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Roman board game – Tabula Lusoria

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Tabula Lusoria
Tabula Lusoria

Roman board gameTabula Lusoria. The name Tabula Lusoria is more of a broad term and in Latin, it means more or less the same as “playing field”. The game is designed for two players and consists of a special, rosette board with eight fields arranged in a circle with one central field connected to each field on the circle (see the picture) and two sets of pieces in two colours, three in each.

The game consists of two stages: setting and moving. The starter is selected by the players’ agreement or by drawing lots. We start the setting stage with a clean board. Each turn, a player may place one piece on the board, in any free space. When all three pieces of both opponents are on the board, the movement phase begins. Players must move each turn to move any piece. Risers can move along any straight line towards the centre or out, or along the curved edge of the circle to the next blank. Pawns cannot jump over another pawn, move more than one field, or enter a field already occupied. The object of the game is to place the three pieces so that they form a straight line together.

This is a simple strategy game of the ancient Romans, massively played by soldiers bored in the barracks or during breaks in military missions and by civilians of Rome. Its universality is evidenced by numerous boards carved in stones where legionaries were stationed and in public places of the entire Roman Empire. This game never ends in a draw like traditional tic-tac-toe. In addition, the board can be drawn by yourself and the game pieces can be stones or cones.

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