A stacking game


  • Hexagonal game board with 37 spaces
  • 2 × 20 pieces (shields, horses, and chariots)

Accasta is played on a hexagonal board. Nine special spaces on two sides of the board are called castles. Initially the players set up their pieces there. Most of the pieces are stacked.

Accasta pieces (white shield, horse, chariot)

Each player is provided with 20 pieces. There are three different types of pieces (shields, horses, and chariots), which move one, two, or up to three spaces, respectively.

Initial setup: 40 pieces on 37 spaces. The pieces are placed on the intersections of the lines. There are other board designs with hexagonal spaces, which are topologically equivalent.


A player wins the game if he controls at least three stacks in the enemy’s castle at the beginning of his turn, i.e. the threatened player has still one turn to defend his castle.


White moves first, then players alternate in taking turns. They cannot pass their turn.

Unlike some other stacking games, the possible moves for a piece do not depend on its position in a stack.

All pieces move straight in any of the six possible directions. They cannot jump over other pieces or stacks. However, they can land on friendly or enemy pieces or stacks that are within reach.

Possible moves for shield e5 and horse b2

Possible moves for chariot c4

Splitting a stack and “leading” other pieces

If stacked pieces are moved, the piece on top can carry (or “lead”) any number of friendly or enemy pieces below. In other words, a stack can be split at any point.

Splitting and leading

The split off part of the stack can move like the leading piece.

Example: A chariot can lead other pieces up to three spaces.

A player can also uncover an enemy piece, which is called a “release.” No piece is ever bound to another in the same stack.

The topmost piece in a stack (also called the “head”) dominates the whole stack. All enemy pieces in this stack are captured and their owner has no access to them. However, they are not lost. By recapturing such a stack a player would liberate all the previously captured pieces. And, at the same time, all dominating pieces are now captured themselves.

A previously captured white shield (at the bottom of the stack on the right) is liberated.

Multiple moves

It is possible to move more than once in a single turn. As a player splits a stack and another friendly pieces comes to the surface, that piece can move as well. This is optional, but in his turn a player has to move at least once.

Moving three pieces in one turn

However, by releasing an enemy piece the current player’s turn is over.

Safe stacks

As already stated, pieces can land on other pieces or stacks. But there is an exception:

Stacking is only allowed if there are not more than three pieces of the same color in the resulting stack. This refers to landing on a friendly stack as well as capturing an enemy stack.

White has to split his stack on the left to land on the white stack in the middle, as well as Black on the right, who cannot capture the middle stack without releasing at least one white shield.

Please note: A stack containing three captured pieces cannot be captured again; it becomes invulnerable, a “safe stack.” On the other hand, safe stacks are not very mobile on crowed boards. Safe stacks are the central tactical concept of Accasta.

End of the game

A player wins if he controls at least three stacks in the enemy’s castle at the beginning of his turn.

White wins a game of Accasta with his stacks on e4, f4, and g1.

Very rarely, a player wins if his opponent cannot make a legal move in his turn. Either he does not control any of the stacks, or his remaining pieces cannot move because of the safe stack rule.

This version: 12 April 1998

7 March 2010 (new winning condition)

accatastare ital.: stack, pile up

This version: 12 April 1998

7 March 2010 (new winning condition)

accatastare ital.: stack, pile up