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Mogol Putt'han


Mogol Putt'han Opening Position

Alternate Names
Mogol Putt'han may be spelled as Mughal Pathan.  The game of Permainan-Tabal from Indonesia uses the same board and plays very similar. Murray also mentions several games from other regions that are the same or similar such as Shānzdahu-kattaru (Persian from Turkestan), Uno-alti-tashu (Oboikh from Turkestan), Sōlah guttiya (Bengal), Athāra guti (India), Baz (India), Mar (India), Ticcha (India), Bangale (India) , Athāra gutiala teoria (Central Provinces of India), Mangal-pata (East Bengal and Behar), Dam pursi (Assam and Sikkim), Sipchi kat (Assam and Sikkim), Hewakam keliya (Ceylon), and Dam (Malaya).

No. of Players
Two

Equipment
A Mogol Putt’han board and sixteen each of black and white counters are required for play. The related game of Permainan-Tabal allows counters to be promoted and this will require a method to denote this. The counters may be stackable, adding one to represent promotion, or have one side that is specially marked that can be turned up when the counter is promoted.

History
Mogol Putt’han is played in the Indian province of Bengal. The similarity of the boards played upon suggest that this game may be a derivation of Alquerque.

Objective
The goal is to capture all of the opponent’s counters, the first player to achieve this being the winner. A player may also win by blocking any legal move by his opponent. If it is agreed that a draw seems imminent, the player with more counters may declare victory.

Play
Counters are placed at all the intersections except those on the middle vertical line, as above. Alternate turns between players entail a move along a line to any neighboring vacant intersection in any direction or a jump over an opponent’s counter(s) in a straight line to a vacant intersection beside the counter being jumped. Counters are captured by being jumped over and are then removed from the board. Double or multiple captures in one move are permitted and direction may be changed after each enemy counter has been jumped. On any turn that it is possible to take an opponent’s counter it is compulsory to do so. If a player does not make the compulsory capture on their turn by failing to notice it, their opponent may then huff (remove) that counter as a bonus before their next move.

Variations
The Tibetan game of Kungser has two variations: one is nearly identical with Cows & Leopards from Sri Lanka. The other is nearly identical with Mogol Putt’han. The only difference is that the two vertical lines in each of the triangular extensions are usually drawn as curved lines. The boards are, however, topologically equivalent and this does not affect the play. This board has been found carved into the rock of a hill temple near Kherjarala, Rajesthan, India.

Kungser board diagram 

The game of Permainan-Tabal, also known as Dama, is a game from Indonesia that uses the same board, same opening position, and plays very similar, but counters are only allowed to move forward and sideways until their eventual promotion to Kings at the opponent's furthest column, inside the triangular extension. Unpromoted counters may capture in any direction, however, as in Mogol Putt'han. Kings are very powerful in this variation and not only can move any direction, but they may also move any number of unobstructed intersections along any line, as a Queen in Orthochess. They also may capture by short jump or long jump. This means that they may jump over any enemy counter that lies any distance from it along a single unobstructed line. (They may only jump over and capture one counter per jump). They also may land any distance from the counter on the other side, so long as there are no other counters of either color being jumped.

Dam pursi or Sipchi kat from Assam and Sikkim are the same game only each player commences with eighteen men.

Sources
  1. Murray, H.J.R.  A History of Board Games other than Chess.  Oxford University Press, 1952.
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