Veletas is a drawless territory game for two players, Black and White. Both players control a number of neutral red pieces (shooters) and shoot stones of their own color from them. In order to win, a player must claim a majority of neutral pieces by having them surrounded by larger groups of their own pieces than their opponent's.
A piece is a (red) shooter, a black stone or a white stone. A group is a set of one or more like-colored, orthogonally adjacent stones. The size of a group is the number of stones in it. Stones on top of shooters are not part of any groups. A trapped shooter is a shooter that cannot make any legal move in the current position.
The board starts empty. Black begins by placing three shooters and one black stone on empty squares of the board. White then has the option of swapping sides with Black. Next, whichever player is now White places the remaining four shooters and one white stone on empty squares of the board. In the setup, no shooters may be placed on the perimeter of the board.
After the setup, the players take turns, starting with Black. Each turn has three components:
- Move a shooter (optional): The player can (but is not obliged to) move a shooter to an empty square in a straight orthogonal or diagonal line, without jumping over any stone. Jumping over other shooters, claimed or not, is allowed.
- Shoot a stone: The player must then place a stone of their color on an empty square that is a straight orthogonal or diagonal line away from the square onto which the shooter was moved (or from any shooter, if none was moved), with no stones in between along that line. Stones placed on top of shooters to mark them as claimed (see below) do not count.
- Claim trapped shooters: Each trapped unclaimed shooter is claimed by the player who owns the biggest group orthogonally adjacent to it. If there is no such group or players are tied for the largest such group, the shooter is claimed by the person whose turn it is not. Claiming a shooter is indicated by placing a stone of the corresponding color on top of it. Claimed shooters cannot move or shoot.
The game ends when a player has claimed the majority of shooters, i.e. at least four of them. That player wins.
- 7x7 board with 3 shooters: Black places one shooter on their first turn, and White places the other two. Whoever claims two shooters wins.
- 9x9 board with 5 shooters: Black places two shooters on their first turn, and White places the other three. Whoever claims three shooters wins.