3. Advanced Strategy for Nine Menís Morris. Knowing the rules is only the first step. Your next move is to learn some strategies Ė and start outsmarting your opponent.
a. Intersections, Corners, and Sides. Maximum mobility is the key to success in Nine Men's Morris.
Any piece surrounded by your opponent's pieces is useless.
Intersections are the most valuable locations, since they have four adjacent spaces.
Corners are weakest, since they only have two adjacent spaces.
Sides are stronger than corners, as they have three adjacent spaces.
b. Placing Strategy. Going first gives you a slight advantage, because you can claim two intersections.
Think several moves ahead. Place your pieces so that you can form more than one string (three pieces in a row, horizontally or vertically). That way, if one string is blocked, you can form a different string on your next move. However, you should not force your opponent to keep blocking strings. This can lead to your pieces getting trapped. You are trying to set up the board for the second phase of play, the moving phase.
Try to separate your opponent's pieces from each other and block strings. Losing even one piece during the placing phase can be disastrous at the start of the moving phase.
c. Moving Strategy. During the
moving phase, try to predict where your opponent will try to make a string. Move
your pieces into positions that block your opponent from making a string, but
that allow you to form either a single string or double string on your next
turn. When you make a string, capture the opponent's piece that is most likely
to form a string on a subsequent turn.
When you form a string, simply move a piece out of the string, and then return it to the string on your next turn. This way, as long as your movement is not blocked, you can capture a piece every other turn!
When you can move a piece from one string and complete a
second string, you have made a double string. Congratulations! Continue moving
the piece back and forth between the two strings. It is very difficult to
counter a double string, so do not let your opponent make one!
If you are reduced to only three pieces, you are allowed to jump to any open position. You can use this to your advantage, as you can win by jumping into and out of a string. The piece you jump out of the string should also be used to block your opponent from making a string. Be careful, though: Before you reduce your opponent to three pieces, make sure your opponent cannot jump into a string on the next turn to win the game.