Mancala World
Other Names: Transporter
Inventor: Andreas E. Verweyen,
Ranks: Three by Three (and more)
Sowing: Single laps
Region: Germany

THI` was invented by Andreas E. Verweyen in 2007. He lives in Meerbusch, Germany. The game, which he first called "Transporter", is an unusual two-dimensional stacking game that includes the sowing of counters.


Initial Position (6x6 board)

THI` can be played on square boards of size 3 or 6 (but see variants section). If the smaller boards are used (named PRIMUS, DUO and TRIAS), each player starts with 3, 6 or 9 counters initially placed on his first (PRIMUS) and secound (DUO) and third row (TRIAS), otherwise each player starts with 12 counters on his first two rows (board name QUADRAT).

Counters are moved to the orthogonally adjacent square. Single counters or stacks under the control of the player may move on other counters or stacks that are owned by the player or his opponent. Thus stacks are formed. Single-color stacks may consist of up to three counters, while stacks with mixed colors may have up to four counters. Stack are controlled by the player who got its top counter. They move orthogonally, leaving one counter on each square (equivalent to sowing in mancala games), starting with the bottom one. A player can change direction as often as he wants, but it is not permitted to move back and forth (make a 180° turn). Passing a move is only allowed, if the player is blocked.

Each counter, which reaches the opponent's first row, is removed from the board, whether its space was occupied or not.

The player who bears off all of his counters wins the game. If a player cannot move, although he has still a counter on the board, the game is a draw. Repetition of moves is also a draw.

Perfect play always ends in a draw, which is trivial because it is easy to block the opponent.


Fixed Game (1)

The rules given by the author are flawed. However, the game can be saved by changing its rules as follows:

  • The game is won by the player who is unable to move, whether this condition is achieved by bearing-off or a blockade.
  • Passing is no longer permitted.

Fixed Game (2)

Another way to fix the game:

  • The game ends when a player can't move. The player who has less counters on the board wins the game. Passing is still permitted.

Multi-player THI`

According to its author, the game can be played by two, three or four players. However, it is known from game theory that four-person games are prone to unfair coalitions.

Board Size

THI` can also be played on larger boards (such as 9x9). However, this will often result in lengthy games.

Bonus Moves

It is possible to speed up the game by allowing a bonus move, whenever a player bears off one or several counters. This might be useful, if THI` is played on large boards.


Verweyen, A. E.
Transporter. In: Spiel & Autor 2007; 13 (Nr. 49): 38-39.


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