The rules mention men and kings. A king is a promoted man. If the difference doesn't matter, they may also mention pieces, for instance 'the number of pieces on the board'.
On the board there are squares and lines. These are always dark squares and oblique lines, like the 'e-line' or the '5-line'. A square is identified as the intersection of two lines. The 1- and 0-line each count but one square.
The five most distant squares from a player's point of view are called the back rank.

Initial position
Initial positionThe diagram shows the board and the pieces in the initial position. There are two players, black and white. White begins. Players move - and must move - in turn.

Object
  • If a player has no legal move he loses the game. This may come about either by being eliminated or being blocked completely.

Movement
Capture has precedence over a non-capturing move. If the player to move has no capture to make, he has the following options:

  • Moving a man or a line of men.
  • Moving a king.

piece movementPiece movement
  • A man moves one square forward along a line, provided the target square is vacant. If a man reaches the back rank, it is promoted to king. This marks the end of the move.
    A king moves any distance along an open line to a vacant target square.

linear movementLinear movement
  • A line of men is an unbroken row of men of one color on a line. The shortest possible line of men consists of two men. A king is never part of a line of men. A line of men moves, as a whole, one square forward along the line of squares it defines, provided the square in front is vacant. A line of men may not move backward. If it hits the back rank, only the front man promotes.

In actual play not all men of a line of men are moved. One simply picks up the last man of the line of men one intends to move, and puts it in front. This may be any man of the line of men from the second to the last. In the diagram all white's initial options are displayed.



Capture
Capture is compulsory. In Bushka all capture is by contact. There are two distinct ways to do this:

  • Linear capture means capture with a line of men.
  • Piece capture means capture with a man or a king.
  • Linear capture precedes over piece capture, even if the latter is a majority capture!
    Within each principle, majority capture precedes.
  • If the player to move can make exactly one linear capture, he must do so. If he can make more than one, he must choose the capture that brings the maximum number of captured pieces. A king counts as one piece. If there is more than one way to meet this criterion, the player is free to choose.
  • If the player to move cannot make a linear capture, he must look for a piece capture. If he can make exactly one, he must do so. If he can make more than one, he must choose the capture that brings the maximum number of captured pieces. A king counts as one piece. If there is more than one way to meet this criterion, the player is free to choose.



Linear capture
A line of men makes only one movement in a turn! In a capture, this movement may be forwards or backwards. If the square in front of a line of men is vacant and the square beyond is occupied by an opponent's piece, the line of men captures by approaching one square, 'touching' the piece with its head.

  • If the piece is a king, it is therewith captured and removed in the same turn.
  • If the piece is a man that is the head of an opposing line of men on the same line, that entire line of men is therewith captured and removed. If it is not the head of an opposing line of men, only the man itself is captured.

Sorry, you need a Java enabled browser to view the Bushka Player! The example shows the maximum line of men that can be captured. White must first pull c5 to c4 to get a two-men line of men on the 4-line. Then he pulls it in front of the black line of men on the e-line.
White cannot move f34 right away because he cannot pull a single man to e4: the black man would have to make a multiple piece capture of the two men on f4 and e2:

1.f34?-d4e3x

Sorry, you need a Java enabled browser to view the Bushka Player! Since a line of men may capture both forwards and backwards, the expression 'the square in front' must be seen within the direction of the move. This one-liner illustrates the point. White sacrifices a man to capture the black line of men backwards.



Piece capture
Where a linear capture keeps a particular line, a piece capture may not. A piece may capture both forward and backward and may change direction as often as is required under the condition of majority capture.

The first condition for making a piece-capture is the absence of a linear capture. A man that is the head of a line of men in a particular direction can therefore never capture as a piece in that direction. Of course the man may be the head of a line of men in one direction, but not so in the perpendicular direction. The man is then called isolated in the latter direction.

  • A man can only start a capture in a direction in which it is isolated. Once the capture starts, the man remains isolated by definition for the rest of the turn.
  • If a man is isolated on a particular line, and next to it on that line is a vacant square followed by a square occupied by an opponent's piece, then the man captures the piece by making a one step approach onto the vacant square, contacting the piece. Note that a piece captures only a piece, not an entire line of men.
    If the man, now isolated by definition, can proceed in a similar way in another direction, including a 180 degrees turn, it must do so, taking care beforehand to establish the route that brings the maximum number of captured pieces. A king counts as one piece.
    If there is more than one way to meet this criterion, the player is free to choose.
  • A king is isolated by definition. It looks along open lines. If it sees, at any distance, an opponent's piece, then the king captures this piece by approaching onto the last vacant square before it, contacting the piece.
    If it can proceed in a similar way in another direction, including a 180 degrees turn, it must do so, taking care beforehand to establish the route that brings maximum number of captured pieces.
    If there is more than one way to meet this criterion, the player is free to choose.
  • After - and only after - a multiple capture has taken its complete course, the captured pieces are removed from play.
  • In the course of a multiple capture a piece may visit the same square more than once, but it may not capture the same piece more than once.

Draws
  • Draws: the game may end in a draw by 3-fold or mutual agreement.

Sorry, you need a Java enabled browser to view the Bushka Player! This example illustrates priorities of capture. You'd want to go through this step by step.
Black starts a combination that gets him a man on f3, one step from promotion.
For an alternative way for black to handle the same position, see T-strike app.1.

Sorry, you need a Java enabled browser to view the Bushka Player! This position illustrates a seldom encountered detail in the rules: in the course of a capture, a piece may visit a cell more than once, but it may not capture a piece more than once.



Notation
On the board there are oblique lines like the 'e-line' or the '5-line'. A square is identified as the intersection of two lines. The 1- and 0-line each count but one square.

A non capturing move always keeps a particular line. The index change on that line is sufficient to indicate the move. Thus f45 and gf5 indicate moves of a white man or any king, while d25 and he6 indicate moves of a white line of men or any king.

A linear capture also keeps a particular line. Here the capture sign 'x' comes in between the indices, for instance hxe5 or g3x5.

A multiple piece-capture does not necessarily keep a particular line and may end on the square of origin. The 'x' sign now comes after the indices, for instance e8h6x, ef8x or f6x.

Note: The above shorthand notation is not suited for the applet. The applet requires formal notation, that is departure square and target square separated by a hyphen. In case of a multiple piece capture, all intermediate squares should be entered too, also separated by hyphens. Of course entering moves by clicking the board is more convenient.