Learning Arimaa/Playing The Game
The Board and Pieces
Arimaa is played on an 8x8 square board. You can use a chessboard or buy a board yourself. Each player starts with 16 pieces:
- 1 Elephant
- 1 Camel
- 2 Horses
- 2 Dogs
- 2 Cats
- 8 Rabbits
Gold sets up his pieces however he wants on the first two rows of the board. All 16 million possible positions are legal. Then Silver sets up her pieces however she wants on the two rows on her side of the board. Gold's advantage of moving first is offset by Silver's ability to react to Gold's setup.
(1) Gold sets up his pieces however he wants on his home rows.
(2) Then Silver sets up her pieces however she wants on her home rows.
The players alternate turns with Gold moving first. On each turn a player can take up to four steps.
- For most pieces, a step can be forwards, backwards, left, or right.
- Rabbits cannot move backwards. They can only move forwards, left, or right.
- A player can use four steps for one piece, or one step for four different pieces, or any other combination.
- The player cannot pass their turn or leave the position unchanged.
- The player cannot create the same position with the same player to move three times.