Mlýnek is a two-player abstract strategy board game. It is also known as Grinder. It is unknown where the game originates from, and how old it is. Due to the simplicity of the board and rules, it may be found in many areas of the world from a long ago past. There are two board variants of the game, and they are similar in design to those of Tic-tac-toe, and the Three Men's Morris family of games which includes Tapatan, Nine Holes, and Achi. These boards are 3x3 square grids. However, the goal in Mlýnek is not to form a 3 in-a-row, but rather to block one's opponent's pieces. Mlýnek therefore is a game of the blockade family which include mū tōrere, Pong Hau K'i, Umul Gonu, and Pat Gonu.
The player who blocks their opponent's pieces from moving is the winner.
There are two board variations. Both are 3x3 square grids. One variant is simpler, with only orthogonal lines connecting the adjacent intersection points of the board. The other variant has a left and right diagonal lines that connect the opposite corners of the board.
Each player has three pieces. One player plays the black pieces, and the other plays the white pieces.
Game play and rules
- Players decide which colored pieces to play, and who will start first.
- The first stage of the game is the drop phase where players take turns dropping one piece onto any vacant point on the board.
- When all pieces have been dropped, players then take turns moving one piece in any direction along a marked line onto a adjacent vacant point on the board.