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Monday, September 18, 2017

Dear Hannah: LEarning (Nine Men's Morris (9MM))

Dear Hannah,

Nine Men's Morris is an ancient board game combining the speed of checkers, the strategy of chess and the simplicity of tic-tac-toe.

It is easy to play, but difficult to master.

Become a master.



Nine Men's Morris (9MM)

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"LEarning (Nine Men's Morris (9MM))"
By Derrick Brown

Nine Men's Morris is an ancient board game combining the speed of checkers, the strategy of chess and the simplicity of tic-tac-toe.

It is easy to play, but difficult to master.

Opponents each start the game with 9 playing pieces.

The object ... is to either trap your opponent so he or she can no longer move or to capture all their playing pieces except for two.

The rules ... first person to play puts a piece over any of the white circles on your game board.

Then the second person does the same.

Your objective is to get three of your pieces in a row (which is called a "mill").

All the pieces in a "mill" must be on circles connected by lines.

In other words, diagonal mills don't count.

When you get a mill, you may remove and keep one of your opponent's pieces from the board.

The only time a piece can be removed from an opponent's mill is when there are no other pieces available except those in a mill.

Once both players have put down all their pieces (this is called the "placement" phase), they take turns moving their pieces along the lines in an effort to form a mill (this is called the "movement" phase).

You can only move one space at a time, and you can't move diagonally.

Also, you may only move to adjacent open circles.

You may not bump or jump an opponent's piece.

Remember, the forming of a mill allows for the removal of an opponent's piece.

If you plan well, it is possible to play a piece that forms two mills. If this occurs, you can remove two of your opponent’s pieces.

Play continues until a player can no longer move or is left with only two playing pieces on the board.
 Whichever outcome, this person loses the game.

I can show you better than I can tell you.

Let's see how it is done.

Roll the demo ...

The game's speed, strategy, and simplicity combine to make it a subtle powerhouse.

Let me count the ways ...

1. Folks from similar and different generations can compete.
2. Games end in 5-10 minutes - so several games can be played simultaneously - or in succession - without folks getting bored.
3. "Gameboards" can be printed and placed in document photo frames from Dollar stores.
4. Game pieces can be formal game pawns (like the ones in the game "Sorry"), or any uniform household item with a flat bottom (pennies and dimes work well - so do colored applesauce caps).

These four elements I have shared allow Nine Men's Morris to be the centerpiece of a compelling, inexpensive, intra-generational event.

Imagine middle, high school, and college students - along with professionals and retirees - all playing each other in a large room with 16 tables.

Each table can host two games between two players simultaneously - this means 64 people can be engaged and play 32 games in the first round of a tournament.

Each game requires a gameboard - a printout of the Nine Men's Morris grid placed in a dollar store document frame.

These 32 gameboards will cost $32.

With games taking 5-10 minutes - each tournament round will take 20 minutes.

A 64-player tournament will require 6 "rounds" to crown a champion - which means 120 minutes are required for gameplay.

Add 5-minute breaks between every round - 25-30 minutes are required for breaks.

This means that 150 minutes (2.5 hours) are required to conduct a tournament with 64 participants.

Let's add 30 minutes for breakfast before the tournament.

So, on a Saturday morning from 9 AM - 12 PM - this game provides the main attraction of a great, inexpensive mentoring event.

Man, that is alright.


About Derrick Brown (Principal Consultant)

I am Keisha's husband, and Hannah's father.

My *other* passion is empowering people via methods that balance skill & will, analysis & synthesis, ideas & execution, and activity & achievement.

I am the product of my mentoring relationships, peacemaking (and peacekeeping), and problem-solving ability.

I am a publisher, filmmaker, executive coach & registered mediator with engineering degrees from Clemson and Georgia Tech.

My education began when I finished school.

After school, I enrolled in a lifelong curriculum that includes the following classes ...

  • ministry (serving people)
  • entrepreneurship (developing solutions that serve people)
  • stewardship (taking care of relationships, possessions, talents, body, mind, and time)
  • literacy (reading & writing skills)
  • numeracy (math skills)
  • language (communication skills)
  • self-expression (sharing "who you are")
  • self-identity (knowing "who you are")
  • analysis & synthesis (solving problems & sharing solutions)

KnowledgeBase is a ministry that has evolved from wisdom earned through lessons learned.

I want to share this wisdom to build teams of "triple threat" fellows - mentors, mediators, and problem solvers.

We will collaborate in simple, powerful ways that allow us to help people.

I now know that power is work done efficiently (with wise and skillful use of resources, interests, communication, and expertise).

Copyright © 2017 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.

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