Origin and Goal of the game
The Royal Game of Ur (on Brettspielnetz.de: Ur) is one of the oldest known board games and originates from Mesopotamia. The original rules are not known. On Brettspielnetz.de we play Ur by the rules as defined by Irving Finkel of the British Museum. It is arguable if those rules are correct, but we find these rule deliver the best online game experience. Ur is a so called Race game (like backgammon and Ludo). The goal of the game is to be the first to have all of your 6 pieces in the end zone.
Start of the Game
Both players start with 6 stones of their own colour that are placed in the beginning of a course (E1 and E3). See the image for the start of the game and the course white and black have to follow. The middle part of the course (row 2) is the same for both players. On that part you also can capture a piece of your opponent. The course of white is from e1->a1->a2->h2->h1->f1. White starts the race.
Movement of Pieces
At the beginning of each turn special dice are thrown. There are 4 pyramidical dices with 4 corners. Per Pyramid 2 of the corners have a dot on that corner. The number of dots pointing up on the dices determine how far you can move (2 in the example above). If you have 0 dots, you cannot move. So you can throw 0,1,2,3 or 4. There are some rules for moving:
You can only move a stone to an empty field or a field with a stone of your opponent (unless it is a field with a rosetta).
You can only capture a stone in row 2 (but not if that stone is on a safe place (rosetta), This is field D2.
You can enter a stone into play every turn (only to an empty spot).
If you end on a field with a rosetta, you can move again (rosettas are: A1, A3, D2, G1 en G3). You are free to determine what stone you move in the next move and if you land on a rosetta again, you may move again.
If you have a valid move you must move. If you cannot move, your turn is passed. Movement is strictly forwards.
You have to finish stones by landing exactly on the end zones F1 (white) or F3 (black).
End of the game
The first player having all 6 of his stones brought to the end zone, wins the game.