Malefiz board and starting setup, using coloured marbles as pawns, white marbles as barricades
|Years active||1960 to present|
|Setup time||1–3 minutes|
|Playing time||~30 minutes|
|Random chance||Medium (dice rolling)|
|Skill(s) required||Strategy, tactics, counting|
Malefiz (also known as Barricade) is a strategy board game, invented by Werner Schöppner and published by Ravensburger since 1960. It is a non-circular descendant of the ancient Indian board game Pachisi.
The name of the game borrows the obsolete German word Malefiz, meaning "misdeed" or "bad action". The word was derived from the Latin word maleficus, meaning "mischievous" or "profane".
Malefiz requires the following items:
- 1 gameboard
- 20 pawns (5 in each of 4 player colours)
- 11 barricade pieces
- 1 die
At the outset, each player's pawns are placed in their respective houses at the bottom of the board. Barricade pieces are placed at the eleven coloured spaces on the board.
First play may be determined by a die-roll or another manner of the players' choosing.
At the beginning of each turn, the active player rolls the die. That player selects one of her five pawns to move the number of spaces shown on the die. During the course of a move, the pawn may move in any direction and continue through corners in the path, but it may not double-back along its course and it may not forego any steps. The spaces within the players houses are not counted against the die-roll; the first space counted by each pawn is the space immediately above the house.
A pawn may pass other pawns of any colour, but only one pawn may occupy a given space. In the event that a pawn finishes its move by landing on a space occupied by another pawn, the pawn occupying that space is captured. Captured pawns are returned to their respective houses and may rejoin play on their owner's next turn.
Unlike pawns, barricade pieces may not be passed. In order for play to progress past a barricade, the barricade must be captured by a pawn. A player who captures a barricade must relocate the barrier to an unoccupied space on the board. Barricades may not be placed in the four houses or any of the 17 spaces in the bottom-most row.
A pawn may not be moved if doing so would cause it either to pass a barricade or to overshoot the final, uppermost space on the board.
A player may forego her move if and only if none of her pawns may be moved.
The first player to land a pawn on the uppermost space is the winner.
- Parlett, David (1999). The Oxford History of Board Games. Oxford University Press Inc. pp. 50–51. ISBN 0-19-212998-8.