Fox games

Fox games

Fox games are a category of board games where one player is the fox and tries to eat the geese/sheep, and the other player directs the geese/sheep and attempts to trap the fox, or reach a destination on the board. In another variant, "Fox and Hounds", the fox merely tries to evade the hounds. There are several versions known: in Britain "(Fox and geese)", France "(Renard et les poules)", Italy "(Lupo e pecore)", Germany "(Fuchs und Gänse)", Netherlands "(Schaap en wolf)", Sweden "(Räfspel)", Iceland "(Refskak)", and Russia "(Volk i ovtsy/Wolf and sheep)" [Murray 1951, p.101.] .


The game "Halatafl" is known from at least as early as the 14th century, and it is mentioned in Grettis saga. It probably originated in Scandinavia, as a variant of Tafl. In fact, Halatafl is still played in Scandinavia with rules similar to Tafl; see below. Edward IV of England is known to have purchased two foxes and 26 hounds to form two sets of "Marelles", believed to be Fox and Hounds [Redstone, V. B. "England among the Wars of the Roses" qtd in Murray 1951, p.102.] . As Fox and Geese, the game was a favorite pastime of Queen Victoria. [Sackson 1991, p.10.]


for "the Fox game") is still played with holes and pegs.

There are two fox pegs (the red pegs on the picture) and 20 sheep pegs (the yellow pegs). Like the original game, "tafl", the objective is for the defender (sheep) to reach a certain destination on the board, the square of nine holes marked with red, and it is the attacker's (the foxes) objective to stop the defender from reaching it. The foxes are placed in the corners on the bottom of the red square (the paddock), whereas the sheep are placed on the opposite side of the board. When the players have decided who will move first, they move one step in turns. The sheep may only move forward or sideways, while the foxes may move in any direction, even backwards. If a sheep is in front of an empty hole, the fox has to jump over and capture the sheep, like in checkers. The capturing is mandatory, as are repeated jumps if possible. If the fox does not jump and capture, the sheep opponent may capture the fox. The sheep also capture the fox, if he is surrounded and cannot move. The sheep have won if they manage to fill the paddock, the red square.

Fox and Geese

In the English-speaking world a simplified version is known as "Fox and Geese". In this version the objective of reaching a certain location has been removed and instead it all comes down to capturing each other's pieces. Neither is it mandatory for the fox to capture the opponent's pieces, and there are no restraints on the defender's (the geese's) movements.

The fox is placed in the middle of the board, and 13 geese are placed on one side of the board. The fox and geese can move to any empty space around them (also diagonally). The fox can jump over geese like in checkers, capturing them. Repeated jumps are possible. Geese can not jump. Unlike in Halatafl, capturing is not mandatory. The geese win if they surround the fox so that it cannot move. The fox wins if it captures enough geese that the remaining geese cannot surround it anymore.

The traditional game with 13 geese is not well balanced and gives advantage to geese.There are more balanced game variants with 15 and 17 geese or two foxes.

Fox and Hounds

This version (also called "Wolf and Sheep," "Hounds and Hare," or "Devil and Tailors") is played on an 8×8 chess/checkerboard. As in draughts, only the dark squares are used. The four hounds are initially placed on the dark squares at one edge of the board; the fox is placed on any dark square on the opposite edge. The objective of the fox is to cross from one side of the board to the other, arriving at any one of the hounds' original squares; the hounds' objective is to prevent it from doing so.

The hounds move like a draughts man, diagonally forward one square. The fox moves like a draughts king, diagonally forward or backward one square. There is, however, no jumping, promotion, or removal of pieces. The play alternates with the fox moving first. The player controlling the hounds moves only one of them per turn.

The fox is trapped when a hound occupies all four of its potential move squares. Alternatively, two hounds may trap the fox against an edge of the board (other than their original home-row). There is even one corner (see diagram) where a single hound may do the trapping. It may be noted that should a hound reach the fox' original home row, it will no longer have any potential moves.

It is, of course, perfectly acceptable to play the game on the light squares if the players prefer.

It may be noted that this game is solved in that perfect play will result in a "hounds" victory. [ "Package Class WSPlayer"] Java (programming language) implementation of the game "Wolf & Sheep". By JScience. Retrieved February 3 2008.]

See also

* Peg solitaire - played on the same board and originating as a variant of the Fox games.
* Tafl games




External links

* [ The Tafl Family] History of Tafl games

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 20th Century Fox Games — Fox Interactive Fox Interactive ou 20th Century Fox Games est un développeur et producteur de jeu vidéo fondé en 1994. En 2009, Fox Interactive est une filiale du Activision Blizzard (ex Vivendi Games). La société est principalement en rapport… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fox McCloud — Fox from Super Smash Bros. Brawl Series Star Fox First game Star Fox (1993) …   Wikipedia

  • Fox Interactive — Création 1982 Dates clés 1984 : disparition de Fox Video Games 2006 : renommage en 20th Century Fox Games Forme juridique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fox Interactive — 20th Century Fox Games Fundación 1982 Sede  Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Fox (disambiguation) — The fox is a carnivorous animal.Fox may also refer to: Animals * The fox terrier, a dog breed Sport * Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, a Brazilian football team who carry the nickname The Foxes (Portuguese: A Raposa ) * Leicester City FC, an English… …   Wikipedia

  • Fox Interactive — Not to be confused with Fox Interactive Media Fox Interactive (new name: 20th Century Fox Games) is a video game publisher and developer mainly concerned with titles based on 20th Century Fox properties, such as The Simpsons , Family Guy,… …   Wikipedia

  • Games of the Discworld — The fictional universe of the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett features a number of invented games, some of which have gone on to spawn real world variants. Contents 1 Stealth Chess 2 Cripple Mr Onion 3 Thud …   Wikipedia

  • Fox Sports Detroit — Launched September 17, 1997 Network Fox Sports Net Owned by Fox Entertainment Group (News Corporation) Picture format …   Wikipedia

  • Fox College Football — Format Sports Country of origin United States Production Running time 180 minutes or until game ends Broadcast Original …   Wikipedia

  • Fox NFL Sunday — Format National Football League Starring Curt Menefee Terry Bradshaw Howie Long Jimmy Johnson Michael Strahan …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”