Frogs over the Green Arrowhead is a fun but not difficult strategy game where frogs try to get home, but have to get the green arrowhead to point in the right direction. For two, three or four players.
Board and Pieces
The board consists of a number of stations pointing in a number of directions, with a single green arrowhead in the center that tells players where their pieces may or may not be moved. There is a single die which is rolled at the start of the game to tell players how many frogs they have to get home in order to win.
Each player has ten frogs (stones all the same color) to move. You probably won’t need them all. Each player has three stations that belong to them: one can hold three frogs, one can hold four frogs, and one can hold two frogs. The number of frogs that each station can hold is indicated by notches. Place the three stations in order, starting with Three, then Four, then Two – leading to the center where the green arrowhead is.
In addition, each player has a big home station across the board that they are trying to get to. All the stations belonging to the same player are the same color.
If there are two players, line up the stations in a line with the green arrowhead in the center. The home station should be placed on the opposite extremity from where your starting station is. With three players, make thee legs coming together in the center, making sure that another player’s home is at the end of your leg. When there are four players, arrange them in two crossing lines.
The green arrowhead in the center belongs to nobody. One frog at a time can sit on the arrowhead, and it turns in the direction that helps the player who has the most stones (of any color) on their three stations (not home). As frogs cross over the green station, and as players add frogs to the board, the direction of the arrowhead will change throughout the game.
Frogs must be placed on the board on the three-frog station of that player’s color. Then that player’s frogs (some but not all) must cross the green arrowhead and head toward their home station. That means they will have to cross the stations that belong to another player, which ends up helping that other player.
The Green Arrowhead
At the center of everything is the green arrowhead. The point of the arrowhead (opposite from the curve) points at some player’s home. It is a station, holding only one frog, but it does not belong to any player. Its direction keeps changing depending on how all the frogs are distributed across the board. If it is your turn, you want the green arrowhead to point towards your home, and then you may move your frogs across it.
No frog can be moved ON to the green arrowhead, or OFF from the green arrowhead, or ACROSS it in a jump unless the arrowhead is pointing in the right direction. The arrowhead does not restrict the movement of frogs that are not moving on, off or across it. When the direction of the green arrowhead changes, whatever frog is ON it will stay on it. A frog may jump over the arrowhead (like any station) when it is full (holding a single frog), as long as the frog jumps in the direction the arrowhead is pointing.
Starting the Game
At the start of the game, roll the die. The number showing is the number of frogs you must move into your home station to win. Leave that number showing on the die through the whole game. Roll it again to set the goal when starting a new game.
Players begin the game with one of their stones on each of these three stations (but not home). All their remaining frogs are kept in a pile waiting to get onto the board.
Randomly decide which player gets the first turn, then point the arrow away from that player’s home, and toward that player’s starting station (with three notches).
Moves and Turns
Any color frog can move in any direction and can land on any color station. The number of frogs on each station, however, is limited (count the notches). You may not want to move backwards, but sometimes you need to.
At the beginning of your turn, you need to check out whether you can or want to change the direction of the green arrowhead. Count how many frogs (of any color) are on your stations, and how many are on the stations of your opponent(s). If nobody says anything, you may want to leave the arrowhead pointing at your home. But if they speak up, you are responsible for putting it in the correct direction.
On your turn, you may move any one of your frogs. It may be a frog that is almost home and you move it into your home station. It may be a frog that is off the board, which must be placed onto the station that can hold three. This three-frog station is wider than the others, and is three stations away from the green arrowhead in the center. If your three-frog station is full, you may not add frogs (you can’t jump over it). Alternatively, you may pick one frog on the board to move ahead toward your home station. If the next station ahead is not full, move it there. But if that station ahead is full, you may jump over it to whatever station (including the arrowhead) is not full. This jumping is possible no matter what color the station is and no matter what color the frogs are. For example, if the three stations ahead of your frog (including the arrowhead) are all full, and the arrowhead is pointing in the right direction, then your frog can jump over those three to the next station that has room, so it is almost home.
To sum up, on your turn you should fix the direction of the arrowhead AND
– add one frog OR
– move one frog ahead OR
– jump one frog over the full station(s) to the next station with room.
When it is your turn you MUST move a stone.
Winning the Game
The roll of the die tells you how many frogs to get home. The first player to move that many frogs into their home station is the winner.
The more you plug up your own stations, the more other players will jump over them, giving them advantage over you.
The more you jump rather than move (one station at a time) the more you will advance your frogs.
Try to minimize how many frogs are on your opponent’s stations. For example, once crossing over the green arrowhead, try to move quickly home.
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