Written by Howard Fosdick © BestFreeNewGames.com
Overview: Hexdame places checkers on a hexagonal grid. The rules are nearly the same as in standard American Checkers, but the different playing surface creates a whole new experience. This game is trivial to learn but a lot of fun to play.
Hexdame was invented by Dutchman Christian Freeling in 1979.
Here are the only rules that differ between Hexdame and those of standard American Checkers:
1. Set up the board and playing pieces as shown.
2. Common pieces or "men" only move forwards, in any of the three directions permitted by moving to an adjacent hexagon. However, they must jump enemy pieces in any direction. Jumping is mandatory.
3. If there are jumping alternatives, the player must take the sequence that results in the most number of jumps. Jumped pieces are removed from the board only after the turn completes. A piece may not be jumped more than once in a single turn, although an empty hexagon may be visited more than once.
4. To promote a common piece or "man" to a King, move him to any of the 9 most remote hexagons on the opposite side of the board. The man must end his move on that hexagon to be promoted to a King (passing through it during captures does not result in promotion).
5. Kings can move any number of hexagons in a single direction in a single turn (as long as there are no intervening pieces). A King can thus capture a piece to which it is not immediately adjacent, as long as there is an open hexagon to move to on the other side of the captured piece.
Objective: You win the game either by capturing all enemy pieces, or by placing your opponent into a position where he can not move any piece. Should both players end up where neither can move a piece, the game ends in a draw. Draws also occur by mutual agreement.
Set Up: Set up the board and playing pieces as shown in the diagram. Randomly decide who will take the first turn (alternate in subsequent games).
Play: In his turn, each player can move one piece. Regular pieces -- or "men" -- move one space forward to any unoccupied hexagon, towards the opponent, in one turn.
Men can not move backwards -- except when capturing an enemy piece.
Jumping: If your piece is next to an enemy piece and there is an open hexagon on the other side, your piece jumps the enemy piece and lands in the open hexagon opposite.
Jumping is mandatory. If more than one jump is possible for a piece, the player must make all possible jumps. If there are alternative jumping sequences, the player must take the sequence that results in the capture of the maximum number of enemy pieces.
Common Men (non-Kings) move only forwards, however, they jump and capture pieces in any direction.
Kings: If you move one of your pieces all the way across the board, to one of the 9 most remote hexagons, it becomes a King. A second checker is placed on top the King piece to indicate that it is now a King. Your piece must reside on the "promotion hexagon" at the end of your turn to be Kinged. (Passing through that hexagon during captures does not promote the man to King.)
Kings can move in any direction, forward and backward. They can move the greatest number of hexagons possible in a single turn, as long as all movement is in a single direction and across vacant positions. Kings can only change the direction of their move during a turn because of a jump sequence.
Since Kings can move in all directions, they can jump forwards and backwards, zig-zagging across multiple pieces during multiple-jump sequences. They can also capture enemy pieces at a distance, as long as there are no intervening pieces, and there is an unoccupied hexagon on the other side of the enemy piece.
Tips for Play:
Though the rules are highly similar to standard checkers, Hexdame feels quite different. Consider that each man can move in any of three forward directions, instead of two. Kings can move in any of six directions, instead of four.
The extra forward paths mean it is more difficult to block advancing enemy men. The extra directional capabilities of Kings enhances their role.
The more options presented by hexagonal structure result in a more complicated (and interesting) game.
Print Your Own Game Board: Want to print your own game board? We offer several different free images. Just click here. You don't need to buy anything to try the game! If you like it, we strongly urge you to buy it from MindSports to reward and encourage those who create wonderful games like this for everyone to enjoy.