The game of Fox and Geese probably came from Scandinavia in the medieval period. A game called Hala-taft, the Fox game, is mentioned in an Icelandic story written in the 14th century. Iceland was one of the places the Vikings went to. Fox and Geese became a very popular game in medieval times.
Who will win?
In the game of Fox and Geese the person playing the fox tries to ‘kill’ as many geese as possible or tries to reach the geese’s end of the board safely. The person playing the geese tries to trap the fox in a corner.
What you will need
The game is for two players who have to choose who will be the fox and who will be the geese.
You will need 14 pieces to play this game - 1 for the fox and 13 for the geese.
The pieces can be anything you like - for example, tiddlywinks, draughts, coloured card cut into small circles, or even little stones. You must have one colour (or a different size) for the fox piece, and another colour (or size) for the 13 geese pieces.
First, line up the game board in front of both players, with the title Fox and Geese at the top left-hand corner.
Second, place the fox piece in the centre dot position.
Third, place the 13 geese pieces on all the positions below the fox. You should have 1 line of 7 pieces and, below it, 2 lines of 3 pieces.
Playing the game
Like the game of Draughts, both the fox and geese (one at a time!) move one position (dot to dot) in any direction. Only the fox is allowed to ‘kill’ a goose (or even more than one goose) by jumping over its piece if there is a clear position on the other side. The fox player then takes the goose piece off the board.
The geese are not allowed to jump over the fox but must try to crowd the fox into a corner. When the fox cannot jump over a crowd of geese, the geese have won.
[game board can be downloaded from the website below]
To find out more about Eltham Palace visit www.elthampalace.com