Leap Frog (board game)

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Leap Frog is a multi-player abstract strategy board game. Several players can play at once which makes it great for parties and family get-togethers. The game is an old classic, and may have derived from Solitaire and draughts. It is essentially a multi-player version of Solitaire. The game was described by the game historian H. J. R. Murray in his book published in 1898, along with a variant that he invented using different colored pieces each with different point values.[1][2][3] Both the older variant and Murray's variant use a square board with 15 to 18 squares on each side.[1] All the pieces are laid out in the beginning of the game covering the whole board.[1] On each player's turn, a piece is chosen to hop over and capture other pieces on the board.[1] The winner is the one who captures the most pieces (in the older variant) or obtains the most points (in Murray's variant) when it's impossible to capture anymore.[1] The older variant was played in England where it may have originated from.[1] The game is also known to be spelled as one word, Leapfrog.

Murray never stated that the moves are limited to orthogonal directions.[1] The game might still work with diagonal moves.

An online software variant by BrainKing called Froglet is similar to Murray's variant.[4] The only differences are that the size of the board is smaller (only a 12 x 12 square board), the order of play among the players is determined before the game commences and only the first player may remove a piece from anywhere on the board for his or her first move followed by capturing moves by the short leap thereafter by all players, and the color distribution among pieces is different (66 green pieces, 51 yellow pieces, 21 red pieces, and 6 blue pieces) with 1 point for a green, 2 points for a yellow, 3 points for a red, and 4 points for a blue.[4]

A variant of Chinese Checkers called Capture resembles the old variant of Leap Frog, except in Capture the six-pointed star-shaped board of Chinese Checkers is used, and specifically only the central hexagon region of the board. In addition, the central point of the board is vacant at the beginning of the game in Capture, whereas the board is completely filled in Leap Frog.[5]

Setup[edit]

A square board with 15 to 18 squares in length on each side is used. It is best to use a marble board or peg board. The number of pieces needed is n2. For example, a 15 x 15 square board requires 152 = 225 pieces.

In Murray's variant, the pieces have different colors with different point values. The number of pieces per color are divided as follows: 1 green for every 2 red, for every 3 yellow, for every 4 white. In a 15 x 15 square board that would be 22 green, 45 red, 68 yellow, and 90 white pieces. Green pieces are worth 4 points, red pieces are worth 3 points, yellow pieces are worth 2 points, and white pieces are worth 1 point.

The game starts with all the pieces occupying all the squares (or holes) of the board. Only one piece may occupy a square (or hole).

Similarly in Murray's variant the colored pieces are distributed randomly throughout the board occupying all the squares (or holes).

Rules[edit]

  • Each player removes one piece anywhere from the board for their first capture. This first turn committed by each player need not be taken in any order.
  • Players then decide the order of their turns, and alternate their turns throughout the game in the same order.
  • All moves after the first turn of each player must be capturing moves using the short leap method as in draughts. A piece from the board is chosen by a player on their turn, and this chosen piece is used to leap over other piece(s) on the board which are captured and removed immediately from the board. All leaps must be orthogonal (not diagonal). The chosen piece leaps over an orthogonally adjacent piece, and lands on a vacant square (or hole) adjacently behind (the piece that was leaped over) similarly as in draughts. The chosen piece can continue capturing more pieces (in the same turn) provided it is able to, but it is not compulsory to capture more than one piece. The player may stop capturing at any time during their turn, but at least one piece must be captured in a turn. The chosen piece remains on the board at the end of its leap(s), and that player's turn ends.
  • If a player cannot capture at least one piece during their turn, the game ends. Players then count the number of pieces they've captured (in the old variant) or calculate the number of points they've earned (in Murray's variant), and the one with the most pieces or points respectively is the winner.

Related Games[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Walker, Damian. "Leapfrog Leaflet #30". Cyningstan Traditional Board Games. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  2. ^ Murray, H. J. R. (1952). A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 93-94. 
  3. ^ Parlett, D. (1999). The Oxford History of Board Games. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 156. 
  4. ^ a b "Game rules (Froglet)". BrainKing. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  5. ^ http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/leisure/brain-games/chinese-checkers3.htm

External links[edit]