One of the oldest games in the world, a version of this game was almost certainly played by Stone Age and Bronze Age people in Europe. The Normans brought the game to England where it became very popular during the medieval period and many Nine Men's Morris boards can be found scratched into the floor and windowsills of older inns and churches.

Aim of the game

Two players attempt to capture or block their opponent's pieces: by placing and moving pieces around the board each player tries to capture all but two of their opponent's pieces or to make it impossible for the opponent to move.

The board

Please excuse my lame attempts at ASCII art for this part:

+---------------------------+            
|                           |            
|  +----------+----------+  |
|  |          |          |  |
|  |  +-------+-------+  |  |
|  |  |       |       |  |  |
|  |  |  +----+----+  |  |  |
|  |  |  |         |  |  |  |
|  +--+--+         +--+--+  |
|  |  |  |         |  |  |  |
|  |  |  +----+----+  |  |  |
|  |  |       |       |  |  |
|  |  +-------+-------+  |  |
|  |          |          |  |
|  +----------+----------+  |
|                           |      
+---------------------------+ 

Each player has nine different coloured pieces, draughts or checkers pieces are ideal.

Starting play

Each player places one piece each at any intersection or corner which is not already occupied.

Main play

Players alternate turns, placing one piece as above at each turn. The initial aim is to create a "mill" which is a term for three pieces of the same colour in a straight line at adjacent corners/intersections along one of the lines of the board. If a player manages to form a mill he gets to remove one opponent piece as long as that piece isn't part of a mill (sounds more complex than it is). If the only piece available to remove is part of a mill then one of those can be removed. Players continue placing one piece at a time on the baord until they have each used all nine pieces.

Once all the pieces have been placed, play continues by moving any piece to any adjacent intersection/corner. The aim is still to create mills with which to eliminate the opposition player's pieces. It is permitted to re-form a mill over two moves: by moving a piece away from a mill in one move, and recreating the mill by moving the same piece back next move. Play continues until one player has only two pieces left on the board: that player has then lost. Additionally if a player is unable to make a legal move they also lose.

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