Mancala World
Inventor: Richard Hutnik,
Ranks: Four by Eight
Sowing: Single laps
Region: USA

Sow? is a two-dimensional sowing game, which was designed by Richard Hutnik (USA) in 2011. The game is part of his "half a checkerboard series" published by BoardGameGeek.

"This game borrows the concept of sowing pieces from the Mancala family of games. In it, pieces are sown in two dimensions, rather than a line."

Richard Hutnik (2011)


Initial Position

The game is played on half a checkerboard (8 squares long and 4 squares wide). Players called "Left" (or "Black") and "Right" (or "White") sit at their respective end of the board (see the starting position).

Initially each of the four squares at the left end contains stacks of three black checkers, while each of the four squares at the right end contains stacks of three white checkes. A stack is controlled by the players who owns its topmost piece.

On his turn a player sows a stack he controls. The first checker must be sown forward (towards the opponent player), the following checker can be sown either to the left, to the right or forward again.

If a player decides to sow to the left or to the right, he must continue to sow in that direction. In other words, a change of direction is only allowed once during a sowing.

The pieces can be sown in any order, if a stack contains both colors.

It is not permitted to make a stack higher than four checkers. A stack of four constitutes a block that cannot be crossed.

It is not permitted to sow more than one piece on a square unless the player exites his checkers off the board. A player who has reached the opposite row, leaves his opponent's pieces on the last square (if he had got any) and moves his own pieces beyond the edge of the board.

A player loses if he has no legal moves at the start of his turn. A player wins if he has successfully advanced all his pieces off the board first.


Stack Limits

The stack limit can be changed to a maximum height of 3 or be made unlimited.

Advanced Version

Pieces start off the board. At his turn a player either activates and sows one of the stacks they control or enters a new piece on the board.Hutnik strongly recommends to not play this version with unlimited stack size.

Ordered Sowing

The top piece on the stack must be sown first, then the second piece and so on.

Flexible Sowing

A player must still sow his first checker forward, but he is permitted after each forward step to continue to the left or to the right

External Links


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