Mensch ärgere Dich nicht
|Designer(s)||Josef Friedrich Schmidt|
|Players||2 to 4 (2 to 6 on reverse side)|
|Setup time||1 minute|
|Playing time||about 30 minutes|
|Random chance||High (die rolling)|
|Skill(s) required||Counting, probability, strategy|
The game was issued in 1914 and sold about 70 million copies. It is a cross and circle game with the circle collapsed onto the cross, similar to the Indian game Pachisi, the Colombian game Parqués, the American games Parcheesi and Trouble, and the English game Ludo.
The name of the game means "Do not get angry" (literally "Do not get angry, man" or "Do not get angry, buddy"). The name derives from the fact that a peg is sent back to the "out" field when another peg lands on it, similar to the game Sorry!.
The game can be played by 2, 3, 4 or 6 players – one player per board side (the original one has a pattern for 6 players on its backside). Each player has four game pieces, which are in the "out" area when the game starts, and which must be brought into the player's "home" row.
The rows are arranged in a cross position. They are surrounded and connected with a circle of fields, over which the game pieces move in clockwise direction. There are three fields on each side of the board. At the beginning of the game, the players' pieces are placed in the four fields marked "B" on the far left side, the "out" section. The coloured field just left of centre, marked "A", is each player's "start" field. The white filed just to the right of the start field leads to the "home" row, marked "a", "b", "c", "d". Each game piece enters the circle at the "start" field ("A"), moves (clockwise) over the board and finally enters the "home" row. The first player with all of their pieces in their "home" row wins the game.
Throwing a six means bringing a piece into the game (by placing one from the "out" ("B") area onto the "start" or "A" field) and throwing the die again. If a piece is on the "A" field and there are still pieces in the "out" area, it must be moved as soon as possible. If a piece cannot be brought into the game then any other piece in the game must be moved by the thrown number, if that is possible. A commonly played variation allows a player who has no pieces in the circle of fields to have three tries to throw a six.
Pieces can jump over other pieces, and throw out pieces from other players (into that player's "out" area) if they land on them. A player cannot throw out his own pieces though, he can advance further than the last field in the "home" row. A player can be thrown out if he is on his "start" field.
- Spielanleitung (rules of the game), schmidtspiele.de (in German)
- Media related to Mensch ärgere Dich nicht at Wikimedia Commons
- "Mensch ärgere Dich nicht: Geschichte eines Spieleklassikers" ("Story of a Classic Game"), Nuremberg Toy Museum (in German)