If you are looking for a relaxing but not to easy game to play with friends, malefiz is a great choice. Unfortunately, the basic variant of the game is for 4 players only. What to do if you gather a larger group – 5 or 6 people? No problem. There is a variant on a larger board!
Game of malefiz is also known as “Barricade“. It was clearly developed on a basis of pachisi (aka ludo). Its creator – Werner Schöppner – changed the board and introduced an additional type of pieces – so called barricades. Thanks to this he created funny game that is qute complex strategically. You can play it without getting bored.
I already described the basic variant of malefiz for 4 people. In this article I will describe a variant for 5 or 6 players.
Board, pieces and die
To play Malefiz you need a board like on the picture below. One field in the middle of the board is specially marked (in this case by a star). Colored fileds on the edges are also important.
In addition you need pieces and dice to play.
- 5 pieces for each player (for each in a different color) and
- 16 white pieces (so called barricades).
Theoretically from 2 to 6 people can take part in a game, but playing in small group (up to 4 people) doesn’t make sense. If there are 4 players or less, it is better to play the basic variant of the game.
If 6 players are in the game, there are simultaneously 46 pieces on the board (30 players’ pieces and 16 barricades pieces).
Initial setting is shown on the diagram below. White barricades are always placed on the same fields on the start. Players’ pieces are placed on colored start fields. Each player (in this case Yellow, Green, Blue, Red, Orange and Purple) has its own starting positions.
You also need one die to play. You can also play with two dice (see below).
Aim of the game
Malefiz is a race. Players race to the field in the middle (marked with the star). The winner is the first player who get one of his pieces on this field.
Of course, there are some important rules in this race.
Players make moves sequentially. In one turn player rolls a die and moves one of his pieces in any direction for as many fields as shown on the die.
The picture below shows the move possibilities after throwing 4. The player has four possible ways (large red dots indicate final reached field).
If there is another player’s piece on the way, it can be simply bypassed (or it can be captured – see below).
Note: It is not allowed to move forwards and backwards in one move. You can turn, but you can’t make a u-turn to made your move shorter.
Note II: In the first move, central field of starting fileds counts as a first field.
Removing the barricades
If there is barricade on the way choosed by a player, this barricade can not be passed. It must be removed first.
Removing a barricade occurs when a player lands one of his pieces on the top of barricade (with an exact throw). The player who removes a barricade, have the right to place it on any choosen fild on the board, with the exception of the fields behind the dashed line. This rule is intended to prevent the possibility of blocking pieces just at the start.
If a player standing before barricade throws a number of points not allowing to remove it, he or she may approach to the barricade. He or she can also move back.
Capturing opponent’s pieces
If player lands on the field occupied by opponent’s piece, this opponent’s piece is captured. Captured piece is sent back to the start and begins its journey from there.
Two dice variant
Some people like to play malefiz with two dice. In this case after each turn player moves not one, but two of its pieces. The game becomes more dynamic and the player has more capabilities of moving.
Why it’s worth a try?
I mentioned earlier that malefiz is relaxing but at the same time interesting. The rules are simple, but you have to think a little over tactics, and there is a funny turmoil on board when playing with 5 over people . This game is good both for adults and children. The former do not get bored, the latter should not discourage quickly :-).