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Singles - Level 1 - Kingdoms

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The mighty Stone of Destiny set atop the King's Seat will roar as it accepts the true High King of Tara. In this ultimate test of skill and nerve, victory rests on a knife-edge as you battle with your enemy to and fro. Ringforts are won and lost in the blink of an eye; so be wise in the art of attack and defence; protect them with your life!

2 Players

LAST REVISED - 2nd March 2014


  • A match comprises two games, each player taking turns to start. The player with most points after two games wins the match.
  • At the end of each game the player with the fewest kingdoms receives points.
  • In case of a tie, the player with most territory (i.e. the one who does not have the spare ringfort, see Battle) receives points.


  • Sit opposite your opponent with the empty board set squarely between you.
  • Each of you takes the tiles of your chosen colour and one king.
  • Draw lots to determine who starts.


  • Passing is not allowed.
  • Once you touch a empty hill / ringfort you are committed.


  • The first player builds (places) one ringfort on an empty hill and places their king into it.
  • Thereafter, each player builds one ringfort 1 or 2 hills (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) away from the enemy king, fig. 1, and then moves their king into it.
  • If you have nowhere to build you must start again anywhere else.
  • This continues until the board is full. Note: this phase does not need bridges.
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fig. 1: Blue may build a ringfort 1 or 2 hills away from Red's king horizontally, vertically or diagonally.


  • Now, there will only be one spare ringfort left; this player starts the Battle.
  • On your turn you must do the following, fig. 2, in order:
  1. Remove any unlinked enemy ringfort (except for the one in which the enemy king stands) and give it to your opponent.
  2. Replace it with your own (the spare) ringfort.
  3. Move your king into your new ringfort to protect it.
  4. Link any two of your own ringforts (not necessarily with your new one).
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fig. 2: 1) Blue removes a Red ringfort, then 2) replaces it with the spare Blue ringfort, then 3) moves the Blue king there and 4) links two Blue ringforts.


  • If you make an illegal move and it's spotted before your opponent takes their next turn, your opponent may order you to remove that ringfort, and then replace it somewhere else of their own choosing in accordance with the rules pertaining at the time.


  • The first player to not have a legal turn calls "OUT", fig. 3. The other player then just has one more turn before the game ends. REVISED
  • All remaining unlinked ringforts must now be linked.
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fig. 3: Blue cannot swap a ringfort. The Red king also protects Red's only unlinked ringfort. So Blue calls "OUT". Red has no legal turn either.


  • The winner is the player with the fewest number of kingdoms. The winner scores 2 points, plus bonus points for the difference in the number of kingdoms. For example, if the outcome was 1 to 6 kingdoms, the winner would get 5 bonus points. The other player does not receive points, fig. 4.
  • If both players have the same number of kingdoms, the winner is the player with most territory. The winner scores 2 points, plus bonus points for the difference in territory (this will always be 1 point, i.e. the spare ringfort). The outcome will be 23 to 22 ringforts so the winner gets 1 bonus point. The other player does not receive points.
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fig. 4: Finished game: Red has 1 kingdom and Blue has 3, so Red wins. Red scores 2 points (for the win) plus 2 bonus points (for the difference between 1 and 3) which equals 4 points.

© 2018 Murray Heasman, all rights reserved worldwide. Website designed by Murray Heasman.
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