Expert: Ile à Vache
Your goal is to capture all of your opponent’s pieces by moving toward or away from them. When a piece is taken, all consecutive pieces behind that piece will also be captured.
Capturing moves are mandatory. If a capturing move is possible after taking pieces, a player can keep chaining moves until no further captures are possible.
If no capturing move is available, the player can move one piece to a neighboring empty slot.
It is forbidden to move a piece to the same slot twice in one turn.
The opening you choose is critical, and has long-term consequences on each game. There are four possible openings: one vertical, one horizontal, and two diagonal. Broadly speaking, the diagonal openings lead to close games, where it takes time to empty the board of its pieces. Conversely, the vertical opening weakens the second line of whoever uses it, leading to shorter games. Finally the horizontal opening is a balanced compromise.
When you capture multiple pieces in one move, this has the initial advantage of putting you in the lead, but it creates open spaces that your opponent might be able to use to counterattack.
Sometimes it makes more sense to capture fewer pieces, but move your own piece to a safe position (inside a diamond rather than on a cross), or to a position where it blocks your opponent’s potential moves.
When you reach the end of a game, try to move your remaining pieces towards the center of the board. In the center, you have far more tactical options than on a border or, worse, in a corner.
To win a game, it can be useful to sacrifice one of your own pieces to force your opponent’s pieces towards the outer edge of the board (via an “away” capture), enabling you to corner them.
Six/Nine/Twelve Men’s Morris
Beginner: Crooked Island, Arroyos
Intermediate: Andreas Island, Salt Key Bank, Corozal
Your goal is to leave the opponent with less than three pieces or block all possible moves.
Form “mills” to capture enemy pieces. A mill is formed when three of your pieces are placed in a straight line. Forming a mill enables you to take an enemy piece of your choice that is not already part of a mill.
In the Placement Phase, players place their pieces one after the other in any empty slot on the board. During the Movement Phase, players take turn moving their pieces to a neighboring empty slot. When a player is left with only three pieces (Flying Phase), he or she can move them to any empty slot on the board.
Try to put your pieces on intersections, as this is where you will have the most tactical options.
Once you have secured an intersection, work your way towards opening two possible mills at the same time. Your opponent will only be able to block one, enabling you to create the mill in the other position.
Intermediate: Great Inagua Hideout (tavern renovated)
Expert: Grand Cayman
Your goal is to capture all of your opponent’s pieces or block all his possible moves. You can capture opposing pieces by jumping over them into an empty space.
Pieces can only move diagonally on black squares, in the direction of the opponent’s side of the board. Capturing moves are mandatory. If a capturing move is possible after taking an opposing piece, the player must keep chaining moves until no further captures are possible. A piece that reaches the line furthest from the player becomes a king. A king can move diagonally forward and backward, making it an extremely powerful piece.
A key checkers technique is understanding that you can force your opponent to perform certain moves by sacrificing your own pieces, as capturing moves are mandatory. Though this can seemingly put you at a disadvantage, forward planning and manipulation of your opponent can enable you to control a game.
Pieces on the edge and corners of the board have a very limited range of possible movements. In most cases, it is therefore better to occupy squares in a more central position, and to try to trap your opponent on the outside of the board.
Never be afraid to sacrifice your pieces. All that matters is that you end up in a stronger position later in the game. For instance, sacrificing two pieces to have a chance to capture one, but obtain a king, is worthwhile in most instances, as a one-piece deficit is easily overcome by the tactical opportunities offered by a king.