The game is played on a square board of sizes 7×7 or 8×8. There are two players, Black and White. Each player has two pieces in his color on 7×7, three on 8×8. There is a sufficient supply of bi-colored stones.
On 7×7 the pieces start on b2 and f2 for Black, b6, and f6 for White. On 8×8 it’s a4, b2, and g2 for Black, b7, g7, and h5 for White.
Black moves first. Turns then alternate. On his turn, a player must do one of two things
1. Move a pawn in a straight line across any number of empty squares (orthogonally or diagonally) ending the move on an empty square. Then place a stone in your opponents color on an empty square away in a straight line across any number of empty squares (orthogonally or diagonally) from the pawn that was last moved, or …
2. Move a pawn in a straight line across any number of empty squares (orthogonally or diagonally) ending the move on an empty square adjacent to an opponent’s stone. The piece and the stone now define a line (straight or diagonal). If the next square of that line, going in the direction of the stone, is vacant or the next squares hold same-colored stones followed by an empty square, then your color stone is placed on that square, thus trapping the opponent’s stone(s) between itself and the moving piece, and flipping them all over to the moving player’s color.
Moving is compulsory, unless impossible, in which case a player must pass. If one player cannot move anymore, the other must proceed, but may only do so with capturing moves. The game ends when neither player can move.
The player with the most pieces on the board wins.
Online play is available against an Ai or turn based at https://mindsports.nl/index.php/the-pit/1046-desdemona
BGG entry, https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/313894/desdemona
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