Qurkat in Hadradia | World Anvil

Qurkat (Quircat)

Qurkat is a board game played on a four by four square grid with each quarter of the grid crossed with a pair of lines going from corner to corner, forming an X.

Designed for two players, each person starts the game by laying out their twelve pieces on points of the grid where lines intersect. Typically the pieces are black and white, though they may be painted any color depending on the taste of the person who made the game board. The materials used vary greatly as well, from a simple set of lines scratched into the dirt with a stick to ornate ironwood boards with onyx and whalebone tokens meant for a nobleman's pleasure. A portable version of the game is also popular, consisting of the pattern of a Qurkat board drawn onto a circle of leather with a drawstring, turning the board into a pouch to hold the pieces which can be hung from a traveler's belt with ease.

Qurkat is becoming a popular game in common rooms and inns across the kingdom, sometimes the result of drunken patrons carving a board into a table when the innkeeper isn't looking. It's not that uncommon for people to place wagers on the outcome of a qurkat game, given that it seems to be human nature to gamble on just about anything which might be gambled upon. More refiined qurkat boards are finding their way into the solars and parlors of the nobility as the game is good for instructing young and old alike in the ways of strategic thinking.
The game was imported to Wolestland from Mantius by sailors crossing the Tenian Sea. The Wolest name for the game is a bastardation of the Mantian Qurikalto (Tile Game). Some regional variations have already started to spring up, mainly having to do with the numbers of tokens each player uses and the size of the board.
The rules are fairly simple, but it requires strategy to win the game:
  1. A piece can move from its point to any empty adjacent point that is connected by a line.
  2. A piece can jump over an opposing piece and remove it from the game, if that opposing piece is adjacent and the point beyond it is empty.
  3. Multiple capturing jumps are permitted, and indeed compulsory if possible.
  4. If a capture is possible it must be made, or else the piece is removed (or huffed).
  5. A piece cannot move backward (e.g., a piece in the middle of an empty board would have five available moves).
  6. No piece can return to a point it has previously occupied.
  7. Once a piece has reached the opponent's back row it can only move to capture opposing pieces.
  8. The game is won when either: A. The opponent has lost all of their pieces. B. None of the opponent's pieces are able to move.

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