|Inventor: Jeph Stahl, 2008|
|Sowing: Multiple laps|
The Colony is a three-rank mancala game for two players, which was designed in 2008 by Jeph Stahl (Canada). Players take the role of rival ant colonies that discover a recently cut wood pile and try to collect and protect the most eggs at the end of the game.
The second edition was published in 2010 by Blue Panther.
The Colony is played on a special board containing three rows of six or seven circles each called "log spaces".
Initially there are three eggs on each "log space" (that is, the game is played with a total of 57 eggs). Each player (called "Red" and "Black") has six ants of his color, which can be entered on the board during the game, but are first kept in hand.
A player's turn consists of two phases.
- First Phase:
At first the player distributes the eggs of a log space, which isn't "protected" (i.e. occupied) by an ant of either color in the direction of the arrows.
- Some logs permit more than one direction.
- If the eggs have been picked up from the center log, a player may chose the direction, but he cannot, if he is just moving through.
- If the last log was empty or contained three eggs and was unprotected, the player stops moving.
- If the last log was occupied, its contents are distributed in another lap, unless it had an ant of the player's own color or contained exactly three eggs, but no ant.
- The player captures the last egg in hand, if it is about to be dropped on a log protected by an ant of the player's own color or an unprotected log containing exactly three eggs.
- Second Phase:
After that he moves one of his ants in any direction to an adjacent log (ignoring arrows). The second phase is optional until a player choses to move an ant, after which it becomes mandatory for all players having ants on the board for the rest of the game.
Ending the Game
The game ends, when a player cannot select a log or move an ant, after it had become mandatory.
A player owns the eggs he had captured and all of the eggs on logs occupied by their ants.
The player with the most eggs wins.
In the rare case that the players own the same number, the one who was able to perform a complete turn, wins.
Draws are not possible.