Simpei Rules in English
Simpei Quick Reference
Simpei is a 2 player abstract strategy game. Appears simple on the surface, however, Simpei is a deep strategy game. Currently (summer 2006), Simpei is only available in Japan for about $10 for the portable edition (12cm x 12cm - 4.7" x 4.7") or $25 for the bigger sized board. You can play it online (flash) for free against the computer AI which has 4 different difficulty levels. Below is a translation of the rules. I own the portable edition which has many more examples and clarifications than the online rules.
Each player has 4 pieces. One player is red, the other is blue. If you surround your opponent's piece(s) on both sides (sandwich) on the same world (upper or lower) you must move the sandwiched piece(s) to any other vacant space on the board. There is the upper world and lower world which are different. Upper world place pieces face up, lower world place the pieces face down in the holes.
You win if you get 3 pieces in a row:
4 pieces in a row does not win.
Each player places one piece on their turn.
If you sandwich the other player's piece on the upper world (like blue does to red), you MUST move the sandwiched piece(s) to anywhere else on the board.
If you place or move your own piece between your opponents pieces it is NOT sandwiched.
Likewise for the lower world, if you sandwich a lower world piece you must move it to anywhere else on the board. However, upper world pieces cannot sandwich lower world pieces and vice versa, lower world pieces cannot sandwich upper world pieces.
After all 4 pieces have been placed on the board, and not until then, you begin moving your pieces. Move your piece one space per turn.
After you move a piece you can sandwich your opponent's piece. Here the red piece moves from the lower world to the upper world and sandwiches the blue's piece.
If you sandwich 2 pieces you must move them to another space and never to either of the spaces from whence either of the pieces came. Which means the 1st sandwiched piece can't move into the 2nd sandwiched piece and vice versa. Likewise, if you sandwich 3 or 4 pieces you must move them.
You must move into 3 in a row. If your opponent moves your piece to make 3 in a row you do not win. 1st picture above you see red sandwiched the blue piece and moves it to make blue have 3 in a row but blue does not win.
Red's turn, can red win?
Red sandwiches blue's piece and moves it to form 3 in a row for blue, however, blue does not win since blue must move himself/herself to form 3 in a row. So play continues.
Red has only one move to prevent blue from getting 3 in a row.
Red moves from upper world to lower world to sandwich blue's piece and gets to move the sandwiched piece anywhere on the board.
Updated Jul 04, 2006