How to Play Pasang Emas


Pasang Emas is based on a traditional board game of Brunei. In this game, two players take turn accumulating points by capturing tokens while avoiding getting stuck. The game ends when either

Game Set

The game set consists of the following:

game set

Board Arrangement

Before a game starts, the black and the white tokens are arranged on the board, each covering a line junction, forming a pattern. Here is a sample arrangement:

initial setup

More than 30 traditional patterns are available for the initial arrangement. Here are a few samples, including the one used for the above arrangement.

traditional patterns

The program also offers randomly generated patterns.

random patterns

To generate new random patterns, simply select the same option repeatedly.

random pattern

Passage Creation

The first move for each player is to create a passage by capturing a column of 5 tokens. Player 1 may capture any column on his side of the board, as shown in the figure below.

First moves for Player 1

Player 2 may capture any column on his side, except that he cannot copy Player 1's move. The figure below shows Player 2's options after Player 1 created his passage.

First moves for Player 2

In the program, to become the first player, simply select the column to capture. To let the computer move first, select the menu item [Move > Computer Move First].

Kas Selection

After passages are created, each player takes turn promoting a token to a kas, the mobile piece that will be used to capture more tokens. The token to be promoted must be chosen from the two-column bands on either sides of the player's passage, as illustrated in the figure below.

Bands of kas candidates

The chosen token is moved horizontally (possibly jumping over another token) into the passage, immediately capturing an odd number of tokens. The capture rule is explained in the next section.

Odd Capture Rule

Each move in Pasang Emas, including kas selection, is a capture move. The kas must be moved to form a line with an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) of tokens of the same colour. The line may pass through empty junctions. However, the line must not be broken by a token of a different colour or by the opponent's kas. The tokens forming the line are immediately captured.

If more than one such line are formed, the player may capture any one (and only one) of them.

The figure below shows how the game might proceed after the two players have created their respective passages. Player 1 is promoting a token. The back layer of the figure shows the newly promoted kas being moved, forming a line with 3 black tokens. The front layer of the figure shows the arising position after these tokens have been captured.

Kas promotion

The figure below shows how Player 2 might continue the game. The back layer of the figure shows his kas selection. With this move he might capture either 1 black token, or 3 black tokens, or 3 white tokens. The front layer of the figure shows the arising position after he has resolved his capture.

Kas promotion

Kas Movement

The rest of the game is spent taking turns moving the kas. A kas can move either vertically or horizontally, sliding over any number of empty junctions.

There is a further imposition over the odd-capture rule: if a kas moves horizontally, it must capture vertically, and vice versa.

The figure below shows a position with red to move. His possible moves are indicated on the back layer of the figure. Should he choose the move indicated on the front layer of the figure, he might capture either 1 black token or 3 white ones. The 5 white tokens horizontally aligned with the kas cannot be captured with this move.

Kas movement

Game Over

The game ends when no more tokens are left on the board, in which case the player with the higher score wins. The game also ends when the player to move cannot make any capture, a situation called “suntuk”. The player who gets himself into suntuk forfeits all his tokens to the opponent and loses the game.

In the figure below, it is red's turn to move. He loses due to suntuk.

game over

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