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Sprouts
Pipelayer
Capture


Sprouts

Sprouts starts with three (or more) dots on a piece of paper. The animation over to the right is playing a game a sprouts. The rules are as follows:

The strategy in sprouts lies in using your lines to divide the paper up into parts that trap dots. It is very hard to think through all the ways this came can come out because of the many different ways it can divide up the paper. If the three dot game gets too easy four you, start with more dots. This game is a good tool for building your sense of spatial perception on flat surfaces.


Pipelayer

Pipelayer is a game played with two grids of dots that are slightly offset from one another, as shown in the animation at the right. We will call them white and black dots. This examples has 6x7 and 7x6 grids of dots, but you can use more or less as long as they leave each player with one longer dimension. The long dimension should be one longer than the short dimension. The rules are as follows:

  • The players take turns moving by connecting two dots.

  • A player can only connect dots that are adjacent horizontally or vertically and also only dots of his own color. In the example the blue player owns the white dots and the red player owns the black dots.

  • No move may draw across another move.

  • To win a player must make a continuous connection from one side of the board to the other in the long direction for his color of dots. For the blue player in the example this is from left to right; the red player is trying to connect top to bottom. The blue player wins the example game and then his connecting path from left to right lights up yellow.


Capture

Capture is a two player game played on a grid of dots like the one shown in the animation to the right. The players take turns connecting dots that are horizontally or vertically adjacent. If a player can complete a square by connecting two dots then they capture that square. You must draw another line after making a capture. A player may, thus, make a large number of captures in a single turn. After the last capture he must still connect two dots.

Most of the strategy in this game amounts to forcing the other player to complete the third side of a square. Beyond that, one capture may allow others and so you should work to arrange that you get the big chain of captures. Notice in the animation that green completes the board with eight captures.

In the animated example the players are red and green. It may be easier on a piece of paper to just use a pencil and put the player's initials in the squares they capture. Of course the person who captures the most squares wins.