Uckers 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.

What 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.

Paint up your Uckers Board in accordance with the Layout and Colour Scheme below.

Measure and 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

The pieces may be filled with resin or Araldite prior to painting to add more stability in heavy seas.

Basic Rules
Reference: Royal Navy BR 4006

Rules

1. The game is played with a Ludo Board, 16 Pieces and two dice instead of one.

2. There are four players with diagonally opposite players partnering each other. (Two teams of two).

3. Start

All four players in turn throw both dice and the highest score plays first.

4. 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.

5. Movement

(a) 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.

(b) 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.

(c) 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.

(d) 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.

6. Extra Throws

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.

7. 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.

8. Barriers (or Blobs)

(a) 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.

(b) 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.)

(c) 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.

(d) A player cannot move into position and 'Challenge' in the same throw.

(e) 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.

(f) If a player is unable to move another piece he must break his barriers.

9. 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.

10. Getting Home

(a) A piece in the home coloured lane cannot be reached by an opponents piece and hence is safe.

(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).

11. 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.

12. Winning Team

The winning team is the pair who get all their eight pieces home first.

LEGAL VARIATIONS

A. 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.

B. If players form a mixed barrier behind an opponent’s barrier, they can challenge—Rule 9. This variation greatly decreases the value of a barrier

C. If a player forms a barrier behind an opponent’s barrier and throws a double, he can either knock-off the opponent’s barrier if the pieces would land on the same square, or jumps over the opponent’s barrier if the score is sufficiently high.

D. 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.

E. One less six is required to knock-off a barrier to those required in Rule 8(b) and (e).

F. With a double six, two extra throws are allowed.

G. (“Suck Back”, “Blow Back” Rule) A piece in the home coloured lane can be reached by an opponent’s piece under the following circumstances:

(1) The opponent’s piece must so land that it is directly in Line with the coloured lane.

(2) 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.

(3) An opponent is allowed a maximum of two attempts to “Suck Back” before he must move on.

(4) If a “Suck Back” is achieved the challenger’s piece moves on one square.

(5) 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 opponent’s piece is returned to base.

(7) A maximum of two attempts can be made to “Blow Back” an op- ponent’s piece.

(8) A player cannot move his own piece whilst “Sucking Back” or ‘Blowing Back”.

(9) 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).

HINTS & TIPS

When 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.

Also, 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.

During 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.

It is a No-No to Uck pieces overboard.

It is also appropriate to get into your opponents face shouting expletives when you Uck him or perform an intricate blocking move etc..

Sailors 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.

When 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.

Uckers 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.

Remember - 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.

Fleet Champions like Boing Boing and Sheeps Head (above) are on record for making remarkable comebacks against all odds.

GET OUT THERE - EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS!

Who Do You Want To Uck Today?

Download Uckers Rules in word.doc format HERE

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Friday, 03-Dec-2004 4:38

 



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