Focus (board game)

Game of the Year 1981 Game of the Year 1980: shortlist Essen spring 1981

Focus is a strategy game for 2 to 4 persons of the game author Sid Sackson. It was first mentioned in 1963 in Martin Gardner's Scientific American column Games. In 1965, appeared in Whitman / Western Publishing. 1969 is described in Sacksons book A Gamut of Games. In 1979, appeared again in Daekor Designs / Hudson ' s Bay Company and the United Kingdom at Spear's Games. A German version appeared in 1980 at Parker Brothers and was game of the year 1981. Appeared in 1982, the game in the United States in Milton Bradley as Domination and Brazil at Milton Bradley / Estrela as dominio. 1995 saw a German edition of Focus on the cosmos.

Rules for two players

The rules represent a further development of the game Laska dar.

  • The game is played on a board with 6 × 6 squares and 4 each additional fields on each side (see image ). At the beginning of the game is placed on each of the 6x6 central cells per one stone, so that the pattern shown is formed.
  • The stones are stacked in the game and form towers. A single stone is also referred to hereinafter as a tower of height one. A tower always belongs to the player who owns the topmost stone.
  • Players take turns. A train is either to take one or more stones of its own tower and move to another field, or your own stone you have in a supply outside of the board, where appropriate. This reservoir is empty at the beginning.
  • A train moves the fields x x top stones of a tower far in the horizontal or vertical direction, that is, the number of migratory stones determines the distance over which they draw. You can drag an empty field or on another tower, and skip intermediate towers.
  • The insertion of a stone can be done on any field, even on its own or enemy towers.
  • If a tower with more than five stones arises, the excess will be removed from the bottom. The removed stones go over to the supply of the player who runs the train, unless they are of his color. The other colors are removed from the game.
  • The player who can perform as the last one train wins.

The mathematician Paul Yearout has devised a so-called hard slog strategy. Here, the second player always makes moves that preserve the symmetry of the position, and can not lose the game. Sid Sackson has developed as a countermeasure two rule proposals: the lot is assessed at the end as a win for the first player if the second player has only made ​​symmetry trains, or at the start of the game mixed up two stones on the grid, so that the position no longer symmetrical is. Both solutions can also be combined with each other.


  • This game was originally designed for two people. The game can also be played with three or four. Then each player gets his own stone color, and is drawn in turn. With four players always two players form a team. Before the game is agreed if they could coordinate their strategy during the game.

The variant for three persons has Sid Sackson added later. In the three-party version wins, who could capture either three stones each opponent or at least ten stones, including his own, was able to remove from the board.

Prizes and awards

1981 Focus was voted game of the year. So far, it remained the only abstract thinking game that could achieve this award. The rule of the game got the Essenes spring in the same year.