The Game

How SOLARI works?

SOLARI1 - the basic Version

The basic version SOLARI1 is quite easy to understand. You can take a normal chessboard and place six black and six white pawns on the board as described in the part "The Board".
The pieces are moved as in Backgammon depending on two dice, but not only in one direction, but in four directions (horizontally and vertically). More about the moves you find in "the Noves"

The aim of the game is to score points by forming rows, the longer they are, the more points you score. It starts with a row of three (1 point) until the row of six (27 points). If you extend the row be one, you get triple points: a row of 4 scores 3 points, a row of 5 scores 9 points. More about the scoring you find under "the Scoring"

It's easy to form rows, but the problem is, that your adversary can build longer rows than you and scores more. For this reason you must disturb him in time! You shoot an adverse piece by setting your piece on its square (like in chess). But we have four kinds of shot. >You find more about it in "the Shot"

If you use a chessboard, you must add the scores on a paper. With the SOLARI-board you can count the scores by moving a counter around the board. A normal game is one round. Winner is, who first reaches 36 points, but you win the difference to the score of the adversary.

SOLARI2 - with sequences
The versions SOLARI1, SOLARI2 and SOLARI3 differ in the scoring.
In SOLARI2 also sequences are counted, for example 123 or 456.
As the pawns don't have numbers you now need SOLARI-pieces with numbers (the comets).
The comets are placed on the board in a certain pattern. You find the starting positions on the SOLARI-board.
For a sequence you get triple points, that means a sequence of 3 scores the same as a row of 4 (3 points). But it gets a bit more complex, because you can have a sequence of 3 in a row of 4. More about the scoring of sequences you find in: "SOLARI2"

SOLARI3 - with orientations
A bit more complex is the scoring in SOLARI3, because here you score also for rows, where the comets have the same orientation. The orientation of a comet is determined by the way it made on the board. More about the scoring of orientations you find in "SOLARI3"

The special pieces
In all three versions you have the option to play with special pieces, the planets and moons. They help disturbing the adverse or building rows. More about it under: "the planets and moons"

The game duration
Winner is, who reaches 36 points (one round) first. This leads to a game duration of 15 to 45 minutes. It depends, how the adversaries play. Players who take more risks will win or loose earlier. More cautious players will pay longer and the game will be on a higher level.
You can agree to play longer, for example two rounds, or until a certain score. When you agree to play a certin number of moves, you can have a remis at the end. In the domino variants you play until all dominoes have been used.
You can play for the honour, but also for money. Then the winner gets the score difference from the adversary. How much you get for a point, is up to you.

Who is SOLARI suitable for?

SOLARI is not a game for the broad mass. Many will find it a bit too theoretical. But many will love the game for its geometrical and mathematical aesthetics. This type of player is found mostly between lovers of classical board games, who not only want to have fun but also seek an intellectual challenge. Even some Backgammon players will shy away from the game, because the rules are much more complex.

Because every game is different, it doesn't loose its charm and its even suitable for tournaments, because you can outsmart the luck of dice by moving the pieces cleverly. It's a game for people, who like to deal with numbers and to strain their brain.
I think, all fans of the SOLARI game will understand each other well, because they think more or less alike. If you become member of the SOLARI community, you can meet there many like-minded persons.
But SOLARI is also interesting for people who like astronomy, because here you find all important members of our solar system in one game, even the dwarf planets.

How you can learn SOLARI and try it out?

Under "game description" you can download and print a detailed description of the SOLARI game.
Under "rules in short" you can find the rules in short format.
And you can try out SOLARI online. But you must do the moves on your own. The program helps you with many comentaries about what you schould do and about the scoring.


Where you get a SOLARI game?

You cannot yet by a SOLARI game in a game shop, but you can order one directly from me, the inventor of the game.
If you want to order a game, just send me an e-mail and I will send you an offer in different price categories. You can choose between a cheap or a luxurious game. More you find under "buy a game"

Comparison SOLARI with Chess and Backgammon

You have learned, that SOLARI evolved from Chess and Backgammon. But many other elements were added in the year long evolution phase of the game.

