THE GAME OF THUD
Copyright 2001/2005 Terry Pratchett, Trevor Truran and Bernard Pearson
No part of these rules, game plans or designs can be reproduced in any form without the express permission of the copyright holders.
Thud is unusual in that a game consists of two battles - if you command the dwarfs in the first battle then you'll be in charge of the trolls in the second. At the end of each battle, points are scored by the winning player and the result of the game is decided by combining the results of both battles. So if you have a disastrous first battle, all is not yet lost. In the second battle you may get your revenge with an even more convincing win.
(From now on the words dwarfs and trolls will include both the pieces themselves and the human player controlling them.)
DWARFS have the first move in each battle.
A dwarf, being small and fast, can dash around any distance in a straight line (forwards, backwards, sideways and diagonally).
As trolls can't see anything directly under their kneecaps, a dwarf can end its move on a square next to a troll without being instantly captured. This may seem a suicidally daft thing to do, but it is often actually a brilliant tactic, since the troll will have to move to capture the dwarf and that may spoil the trolls' other attacking plans.
A TROLL lumbers about, moving one square in any direction (forwards, backwards, sideways and diagonally). Since dwarfs are heavily armoured and trolls are solid rock - no piece can pass through a square containing any other piece. Nor can any piece land on, or jump over, the central rock. This rock, by the way, cannot be moved nor does it 'belong' to either player - but it can play a vital part in the battle.
A Troll captures dwarfs by moving next to them and thumping them on the helmet with its club. Captured dwarfs are carted off the battleground with their ears ringing. Dwarfs can only overpower their much bigger enemy by forming a line and hurling the front dwarf straight at a troll and walloping it in the midriff. This causes the troll to lose interest in proceedings and it leaves the arena for a long lie-down until the next battle.
Capturing is not compulsory.
Captures are made in straight lines - including diagonally.
CAPTURES BY TROLLS
A troll captures one or more dwarfs by moving to a square next to it (them).
There are up to eight squares next to the square the troll is on. The troll must move to make a capture; it cannot simply demolish a dwarf already next to it.
Trolls can also make captures by forming an unbroken line of trolls. Instead of an ordinary move, the front troll is shoved in the back by the rest in the line, who remain where they are. The shoved troll moves directly forward as many squares (or fewer) as there were trolls in the line.
A troll can only be shoved to make a capture. It cannot use the shove as an ordinary move. Remember, that trolls capture by landing on the square next to one or more dwarfs. They do not land on the square a dwarf is occupying. Don't forget that the shove can be made to capture a dwarf that is not directly facing the troll along the line of attack. The troll simply has to land next to the dwarf to capture, so it can sidle up to one or more dwarfs and merrily swing its club.