How to Play Adomoc

The Complete Rules of Adomoc

Adomoc is a two-player, abstract strategy board game. Each player must shrewdly plan, collaborate, and compete with the other player to transcend the origin space at the board’s edge and reach the centre of the board.


The first player to move his or her prime sun to the centre space (the ninth cycle) wins. Section E. Winning the Game provides detail on the conditions required to win. If you have difficulty remembering the rules, see the cheat sheet.

Game Components

Each player has one breed of fifteen game pieces (light or dark). There are three different types of piece. One type is a foot, one is a moon, and one is a sun. Each breed consists of five feet, five moons, and five suns.

One piece of each type has special characteristics that set it apart from the other types. We call these special pieces the primes.

To summarize each player has fifteen pieces:

  • 4 suns and 1 prime sun
  • 4 moons and 1 prime moon
  • 4 feet and 1 prime foot

Examples of Adomoc Playing Pieces

The Adomoc game board is a circular matrix composed of eighty-one circular, spaces.

The board has nine concentric cycles. The first cycle is closest to the outermost edge of the board. Ten columns intersect the first eight cycles.

Spirals connect the spaces in a spiral from the first cycle to the eighth cycle. The spirals connect spaces diagonally from cycle to cycle.

Origin spaces are located in the first three cycles only. There are two halves to the board so that each breed begins the game occupying the first fifteen spaces of its native (light or dark) half of the board.

Optionally, if you wish to record the movements of your game, you may use Adomoc notation.

Diagram of Adomoc Game Board

Setup and Play

A) Game Setup

  • Suns occupy the outermost cycle (cycle 1)
  • Moons occupy the second cycle
  • Feet occupy the third cycle

Prime pieces always occupy each player’s middle column of spaces (column C for the light half and column H for the dark half). The other pieces should be set up to flank both sides of the prime pieces in each player’s remaining four (leftward and rightward) columns.

Once all the pieces are set up, the light breed will occupy the first three cycles of spaces on columns A, B, C, D, E, and the dark breed will occupy those on columns F, G, H, I, J.

Setup of the Pieces and Board

B) Play

A round of play consists of both players each taking one turn. The light breed makes the first move of the game.

Each player must play exactly one turn per round, if it is impossible for a player to move, he or she must forfeit the game.

One turn consists of moving one piece, one established type of movement (at least one space), which may or may not involve any of three possible behaviours.

C) Movement of the Pieces

Primes may move a maximum of three spaces or less per turn. All non-prime pieces may move as many or as few spaces as the player desires.

Feet move laterally around the cycles or longitudinally along the columns.

  • Moons move diagonally, following the spirals.
  • Suns move any direction (around cycles, along columns, or along spirals).
  • All pieces may move only one direction in a turn.

Except for the prime sun, no piece may pass-through or land on the centre space (the ninth cycle). A prime sun may only land on the centre when the conditions are satisfied for winning the game.

See the cheat sheet for help.

Movement of the Pieces

D) Behaviours of the Pieces

Pieces can behave in three different ways. They can consume, originate, or in some cases attract other pieces.


When a prime piece lands on its opponent’s piece of the same type, it consumes the piece. That means the non-prime piece must be removed from the board and cannot re-enter play.

Only primes may consume other pieces and primes themselves cannot be consumed.

For example, a prime foot may consume its opponent’s non-prime feet but may not consume moons or suns.

Consuming a piece terminates the player’s turn.


A piece that lands on a piece of an unlike type may send the piece back to an origin space. For example, a foot may originate a sun or a moon but not another foot.

Prime pieces may only be originated by other primes or by any moon. Note: a moon still cannot originate a prime moon since it is a like type.

A player may originate his or her own pieces.

The player that causes the origination (the player whose turn is in progress) chooses the origin space on which to send the originated piece (it does not matter whether the originated piece is his opponent’s or his own).

A player can only originate when an unoccupied space exists within the originated breed’s origin cycle. It must be placed on one of the breed’s free origin spaces of the proper cycle.

For example, if a light moon is going to originate a dark sun, at least one of the origin spaces on the dark sun’s cycle (F1, G1, H1, I1, or J1) must be unoccupied. If one of those spaces is unoccupied, the light moon moves to the space the dark sun occupied, and the dark sun moves to the free origin space of the light-breed player’s choice.

See the cheat sheet for help.

Light foot originates dark moon

Light moon cannot originate dark moon


When any sun is on a space directly adjacent (by row, cycle, or spiral) to a foot of the other breed, it attracts that foot, which means that the foot cannot move. Attraction only affects feet and feet are only attracted to suns.

It does not matter whether the suns or feet are prime.

There are four ways to free an attracted foot and allow it to continue playing.

  1. Originate the foot
  2. Originate the sun
  3. Consume the sun (if it’s not prime)
  4. Wait for the sun to move. As soon as the sun moves, the foot is released from its attraction


E. Winning the Game

The first player to land his or her prime sun on the ninth cycle, during a state of primes, wins the game. The game ends (one says the game is “centred”) when a player’s prime sun transcends its origin and enters the centre space.

The State of Primes: the Necessary Condition for Winning

Prior to a player moving his or her prime sun to the ninth cycle, at least one prime foot and one prime moon must reside on the eighth cycle. Furthermore, at least one of these primes (a foot or a moon) must belong to the player’s own breed.

When those conditions exist, the game is in a state of primes. The next player to move has the possibility of winning. At no other time is the prime sun allowed to enter the space of the ninth cycle.

See the cheat sheet for examples.

Regulations and Other Guidance


  • No immediate reverse origination. When a piece is originated, it cannot be used on the following turn to originate its originator. In other words, a reverse origination may not be played before one complete round of play passes.
  • It is a legitimate move for a player to originate his or her own pieces but a player may not consume his or her own pieces. Similarly, a player’s feet are never attracted to his or her own suns.
  • No jumping. No piece can bypass, avoid, or otherwise “jump” over another piece that is in its path.
  • Adjacency: a space that is directly next to a neighbouring space. In Adomoc, adjacent spaces include any spaces that are immediately next to one another in a column, cycle, or a spiral.
  • The behaviours of consuming and originating terminate a turn. This means that no piece can consume or originate more than one piece in a turn. The attraction behaviour however, might result from a turn that also involved consuming or originating a piece.
  • Pieces may not move in multiple directions during a turn. For example, a piece may not be moved along a column several spaces and then moved along a cycle in the same turn. Pieces may only move in one direction per turn.
  • No piece may land on or pass through the space in the centre (the ninth cycle). The prime sun is the only exception, and then only to win the game during a state of primes.


  • Because moons move along spiral/diagonal paths, they cannot reach all of the spaces on the board. Thus, moons might seem to have limited value. However, their ability to originate prime pieces makes them especially valuable toward end game strategy.
  • The prime moon is the most difficult piece to originate.
  • Counting the number of columns that separate spaces at different cycles on the board reveals patterns that make it easier to see where spirals from the first cycle end on the eighth cycle.

Creative Commons Licence
Adomoc: Toward Centre, the Game of Moving Organic Concepts (C) 2001 by Joshua Chalifour is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at