Mancala World
Inventor: Myles Wallace,
Ranks: Six (triangular)
Sowing: Multiple laps
Region: USA

Tricala was created by Myles Wallace (USA) in 2011. Wallace is a 23-year old entrepreneur living in Ohio. His hobbies are writing, drawing mazes and designing games (card and board games). He is a big fan of ballroom dancing, literary graphic novels, and old movies. Wallace has a girlfriend and doesn't like to make friends over the internet, because he prefers to meet people in the real world.

Tricala can be played by 2-3 persons with exactly the same rules and combines two goals: capturing counters & pattern-building. The game has been entered into the Thousand-Year Game Design Challenge hosted by Daniel Solis.


Tricala board

Tricala is played on an equilateral triangular board with each side having six pits. The board thus has a total of 21 (1+2+3+4+5+6) pits.

Initially a player has nine counters of one kind and a matching color.

Game Play

The game is played in two phases.

  • Set-up Phase

On his turn a play places three of his stones in any pits of the board, but not into the corner pits. It doesn't matter whether these pits are still empty or have already been occupied by some counters of either color. It is also permitted to put two or three of these stones into the same pit.

The corner pits, however, must stay empty during the set-up phase.

On his turn a player sows the contents of a pit, which has at least one stone of his own, one by one, in a straight line into any direction. There are six directions possible from a pit in the central area of the board, four from a pit at the edge and just two from a corner pit. It doesn't matter whether the pits that receive stones are empty or occupied. A player may sow the stones in any order he wishes.

If a stone encounters the edge of the board, the remaining counters must be sown into another direction. It is not permitted to change the direction of sowing by 180° (bouncing back).

If the last stone falls into a pit containing only friendly stones, all of its contents are distributed in another lap continuing into the same direction as before unless the direction must be changed in the way just described above.

If the last stone is dropped into a pit containing at least one enemy stone, all of its contents are captured. They are stored beside the board.

Ending the Game

The game is finished as soon as a player has achieved one of its goals. There are two ways to win Tricala:

  • Capturing nine or more counters of any color.
  • Controlling the corners, that is, having a majority of stones in the corner pits. If a player has still three or more counters, he needs to control all three corners. However, if a player has two stones left on the board, he only needs to control two corner pits. And, if he has just one left, he only needs to control a single corner pit.

It doesn't matter whose turn it is, when a winning condition is reached.

If a winning condition is reached at the same time for both players, the player with the most stones wins the game.

Suggested notation (pits)

Although the author of the game claimed that "to the best of [his] knowledge, it’s impossible to have a tie.", positions do exist , in which a tie can still be forced in the two-person game. These positions have in common:

  • Each player occupies (and controls) one corner pit with one of his stones.
  • Each player has another counter elsewhere (but not in the same pit).
  • One player has captured eight stones and is closer to the remaining corner pit, while his opponent has captured six stones and is behind in the race.


White singletons on 6a, 4b. White has captured 6 stones
Black singletons on 1a, 4c. Black has captured 8 stones.

White to move.

If White captures 4bx4c, each player has captured 8 stones and controls a corner pit with their last stone on the board.

If White moves his stone on 4b away from Black's stone on 4c to avoid capture, Black can simply move that stone to 6f (in four moves) and thus wins by controling two corner pits with his remaining stones.


  • A tie is a tie (no tie-breaker).
  • Other tie-breakers; e.g. achieving winning conditions simultaneously means that the opponent wins the game.
  • The stone effecting a capture isn't captured itself.


Cerrato, L.
Tricala un mancala su tavola triangolare. In: Il Fogliaccio degli Astratti 2011; 8 (57): 35-36.

External Links


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