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13 Black Cats - a solo game with dominoes

My wife, our friends, and I had a fantastic day at the Renegade Craft Fair in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, yesterday. Besides scoring some awesome Lekker Haas wall art, I picked up a small jar of 13 handmade black cats from the folks at Timid Monsters. The cats are about 15mm each and are extremely cute!

This purchase demanded immediate use, and that meant a new solo game!

13 Black Cats

Materials: 13 little black cats (or similar super-cute tokens) and a set of double-nine dominoes.

Objective: Move all 13 cats from one side of the domino board to the other.

Set-Up: Create a face-down draw pile of all of the dominoes. Drawing dominoes one-by-one, arrange 30 of them into a 4x13 frame. Place one cat on each of the farthest domino ends away from you.

Moving Cats: To win, you must move the cats to the dominoes closest to you. However, cats are mysterious creatures, especially the black ones, and they follow their own rules. They expect you to follow those rules as well.
  • Cats only move orthogonally.
  • Cats move onto ends of dominoes as if they were separate spaces on a game board.
  • Cats only move through ends when the total number of pips they've moved through and into equals exactly 9.
  • Cats may not pass through or stop on a space occupied by another cat.
Adding dominoes to the board: Before the first cat moves, pull three dominoes from the draw pile. You may place a drawn domino anywhere inside the frame. Every time a domino is placed within the frame, you may draw a new one. You may not draw from the pile unless you've placed a domino in the frame and, thus, hold fewer than three drawn dominoes. Once a domino has been placed in the frame, it may not be removed, replaced, or moved.

Example of movement:
Green arrows indicate possible legal movement directions.
Green squares indicate the ends of those movements when the pip count equals exactly 9.

The game ends when:
  • all 13 cats have been moved to either end of the dominoes on the opposite side of where they began. When this happens, you win, though don't expect the cats to congratulate you.
  • the frame is completely filled with dominoes from the draw pile, some or all of the cats have not been moved to the other side of the frame, and no cats may be legally moved any more. You lose, and the cats will give you side glances of derision.

This is a win with the frame pictured above.
Can you figure out how all of the cats moved?

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