The Game of the Fox & Geese
- Place of origin:
- Materials and Techniques:
Carved and polished wood
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
This is a hunting game with ill matched odds. One player with one marker attempts to capture a multitude of his opponent's markers, while the opponent attempts to evade capture and to surround the single marker and immobilise it. This is the earliest form of the game with 13 geese. Later versions had 17 or more geese and sometimes two or more foxes. This scientific, but amusing, game may be played either upon a draught board or a solitaire board, or even on a sheet of paper.
Design: round polished wooden board marked with a cross, lines and 33 holes; and letterpress
No. of squares: 33
Squares illustrated: none
Square numbering: none
Squares titled: none
Subject of starting square: n/a
Subject of ending square: n/a
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
Carved and polished wood
Diameter: 20.4 cm
Object history note
This is a Hunting Game with ill matched odds; one player with one marker attempts to capture a multitude of his opponent's markers, while the opponent attempts to evade capture and to surround the single marker and immobilize it. The moves each player is allowed to make govern the game.
This is the earliest form of the game playing with 13 geese, later versions had 17 or more geese and sometimes 2 or more foxes.
CGG-Games & Puzzles, 1991
Historical context note
Rewards: see rules
Forfeits: see rules
No. of Players: two
Equipment required: 13 bone turned pegs
1 glass marble
RULES TAKEN FROM BOYS' OWN 1870, P. 597
This scientific but amusing game may be played either upon a draught board or a solitaire board, or even upon a sheet of paper, in which the Fox and the Geese are placed in position for ginning the game.
To play Fox and Greese, you have 17 discs of paper or metal, which you call the Geese and one of a different colour for the Fox, which is placed in the middle. The object of the game is to confine the Fox to a corner, so that he cannot move out. The Geese march forward on the straight lines, not on the diagonals; and whenever a Goose is on a spot next to the fox, the latter can take him, as in Draughts, by leaping over him, forward or sideways on the straight lines, but the Geese are not allowed to move back. In order to pin the Fox in a corner, the Geese must go forward one after another in such a way as to fill up all the spots behind, so as to leave the Fox no spot into which he can jump. When the number of Geese is reduced to six, it is impossible for them to confine the Fox, but, properly played, the Geese must win.
There are other wiays of playing this game, as by placing the fox on another spot and altering the arrangement of the Geese. The game may be played so as to make the Fox take all the Geese without being himself taken or confined to any particular square. In the latter case, the Fox chooses his own square at starting. If played on a draught board, the best position for the Geese- which may be represented by eight white draughts men-is on the two upper rows of squares 1-8, and for the Fox which may be represented by a king, square 11. If properly moved on the diagonal lines, the Fox must be driven towards the left corner and pinned in square 29.
Rules placement: under the game
Wooden board game, Fox & Geese, made in England in the mid nineteenth century
Museum of Childhood