INTRODUCTION Cephalopod is a two player game which employs a 5x5 board, 24 dice of one color, and 24 dice of another color. The board starts out vacant as shown in Figure 1. Mark Steere invented Cephalopod on February 25, 2006.
BASIC PLACEMENT Players take turns adding dice of their own color to the board, one die per turn. Dice are never moved from one square to another. Players cannot pass on their turn.
OBJECT OF THE GAME Once the board has been completely filled, the player whose dice occupy the majority of the squares wins. Draws and ties cannot occur in Cephalopod.
CAPTURING PLACEMENT If a die is placed horizontally or vertically adjacent (hereafter “adjacent”) to two dice, and the sum of the pip counts on those two dice is six or less, then the currently played die must show the pip sum of its two adjacent dice, and the player must remove those two dice from the board immediately, while it is still his turn. Figure 2 shows such an example. Dice of either or both colors can be captured by a die of either color. Captured dice are set aside and reclaimed by their owners.
If a die is placed adjacent to three or four dice, and if two, three, or four of its adjacent dice have a pip sum of six or less, then two, three, or four of those dice (whose pip sum is six or less) must be removed, and the played die must show the pip sum of the removed dice. In Figure 3 all four adjacent dice are removed. In Figure 4 Black has selected only two of the three adjacent dice for removal.
Captures are mandatory only when placing a die onto a square from which captures are possible.
NON-CAPTURING PLACEMENT A player can make a non-capturing placement simply by adding a die to a square from which no captures are possible. Non-capturing placements must show a single pip. In Figure 5 Black decides to make a non-capturing placement.
Players always begin their turn by adding a die. Only dice which are adjacent to the currently added die, and whose pip sum equals the pip count of the currently added die may be removed during the current turn.
ECONOMICAL VERSION A player will almost never occupy 24 of the 25 squares. In a more economical version of Cephalopod, each player owns 18 dice. In the rare event that one player occupies 18 squares of the board at the conclusion of his turn, and the board is not completely filled, that player has won the game. If the board does become completely filled, then the player occupying the majority of the squares wins.
SMALLER VERSIONS For a shorter game the 3x3 center portion or a 3x5 portion of the board can be used.
AUTHOR’S NOTE Feel free to copy, distribute, profit from, or do whatever you like with this document and the game of Cephalopod. However, please don’t change the name or the rules, and please attribute the game to me, Mark Steere. Other games I invented: Quadrature, Tanbo, Impasse, Byte, and Diffusion. For more information see marksteeregames.com.
Copyright (c) February 2006 by Mark Steere