Beginner’s Guide: Rules and Basics

Quoridor Beginner’s Guide

This guide covers the rules and basics of Quoridor.

000 beg guide clean board

A board set up to play. Purple is moving to top and Yellow is moving to bottom.

Rules

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.

The Basics

Walling

  • 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.

Purple, moving top, has wasted almost all his walls and not blocked off much of the board

Purple, moving top, has wasted almost all his walls and not blocked off much of the board

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.

Purple, moving top, is pushed to one side of the board and about to be turned around

Purple, moving to top, is pushed to one side of the board and about to be turned around

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.

Yellow, moving bottom. Purple wanted to trap Yellow and turn him around, but Yellow can close the other side of the board faster, one wall to Purple's two.

Yellow, moving bottom. Purple wanted to trap Yellow and turn him around, but Yellow can close the other side of the board faster, one wall to Purple’s two.

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.

Moving

  • 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.

Yellow, moving bottom, turns towards the bottom too quickly. This close to so many walls it would have been better to move right or place walls to push his own pawn before moving.

Yellow, moving bottom, turns towards the bottom too quickly. This close to so many walls it would have been better to move right or place walls to push his own pawn before moving.

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

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s