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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2006-10-07
 By Hernán Marcelo Domínguez Placencia and Juan Pablo  Schweitzer Kirsinger. Hanga Roa. A chess variant inspired by the people of Easter Island. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Karen Robinson wrote on 2018-03-16 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

This game has everything I love in a boardgame:  simple rules, interesting play, a fun theme, and unusual mechanics.   The stone throwing reminds me a bit of Amazons, but using the stones as roads is completely new to me.  There's a choice at every turn whether to try to build your own road, or destroy your opponent's road.  

There's also a bit of a hint of hnefatafl with the two goals of surrounding and immoblizing the other piece, and reaching the far side of the board.

I followed the link in the article and read about the history of the Moais, how the inhabitants descended into warfare as the island was deforested, and how they destroyed the Moais of other inhabitants as part of that warfare, which adds a darker tone to the theme.  

What a fascinating and unusual game.  I really love this one.  I wish it were more widely known.  
Would the designers mind if I listed it on boardgamegeek, with a link back to this page?  


Georg Spengler wrote on 2015-05-16 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I did not expect it from reading the rules, but after trying it I think it is one of the best games in the data base.

George Duke wrote on 2008-06-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Once a year we remind about this game for what minimal Rules can produce, and Hanga Roa has relevance because of grouping with Latin producers Lavieri and Cetina today. Only three piece-types in Hanga Roa maximize strategy. Lavieri's Comment 20.January.2004 sums it up: ''I figure it is much more complex than it looks at first.'' You learn the Rules in a minute, but the strategy ramifies endlessly. We wonder whether this is just type of CV computers might struggle with for a while.

George Duke wrote on 2008-04-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
'9x9' percentagewise has far and away the most Excellent Chesses, however it may be broken down to get subsets of 0.1% to 1.5% of the 10*4 CVs invented per grouping: whether by such board sizes, or by locale of invention(Hanga Roa is South American), or by Western or Xiangqi-based(further subdivided to get < 2%), subsets of Mutators versus new piece-types, any way that can be thought of to slice it. '9x9' is the pinnacle, however weird it seems. Among the several acme 9x9 is Hanga Roa, already analysed couple of times. Hanga Roa does so much with only three piece-types. One of the two win conditions has kinship with just-discussed Melee preceding it chronologically.

George Duke wrote on 2007-10-31 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Easter Island is proof that rapid deforestation is not monopoly of the 21st Century. How could a complex society descend into ecocide? Or become vanished civilisation in environmental ravaging causing eventual collapse (contributed to by invaders, called 'explorers')? Yet the carving and erection of Moai statues testify something peculiar having happened, and Chess being inherently optimistic facing adversity, 'Thus was born Hanga Roa', Easter Island's (and Chilean Juan Kirsinger's) game of chess. Hanga Roa has but three piece-types on yet another 9x9, together with Lavieri's Altair the best of the 20 or so extant on 81 squares. The initial position comes at the end, a nice touch. The winning conditions are either to get one's Moais (King) across the board (other side of Island) or capture the opponent's Moais by totally surrounding it with any combination of pieces of either side excluding same-colour Stones offering escape. Moais only moves over a string of own Stones, displacing and removing them one and all passed over by the very movement. Ariki moves like Queen, except for no capturing, and instead throws two Stones upon completion of move. 'Mato to'a' moves like King and captures normally by displacement, chiefly Stones. Critical Stones are not pieces as such in that they do not themselves move once placed. Tending to reappear once gobbled up by Mato to'a, there become a lot of Stones on squares even 50%, 75% or more, like encroaching so-called 'civilisation' itself. Great. [Larry Smith adds ''The fact that a computer program has difficulty playing this game increases its potential.''] Smith's quote is said about Go too, with Hanga Roa and Go itself having their similarities.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-05-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The rating 'excellent' is for the beautiful set of pieces!. (the game itself is very nice too, although more complex than it appears at first. It is not easy stablish strategies, and if both bands play well, the path for a victory may be relatively long, I think, but I´m not completely sure because I don´t know how to play it really well. Some experience is needed, without doubts...)

Michael Schmahl wrote on 2004-03-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
It's a very interesting game. I wonder if it would be better if the Ariki moved like Kings (still throwing stones any distance, though), and the Mato'Toa moved like Queens.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-01-20 UTCGood ★★★★
It seems to be a nice game. I figure it is much more complex than it looks at first view. I´m not sure if the throwing of two Stones adds too much to the game, the density grows quickly, and some tactics would be difficult to perform, so there is the need of some non-trivial planning from the beginnings. A question: Can Arikis throw only ONE stone?. Can they move without any throw?. I have not played a complete game yet, I have only moved the pieces for a while, taking an idea of the game play, but I think that it is very difficult reach the other side goal, it looks more easy the surrounding objective of the game. I spent one hour this afternoon trying to implement a primitive version of a ZRF, but I have had some troubles with it. My impression is that Zillions is going to be a poor Hanga Roa player, I don´t know if there is other person trying an implementation, but the main problem may be the incapacity of Zillions to avoid fast losing positions in this kind of games, because the objectives of it.

Larry Smith wrote on 2004-01-20 UTCGood ★★★★
I like it.  I like it.  I like it.

The opponent Mato to’a are unable to keep up with the stone-throwing
Ariki.  So the field can become littered with its deposits.

In addition to the goal of a cell, the win by immobilizing the opponent
Moais is a nice condition.

Nice work.  The rules are not complex but the game-play will definitely
challenge.

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