The game of Ho'machi has been played in various versions for thousands of years, evolving and changing over the years. It is popular across most strata of society and over a large area. Those living in the Sh'areen Caliphate will tell you that the game originated within the Sa'ar Desert. While it remains a stable of the Sh'reen culture, its actual origins are debated.   The sun symbolising Amaunator at the centre can represent the righteousness and worthiness of the winner. The sticks on the board represent the difficulties in life. Once, the game was relied on as a source of divination when the gods or magic was inconclusive.  


Play starts with white and continues counterclockwise with each player getting a turn until there's a winner. On each turn, a player rolls three dice. These are typically tetrahedron with two black and two white tips. The tally of black tips pointing upwards is tallied, resulting in a number between 0 and 3. The player may then either move one piece on the board that many steps or place a new stone in their home corner and move it instead.   A player cannot move diagonally to a different square, move into a square that has another stone or a stick. After the move, the player may move one stick on the board. The stick must still remain in one of its two squares, but the other end can be moved to any square adjacent to the remaining one. The stick can not be placed on a square where there is a stone or on the central sun.   A move that starts protected by The Onyx Knight (the sword squares) may move across a sick during its turn, but can't end the turn there. A move that ends on a square protected by Tyche (the star in a circle) are blessed with fortune and allows the player to make another roll with only two dice to make another move.   If a player rolls three white tips on their dice, they don't get to move any of their stones but they get to move a stick as per the above rules in addition to the normal movement of a stick.   When a stone enters the centre sun from one of the two squares opposite that player's home, the stone is immediately taken off the board and considered safe. If one player gets all of their eight stones safe through Amaunator's sun like this, they have won. If one of the other players have more stones safe than the other, they are second. If both other players have the same number of stones, they play until one of them has gotten one more stone safe at which point they win.


Not even most elves are sure when or where the game was first played, but it has been around for at least two thousand years, and probably a lot longer. It has been used to settle disputes by showing who could get the favour of the god of the sun in the game. There is at least one battle that was delayed because the generals played ho'machi instead. Not to mention the countless versions of this game played in various situations.   The game is often played by the full spectrum of society, with the poorly carved boards and simple pebbles of the poor and the marble and gold boards with finely carved pieces that are used by nobles.


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30 Jul, 2019 03:41

It feels like a weird version of chinese checkers! I like it!   I have to mention it, I think you accidentally submitted this article to the wrong challenge. :P You might be looking for the Summer Camp challenge's game article rather than the KyaniteChallenge for novelettes and short stories.

~ Tristan
31 Jul, 2019 11:55

Heh, yes I did. Oh well.   I'm glad you like the game though. :)

31 Jul, 2019 23:05

Ahhhh you submitted this to the "Kyanite Publishing challenge!" not the board game challenge. At least, I assume that is what happened being that this isn't a short story!!

Author of Ravare.
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