module The boards
Storisende is a territory game that may be played on a hexhex board, usually base 4, 5 or 6, or on a board made up of 'modules' consisting of 7 hexagons whose number and lay-out are up to the players. In the latter case a newly added module should connect with at least two cells to the evolving board. Beginners however are advised to use a base-4 hexhex board.
In this game a hex cell may change its status from the original beige (virgin territory) into green (established territory) or dark (Wall). The game is most likely to be played online, using for instance Stephen Tavener's Ai Ai engine, and this program makes these changes automatically in the representation of this image of a base-4 endposition.

module Virgin territory is beige, established territory is green and the Wall has a brick pattern. The checkers have been replaced by human figurines, doubles as a male and a female holding hands for reasons that will be clarified.

This endgame position shows Black's last move before White gave up. It may not be too difficult to see why, after reading the rules.

Here are a few words on physical game material.

Each player has a sufficient number of men, flat checkers that are easy to stack.

  • A 'piece' may refer to a man or a stack of like coloured men. Where the difference matters, the rules will refer to either a 'single' or a 'stack'.
  • A piece may only move straight in one of the six main directions and must move exactly the number of cells equaling its height.
  • A stack may split in the process, so a player may move a single or stack from the top, leaving the remainder behind. The top part that leaves must move according to its own height.
  • If a piece lands on a like coloured piece, the two merge. If it lands on an opponent's piece, it captures by replacement, regardless of size. Capture by replacement means that the capturing piece takes the place of the single or stack that is captured and that the latter is removed from the board.

The interaction of the board and the pieces
The board is a contiguous set of hexes called 'cells', initially all virgin territory. During play, a cell may become green (part of the established territory) or dark (part of the Wall). The moment an occupied virgin cell is vacated, whether by a single or a stack, then it immediately becomes either green or dark.

  • It becomes green if the cell makes a new established territory or if it is an expansion of exactly one existing established territory, or
  • It becomes dark if the cell is adjacent to separate established territories, i.e. if it would merge existing established territories. Instead it then becomes a part of the Wall keeping those very territories separated.

During the game areas of established territory never merge
Here you see a 'one-module board' in which three of the seven beige cells have turned to established territory (green) and one has turned to dark (Wall). The established territory top right and the one on the left were already there when the top left virgin cell was vacated. Turning green would cause two areas of established territory to merge, which is not allowed, so the cell turned dark, becoming a part of the Wall. The centre cell, if vacated, awaits the same fate as does eventually one of the two remaining virgin cells.
After the game has ended the remaining virgin cells, if any, turn to established territory before counting. Men that may occupy them remain in place. Territories are counted by the number of cells inside them.

Growth: only doubles breed offspring
If and only if a virgin cell is vacated by a 'double' - a stack of two singles - it will sprout one new man on that cell, regardless of whether it becomes part of the established territory or part of the Wall. This is actually the only way to get a man on the Wall.

Movement and capture
Players move in turn, one piece at the time. Movement is optional: a player may pass his turn without losing the right to move on subsequent turns.

  • Cells belonging to lakes or inlets inside or outside the actual board may be jumped over but not be landed on. The cells outside the board are still part of the grid, so if a player moves a stack over them, the distance is counted by the number of cells as if they were part of the board.
  • In jumping its allotted straight-line distance, a stack on the Wall may jump over any cell, whether Wall or territory, occupied or vacant, and land on any target cell, again whether Wall or territory, occupied or vacant.
  • A piece down in the territories may never jump up on the Wall. A stack may jump over a cell of the Wall if and only if this cell is occupied by a piece of like colour. Singles of course can't jump over the Wall because they can only move to adjacent cells. Other than that, a piece in the territories may jump over or land on any cell.

Start of the game
Both players agree on a board. Then one takes a role as placer, the other as chooser. The placer distributes 2 to 5 men on one to five cells of the board. The number of men is decided beforehand and they may be stacked in any configuration. The chooser then decides to either accept the position as his first move, leaving placement of the same number of opposing singles to his opponent, or he accepts that first placement as his opponent's first move, so that it is now his turn to place the same number of singles. These two placements end the placement stage.

The game ends after both players pass on successive turns. The winner then is the player who controls the most territory. Territory is counted by the number of cells inside it. Virgin cells, if any were left, turn to established territory before counting. Pieces that may still occupy them remain in place. Pieces on the Wall don't control territory, only pieces inside a territory do. For a player to 'control' a territory it is necessary and sufficient to be the only colour inside that territory. One man is enough for that. Territories that are not occupied, or feature both players in a stalemate situation, do not count for either player.
Games may end in a draw.

 An example of counting
module In the final position of this game the Wall has been completely vacated and the score is Red-16 and Purple-14 so Red has won.

Note that the virgin cells count as belonging to the territory that they are in. If Red now moves the man on the centre one it would split the 6-cell territory and he would lose at least 3 points, and the game.

Note also that the losing side can keep moving to avoid termination. In that case '3-fold' - three times the same position with the same player to move - will guarantee termination. After termination the score is counted as usual. Of course if the losing side keeps moving and the winning side keeps passing, then it may take ten or ten thousand moves to reach 3-fold. But it is inevitably reached at some point. For the losing side that may be an issue worth considering.

Physical game material
module The best pieces are flat checkers. The module is depicted as green here, and initially every cell is covered with a thin disk, beige on one side, dark on the other. If a cell with a beige disk changes its status, the disk is either removed or reversed to become part of the Wall.

Storisende can be played on any sufficiently large contiguous grid of hexes, including regular shaped boards such as a diamond or a 'hex hex' (suggested sizes base-4, 5 and 6).