Cinc camins is a two-player abstract strategy game from northern China. Although played by children, there is a complexity and uniqueness to the game that adults can appreciate. The game may be related to the Gonu games of Korea. These games use small boards, and have unique capturing rules.
Each player has five pieces played on a 5 x 5 square grid. A player can capture an enemy piece by forming a line of two pieces of their own in a row or column. The enemy piece must be in the same row or column as the two pieces, and the remaining two spaces left on the row or column must be blank.
Cinc camins is Catalan for Five Paths. At present, Cinc camins is the only known name for the game.
The player who captures all the other player's pieces is the winner.
The board used is a 5 x 5 square grid. Each player has five pieces. One plays the black pieces, and the other player plays the white pieces. The game is often drawn on the ground, and sweets or candy are used as game pieces.
Game Play and Rules
1. Players decide what colors to play and who starts first.
2. Each player's five pieces are initially set up on their first rank.
3. Players alternate their turns. A player may move one piece per turn orthogonally.
4. When a player forms a row or column of two pieces of their own, and the two pieces are adjacent with one another (i.e. no space(s) in between them), then it captures an enemy piece adjacent to the two pieces in the row or column that the line is formed upon, provided that the two remaining spaces on the row or column are empty or blank. In any row or column there are five spaces since the board is a 5 x 5 square grid.
The possible combinations for Black to capture a white piece in a row or column is as follows. They are the same capturing combinations for White, but with a reversal in coding of black and white pieces.
Let b = black, w = white, and _ = blank
(b b w _ _) or (_ b b w _) or (_ _ b b w) or (_ _ w b b) or (_ w b b _) or (w b b _ _)
5. A piece may either move into the row or column to form the two adjacent pieces, or leave a triplet of pieces from a row or column leaving two adjacent pieces.
6. A piece may move to create more than one capturing row or capturing column, and capture all possible enemy pieces.
In the external link below, a game is provided showing a black piece leaving a row and entering the row above it. By doing so, the black piece leaves behind two adjacent black pieces from the previous row, and captures the white piece (marked as D) on that row. At the same time, by moving into the new row above the previous row, it forms a column of two adjacent black pieces, and captures the white piece in the same column (marked as A). In both instances the two adjacent black pieces are adjacent to the white piece that they capture which is a requirement. However, Black cannot capture the white piece (marked as E) even though two adjacent black pieces are adjacent to E, because in that row there does not exist two blank spaces which is a capturing requirement due to the presence of the white piece (marked as C) on the same row.