Mancala World
Volcano Race
Other Names: Martian Mancala
Inventor: Jonathan Hartshorn,
Variant of Kalah
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Single laps
Region: USA

Volcano Race was invented by Jonathan Hartshorn (USA) in 2007. He is married and has five children. Hartshorn also designed High Ground, Ice Derby, Avatar War, Zombie Coasters, and Martian BattleSpires.

Volcano Race is a clever variant of Kalah played with Icehouse pieces. The game was first called "Martian Mancala", but then renamed to avoid confusion with an earlier game, which already had this name. Volcano Race is still under development.


Long, long ago, while all the adults and teen-ager Martians were playing Icehouse, the little kids were playing Volcano Race. This is not a game for just Martian Children though... It's also for Earthling Adults!

Jonathan Hartshorn (2007)



A Volcano board is not required, but may be convenient.

Make 5 nests for each player. Each nest should be pyramids of alternating colors. Example: Blue player's nests should be : 1 sm. blue + 1 Md. red + 1 Lrg Blue. Red players will be the opposite. You should also get two smalls of a neutral color.

Arrange the nests like so:

Mancala Setup.jpg


  • Youngest player goes first.
  • Play is made Volcano-style in a counter-clockwise direction, erupting an entire stack. One move per turn.
  • The two neutral pieces are the capturing areas. A player owns the capturing area to the right of him/her and keeps any pyramids that land on it during their move. Players skip over their opponent's capturing area.

Rule Variant(s)

  • Players get another turn if the last piece erupted lands in their capuring area.
  • Players who build trees in their scoring area get a bonus of 5 points per Tree.
  • Players who build nests in their scoring area get a bonus of 5 points per Nest.
  • Players who can build a nest or tree of all the same color get a bonus of 15 points!


There are a couple of different ways you can do Scoring.

  1. Whoever has the most Pyramids at the end,wins.
  2. Whoever has the greatest pip total at the end plus bonus points, wins.


Adapted from the Icehouse community wiki article, "Martian Mancala", used under the GNU Free Documentation License.