hare and hounds

Hare and Hounds (board game)

Hare and Hounds is a two-player strategic, deterministic board game. The game originated in 19th century France, where it is said to have been popular with military officers during the Franco-Prussian War. The game is also known as the French Military Game.

Rules of the game

  • One player represents the three Hounds, which try to corner the other player's Hare as it seeks to win by escaping them.
  • Each player can move one step in each turn. The Hounds can only move forward or diagonally (left to right) or vertically (up and down). The Hare can move in any direction.
  • The Hounds win if they "trap" the Hare so it can no longer move.
  • The Hare wins if it "escapes" (gets to the left of all the Hounds).
  • If the Hounds move vertically ten moves in a row, they are considered to be "stalling" and the Hare wins.

Analysis and modern implementations

Hare and Hounds is a classic example of the type of game studied in combinatorial game theory, giving it some similarities to checkers (draughts), Go, Fox and Geese and other such games. Mathematician Martin Gardner stated that Hare and Hounds "combines extreme simplicity with extraordinary strategic subtlety" in his "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American magazine.

As the rules of the game are simple to program, there are many electronic implementations of the game. Online versions are usually written in Java.

External links

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