Ihanobe’todo is a board game
for two players and one of the few games you might find in all provinces of the
Santharian Kingdom. It is played by
various kinds of races with the same enthusiasm, though it is said to have
elven origins. Actually one of the
acknowledged masters of Ihanobe’todo was an irrassable
dwarf that lived about 400 years ago in the
12th century a.S., named Drager, a
Mitharim from Tyr Ethran in the
Mithral Mountains, whose skills are praised to this very day. Ihanobe’todo
is a game with very simple rules, easy to learn, but nevertheless a very
demanding game if you have a strong opponent.
History. Ihanobe’todo is a very old tabletop game, widespread through all the Santharian Kingdom. Its age and origins are unknown, but the traces of Ihanobe’todo have been found in sketches and pictures by different elven tribes dated probably more than a thousand years ago. Latest researches indicate that the possible origin of this game are the now extinct Cyrathrhim elves ("Gentle Tribe"), who lived in the Calmarios Forest, close to the Tandala Mountains. The Aellenrhim have written accounts from the Cyrathrhim that date back nearly 8.000 years, and in several of them a "Game of Bridges" is mentioned, which very likely is identical with the Ihanobe'todo Game - or at least a game closely related to it. The peaceful nature of the game (all figures stay at the board while playing!) could also be an indicator of the Cyrathrhim origin.
Ihanobe’todo is played by two opponents on a rhomb-shaped checked board with
Equipment. Except the rhomb-shaped checked board and the 15 figures per player you only need your wits to represent a challenging opponent. The figures can actually have any shape, as long as the players know which figure stands for the Runners, Riders, Giants, Gryphons and the Dragons. Usually the Runners are only small, flat stones, while the more powerful figures increase gradually in height with the Dragon being the largest. Ihanobe boards throughout the country vary considerably though concerning the design of the figures, and while peasants of Horth might play it with rough stones only, elves in the Tethinrhim Ria play it with intricately carved wooden pieces of Giants, Gryphons and Dragons which collectors wouldn't even dare to touch due to their breathtaking beauty.
Game Set-Up. The two players take their places opposite to each other, put their figures at their predefined positions. The figures are lined up in the four rows closest to the players: the Dragon at the very corner, 2 Gryphons in front of it, 3 Giants in the next row, 4 Riders then and finally 5 Runners. The player with the white (or lighter) figures usually starts the game, or the loser of the last round begins.
Rules. The opponents start with their figures in the opposite corners of the board and move them forward in order to place them in the same formation on each other’s fields. The first player to take over the opponent’s corner completely with his/her own figures wins the game. Two figures are not allowed to stand on the same field, so one of the players has to move his figure away before the other one can occupy it.
Each player has five rows of figures, which can move the following ways:
The Runners (5)
The first row is the slowest and weakest one; the figures in this row are called Runners. They can only move straight forward, one field a turn. If there is an opponent’s figure in the way of the runner, he can jump over it – but only over one figure.
The Riders (4)
The second row consists of four Riders (or Knights). The Riders are also only able to jump over one opponent’s figure, but they can move diagonally forward (as shown in the picture) and thus have a choice, which way to go.
The Giants (3)
The third row – the Giants – can jump over two opponent’s figures in a line, although normally they move just like the Knights.
The Gryphons (2)
Two Gryphons in the fourth row can fly over the entire board as long as the fields they move through aren’t occupied by the opponent. They can jump over two occupied fields as giants, however they can’t move and jump in the same turn.
The Dragon (1)
The Dragon in the fifth row also can fly and is able to jump over all opponent’s figures in his way if they stand in one line. As the Gryphons, he can’t fly and jump in the same turn.
The players move their figures alternately, one figure every turn. A player has to move one of his figures, backward and sideward movement is not allowed.
Information provided by Fluffy Ramblers