Senet ("The Game of Passing Through the Netherworld") is well over 5000 years old, and is therefore most probably the oldest board game ever known. It comes from Ancient Egypt, where it was used to amuse people and serve as a religious metaphor for the human soul's journey towards a blessed afterlife.
Senet is an elegant and quick blocking game for two players, who compete against each other by moving their own pawns across a gameboard of thirty squares. Despite its old age, Senet turns out to be an amusing and tense little game for today's gamers as well.
Move your stones (one at a time) on a reverse "S"-shaped gametrack from the upper left to the lower right corner of the gameboard, where they can leave the gamearea.
Be the first to bear all your stones off the gameboard to win!
The four "casting sticks"
The thrown sticks determine, how far you can move a stone during your turn.
How to read the sticks: Count the sticks with their light sides up (results can be: 1, 2, 3 or 4). If no light sides show up at all - that's counted as a result of 5.
Throwing values of 1, 4 and 5 grant Extra Turns. However, if you have to move a stone backwards you forfeit any extra turns.
If your stone lands on the opponent's unprotected stone, they swap places.
You cannot land on a stone of your own colour.
Two or more adjacent stones of the same colour protect each other.
You always have to try to do a forward move. If this is not possible, you have to move one of your stones backwards.
If you have NO valid moves to make at all - you lose your turn.
Stones on the last 4 gamefields are never protected and cannot be moved - just borne off.
- Field 26 ('The House of Beauty'): All stones must STOP here on an exact throw, before they can go further. A stone standing here can be borne off the board on an exact throw of 5.
- Field 27 ('The House of Waters'): This is a pitfall! If you have a stone 'drowning' here, you have to decide whether to return the stone to Field 15 ('The House of Second Life') or to take the sticks and risk to throw a value of 4. (If you succeed to throw a 4 - the stone is borne off). If you choose return, but Field 15 is occupied by your opponent, you will move to the closest, preceding, available Field
- Field 28 ('The House of Three Judges'): A stone standing here, can be borne off the board by an exact throw of 3.
- Field 29 ('The House of Two Judges'): A stone standing here, can be borne off the board by an exact throw of 2.
- Field 30 ('The House of Horus'): A stone standing here, can be borne off the board by ANY throw.
If a stone is attacked on the last 3 gamefields, it is dropped into the "water" (unless the House of Waters is occupied already).
Be the first to bear all your stones off the gameboard!