Quoridor Beginner’s Guide
This guide covers the rules and basics of Quoridor.
The rules of Quoridor are so simple you could probably just look at a fully set up board and start playing without having read anything about the game. Because you are already at a Quoridor strategy site we’re going to move fast. Here’s a quick synopsis of the rules.
- The board is 9×9. The game is played between two players. Each player has one pawn and ten walls.
- Each player’s pawn starts on one side of the board in the center spaced. The goal is to reach the other side of the board.
- On a turn a player may take one action: move their pawn or place a wall.
- Pawns move in four directions: up, down, left, or right.
- Walls are placed to block or disrupt opponents, or to push a player’s own pawn towards the goal.
- Once placed walls cannot be moved. Walls must be fully placed on the board.
- You can never completely wall in an opponent. There must always remain one path to the goal for each player.
That’s it. Clean and simple. Walk to the other side of the board, throw some walls down to mess with your opponent along the way. Ok, let’s move on to the basics.
- Wall yourself, not your opponent
- Save your walls
- Don’t get walled off
- You can’t win a wall race
- The optimal wall
Newer players often get great satisfaction from placing walls directly in front of their opponents, turning pawns around 180 degrees, and watching opponents scratch and pull their hair in the combined emotions of confusion and frustration.
More experienced players of course know that this will leave the newer player without any walls left to play and no control over the board. In fact, the Quoridor veterans take this very strategy and turn it 180, saving their walls to push their own pawns towards the goal.
Watch the edges of the board, and remember, there are four. It is not uncommon to find yourself pushed towards one side of the board while an open path still remains on the other side. While this path on the other side of the board remains open your opponent has the chance to completely block you off and send you back around the board. It is sometimes beneficial to spend a wall to close off a path far away from your pawn, especially if it leaves you only good options.
If you find yourself racing your opponent to close off one side of the board, you’ll only win if you are ahead. Try not to get into wall races. They just waste walls and it’s better to change the direction of the action, or move your pawn to change the situation on the board.
The optimal wall is one that adds the most amount of moves to your opponent’s path. Try to get the most out of your walls. Use your walls together to force opponents to walk all the way around them.
- Your unlimited resource
- When you don’t know, move
- The 3 space rule
While you’ve only got 10 walls, you have an unlimited number of moves. This can be your worst enemy when trying to calculate things, but in general save your walls and move your pawn if you’re not sure what to do.
Keep in mind that walls cover two spaces. When planning your movements anything that is two spaces within your path or existing walls can potentially be used against you.
Good luck. Check out our higher level strategy guides and walk through games when you’re hungry for the next level.
Screenshots from Martijn’s Quoridor App