Unlur

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Unlur is a connection game invented by Jorge Gómez Arrausi in 2001. It won the 2002 Unequal Forces Game Design Competition which was sponsored by the Abstract Games Magazine, About Board Games and the Strategy Gaming Society.

It is played by two players, black and white, on a hexagonal grid of hexagons. The two players have different objectives, and must therefore use different strategies to achieve their goals.


A Y is a chain connecting three non-adjacent sides. A line is a chain connecting two opposite sides.

Black wins if he creates a black Y, while White wins if he creates a white line. However, a player loses if he achieves his opponent's objective. That is, if Black creates a line without at the same time creating a Y, White wins. Similarly, if White creates a Y without at the same time creating a line, Black wins. If a player creates a line and a Y in the same move, he wins.

The contract

White clearly has an easier objective than Black, since a line requires fewer pieces than a Y. Therefore a generalizations of the pie rule is used to balance the game.

In the first phase of the game both players play with the black pieces. A move consists of placing a black piece anywhere on the board, except at the border. Instead of making a move a player may pass. In that case, the player passing becomes Black for the rest of the game, while the other player becomes White, and the players then play with their respective pieces. White makes the first move.

The first phase is called the contract phase.