which are placed in "towers" unto the 8 squares of the player's home row.

A "tower" consists of two stones of the same color stacked together, while a single stone is called a "wall".

White starts.

On his turn a player moves a tower. Walls don't move.

There are two kind of moves:

  • A player can sow one of his towers in any straight direction, orthogonally or diagonally. Its contents are distributed one by one, starting on the adjacent square. Each destination square must be empty or occupied by a friendly wall.
  • He can capture an enemy wall, which is adjacent to one of his towers by sacrificing one of its stones. Then both stones are removed from the board. Capturing isn't compulsory.

The player who reaches the opposite row with one of his stones first wins the game. Murus Gallicus is also won by the player who leaves his opponent without a legal move ("stalemate").

No draws are known.


The author of the game suggested several variants.

Pie Rule

On their first turn the Romans select one of their towers and then distribute its stones as walls anywhere on their second row. Then the Gauls decide to switch sides or not. Afterwards the Gauls do the same special move on their first turn as the Romans.


The object of the game is reduced to stalemate the opponent.

Multi-player Escape

The Escape variant can be played by four players on a square board, for example a Chess board. The corner squares are left empty during the initial setup. If a player is eliminated, his stones remain on the board. Hexagonal boards can be used for three-player games.



The statistical data is very preliminary and will likely change in the future.

Game Balance

  • First Player Wins: 41%
  • Second Player Wins: 59%

Victory Conditions

  • Breakthrough: 82%
  • Immobilisation: 18%

Game Length

  • Average Game Length: 39 moves
  • Shortest Game: 11 moves
  • Longest Game: 58 moves

External Links


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