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Math Trek

Getting Clobbered

11:10am, April 24, 2002

Clobber is a new two-person game that's easy to learn and fun to play and, for the mathematically inclined, rife with analytical possibility.

The "standard" game is played on a rectangular grid of squares–say, a portion of a checkerboard. One player governs the movement of white pieces, or stones, and the other player moves black stones. Initially, each square is occupied by a white or black stone, arranged so that the colors alternate.

Each player moves in turn, picking up one of his or her own stones and "clobbering" an opponent's stone on a vertically or horizontally adjacent square. (Diagonal moves are not allowed.) The clobbered stone is removed from the board and replaced by the stone that was moved.

White starts. The game ends when a player can't move because none of his or he

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