Schlangennest-Kritiken Deutscher Text zu Schlangennest

Schlangennest ('nest of snakes')

a tactical game by Guenter Cornett
for 2 to 4 players of 8 and more years



Preparations for play
Special cases

The border
Head and tail
A snake without ends

End of game
Variations (for childs/for profis)

Game material:

72 square snakecards in four sets of 18 cards, each consisting of

tail head straight line curve
1 tail-part 1 head-part 7 straight and 9 curvilinear snakeparts

On each card there are at least two snakeparts: one in a players color and another in neutral color (gray). This one could be used by every player as a 'wildcard'.

The objection of the game is, to complete the longest owncolored snake on a place of defined size (the nest of snakes).


Preparations for play:

Every player gets the snakecards of his color and separates straight and curvilinear snakeparts.

The players have to agree about the size of the snakes nest. Depending of degree of difficulty length and width are:

    degree of difficulty
for 2 playersfor 3 playersfor 4 players
    easy playing:6x6 squares7x7 squares8x8 Felder
    recommended:5x7 squares 6x8 squares or
5x9 squares
7x9 squares or
6x10 squares
    hard playing:4x8 squares4x10 squares5x11 squares
(1 square= a place for 1 card)

Now the size of the playground is defined, but not the exact position. This will be fixed during the game. (for more information about this read: The border comes into being").


Course of the game:

The first player puts one of his cards on the table. The following players put their first cards nearest to a card which already lays on the table (horizontal, vertical or diagonal).
(Hint: It's not clever to beginn with a head or tail. Better you'll use a straight or curvilinear part.)






The following laydown-rules are valid:

It's never allowed to connect parts of different colors. Important: 'gray' is a 'wildcard' until it's not connected with a colored part. A gray part connected with a colored part is used as a part of this color. So every snake consists of parts of one color and maybe gray parts. For example:

Allowed:      BLUE-gray-gray-BLUE-BLUE-gray.
Not allowed: BLUE-gray-gray-RED

When everybody has put his first card on the table every new card has to lengthen the players own snake.

That means: the active player takes a snakecard of his own and from this he puts the snakepart of his own color (not the gray one) close to his own snake.

If the new card connects the players snake with a neutral part (which doesn't belong to another players snake) he may use it to lengthen his snake.
2. example: how to lay tiles
1.picture forbidden
(the yellow parts are not connected)
2. and 3. picture ok
(all yellow parts are connected)

At his next turn he may lengthen his snake at the other end of the gray part(s). Naturally every snake has two ends (if gray or colered). And the player lengthen his snake at the end he wants.

He may use more than one gray parts if they are connected and don't belong to another players snake (so in a special case it maybe possible to use the gray part of the snakecard which he just placed).

Sometimes you have to lengthen another players snake at your turn, when you and the other player have reached the same free square. If you lengthen your own snake with the colored part, the gray part may lengthen your opponents snake automatically. Often but not in every case your opponent will be happy for this. It's your chance to give your opponents snake a special direction (f.e. out of border).


Special cases (forbidden)

It's never allowed to connect the snakes of two players to one snake. To prevent such a situation it's even not allowed to place a card in this way that three snakes reach the same free square and or that all four snakes reaches two neighboured free squares.

If you've already got this - very rare - situation, the player who did it removes his snakecard and lays another card.

More rarely you have to follow this rule:
The situation: both ends of two snakes reaches the same free square. Then the next player (of this two) has to connect both ends of the same snake.

special case 1
special case 2
If both ends of a snake are opposite and the player doesn't has a straight snakecard he has to use his tail-card and finishes his snake. (The other snake will be closed and can be opened later; for more information about this read: a snake without ends.) It's not allowed to cause this situation: boths ends of a snake are neighboured and the next player doesn't has a curvilinear snakecard. Instead of causing this situation the player has to place another card, if necessary he has to place his head- or tail-card.


