What in the world is Win-Win Wari???

by Spikey

posted on August 6, 2011 in Board Games, Wari

Hello kids! Spikey here. Marian just made a new download for you! It's a wari board and wari pieces to colour -- or you can print out the pre-coloured version if you want.

But... what is wari???

Well, it's a board game. I guess they play it in Africa. Marian found out about it from a UNICEF book on games of the world. Anyway here's how you play it:

How to play wari

Wari is for two players (or you could have two teams, one for each side of the board). The wari board has 7 circles for each side: 6 in a row for playing, and an extra one for taken pieces. (On the Kids and Caboodles board, the circle for taken pieces is the bigger circle in the middle -- one for each side.)

Start with 4 pieces in each of the playing circles. When it’s your turn, pick up all of the pieces from one of your circles and put them one at a time (one in each circle) into each of the next circles going counter-clockwise (to your right). Depending on where you start and how many pieces you have to distribute, you might have enough to put into some of the other player’s circles.

This is the wari board set-up, before play begins. I'll be the player with the grey circles, so this is how I see the board when I look down.

If I go first, this is what the board looks like after I take the 4 pieces from my 3rd circle and put them one at a time in the next 4 circles.

If there are enough picked-up pieces to go around the board more than once, don’t put any pieces back in the empty circle during that turn, just leave it empty and skip to the next one.

When the last piece you put down is in one of the other player’s circles that already has 1 or 2 pieces but not more than that (so that it makes 2 or 3 pieces altogether -- not just 1, and not 4 or more), then you take them (including the piece you added) and put them in your extra circle (the one for taken pieces). You also take the pieces from the circle before that one, IF it also has either 2 or 3 pieces (no more, no less) and is on the other player’s side. Then take the pieces from the one before that, and before that, and so on, as long as each one has only 2 or 3 pieces, is on the other side of the board, and you already took the pieces from the circle that comes after it.

You’re not allowed to make a move that would take away all of the other player’s pieces unless there is no other move you can possibly make. If the other player’s side gets emptied because that’s the only move they can make, then you have to use your turn to put some pieces back onto their side.

The game ends when there are no more pieces to pick up on one side of the board and no moves that can be made to add any pieces back to the empty side.

Object of the Game -- variations:

Marian invented some variations on the original object of the game:

Sorry Wari

This is what we decided to call the original version of the game. It's competitive: the object of the game is to end up with more taken pieces than the other player. Each time it’s your turn, you try to make the move that will let you take the most pieces away from the other player. (And maybe you'll giggle and say "Sorry!" even though you're really doing it on purpose! teehee!)

Win-Win Wari

Here's a co-operative version we invented: the object of the game is for both players to end up with equal numbers of taken pieces. Each time it’s your turn, you try to make a move that will balance out the numbers. This is a good version to play for a different kind of challenge or if you want to feel like you're on a team together.

It's also good to play co-operative games if one or both of the players feel really, really bad when they lose at competitive games (or get really nasty when they win! -- sometimes that can happen too). Games are just games, and it really shouldn't matter if you win or lose as long as you're having fun -- but when you're little (or even sometimes when you're big), it's not fun to always lose, is it? So playing a co-operative version of a game can help make it more friendly by keeping it fun for everyone.

Hurry Wari

This one can make you really giggle! Don’t stop to think about what would make the best move, just quickly pick up from any of your circles and quickly re-distribute. Go as fast as you can and see what happens! It can be done competitively or co-operatively.

Make the wari board and pieces

Click the links to the files below to download and print out the paper board and pieces Marian made for you.

If you like the game and want to share your strategies, or pictures of how you coloured the board, why not contact us about sending them so we can post them here?

If you'd like to find others who enjoy the game too, why not start or join a Wari Caboodle?

Have fun with wari -- and everything else we have for you on Kids and Caboodles!

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