Calculi – The Roman Game of Strategy

Think of this game as a predecessor of Connect Four 🙂

~As taught by La Signora Onorata Giata Alberti at the Academy of Performing Arts, Gleann Abhann~

Calculi, or “Five in a Row” is a Roman game played on the same board as Latrunculi. Each player has 33 pieces, in opposite colors.

The traditional rules of Calculi, or “Five in a Row,” are as follows:

1. Black plays first.
2. First person to line up five stones in a row orthogonally (straight across or straight up and down) or diagonally wins.
3. It is illegal to make a “double open-ended three” unless one is forced to do so.
4. If the board becomes filled, the game is a draw.

A double open-ended three, or three in a row simultaneously in two directions, is banned because it is too easy to win, and occurs frequently. This rule makes for a much more interesting game, and leads to the strategy in which one tries to make a double “three and a four,” which is like a double open-ended three, except that one line is made of four in a row.


As researched by Wally J. Kowalski from Able One Education Network

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s