Outmanoeuvre Your Opponent In Abstract Strategy Game Shōbu

June 26, 2019 by cassn

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Shōbu is a beautifully crafter abstract strategy game for two players in which you aim to remove four of your opponents stones off one of four boards in play.

Each game consists of four square wood boards and 32 river stones - sixteen of each colour. The boards are set up in square formation and divided centrally by a rope. On their turn, a player makes two moves: a passive, or set up, movement, and an aggressive, or action, movement.


On the passive movement, a player may move one of their stones two spaces in any direction (including diagonally) to set their piece in place. They then can take their second aggressive move, which must match the same direction and number of spaces as their previous movement.

During this second movement, players can use their turn to push their opponent's pieces across the board and, ultimately, off the edge of the playing surface. The player who is first to move four of their opponent's stones off one of the four boards is the winner.


Shōbu is an engaging and interesting strategy game which has echoes of classic strategic abstract games such as GO and Chess, but yet remains wholly distinct. It was very popular when it was previewed at Origins Game Fair and UK Games Expo earlier this year.

There's no sign of a European release yet, but US customers can pick themselves up a copy of this interesting strategy game through the Smirk & Laughter website.

What is your favourite abstract strategy game? Tell us below!

"An engaging and interesting strategy game!"

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