Galliard Games Hare and Hounds
Galliard Games Hare and Hounds
Galliard Games Hare and Hounds
Galliard Games Hare and Hounds
Galliard Games

Hare and Hounds from Europe

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Hare and Hounds is a two-player abstract strategy board games that were popular in medieval northern Europe up until the 19th century.

In this game, a hare is trying to get past three dogs who are trying to surround it and trap it. The three dogs are represented by three pieces which normally start on one end of the board, and the hare is represented by one piece that usually starts in the middle of the board or is dropped on any vacant point in the beginning of the game. Hare games are similar to Bear games and hunt games. One side has more pieces than the other with the larger side attempting to hem in the smaller side. The smaller side though is usually compensated with more powers. Where Hare games differ is that the hares can only move forward or sideways, and not backwards. The hunters in the Bear games can move in all directions. Furthermore, the dog in the Hare games cannot capture any of the hares, unlike the tigers, leopards, jaguars, and foxes in the hunt games which can capture their respective prey counterparts.


  1. Players decide which animal to play. Depending on the versions, the hounds will usually be placed on one end of the board while the hare will be placed in the middle of the board or dropped onto any vacant point on the board in the first move.
  2. It is unknown exactly which animal traditionally starts first, and it may actually depend on which Hare game version is played, or perhaps there was no traditional first player, and it was up to the players themselves to decide who goes first. Players alternate their turns.
  3. Hounds can only move straight forward, diagonally forward, or sideways. They cannot move backwards in any way. They can only move one space per turn onto a vacant point, and follow the pattern on the board. Only one hound can be moved per turn. There are no captures in this game by either the hounds or the hare. The hare can move one space in any direction onto a vacant point following the pattern on the board.
  4. If the hare successfully passes the three hounds or reaches the other end of the board, the hare wins. If the hounds surround and immobilize the hare, the hounds win.

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