TARA – SACRED HILL

Singles – Level 2 – Kingdoms

Sacred Hill Level 2 gets big and bulky! Because the rules for building ringforts in Battle mean that you will generally get fewer, but more bulky kingdoms, the kingdom variant can produce very close games. So if you like living on a knife edge, this one is for you; it’s concentration all the way!

This game is like a roller coaster; you can feel as though you’re completely out of control. However, once you begin to master it, it’s a great thrill. The skill in this game is to be able to see what’s going to happen well in advance and to know when to attack your opponent and when to leave them alone. Mistiming will cause real problems for you; make a mistake, and you will pay for it dearly!

2 Players

This variant is exactly the same as the Level 1 game, except for the rules below.

SECOND PHASE – BATTLE

  • The knight’s move rule no longer applies. Now, each player must assess the order of priority (OP) for each vacant hill before they take their turn. Initially, there will only be OP0s and OP1s, fig. 1.
  • Your highest OP must always be built first; if there are multiple hills with equally the highest OPs, you may freely choose which one to build first.
  • Once your first Battle ringfort has been built, it is likely that one hill (possibly more) adjacent to it will have been raised to OP2. If so, you must build on one of these OP2s on your next turn unless your opponent has built there first, fig. 2.
  • The game continues like this in a chain reaction; having built one ringfort, you find you are committed to building others until you reach a lull.
fig. 1: Blue starts Battle and must build on one of the OP1 hills. Note: it is also Blue’s first lull. fig. 2: Blue has now got two OP2s, C4 and D5, and must decide which one to build first.

CAPTURING RINGFORTS

  • Besieged ringforts automatically become targets for capture. Unlike Sacred Hill Level 1 rules, besieged ringforts adopt an OP determined by the number of ringforts besieging them, fig. 3.
  • So, as long as there are OPs the same (or higher) as the besieged ringfort, the ringfort does not need to be captured straight away, figs. 4 & 5.
fig. 3: Examples of besieged ringforts and their OPs. fig. 4: Blue has three OP2s, only one of which is the besieged Red ringfort B1. The capture does not have to be made immediately. fig. 5: Red previously besieged F5 and it becomes an OP4. This is the highest OP on the board currently, so must be captured this turn.

GENERAL RULES

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

FIRST PHASE – MANOEUVRES

  • Each player takes turns to build (place) one ringfort on an empty hill.
  • Each player may build their first ringfort anywhere.
  • Subsequently, your own ringforts must be built at a knight’s move from any one of your own ringforts, but not any closer than a knight’s move from any other friendly ringfort, figs. 1 & 2. Note that your ringforts may be built adjacent to enemy ringforts.
  • When you can no longer build a ringfort in the prescribed manner, Battle starts. At the start of such a turn, whichever player does so first must announce “BATTLE” and advances.
  • The other player too advances on their next turn, regardless of whether there are available knight’s moves or not. REVISED – 12th February 2014
fig. 1: Red to move. Ticks are legal moves but crosses are not. Crosses are too close (within a knight’s move) to friendly ringforts. fig. 2: Red to move. Red can no longer build a ringfort using the knight’s move rule, so advances to Battle.

SECOND PHASE – BATTLE

  • The knight’s move rule no longer applies. You must now build ringforts on vacant hills that are adjacent to friendly ringforts, linking them all automatically in the same turn, fig. 3.
  • Towards the end of a game you may find that there are no vacant hills to build upon which are adjacent to your own ringforts. In this case, you must start building afresh, even if it’s on a besieged hill, fig. 5.

fig. 3: Red starts Battle and must now build on hills adjacent to friendly ringforts which are marked with ticks.

CAPTURING RINGFORTS

  • If you besiege an isolated enemy ringfort, you must capture it on your next turn.
  • The ringfort is removed, then replaced by one of your own and linked, all in the same turn, fig. 4.
  • Capturing takes a complete turn. You must not build another ringfort in that turn.
  • Towards the end of a game, if your opponent has just built a ringfort on a besieged hill, you must capture it immediately, fig. 5.
  • Normally, you would only ever have one ringfort to capture at any one time. However, there may be cases towards the end of a game when your opponent builds on a besieged hill and you already have another ringfort to capture. You may then choose which one to capture first. You may capture only one ringfort per turn.
fig. 4: Blue previously besieged D6 and must now capture it. fig. 5: Red to play. Red must start afresh on E5, but then Blue must capture it immediately.

ILLEGAL MOVES

  • 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.

END OF THE GAME

  • The first player to not have a legal turn calls “OUT”. The other player then just has one more turn before the game ends. REVISED

SCORING

  • 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 4 kingdoms, the winner would get 3 bonus points. The other player does not receive points, fig. 6.
  • 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. For example, if the outcome was 24 to 21 ringforts, the winner would get 3 bonus points. The other player does not receive points, fig. 7.
fig. 6: Finished game: Red has 2 kingdoms and Blue has 3, so Red wins. Red scores 2 points (for the win) plus 1 bonus point (for the difference between 2 and 3) which equals 3 points. fig. 7: Finished game: both Red and Blue have 1 kingdom each, so territory must be counted. Red has 24 ringforts and Blue has 21, so Red wins. Red scores 2 points (for the win) plus 3 bonus points (for the difference between 21 and 24) which equals 5 points.