Ochmir Rules
Turn Structure

This is a suggested ruleset for ochmir. It is a work in progress, and is a snapshot of the current best understanding of what makes a playable game while retaining as much of the authentic flavour of the game as described by Mary Gentle.

Unresolved questions can be found in the FAQ.


1. Objectives

1.1. The Ideal Goal

The goal of ochmir is to fill the board with tiles turned to your own colour, as far as that is possible.

1.2. The Real Goal

Filling the board is difficult to do, so it is more normal for one of the following victory conditions to apply:

  1. that the board is filled, but one player has a majority of their colour
  2. that one player resigns because the situation is deemed hopeless

1.3. The Three-Handed Goal

The victory condition for the three handed game is so have as many of your tiles exposed as possible, since the board cannot be filled by one colour.


2. Components

The game of ochmir uses the following components.

2.1. Board

A hexagonal board, divided into 216 triangular spaces.

2.2. Pieces

There are 216 double sided pieces. The pieces for the two-handed game are a different set for the three-handed game, but both sets consist of double-sided pieces, with each side marked with a different player colour.

2.2.1. Colours

The traditional colours are blue and white for the two-handed game. For the three-handed game, brown is added.

2.2.2. Values

The pieces are marked on each side as having one of three values:

  • ferrorn - the most common piece

  • thurin - the second most common piece, but much rarer than ferrorn.

  • leremoc - the rarest piece, much rarer than thurin.

2.2.3. Value Distribution

The value proportions I have used in developing playable sets are as follows: Two-handed

Value Per Colour Per Reverse Value
leremoc thurin ferrorn
leremoc 6 1 2 3
thurin 36 2 10 24
ferrorn 174 3 24 147 Three-handed

Value Per Colour Per Reverse Value, Alternate Colour #1 Per Reverse Value, Alternate Colour #2
leremoc thurin ferrorn leremoc thurin ferrorn
leremoc 6 1 1 1 1 1 1
thurin 36 1 5 12 1 5 12
ferrorn 96 1 12 35 1 12 35

2.3. Bag

The pieces start in a bag. Pieces are drawn blind, and since they are double sided it is important that they be hidden from view.


3. Turn Structure

3.1. Start

Players draw a hand of six pieces from the bag at the start of the game. They then take turns, with white always playing first.

3.2. Move

On a player's turn, a piece may be placed anywhere on the board, or a mobile piece of the player's own colour may be moved in accordance with the rules of movement.

3.3. Capture

After the moved piece has been situated on the board, the rules for capture come into effect.

3.4. Draw

If a player has exhausted their hand on their turn, they draw a fresh hand from the bag.

3.5. Draw Option

If agreed before the game, the players may replenish their hand from the bag as tiles are laid down. However, be aware that this opens the game up to blocking moves, where a player may hold on to tiles which their opponent may want. It is particularly recommended that this variation not be played in the three handed game.


4. Movement

Movement is governed solely by the exposed value of the tile.

4.1. Ferrorn

ferrorn do not move once they have been placed.

4.2. Thurin

thurin may move across a line to a neighbouring space on the board.

4.3. Leremoc

leremoc may move across a line or an angle to a neighbouring space on the board.


5. Capture

5.1. New Capture

When a newly moved piece occupies a majority of a filled minor hexagon, then all the pieces in that hexagon are turned to the colour of the newly moved piece.

5.2. Cascade Capture

If the conversion of that first minor hexagon causes other filled minor hexagons to have a majority of the moving colour, then those are also turned to the colour of the newly moved piece. This cascade process continues until there are no more unresolved majorities.

5.3. Three-handed Capture

In the three handed game, the moving colour needs half of a minor hexagon rather than a majority. For those tiles in a won minor hexagon which do not carry the moving colour, it is the moving player's choice which side is exposed.

5.4. Three-handed Capture Option

If agreed to before the game, those tiles which do not carry the moving colour may all be turned.


6. History
Date Version Author Changes
11-Jun-2004 0.1 Duncan Ellis Created first draft
23-Jun-2004 0.2 Duncan Ellis Tidied up incomplete version for initial publication
17-Jul-2007 0.3 Duncan Ellis Filling in gaps in the rules.
13-Aug-2007 0.4 Duncan Ellis Restructuring with section numbering.


Ochmir Rules
Turn Structure
Last updated 13-Aug-2007