This game is taken from the book On Numbers and Games by John Conway (Academic Press, 1976). This is a variation of the game Hackenbush Unrestrained. If you have never played any Hackenbush games before, it is probably a good idea to play a round or two of Hackenbush Unrestrained just to get the hang of it. Other versions of the games include Hackenbush Hotchpotch and Technicolor Hackenbush.
What you need
- A chalkboard
- Two colors of chalk
- An eraser
- A Hackenbush Picture whose lines are drawn on the chalkboard with two colors as follows:
- Draw each line with one of the two colors.
- Have there be roughly the same number of lines of each color
- Make sure that lines of both colors touch the frame.
- Note: The reason for using the chalkboard is to make the erasing less messy.
How to play
- Each player chooses a color which is their color throughout the game.
- When it is their turn, each player begins by removing one line that is their color.
- Any part of the picture that is disconnected from the frame is then removed.
- When the disconnected part of the picture is removed, lines that are the other player's color may be removed, but the very first line that is removed at the beginning of the turn must be of the player's own color.
- The player who removes the last bit of the picture is the winner.
- Here is how a game of Hackenbush Restrained might begin: