Rules of Play for the
Royal Game of the Goose
Start right in to play and have fun with these games.
You'll find that the race on both sides of the gameboard is much more challenging than in backgammon because these games, especially the Labyrinth game, have added a series of obstacles and shortcuts.
And you'll find the creative strategies of taking not just one counter but a whole team through to be an enjoyable adventure on either side of the board.
Number of Goose players: Two or more
Goose Equipment : Gameboard, 2 dice, and
1 counter per player in the traditional version
(Compare the team version below.)
To start : Each player chooses a distinct color of playing piece. Each player rolls the two dice, and the highest roll determines who plays first. Turns move clockwise.
The gameboard pattern is a spiral of 63 fields, from the outside to the inside. Many fields have special hazards or benefits for players who land on them. The object of the game is to travel along the spiral from field 1 to field 63, and the first player who successfully lands exactly on field 63 is the winner.
On each turn, a player rolls the two dice and advances the counter along the spiral by as many fields as the sum of the two dice. The player must deal with any situation on the space landed on, be they hazards or benefits. The special bonus and hazard fields are described on the next page.
Start with all players' counters in the space outside of field 1. Take turns rolling the dice and moving. It is not necessary to roll any particular number to enter a counter onto the fields.
Two playing pieces may not occupy the same field at the same time. Whenever you land on an occupied field, that player's counter goes back to the space you came from, and you get the vacated space. (In brief, you trade places.)
Whenever you land on a field with a goose, you double your move. That is, you advance again the sum of the dice you just rolled. If that puts you on yet another goose, advance again, until you no longer land on a goose. (You may land in a trap yet, after all this wild-goose chasing.)
You must arrive on field 63 by an exact count of the dice. If you overthrow the required number, you must step forward into 63 and then move backwards the surplus number of points. If this lands you on a goose, continue moving backwards the same count again.
You may use the number of either of your two dice to reach field 63. If you reach it with an exact count, it is not necessary to use the number on the second die. If neither of the two dice has the exact number you need to reach 63, you must use their sum for your back track.
The spacing of the goose fields is such that a roll of 9 on a first turn would send a player directly home, so a special provision is made for a roll of 9 on the first turn: If the roll is a 6 and 3, move directly to field 26; if the roll is a 4 and 5, advance all the way to 53. This rule applies only to a player's very first roll of the game. Rolling doubles does not count extra and has no special benefit.
The Special Fields:
6 The Bridge -- If you land on 6, advance immediately to field 12.
19 The Inn -- The good food and drink makes you sleepy, and you lose I turn. (Exception: if another player lands at the Inn within the same turn, you change places and you go back to the space that player just came from.)
31 The Well -- If you fall in the Well, lose 2 turns—unless another player landing there releases you sooner, sending you back to the field that player just arrived from.
42 The Maze -- You get lost and go back to field 30.
52 The Prison -- If you land in prison, you stay there until another player landing there relieves you and you go back to that player's last field.
58 Death -- Your goose is cooked. Go back to the beginning and start all over.
One of the attractions of the Game of the Goose was its potential as a gambling game. Players would ante 4 tokens at the beginning of the game and pay one token at each of the 6 special fields. If a player landed on another player's field, both paid one token and changed places. The winner took the pot.
Rules for the
Team Variation of the Goose Game
Number of players: Two or more
Equipment: Gameboard, 2 dice, 4 counters per player for up to four players, or
2 counters per player for five or more players.
Start and play as for the traditional game, with these exceptions : When you roll the two dice, you may use each of the two numbers separately. You can use one number for one of your counters and the other number for another of your counters. A little strategy will let you keep your counters out of the major pitfalls.
When one of your counters lands in the Prison, only that counter is stuck. You are free to move the others. However, when trapped at the Inn or the Well, you lose those turns and cannot move any of your counters for the duration. This is a lively race, so stay alert.
You may reach field 63 with an exact count on either die. When one of your counters reaches field 63 by an exact count, bear it off the board. The first player to bear off all four counters wins.
Continue to read about the Riddle of the Labyrinth, or buy the Game of the Goose and of the Labyrinth at www.gamepuzzles.com