How to Play

Rules and Aims of the game

Pieces are called cows
Any place where lines meet on the Morabaraba/ Umlaba- laba board is called a junction. Shooting a cow means removing it from the
board permanently. Create rows of three that then allows you to shoot your opponents cows. This goes on until there are only two or
less of the opponent’s cow left and you have won.

To Play:
Play consists of 2 stages:

Stage 1.

Each player begins with twelve pieces (cows) and the board is empty.

One player begins by placing a piece on a junction (where lines meet) and the players continue alternately until all 24 pieces are placed
on the board. The aim is to create rows of three, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Cows can only be placed on empty junctions. When a three in a row is achieved, the winning player may remove one of the opponents` cows from the board. This is called shooting a cow.

But, the player who achieves a three-in-a-row cannot remove a cow that is part of an opponent’s three-in-a-row. If there are no cows available outside of the three-in-a-row, then the chance to remove a cow is forfeited. Only one opponent cow can be shot at a time, even when the player creates more than one three-in-a-row in a single move. Once a cow is taken off the board, it will not be used
in play again.

Stage 2.

Once all the cows have been placed on the board, cows can be slid along the lines from one junction to another that is unoccupied and linked by one slide only. The aim is to slide cows into new three-in-a-rows. Players can break their own three-in-a-row in order to make new lines or simply re-position their cows. You cannot hurt your opponent with the same playing piece (cow) more than once. You must be inventive in your strategy. You cannot
simply go back and forth making the same three-in-a-row with the same cow. It must always be a new playing piece making the three-in-a-row.

Winning the game
The game is won when the opponent cannot move any cows or has two or less cows on the board.
When a player is down to three cows and the opponent cannot shoot an opponent’s cow within ten moves, the game is declared a draw.


Diketo Copyright 2002
Diketo Traditional African Boardgames c.c. / Reg No. 2002/011341/23
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