The Games Journal | A Magazine About Boardgames

Budget Crokinole

Designer: Mike Mayer
Players: 2
Equipment: 6 discs for each player

You say you don't have $200.00 to spend on a Crokinole board? Or you have a board but have back problems and can't always truck it over to your friend's house? Well here's a Crokinole variant for two players that can be played on any ordinary non-stick table. No board required! All you need are some discs. If you own official Crokinole discs, great! If not, head on down to Michael's craft store and pick up some 1-inch wooden discs made by Lara's Crafts. You'll find them in the section where they put their little wooden cubes/stars/chits/pawns in bags. Before you play, you'll have to color six of your discs to differentiate them from your opponent's set.

SUMMARY: You need 2 players, 6 discs for each player, and a largish table. (Note: this game will have you dancing around the table to make your shots. No lounging around here!).

OBJECT: The idea of the game is to "kill" your opponent's discs. Killed discs are removed from the table and are out of the game. To kill an opponent's disc, you have to hit it with one of your own discs and cause it to knock into another one of your discs.

Three ways to kill a (yellow) disc:

SET UP: Mentally divide the table into thirds. One player places his discs along the 1/3 line on the table. The other player places his discs on the 2/3 line. Spread your discs out evenly along your line, and make sure the end discs are at least three inches away from table's edge (see diagram below).

FIRST SIX SHOTS: The first six shots are predetermined and are meant to complete the set up for the real part of the game. Player alternate shooting at designated discs until both players have taken their three shots. The shots are shown below.

A shot disc must hit its designated disc and only its designated disc, and no discs should go off the table. This should be easy to accomplish, but it for some reason someone messes up, return the messed-up discs to their starting positions and try again.

Here's what the board might look like after the first six shots:

PLAY: Players alternate taking shots. Your shot disc must hit at least one of your opponent's discs (it may hit any other discs too). If you miss, your disc is killed, and thus, is removed from the table.

As shown near the beginning of these rules, if your shot disc causes an opponent's disc to knock into one of your idle discs, you kill your opponent's disc.

Knocking an opponent's disc into one of his own discs doesn't kill it, but it's all right if it happens. You may kill multiple discs with one shot, if you can manage it.

PROBLEMS: If your shot causes any of your discs to go off the table, those discs are killed.

If you shoot an opponent's disc(s) off the table, your shooting disc is killed, and your opponent returns his shot-off disc(s) to the table. He places it anywhere he wants.

If any of the above problems happen, you do not kill any discs that you might have otherwise killed.

WINNER: The first player to have only one disc left on the table loses.


4-PLAYER VARIANT: Simply switch-off shots with a teammate. You may add a few more discs to the game if the table is large enough.


CUBE VARIANT: This game requires the addition of a 1-inch wooden cube, which can be bought at Michael's. If you're using the 1-inch discs from Michael's as well, you might want to upgrade to the 1 1/2 inch discs, since the 1-inch discs lack the heft needed to move the cube. This is not strictly necessary, since you can play this variant with a stationary cube.

SET-UP: As in the above game, but place the cube at the center of the table.

PLAY: As above, except ignore the First Six Shots phase of the game and go straight to normal shooting. Instead of hitting an opponent's disc, you may instead hit the cube. You may kill an opponent's disc as normal, but you may also kill it by knocking it into the cube. (Knocking the cube into a disc does not kill anything, however). If your shot knocks the cube off of the table, your shot disc is killed, and your opponent returns the cube to anywhere on the table.

- Mike Mayer

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