A great number of strategies are used
by the Awale players during a game.
Here are some of them (These strategies apply to the classical Awale,
but can often be used also with other rules).
Some of the configurations described here are highlighted by examples.
Load these examples by selecting the "Load a game" option in the "Awale"
menu, and choosing the right name.
The strategies at the beginning of the game
Generally, it's not a good idea to play a set of consecutive holes
during the first turns of the game, because it lays the player open to
multiple captures very hard to avoid.
For this reason, the sequences 6-2-4 or 2-4-6 or 5-3-2 will be chosen
instead of sequences 1-2-3 or 2-1-3.
The strategies at the middle of the game
The aim of the game is to capture more seeds than the opponent. To
do this, the player must try to prepare his attacks, by setting the number
of seeds in his holes to values that reach the opposite territory and allow
The system of multiple capture can drastically
increase the score, and therefore this kind capture has to be targetted.
The opponent must also be prevented from making such captures, sometimes
by sacrifying some of the player's seeds. (see example "Strat01")
While the player decides to capture some opponent's seeds, he must
check that the played hole doesn't uncover an important position into his
He must also foil his opponent's threats, either by increasing the
content of the threatening holes of his opponent, or by increasing the
content of the threatened holes in his own territory.
(see example "Strat02")
In the Awale game, the player must sow before reaping : a range of
opponent's empty holes, judiciously sown, can change into a very interesting
(see example "Strat03")
A classical offensive strategy is the Kroo
(in Akan language, accumulation). The Kroo is the accumulation into a hole
of enough seeds to make a complete revolution, i.e. at least twelve seeds.
A Kroo can be devastating when the opponent's territory is almost empty,
because, during the sowing, the first turn sows and the second one ends
with a multiple capture.
An example of Kroo sowing can be found in example "Strat04"
A Kroo is said "ripe" when it contains enough seeds to reach at least
the first hole of the opponent's territory.
The player can use a set of defensive strategies to thwart a Kroo.
Here are some of them :
- The player can try to make the Kroo fail by blocking : he must put
at least 2 seeds in the hole threatened by the Kroo in order to thwart
- The overloading consists in adding seeds to the opponent's Kroo to
overload it, and make it miss its target.
- The hardship : it consists in not giving seeds to the opponent, in
order to force him to play his Kroo before it's ripe.
- The counter-attack consists in accumulating seeds in one or several
holes, in order to capture too after the opponent's Kroo is played.
The strategies at the end of the game
By the end of the game, when there's not very much seeds left on the
board, the player can have to build some "traps" : the aim is to leave
only one playable hole to his opponent, and to make him play it on a threatened
(example : "Strat09", "Strat10", "Strat11")
It's also possible to build several traps in order to make several
capture during successive turns.
(example : "Strat12")
At last, the player can keep all the seeds in his territory in order
to starve his opponent, and simultaneously make himself unable to feed
(example : "Strat13", be see again the end of "Strat08")
: Most of these stratégies, as well as some
examples in this chapter, are taken from the book :
"Stratégies des joueurs d'Awalé", Jean Retschitzki, L'Harmattan
"A man who pays respect to the great,
paves the way for his own greatness"
(Nigeria : Igbo proverb)