is a traditional navy game and is a very advanced form of Ludo,
played with two dice instead of one. The following is a well tried
set of rules of the game which are known as Basic Rules. Some variations
are listed at the end. It is recommended that competitors vote on
the variations to be in force before any competition begins. Picture
Above: 'Boing Boing' (left) and 'Sheepshead' (right) in a head
to head two player game in the Aft Petty Officer's mess, HMAS BRISBANE,
NWIO Deployment, 1981.
You Need To Play
First Off, you
will need to be onside with a few people onboard, such as the Chief
Chippie, The Ship's Painter, the Stokers in the Engineer's Workshop
and the Leading Hand Of the Gunner's Party.
It is very easy
to produce the required hardware for a game of Messdeck Uckers. All
you will need is, a piece of wood (marine ply from the Chippies Shop
works fine) measuring 24 Inches by 24 Inches (approx), 16 X EXPENDED
(the game is explosive enough) .50 Calibre Heavy Machine Gun projectile
casings. An assortment of coloured paint. Look at the image of the
Uckers Board below for an example of how to design and paint one yourself.
up your Uckers Board in accordance with the Layout and Colour
cut the bases off 16 x .50Cal BHMG Casings, grind and file edges
until smooth. You will need to paint the 16 pieces as follows..
4 X Red
4 X Green
4 X Blue
$ X Yellow
may be filled with resin or Araldite prior to painting to add
more stability in heavy seas.
Reference: Royal Navy BR 4006
The game is played with a Ludo Board, 16 Pieces and two dice instead
There are four players with diagonally opposite players partnering each
other. (Two teams of two).
All four players
in turn throw both dice and the highest score plays first.
To Get Out Of Base or Start Box
One six is required
to get a piece out on the doorstep. The score on the second dice can
be used to advance the piece in accordance with Rule 5. A double six
can be used to get 2 pieces out.
Pieces move in a clockwise direction, the number of squares equivalent
to the value shown on both dice. The object is to get all ones own,
and ones partners pieces around the board and to the center 'home' triangle
before the opponents do likewise.
If a player has only one piece on the board he must move it the full
value of both dice; intermediate squares cannot be used to knock off
an opponents pieces. Rule 5 (d) however, may allow this.
If a player has two pieces on the board he may use the value of one
dice for each piece, or the value of both dice for one.
If the players movements are blocked by a barrier (blob) Rule 8 (a),
or because a piece is near home Rule 10 (b), he is to take the highest
value of one dice if possible or if not possible to move with either
dice, he does not move at all. He can however have extra throws in accordance
with Rule 6.
A player receives
one extra throw for a six, except as in Rule 8 (c) when removing a barrier,
and only ONE extra is allowed for a double six.
Knocking Off An Opponents Piece
When a players piece
lands on the same square of that of an opponents piece, the opponents
piece is returned to the base and has to start again.
Barriers (or Blobs)
When a player has two or more pieces on the same square, they form a
barrier which blocks the opponents movements, but not that of his partner's.
To remove a Barrier (or Blob) an opponent has to land a piece on the
square immediately behind it, throw one six and shout "Challenge!",
throw a second and third six to remove a double barrier, a fourth six
to remove a triple barrier and a fifth six to remove a quadruple barrier.
The challenging piece then moves forward and occupies the square formerly
occupied by the barrier, and the barrier pieces are returned to their
bases in accordance with Rule 7. (See also Rule 9.)
Having challenged a barrier, the value of any dice subsequently thrown
cannot be used to advance any other piece, and having successfully challenged
a barrier the players turn is ended no matter how many sixes he has
thrown.. When a six is used to indicate a challenge the second dice,
even if it is a six, cannot be used in any way. If a second or subsequent
throw is a double six, both sixes count towards the removal of the barrier.
A player cannot move into position and 'Challenge' in the same throw.
To knockoff a barrier on the doorstep with a piece in base requires
one extra six in addition to those in (b). The first six counts as a
challenge then Rule 8 (c) applies.
If a player is unable to move another piece he must break his barriers.
Mixed Barriers (Mixie Blobs)
If a player lands
on the same square as one or more of his partners pieces, the result
is what is known as a mixed barrier or mixie blob. This loses any value
as a block and all pieces are to be knocked off in the same way as a
single piece (Rule 7.) A player cannot challenge from a mixed barrier
behind an opponents barrier.
(a) A piece in the
home coloured lane cannot be reached by an opponents piece and hence
(b) A player must
throw an exact score to get a piece home, except that with his last
piece he may get the exact score with one dice only. See rule 5 (d).
