Kensington - the Board Game Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Kensington - the Board Game

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Kensington is a really great board game for two. Invented in 1979 by Brian Taylor and Peter Forbes, it was sold in an LP-style sleeve, and its space-age board would have looked right at home as a prop on Blakes 7.

The black-coloured board is covered in a pattern of fluorescent green lines, joining 72 vertices into a pattern of triangles, squares, and seven coloured hexagons (three white, two red and two blue).

To construct your own board, begin with a single central hexagon. On each edge construct a square, sharing one edge with the central hexagon and the opposite edge with a new outer hexagon. Each of these outer hexagons is already positioned so it can be joined to its neighbours by a square. Add those edges (closing off six triangles in the process), and add a further square to each remaining edge of each outer hexagon (triangles are again a by-product). Finally join the outer unconnected vertices of each of those squares together forming the last 12 triangles, and the pattern is complete (You should have 24 triangles and 30 squares if it worked). Aligning the pattern so three hexagons are positioned vertically one above the other, line each of the central pillar of three hexagons with white, fill the two hexagons on one side red, and fill the last two blue. Hey presto!

Each of the two players, Red and Blue, has 15 pieces. The object is to capture a hexagon of your own colour or one of the white hexagons by filling all six vertices with six of your pieces.

Initially, take turns to put a piece on any free vertex on the board. Once all pieces are in play, each turn move one piece along an edge to any adjoining free vertex.

Now for the trick. If by placing or moving a piece you capture a triangle, you can reposition any one of your opponents pieces to any free vertex on the board. Capture a square to reposition two.

An 'optional' rule provides that you cannot recapture a triangle or square you have just released without waiting a turn. Without this rule the game is very unforgiving of any mistake in play, so in practice it is almost always used.

Four and six player versions do exist, but they are simply partnership versions of the two-player game.

As the sleeve says, 'Simple to Learn, A Lifetime to Master'. Your life is getting shorter by the minute, so begin now!

Kensington at TRAGSNART!Kensington board

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