The border comes into being:

You know the exact position of the borders when the maximal number of squares are reached horizontally and vertically. For example: A size of 7x9 squares is arranged. A player places the eigth card in one direction. Now in this direction there is a maximum of 9 cards, in the other direction there is a maximum of 7 cards. Until the ninth card isn't placed, you don't know if the border is at the 'left' or 'right' side one square closer or not.

Outside of this field you are not allowed to place straight or curvilinear snakecards. But it's allowed to place your head- and tail-cards. Normally you'll do this at the end of the game.

Head and tail

Normally it's not clever to place a head- or a tail-card at your snake, because this would reduce the places for placing snakecards. But sometimes at the end of the game it'll be the only possibilty to place a snakecard without connecting your snake with another players ones. And sometimes (mostly in two player games) it'll be clever to finish your and your opponents snake at the same time by placing head or tail.

Across the border of the field you have to place a head- or a tailcard because it's forbidden to place other parts there. This is a normal turn.

 3.example: laying the head in the center


4.example: laying the head at the border

If your snake is complete with head and tail, the game goes on only for the other player until their snakes are also completed. At the end of the game it's possible that one player plays alone.

(hint for aesthtes: it's possible that your snake gets a gray head by another player. So first use your tail-card, than your head-cart. So you're a little safe from getting two heads. Thank you.)


A snake without ends ?!

It's possible that your snakes both ends get connected: either by another players turn (using gray parts) or by your own tactic. At your next turn you open your snake instead of placing a card. For this you turn a curvilinear snakecard of your own color at 90. If this is not possible by following the laydown-rules you have to finish your snake: remove a straight snakecard of your own and replace the tail-card (this will bring you one point because a straight part counts one point; the tail-card has a head-part and a tail-part from which each count one point).

(If this is unpossible because your snake only consists of not-turnable curvilinear parts you've played very unclever and no chance to get the third place or better)


End of game

The game ends, when all players have finished their snakes.
Winner is the player with the snake consisting of the most parts (parts not cards). Each gray part and each colored part counts one point.

5.example: scoring
This snake consists of 15 parts.


Tactical tips:

It's important to use as many gray parts as possible. But don't forget that you need space for developing. If your opponents direct you snake out of border at early time you cannot win.

And spare your curvilinear cards. If you only have straight cards you will leave the field in the only one straight direction. Curvilinear cards may turn left or right. So often you've to decide if it's better to connect a gray part or to spare your curvilinear card.


Variations of 'Schlangennest'

Schlangennest is made of simple material but it's a very manifold game.
You've a lot of tactical options and many rule variations.

From following rules you may create your own favourite snakegame:


Easy game for younger children (6,7 years)

Play without border. So it's impossible to stop a snake at the border (and the children spare their tears). But for winning the game it's further on clever to place the cards in the middle of the fields (there are many gray parts).

Game with fixed border (for 2-3 players)

Place the fourth no-players snake across the field. The two cards with the longest distance show you the first and last row and column of the field. If you use many straight snakecards for this instead of curvilinears you prevent the separation of the field in two parts.

  At the 2-player-game you may build a frame around the field. Place the gray curvilinear parts in pairs so that the connected snake will come back to the field.

A snake with only one end (for 2-4 players)

At the beginning of the game every player has to place his tail-card.

Two snakes for every player (2 players - VERY GOOD)

Every player gets all parts of two snakes. The first player places the tailcard of one snake. The other places the tailcards of his both snakes. Now the first players places the tailcard of his second snake. At his first snake he places another snakecard. Then every player places two parts at his turn, one of each color. At every turn he may chose which color he places first.

A very good variation of this rule is this: at his turn the player places only one snakecard. At every turn he choses which snake he will lengthen (but the tailcards must be placed first).

about the tactic of this variation: now the long snake of one player may hunt the short snake of the other. It's very clever to connect the own long snake with the opponents short snake (by placing a tailcard between them) because the remaining cards of these snakes cannot used in this game. And even if you cannot connect them, the threat is a very strong weapon.

Schlangennest-Kritiken Deutscher Text zu Schlangennest

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