Throwing For One's Partner
Having got all his
pieces home a player waits for his next turn and tries to throw a six.
Having thrown a six, a player again waits for his next turn when he
can then throw for his partner's pieces.
The winning team
is the pair who get all their eight pieces home first.
A player may split a throw with one piece, e.g. if he throws aS and
a 4, he can advance 5 squares, knock-off a piece then move a further
4 squares with the same piece.
If players form a mixed barrier behind an opponents barrier, they
can challengeRule 9. This variation greatly decreases the value
of a barrier
If a player forms a barrier behind an opponents barrier and throws
a double, he can either knock-off the opponents barrier if the
pieces would land on the same square, or jumps over the opponents
barrier if the score is sufficiently high.
If a player near home throws too high a score his piece moves to home
and then backwards, and continues moving backwards until his turn is
completed (or he arrives back at his own doorstep when he starts moving
forward again). He moves forward again on his next turn. Barrier rules
apply in reverse. With his last piece he may obtain the exact number
with one dice. This variation greatly prolongs the game.
One less six is required to knock-off a barrier to those required in
Rule 8(b) and (e).
With a double six, two extra throws are allowed.
(Suck Back, Blow Back Rule) A piece in the home
coloured lane can be reached by an opponents piece under the following
The opponents piece must so land that it is directly in Line with
the coloured lane.
On his next throw the opponent can call Suck Back (the number
being the squares between his piece and the one in the home coloured
lane). If either of the dice he then throws is that number, or if their
sum is that number, the piece in the home lane is returned to base.
If he throws a six he is entitled to another throw to try and achieve
his Suck Back number.
An opponent is allowed a maximum of two attempts to Suck Back
before he must move on.
If a Suck Back is achieved the challengers piece moves
on one square.
A player whose piece is in the home coloured lane and who is under threat
of Suck Back by an opponent, can reciprocate by saying Blow
Back when his turn comes. (6) If he is successful his opponents
piece is returned to base.
A maximum of two attempts can be made to Blow Back an op-
A player cannot move his own piece whilst Sucking Back or
If either the player or his opponent has a Blob which is
under challenge, it requires a double to remove it, e.g. Suck
Back Double or Blow Back Double.
It is important
in playing this version that players must throw an exact number to get
a piece home. Rule 10(b), subject, however, to Rule 5(d).
Knocking Off or 'Ucking' an opponents pieces off the board it is quite
acceptable to smash them with as much force as possible, hurtling them
across the other side of the mess is indeed a 'Class Act', whilst screaming
"Uckers Come ****ers!!!!" Although your actions should be
proportionate with what you achieve on the board. For instance, smashing
your opponents pieces across the mess should be reserved for ucking
double mixing blobs etc, for ucking just one piece, knocking it off
the table only is considered an appropriate measured response. Ucking
an opponent as he lines up for a run home is considered worthy of excess
jubilation, I am sure you get the picture.
one thing worth considering when playing short games - i.e. Stand Easy
etc that Ucking Opponents pieces under bunks and lockers will deprive
you of valuable playing time whilst mess members search for it. Normal
playing behaviour should be moderated in these instances and 'symbolic'
Ucking is permitted.
short games it is also permitted for Non Playing Mess members and Spectators
to retrieve the Ucked piece on behalf of the Ucked player/s. Normal
Etiquette usually demands that a Ucked player retrieve his own piece
- this adds to the humiliation.
is a No-No to Uck pieces overboard.
is also appropriate to get into your opponents face shouting expletives
when you Uck him or perform an intricate blocking move etc..
who make apologies when Ucking opponents should be watched closely.
Any sign of weakness or political correctness from any player should
warrant a caution. Any subsequent breaches should see the player suspended
and sent forward to the Sonar Control Room to attend Christian Fellowship
Meetings whilst games are in progress.
being Ucked, try to remain calm and in control as an outpouring of your
emotions will only lead to further aggressive goading by both your opponents
and spectators alike.
is not a game for the weak, lily livered or soft hearted. It should
be played with as much venom, underhandedness and spite as indeed is
possible. Personnel with heart conditions should seek advice from their
doctor before playing. The sensitive, introverted and 'touchy-feely'
type should avoid it at all costs.
- No game is over until it is over - The game can turn around from an
unbeatable position to an unwinable one in the space of just a few rolls
of the dice.
Champions like Boing Boing and Sheeps Head (above) are on record for
making remarkable comebacks against all odds.
OUT THERE - EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS!
Do You Want To Uck Today?
Uckers Rules in word.doc format HERE
Friday, 03-Dec-2004 4:38