This is not Fidchell proper, but is the game most players prefer, as it is simpler to get to grips with, faster moving and generally over in around half an hour. Along the way it teaches most of the manoeuvres required for Game Two, which is best left until curiosity suggests trying a variation.
The object for both sides is to create a continuous (not necessarily straight) line of their own stones linking the centre of the board to the outer circle.
The first to succeed is the winner.
- 1 -
The King or Navel Stone (the one larger than the rest) is first placed in the centre of the board, where it remains throughout the game. It is dead to begin with and can be ignored until players start moving their pieces on the board.
- 2 -
Either White (in the first instance) or the loser of the previous game goes first, players taking turns to place one stone at a time into vacant spaces. Each player starts with 27 stones or 'men'.
- 3 -
An enemy piece is captured by trapping it between two of your own. That is, by making a pair immediately next to, and on opposite sides of a single stone, as indicated by the lines on the board.
- 4 -
Capturing an enemy's piece grants you another turn. This can be repeated any number of times. Capturing more than one piece in one move, however, just grants you one more turn. Captured stones go out of play till the game's end.
- 5 -
An empty space between two enemy pieces already on the board may be entered without harm, but you become vulnerable if one of those pieces is moved.
- 6 -
When you run out of stones to place down, those on the board become free to move along any one line till they meet an obstruction (i.e. no turning onto other lines and no jumping over other pieces). Capture still entitles you to another move and all other rules remain in force, plus a new one that comes next:
- 7 -
When either player starts to move their pieces, the King stone becomes alive to both of them as a friend, and can be used to capture opposing men.