Grabber is a combinatorial game based on the column checkers method of capture found in games like Bashni, Lasca, Stapeldammen and Emergo. It is the column checkers version of a traditional Hawaiian game called Konane.
The diagram shows the board with the men in the initial position. There are two players, white and black. White moves first after which turns alternate. Moving is compulsory.
All movement is straight only.
If a player on his turn cannot make a capture, he loses the game.
Note: every time a single man is captured, the number of pieces decreases by one. Since there is no way to increase the number of pieces, there will be progressively fewer pieces.
Note: Grabber is not an elimination game. A player may have plenty of pieces but no capture. So making multiple captures may not always serve the game's object and will often run counter to it.
Note: On small boards Grabber can be seen to be a win for the second player most of the time (depending on the squares where the initial removal of one white and one black man takes place):
Axiom Game Engine if playing against itself, gets a second player win in about 70% of the games. In human terms this may be less relevant, but not altogether insignificant.
Grabber is also implemented on the Axiom Game Engine and can be downloaded from our Axiom page.