Horseplay : Rustling rules

« Horseplay’s Rustling rules »


Rustling is a variation on the draughts theme (or checkers if you prefer). The aim of the game is to rustle livestock – horses in fact. So, instead of the players having to take all their opponents pieces to win they merely have to capture their competitors Stable.

Setting up the board

The illustrations below show how to move the pieces and how to set up the board for 2, 3 or 4 players. The corner Stables are the main objects to be captured.

  • Horseplay Rustling (draughts variant), moves and flow of play.

    Horsesplay Rustling moves

  • Horseplay Rustling, set up for 2 players on 9 x 9 board

    Rusting 9x9 for 2 players

  • Horseplay Rustling, set up for 4 players on 9 x 9 board

    Rusting 9x9 for 4 players

  • Horseplay Rustling, set up for 2 players on 11 x 11 board

    Rustling 11x11 for 2 players

  • Horseplay Rustling, set up for 4 players on 11 x 11 board

    Rustling 11x11 for 4 players

  • See also: Photograph of these set up on an early prototype board


  1. The ‘Rustlers’ – counters – can only move diagonally forward and must always remain on the blue squares.
  2. In all versions, the colours move as follows:
    Green first, then red, then blue and finally black.
  3. As in draught, the pieces can be promoted – crowned. This is achieved by a counter reaching the opposite side of the board. e.g a red counter reaching the red paddocks line.

    This promotion allows the crowned pieces (denoted by being two counters high, or flipped over to display a letter ‘C’) to move in any direction along the diagonal lines.

  4. Capture is achieved by hopping over your opponents’ counter(s). In order to do this the pieces to be taken must have a vacant square behind them. A captured piece is immediately removed from the board.
  5. A player who fails to take a piece when one could have been taken may be ‘huffed’, the piece removed from the board.
  6. Any player landing on a ‘Miss a Turn’ square (on the larger board) must forfeit their next move. During this time they are vulnerable.
  7. Once a Stable has been captured – occupied by another player – all the pieces of that colour are considered taken and are removed from the board.
  8. The game ends when only one colour or team remains on the board.

Scoring option

Each time a player takes a piece they score 10 points (25 points for a crown)

In the case of a person being ‘huffed’ a penalty of 10 points are deducted from their score, 25 if the piece is a crown. No points are awarded to other players for this.

When a Stable is captured all the competitors pieces are removed and their value awarded to the capturing player.

The overall winner is the person or team with the most points at the end of the match.

Number of players

Two: This is green against blue, set up as shown earlier.

Three: Here one player commands two colours (green and blue), whilst the other two people take the remaining colours.

Four: set up as shown earlier.

Four as paired play: This takes the form of team A (green and blue) verses team B (red and black), the game ending when one team or player remains


An alternative method of play is that the first player to get a crown to the centre Stable is the outright winner.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: