- Mammalath is an animal-themed board game inspired by the idea of having a winning condition and a losing condition that’s a subset of the winning condition, as seen in Yavalath (by Cameron Browne’s Ludi) and Manalath (by Dieter Stein and Néstor Romeral Andrés).
- The goal is to capture three squares in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row which don’t contain animals.
- However, if you make three in a row and at least one animal is in those cells, you lose!
- Think of the members of an animal activist group getting angry at you for capturing the animals.
- To win, you must strategically free the animals while going for three in a row.
Start of the game
The board is 6x6 by size. The spaces contain 6 each of 6 animals (red armadillos, orange badgers, yellow cougars, green deer, blue elephants, and violet foxes), distributed randomly. One player plays with black tokens, the other white tokens; a randomly-chosen player starts.
- In a player's turn, a player must do one of three things:
- • Place a token of your colour (on a space with or without an animal, but without a token already).
- • Release three consecutive animals, on spaces with or without tokens, in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line, removing them from the board.
- • Release all the animals of one type (for example, all of the foxes), on spaces with or without tokens, removing them from the board.
- After performing one of these three actions, the turn passes to the opponent.
The first turn and the swap rule
- On the first turn, the first player must play a token.
- The second player then has the option, for the first turn only, of switching that token with one of their own.
End of the game
- The game ends when one of the following happens:
- • A player has tokens on three consecutive spaces in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row, at least one of which still contains an animal, and loses.
- • A player has tokens on three consecutive spaces in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row, none of which have animals, and wins. (If you fulfil the winning condition and the losing condition at the same time, you still lose.)
- • One player plays all 18 of their tokens (without making a winning or a losing formation): the game ends in a draw.