OBJECTIVE OF LINES OF ACTION: Be the first player to connect all their pieces on the board
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 players
MATERIALS: An 8×8 checkers board, 12 red checkers, 12 black checkers
TYPE OF GAME: Abstract strategy
Lines of Action is an abstract strategy game created by Claude Soucie. In this game, two players are competing to be the first to maneuver their pieces into a continuous line. This game seems simple, but turns become extremely tactical as the game progresses. LoA is played at the Mind Sports Olympiad, and it earned a Spiel Des Jahres recommendation in 1988.
In order to play Lines of Action, an 8×8 checkerboard and a full set of checkers is needed. Each player will need twelve checkers of their own color.
To set up the board, each player puts six checkers of their color on two opposite edge rows. The four corner squares are left open.
Once the checkers are in place, the game is ready to begin.
Overall, Lines of Action is a simple enough game to learn. Pieces can move in any direction (horizontally, diagonally, or vertically), and they may move a number of spaces equal to the amount of checkers in the line they are moving to. For example, if a piece is moved diagonally, it is moved a number of spaces equal to the number of checkers in that diagonal line.
In example A, the white piece has moved diagonally two spaces, because there were only two pieces in the diagonal line it was going to travel. In example B, the white piece moved three spaces because there were three pieces in the row it was about to travel on. It also moved through its same colored piece.
Checkers cannot move through an opponent’s piece, but it may land on one and capture it. A player can move through their own piece to complete their action.
Play begins with the player who has control of the black checkers. Turns alternate with each player moving one checker of their color on their turn. The first player to have all of their checkers in a continuous line (no matter the orientation) wins the game.
If a player loses all of their checkers but one, they automatically win.
If a player makes a move that causes both players to have continuous lines at the same time, the player taking their turn wins.
The first player to form their checkers into a continuous line wins the game.