Exercise your skill with this game of logic and strategy by Paul Robson. Said to have originated in Java, this two player game has the simplicity of draughts and the intrigue of chess.
In this game, where one false move can destroy a carefully worked-out plan, the object is to capture enough of your opponents pieces so that only a prearranged number remain. You do this by taking it in turns moving your pieces around the playing area, trying to force your adversary into piece-losing situations.
Movement is made one square at a time, and can be in any of eight directions providing the destination square is empty.
Play opens with the choice of the remaining number of pieces that will result in a win - between none and nine - and how many games to play. Cursor movement is made with the numeric keypad, where 5 is Select, and the rest indicate directions to move. Each player starts with 12 pieces, arranged in two rows of six at either end of the board.
To move a piece, place the cursor on it, press 5, followed by one of the eight direction keys. If all is well the cursor will move to the new position, you will press 5 to release the piece and your opponent will take his turn.
Where Surakarta differs from other board games is in the method of capture. To take an opponent's pieceprisoner you have to use at least one of the eight connecting lines at the corners of the playing area. So like chess, you simply have to occupy the space that an opposing piece currently holds, having first however used one of the eight connecting lines. If you think about it, this method is very like a slingshot.
I didn't use a computer opponent as it would have made the program over long, but it would be an interesting project. If you succeed, let us know and if it isn't too lengthy we might be able to publish the add-on routine.
The Amstrad User