The Rules for Tumblingdown ™

These are the official rules at Boardspace, which were based on the origninal rules for the game published on are available from the plateau web site.  The original rules have been changed in cooperation with Michael Shuck, the inventor.  The substance of the changes is a new starting position, and clarificaion of the exact conditions for ending the game.

The game is for two players, black and white.  
Equipment:: A standard 8x8 checkerboard.  Each player has 29 checkers.

The object of the game is to win by capturing your opponent's tallest king, without creating a taller king in the process.

Fine Print:
If your opponent has multiple stacks the same height, you can win by capturing any of them.
You can lose by capturing one of your own kings, or if after your move you have no kings.
If you satisfy both the winning and losing condition on the same move, you win.

The initial setup:

 starting position
The checkers are stacked as shown in the image at the above

Arrange the 29 checkers for each player as shown. 

White moves first.

The current tallest kings are marked with a K

The Move

sample move
There is only one type of move.  Pick up a stack which has one of your pieces on top, and distribute it from the bottom of the stack in any direction, one checker per square, until you run out of checkers or you reach the edge of the board.   At the edge of the board you drop all the remaining checkers on the current square.

Here, white has moved G8 toward F7.  Since the original stack was three high, chips are deposited on F7 E6 and F5.

Since F7 and F8 have the same height and are taller than any other white kings, both are kings after the move.

Elementary observations:

  • Not all moves that add checkers to a king capture it.
  • A threatened king can escape by being moved, which will leave some other stack as the new king.
  • To determine if the game is over, and who won, you need to know what move was made last.

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