Merels Game, also known as "Morris", "the Mill Game", or simply "Mills". An ancient strategy game, handcrafted from quality hardwood, with contrasting metal or wood inlays at the grid points and pyrographed artistic decoration surrounding the playing grid. A fully customizable traditional board game as well as a piece of functional art that will challenge the mind and please the eyes for generations. The Morris games are amongst the oldest games known to man, and throughout the centuries have seen multiple surges in popularity and further expansion. On this board, players have the option of playing any one of the three most popular variants of the game; Six-, Nine-, and Twelve-Men’s Morris, each game with its own rules for movement and differing piece counts per player.
This is a MADE TO ORDER item, with an estimated completion time of 2-3 weeks. The boards pictured are only photographic examples. Your board will be created to your selected specifications - no two boards will ever look the same.
- Morris board constructed of 3/4" thickness hardwood (your choice of cherry or maple); handcrafted and decorated with your choice of art and edge style.
- All artwork achieved through the use of pyrography, the art of wood-burning. Artwork available varies from historical to modern historically-inspired designs. Custom art requests and submissions are always welcome; please contact me so that we may discuss the details.
- The intersections of the playing grid, where the pieces are set during gameplay, are drilled out slightly and inlaid with circular metal or wooden blanks in complement to the wood type and art style selected.
- Board has a playing grid area of 7x7 inches, with a 2-inch artistic border surrounding the grid, for a total board size of approximately 11 inches square.
- Playing pieces (24 total) are included. Made in the U.S. by a local woodworking supply shop, then stained and finished by me in complement to the board. A drawstring bag is included for storage of the pieces. The pieces are very similar to traditional wooden checkers, yet slightly smaller.
GAME HISTORY / HOW TO PLAY:
- The game of Merels or Morris is so ancient that its origin is unknown. From the stones of ancient Kurna in Egypt, to the stone and bronze age burial sites of Cr Bri Chualann (County Wicklow, Ireland), the pattern for the board has been found in many ancient contexts. By medieval times it had spread far and wide across the three continents of the old world. It was the game of choice for many, particularly bored monks and priests, who carved its board design into the stones and seats of their abbeys and cathedrals. Eventually, the game was transformed into several variants, each requiring new strategies to play, created by the different cultures over the centuries who adopted the game as their own.
- Merels is a strategic three-in-a-row game. Two players each have an equal number of pieces and play on a board of 18-24 points, depending upon the variant being played. The players strive to make rows of three along the marked lines, first by placing the pieces on the board one at a time (as in tic-tac-toe), and then by moving the pieces from one point to another along a marked line. Forming a row of three pieces (called a ‘mill’) allows a player to remove an enemy piece. It is possible to achieve stalemate during the placement phase of this game; if nobody has made a 'mill' then the pieces may not move and the game is declared a draw. A player wins the game by reducing the enemy to two pieces (thus negating any chance of forming a mill).
Merels, the Morris game - a game so ancient its origin is lost in time
Examples of available wood types and edge styles can be found by clicking the "Materials & Styles" link at the bottom of any page.