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Ludo is a game well known to most people, particularly those of advancing years. A simple game played by up to four players on a colourful board. But once the Royal Navy got hold of the game, it changed not only it's name but also the way the game was played.
Some time before the middle of the last century the game of Uckers was developed in the Royal Navy by her majesty's sailors to while away the off watch hours. There was no telly in them days and precious little radio either so the lads had to do something. In days gone by, before the Rum ration was brutally discontinued, matelots would play a game of Uckers and the losers at the next "Tot Time," would be obliged to offer to the winner, his whole Tot, halfers, gulpers or just simply sippers, depending what was agreed before the game began. In the time honoured tradition, the winner would very rarely accept the full tot but would take a token drink, as he would if offered halfers. Gulpers and sippers were always accepted with relish.
After 283 years, 31st July 1970 was the last day when rum was issued to British sailors and no doubt that since then some other form of reward for winning at Uckers has taken it's place.
Uckers is played on an ordinary common or garden LUDO board, using the normal LUDO counters and a die and some of the normal LUDO rules with a few very interesting additions and alterations.
Uckers is a game for either 2 or two teams of two players. With two players playing Uckers, each player takes two colours, these being in the opposite corners of the board. i.e. Green and Red or Blue and Yellow. With two teams playing, each team takes the opposite corners.
The modern LUDO board is ever so slightly different from the traditional board and it only makes a slight difference to the game. The modern board no longer has a relatively safe square situated in the corner between the entry to home and the exit from base. This square is now the exit from base. It's absence as a relatively safe haven should not make all that much difference to the tactics of the game but the traditionalists will, no doubt, view the change with mistrust and concern.
There is only a slight difference between the 2 player game and the 4 player game.
In the 4 player game, although the two players form a team they play independently of each other in so far as throwing the die, moving the counters and tactics is concerned. In all other respects they are a team and are considered as one player.
Ludo is a good game but Uckers is even better where not just luck but strategy plays a major role.
This is not the place to explain how the game is played so if you want to know how to play the game then go to my web site at:- http://www.jambutty17.freeserve.co.uk Knock on my front door and from the bookshelf in my front room pick the first book on the left on the second shelf. The light blue one half hidden by the table top. The game of Uckers is explained in there.