Lines of Action variants by Ulrich Roth

In an email, January 2000, Ulrich Roth wrote the following:
I am delighted to have found your site, dedicated to what has been one of my favourite games for many years. My friends / family and I have, however, modified the game in the following ways:


Whoever moves first makes ONE move. From now on, both players' turns always consist of TWO MOVES. In my opinion, this small change makes the game a lot more dynamic and enjoyable.


The loser of a game starts the next game with TWO moves. If he wins, the next game will be played normally. Should he lose again, he starts the next game with THREE moves, etc. After a series of games between two players, the current handicap is recorded and used as a starting point for the next playing session. This variation produces hard-fought battles even between players of vastly differing playing strengths.


The ultimate challenge for the experienced LOA player! One of the players sets up ("designs") a position, ANY position he likes, on the board (using all the pieces or only part of them, it doesn't matter). The only condition - obviously - is that neither side must have a won (i.e. connected) position at the outset. By default, white has the first move. This position is now "auctioned off": Both players note down on a piece of paper a) which side they would rather play, and b) how many moves they are willing to concede to their opponent. If the players chose different sides (which is obviously not too frequent, since one side will tend - or appear! - to have an edge), white starts and the game is played normally. If both players prefer the same colour, whoever has offered more free starting moves to his opponent gets to play it. I find that this variation (in combination with TURBO, of course) is the ultimate fun you can have with LOA. There's no limit to players' fiendish creativity in setting up the initial positions (they could even prepare and playtest them beforehand, in order to assess them more correctly than their opponent...).

I'd be very interested in your (and other people's) opinion on these variations! Email to Ulrich Roth

Links to other LOA-pages

This webpage was made by Hans Bodlaender, based on an email of Ulrich Roth.
WWW page created: February 10, 2000. Last modified: February 11, 2000.
[Dept. of
Computer Science] Hans Bodlaender