Tower of Power

Tower of Power → German.

Tower of Power
Other Names: Tours, Rupsenoorlog
Inventor: Michael Baldwin, 1976
Ranks: Eight by Eight
Sowing: Single laps
Region: UK (England)

Tower of Power was designed by Michael Baldwin and published in 1976 in the English magazine Games and Puzzles. The movement of the pieces reminds of mancala, at least the second part of the move. The game is called Tours ("towers") in France and Rupsenoorlog ("caterpillar war") in the Netherlands.


The object of the game is to deprive the opponent from moving.

Fifteen black and white stones are put in start-up position as shown in the diagram below:


White starts playing.

The player may take an orthogonal or diagonal row of at least two stones of his own color and stack them on the stone at either end of the row. Next he chooses the direction (orthogonal or diagonal) in which the stack is broken up. The stones are then placed, one by one, on the consecutive squares. It is important to note that the stone which is on the bottom of the stack (i.e. the stone at the end of the row) is not moved.

In the diagram below, you see an example of such a move. See how White has stacked b2 and b3 on top of b4. After that he has torn down the stack to c5 en d6, ending his move. Another way of moving is also allowed: moving a single stone in any direction, as Black did: g5-f5.


There are some restrictions: a tower may not be unstacked so that stones are leaving the board, nor may he return to the squares he came from.

A torn down stack may cross over other stones, either his own ones or that of the opponent. If they are put on your own stones, new towers can be formed, while existing towers would grow higher. At the start of another turn, just the top stone would be taken to make a tower, and the bottom stone is liberated once again.

If a stone gets on top of opponent's stones, these enemy stones are captured and removed from the board. Several stones can be captured in one turn. If a stone lands on an opponent's stack only the top stone is captured, rendering the other stones immobile.

The game is declared a draw if it is obvious that neither player has enough material to win the game. Usually this happens when both players have three or less stones left.


Baldwin, M.
Tower of Power. In: Games & Puzzles Journal (England) May 1976, 16-17.
Maanen, H. van
Geen wolf en zeven geitjes . Uitgeverij Aramith, Bloemendaal (Netherlands) 1993.
Pingaud, F.
Empilez et rempilez. In : Jeux & Stratégie (France) 1986; 7 (No.39): 50-51.
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