What is common between SOLARI and Backgammon?

- both are dice games on a board
- both are played with two dice and you can move one piece twice or two pieces once.
- a double plays a special role
- the totally shot piece must be reentered in the next move
- the opponent can be forced to react by threat of winners in the next move
- the probability calculation plays a big role
- both games are a race to win
- both games have many variants

What is common between SOLARI and Chess?

- das 8x8-board
- there are officers (at SOLARI the planets and moons) and soldiers or pawns (at SOLARI the comets)
- the moons move like the rooks, the small planets like the queen in chess
- the boss (in SOLARI the loarge planet) has limited moves (like the king in chess)
- other pieces are thrown out, but not entirely like in chess
- pieces in the way of a move are jumped over, like a horse in chess
- with the Domino variants we have a strategic game, with no luch of dice

What is special with SOLARI?

At the attempt to put elements of Backgammon on the chessboard a completely new "classical" board game was created. The aim of the game is not, the bring the pieces as fast as possible from start to finish (as in Backgammon) or to decimate the enemy and set the king checkmate, here the aim is, to put the soldiers (in SOLARI the comets) into the most perfect "military" order.
If the soldiers are in a row, it is already a certain order. When they are on top of that in the right sequence (e.g. from small to large), it's even a higher order. And when they all look into the same direction, it is the highest form of military order.
And exactly this is the aim of the comets in SOLARI. To reach it, they are qite ruthless. They shoot everything what is in their way, even the comets of their own family and also their own officers. But they are not dead, they are only banned shot-term to the margin squares, from where they can immediately reenter into the battle.


The perfect formation on the SOLARI - board

SOLARI and Backgammon are abstract dice games, what are abstract dice games?

There are many games, where the luck of dice plays a roll. But in these games they just add the component of luck of dice to a game. There are many other components, these game are made of (for example Monopoly).
A good example for an abstract dice game is the ludo game. It's a pure race with some tactical possibilities, to influence the luck. In abstract games it's primarily about rolled numbers. You must make the best of it by moving your pieces cleverly. In SOLARI it's the same, only a bit more complex. The luck of dice plays a roll, but you have so many possibilities, that it is not so easy to find the best. The more posibilities you have, the less decides the luck of dice.
In SOLARI1 you already have many posibilities, in SOLARI2 and SOLARI3 you have to take more things into consideration. And with the planets and moons you get even more chances to reach certain squares on the board.
The solar system is a nice environment, but it's not essential to the game, you can play SOLARI also on a chessboard with pawns or checkers pieces. But the board is helpful for the starting positions and for counting the scores. This makes SOLARI to a race, just as Ludo and Backgammon.

SOLARI - better than Backgammon?

That's a matter of taste!
A Backgammon player loves the feeling of the pieces and the sound when setting them, it can be a quite emotional game and the players sometimes express their emotions with their moves.
This is not the case in SOLARI, it's more a quiet game, like chess (you don't hear anything in space...). But in the version 2 vs 2 SOLARI can be a very communicative game, because advices for the partner are allowed and they are also interesting for the opponents.
Despite being a dice game, Backgammon is a strategic game, and that's the best feature of the game. By clever moving your pieces you can block your opponent, which can turn around a game especially at the end. And you have the feature of doubling, which adds a lot of charm to the game. I considered the doubling feature for SOLARI too, but I think it doesn't work here.
Good players can play Backgammon very fast, they don't need much time of consideration. If you want to do this in chess, you must be a very good player. It's the same in SOLARI. To find out the best moves in a certain position takes some consideration. And SOLARI is a more tactical game, the main thing you must consider is the propability calculation. Other than in Backgammon, a SOLARI game can come to an end very fast, when the oponents take too many risks. But two experienced players will have a long and tough battle, because they see the dangers coming up early.
Anyway, SOLARI is much more versatile than Backgammon and we have unlimited possible game positions on the board, maybe even more than in chess, I didn't count them....
Comparable to chess is the open domino variant, where you know, which combinations must be set in the next moves. But chess is such a brilliant game, that SOLARI cannot compete with king chess as a strategic game!