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Chowka-bara - Pagdi - Pagade
Ancient Indian board game
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    Path taken by pawns

Chowka-bara, Pagde, Pagdi is an ancient Indian board game. It is played by 2 to 4 players on a board with a grid of 5x5 squares. There is also another version ('ashte-kashte') with a grid of 7x7 squares.
Like many such games there are regional variations. It is played by young and old, rich and poor in villages and towns. It is a poor cousin of another famous board game which orginated in India. Unlike Chess, which is a pure game of skill, in pagdi players throw dice whose outcome influences the game. Still strategy is important and can offset unfavorable outcome of dice. Quite often 'cowries' (a special variety of sea shells) substitue for dice. You can setup a game almost at no cast. Just draw the grid on a slate or floor with chalk.(It is not uncommon to see people play on mud-plasterd floors.) Berry seeds for pawns and four cowries to toss. Your are ready ...!


  Pagdi is a game for 2 to  4 players.It is a game of chance
  which also requires certain planning and strategies like chess.

  The aim of the game is to send all your pawns to the centre
  square(Final Square(FH)).

 A square board of 5x5 grid (25 squares). There are 4 home squares where
 initially 4 pawns of a player are placed.These squares are also
 the safe squares where you cannot hit/capture opponents pawn.
 At the centre is the FH.
 1) Initially players' positions are chosen by lots.
 2) The players get chance to throw dice (cast) one at time.
 The computer will ask the concerned player to click on the button.
 The dice will throw 1, 2, 3, 4 or 8.
 If you cast 4 or 8, you have another chance to cast.

 3) The player who has cast,clicks on one of the his pawns which he wants
 to move and the pawn will move squares by the cast value.
 Starting from your home square the direction movement of the pawn upto
 FHS is as shown down. The direction is anticlockwise.
 When you have covered outer rim you enter inner rim.

 If you are South
 1-Your Home Square.
 5,9,12-Safe Squares.
 1 to 16 - outer squares(outer rim)
 17 to 24-inner squares(inner rim).

 To get postion of East player rotate the board by 90 degrees.ie one
 quarter circle

     		 11   10  9   8    7	
       		 12   19  20  21   6

                 13   18  25  22   5

                 14   17  24  23   4
		 15   16   1   2   3
4) Only one pawn can occupy one square in the outer rim, except 4 home
 squares where any numbers of pawns can occupy.
 In the case of inner rim more one pawn can occupy.

5) If you move a pawn to the square where one or more opponent (all the
 other players are your opponents) pawns are already present one of the
 opponent's pawn gets 'hit'('captured'). The computer decides which of
 your opponent (if there are more than one) is hit. The hit pawn goes to
 its home square.
 If you hit an opponent you get another chance to throw the dice.
 The 'hit' is important. You must have a 'hit' to enter inner squares.
 After acquiring  'hit' you might loose 'hit' status when all the 4 pawns
 land up in your home square any time. This could happen if your
 opponent/s hit your pawn as they play.
6) The pawn will move only if it is a legal move. The computer checks
 legality of the move. You can try other pawn. If you can not play any
 legal move the next player get chance to throw dice.

7) You cannot hit a pawn when they are on safe squares (which are the 4
 home squares and centeral square).
 The number of pawns on a safe square can be as many as possible, and 
 also of any number of players.

8) You cannot enter inner squares unless you have 'hit' status. Suppose
 you are  at 15 ,you cast 3 and you have not even hit once, then you
 cannot move to 18 since 18 is a inner square. 
 (Once you have hit at least once you get a Entrance Right(E.R.)).
 Hence you have to move some other pawn.

9) Final Square Rule. You have to reach Final Home Square  by an
 exact throw. Suppose you are near to FHS,say 24,and you cast 2,
 you cannot enter FHS since you need exact number to enter FHS.

10) A player wins when all his/her pawn reach Final Square.
 He leaves the game and others continue.
 The last player is final loser.

Amit & Vasant Desai,