Sixteen Soldiers

Sixteen Soldiers is a two player game from India and Sri Lanka. The same board is used for the game of Leopards and Cows.

Sixteen Soldiers board
Figure 1: Sixteen Soldiers board


Each player has 16 soldiers arranged on the board as shown in Figure 1 at the start of the game. The goal is to capture all the opponent’s soldiers. The players take turns.

The soldiers can be moved in any direction orthogonally and diagonally along lines on the board to an adjacent vacant point. A soldier captures an enemy soldier by jumping over it in a straight line to a vacant point immediately beyond it. The captured solder is removed from the board. A soldier may make multiple captures by jumping over additional enemy soldiers. A soldier may not jump over one of his comrades.

The player that captures all the opponent’s solders wins the game.