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Uckers (wikipedia.org)
40 points by andyjohnson0 on Sept 25, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 28 comments



This is one of the many Cross and Circle games[1], all of which use very similar design. Other examples include Pachisi (oldest), Ludo and "Mensch ärgere dich nicht" (last one is called simply "The Chinese" in Eastern Europe and is quite popular there)

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_and_circle_game


"Mensch ärgere dich nicht" and the Dutch version "Mens erger je niet" literaly translates to "Man, don't worry" or "Man, don't get aggravated", where man is gender neutral, for those who were wondering about the long name.


It should also be said that Mensch ärger dich nicht feels like it was purposefully designed to be the most infuriating board game possible.


I think its a draw between "Mensch ärgere dich nicht" and "Malefiz". God do I love "Malefiz". Hehe.


Haha, in USA it is called Aggravation. I should have known the board game corporation didn't invent it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggravation_(board_game)


This game is pretty popular among children here in Croatia. As a child, I played it a lot. It's called "Čovječe ne ljuti se" - a literal translation of the German version "Mensch ärgere dich nicht".


Yup, I was sure I recognized a classic parcheesi board. I might now have to try this six-sided variant sometime. Maybe I can pull folks off Settlers over the holidays...


We call it the same way in Bulgaria. In ex-Yugoslavia it's probably called like that, too.


I was on the University of London Air Squadron (for students of London universities who were sponsored by the RAF) and this game was a huge deal. It was played exclusively in the crew room - a room where you sat, ate pot noodles and 'bantered; with other students until it was your turn to go flying.

Of course, the senior students had the luxury of introducing 'rules' as they went along - a power I guarantee I did not abuse...

- "Touchy movey": if you touch a piece, you have to move it

- No counting spaces with your piece as you move. Have to move it directly to the end position

- "Acey deucey": you get an extra turn when you roll 1-2

- "Acey deucey of no usey": chanted in amusement by the other players if there were no valid moves you could play after rolling a 1-2. The dice passed to the next person and you didn't get the extra turn


How serious and common are some these rules?

"A "stand up" finish is for the more debonair player who wishes to finish in style. When requiring a number to finish that is possible from one dice throw. The player can state "stand up finish", throw his dice, stand up and walk away from the game without looking at the resulting throw in the hope that the correct number has appeared and he has won. Failing to do so, results in a slinking back to the board to continue, accompanied by polite banter from those present."


I'm a former Royal Marine, and I don't think ever played uckers. Not sure how widespread it is nowadays, but I think it might still be played at sea.


I can assure you it is still common at sea - but then Royal have been rather focused on hot and sandy places for a decade. Essentially one of the coffee tables in a mess will be set up as an Uckers board. On older ships it will have the names of those who have achieved a perfect score written around the side - for some reason often the WAFUs (flight crew) and WEO/DWEO (weapon engineering officer)...

Different ships and parts of the Royal Navy (such as the Fleet Air Arm) will have their own variations on the rules. Words from Uckers such as "mixiblob" are common parlance in "Jackspeak" the language of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

You'll often find sailors have produced their own boards / pieces. For instance the last board I played on had pieces that had been crafted from 20mm shell casings which fit perfectly on that sized board.



My dad was in the RAF while I was growing up. This brings back a lot of memories. This and cribbage are two games my parents and their friends played that will always remind me of places where we lived as I grew up.


My dad was in the RAF in WW2 and I do have vague recollections of playing a game like Ludo as a kid - maybe it was this.

[NB One odd thing that my dad picked up in the RAF that was a bit unusual was a love of Homer - he was stationed somewhere in Arctic Canada with an Oxbridge classics don].


Reminds me of the UK/US game "Sorry!"[1], based on Pachisi; It's not strictly a cross-and-circle game, since it's square and the four spokes don't meet in a cross, but it follows in the same spirit.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorry!_(game)


If you grew up in Denmark you could not avoid Ludo, a simplified version of this. Everywhere that has kids has a copy of it.


Same in Sweden.

Called "Fia" here. The version where you can push back other players pieces is called "Fia med knuff" (lit. "Fia with push").


Has there been any analysis of optimal play?


Optimal would be sailing round the Caribbean with plenty of runs ashore in exotic locations. Subobtimal would be somewhere in the Southern Ocean in a force 10. :-)


I stand corrected :)

Old: This is probably the best known board game for small children in Norway, known as Ludo (https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludo - Norwegian).


A few people have pointed to Ludo.

Uckers and Ludo are played on the same board, but they have different rules.


Indeed as the article notes being called a "Ludo player" is an insult when playing Uckers. This game is an awful lot more about frustrating your opponent, which is what makes it fun in a mess. A good Uckers game is a spectator sport.


Actually a popular game in Hungary. Played it a lot when I was a kid.


It's very popular in India too. we call it Ludo.


Your comment made me look for articles. Here's a nice one about different forms of this game and it has rules for a few different variants. (Ludo is one; Uckers is another): http://kreedaakaushalya.blogspot.co.uk/

There are a bunch of Indian games that deserve to be more popular outside India.

Carrom is one. Although typing after a game may be a bit painful. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrom

Here are a few more:

http://www.traditionalgames.in/home/board-games/aadu-puli-at...

http://www.traditionalgames.in/home/board-games/langa-katta-...

This one looks like it is waiting for some probability analysis: http://www.traditionalgames.in/home/board-games/sozhi-uruttu...


Yes! I grew up playing Snake & Ladder[1], Ludo, Carrom among other board games. They're all very popular in India. One more indoor game that's quite popular in southern India is Channe Mane[2].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snakes_and_Ladders

[2] http://nivedithatm.blogspot.in/2012/11/long-lost-childhood-g...


This isn't Ludo. Same board, different rules. If you enjoy ludo though, you'll like this.




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