How to Play

Current game settings:

Special Stones - ON

Scoring Type - Default


Mǽrstánas is a free libre open source abstract strategy game where players alternate placing stones within the squares of a 7x7 grid with the goal of creating connection points ("hinges") between their own pieces or the edges of the board.


Players try to achieve the highest score by making the most number of connections.

Starting the game

The board begins empty (similar to Go). The player using the darker colored stones goes first. Players then alternate taking turns.

Playing the game

On a player's turn, the player places one stone (stán) on a square on the game board. Stones (stánas) must be placed within the square, not on the intersections as in Go. Stones may be placed on any empty square, either standing alone or adjacent to another stone of either color (creating a heorr or "hinge").

Passing Rules

When playing with Special Stones on, the opposing player may have viable moves remaining while the active player may not. When this occurs, the active player must pass. The game does this automatically, and the Pass is noted in the Moves section. If the opposing player uses a Thunder-stone, stones are removed from the board so new moves may become available on the player's next turn.

Placement limitations

Stones may have no more than three hinges; the fourth side must always remain free. Stones may not be placed such that four hinges are created immediately. The edge of the board counts as one hinge; corners count as two because they border two edges. Play continues until no more viable moves remain.

Special Stones

(Only available when turned on)

Thunder-stone thunder-stone

  • Players each have one thunder-stone (Þunor-stán), which may be placed on the board during their turn instead of a regular stone.
  • Thunder-stones are the exception to the four hinge limitation. This is because, when placed, a thunder-stone removes any and all stones orthogonally adjacent to its position, whether they belong to the player or the opponent.
  • Stones which have been removed from the board are returned to the respective players and do not count as captures or contribute to scoring in any way.
  • After placement, thunder-stones hinges and scoring are treated the same as normal stones.

Woden-stone Woden-stone

  • Players each have one Woden-stone (wóden-stán), which may be placed on the board during their turn instead of a regular stone.
  • Unlike standard and thunder-stones, which are placed on an open square, players use the Woden-stone to replace one of their opponent's stones already on the board.
  • Being able to swap out an opponent's stone can create unique scoring and blocking opportunities, so waiting to use the Woden-stone until later in the game may offer greater strategic advantage.
  • After placement, Woden-stones are scored the same as normal stones.


In all scoring methods, the player with the highest score wins. Note that tie games are possible.

Default Method

Players receive one point for each stone or edge that is adjacent to one of their own stones (freóndlíc heorr or "friendly hinge").

Simple Method

Edges are not scored. Players only receive points for stones that are adjacent to one of their own stones.


Mǽrstánas the game is licensed as CC BY-SA while the code for this web-based version is licensed under the AGPL.

More information about Mǽrstánas

Player 1:


Player 2: