Moonlight Checkers (Dama Bianca). Game rules in English. Strategy, logic. 2-6 Players, 1h

Moonlight Checkers
(Dama Bianca)

Player’s Handbook
English language

Leggi qui il regolamento
in lingua italiana

‘Moonlight Checkers’, italian Dama Bianca, is a game of logic, strategy and organization combining elements of the Egyptian Mehen, the Persian Nard and the Chinese Checkers. Each player must compose an array of 12 pawns on the board, arranging them in such a way that each of them has at least one of the other pawns on the neighboring square, even diagonally, and that there is at least one pawn of that color on each of the five rings. When you have composed your array, one of your pawns can have access to the central square, but be careful: each pawn will have a higher or lower value depending on the ring on which it is located: the more it is near to the central square, the more it will be your score. The aim of the game is therefore not to finish first, but to organize your pieces better and before other players, but every effort in this sense is thwarted by the fortune, that divides them, and by the movement of the other players eventually creating blocks. No one can reach the central house of the board alone: isolated pawns simply circle the same ring, clockwise or counterclockwise. Only by meeting other pawns, their own or opponents, they are allowed to jump from one ring to another.


Each player rolls two dice and chooses how to use the resulting numbers: he can move two pawns as many steps as each of the two numbers, or move just one pawn by the sum of both. For example, 5-4 you can move on pawn 5 step and another 4 step, or just one pawn 9 steps. It is not possible to park your pawns on the entrance house. If there are no other pawns on the outermost ring, the starting square is always the one marked with a white dot, and the pawns must enter from there. When there is one or more pawns on the outermost ring, these can be used as a bridge to enter the game directly over one of the innermost rings, jumping them along the radius of the circle. It is not possible to use a bridge of pawns to access the board, when the outermost house on that radius is free: you will have to enter from another bridge, or if there are no of available bridges, from the starting house.


Once put into play, the pawns can only move clockwise or counterclockwise on the same ring, they are not free to independently cross the rings towards the outside or inside of the board. When a pawn encounters another on its path, of its same color or a different color, it is forced to jump it without capturing or eliminating it, continuing from the first free square on the opposite side of the skipped pawn. It is also possible to jump this way two or more pieces, each jump will always counts one step. The objective of the game is to deploy your pawns in such a way that each always has another one on the neighboring house, even diagonally, maintaining at least one pawn above each of the five rings. At that point, you have to reach a ring jump the central rose window to close your hand. The jump must be precise and both numbers rolled in that round must be used. When the numbers do not allow you to reach the center without breaking up your array, you are forced to move the same. The winner is the one who first manages to close the hand, reaching with one of his pawns the central square without breaking his array.

You can play a straight hand, or a series of 3-5 hands. When playing 4, 5, 6 players, it’s better playing with score: each piece gains as many points as many rings he has crossed up during the game. A pawn on the external rings gives to you just one point, a pawn on the inner ring gives to you 5 points. Every player with a valid array of 12 pawns at the end of the game gains 5 bonus points, the pawn on the central square 7 points, each pawn left off the board is paid 3 points. Higher score wins.

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