Mancala World

Pilare → Portuguese.

Inventor: Jorge Gómez
Arrausi, 2005
Ranks: Six by Six
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Spain

Pilare is a board game designed by the Basque game author Jorge Gómez Arrausi. It won a proxime accessit award in the Concurs de Creació de Jocs de Tona, 2005 ("games creation contest of Tona").

Arrausi is arguably the best human Lines of Action (LOA) player of the world. He lives in Basuri near Bilbao.

Pilare is a "stacking game", which resembles mancala games since pieces are moved (or "sown") in a mancala-like manner.

Jorge Gómez Arrausi won the 2002 Unequal Forces Game Design Competition (sponsored by the Strategy Gaming Society, and Abstract Games Magazine) with his game Unlur. He also designed Buku.

Pilare can be played online at the ig Game Center since January 31, 2009.


The board is a square divided in six rows and six columns, making 36 squares.

The game is played by two persons.

There are 36 black, 10 red and 10 white pieces. The black pieces count as neutral. One player controls the red pieces and his opponent the white ones.

Initial Position

Red begins.

On his turn a player chooses a stack (even a single piece in a square is a stack), which is topped by one of his own pieces. Its bottom piece is placed on an orthogonally adjacent square, which then becomes the new top piece there. The player continues to put pieces on orthogonally adjacent squares until the stack is distributed.

After each piece the player may change direction, but only in a square angle. He may not go straight back. However, if a stack consists of at least four pieces, a player can return to its original square, making a circle.

If a player cannot move at his turn, he has lost.


Pilare can easily be generalized to an 8x8 board, if a more challenging game is intended.


Cerrato, L.
Pilare. In: Il Fogliaccio degli Astratti 2007; 41 (April): 8.
Gómez Arrausi, J.
Pilare: Un Juego de Jorge Gómez Arrausi. [Rules leaflet given with the game]. Basuri (Spain) 2005.

External Links


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By: Ralf Gering & Víktor Bautista i Roca
Under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.