I call it March-Fall Gammon, or M-F Gammon for short. Played with regular backgammon board, chips, and dice. Game consists of 2 parts: The March and The Fall. Start with a clean board, roll, and then use your 2 die rolls to either put chips into your home quadrant, or to move chips across the board into the opponent's home quadrant. Once all your chips are in the opponent's home quadrant, you can start bearing off. Once you fully bear off, your Fall begins, where you do the same thing, starting from the Opponent's home quadrant, and working your way back to your own home quadrant to bear off there. First one to do that wins.

There's a case where, if you start your Fall before your opponent starts theirs, you can place a single chip on the board and move it down as fast as possible and start hitting the opponent while or even before they are bearing off on their March.

If you hit them, they have to start that chip all the way back in their home quadrant. If they hit you, you also have to start back in their home quadrant.

Basically, if one person is on their March while the other is on their Fall, they share the same restart quadrant, and are moving in the same direction. Meaning, the penalty of being hit for the person on their March is far greater than the penalty for the person who has already started the Fall. And even if they do hit you back, you guys will be getting back out in the same place, so you have a potential to roll and hit them again just by the act of getting off the bar, and further, you can 'chase' them all the way back to your own home quadrant where they are still trying to bear off.

If there is too much of a buffer between the beginning of your Fall and theirs, it becomes super easy to destroy all their progress, while making considerable progress of your own. At that point, it actually becomes a good strategy to leave your own chips open, if it means having a greater chance of hitting ANY of your opponent's chips, even if they are all the way at the other end of the board, because if they hit you back, you just break even, and if they don't, its all profit.

How could I change the rules, so that this pole-reversal doesn't supremely benefit the person currently in the lead?

Things I DON'T want to do:

  • Limit the movement of players on their Fall
  • End the game at the end of the March
  • Bear into your home quadrant and bear-off in the opponent's home quadrant each time, or vice-versa (I like that you move one way, then move back, sort of like a real war or crusade.)

1 Answer 1


The easiest rule change would be to disallow hits made in a home board. Extending a nuance from this rule, would be to disallow hits made in a home board

  • unless they come from a point on the outer board or
  • only if the piece is entering the opponent's home board or
  • unless the roll is a double, then one piece may be entered on the point and make the hit

This rule and nuances create a catch up mechanism whereby the player on their march is not trapped by the opponent's fall, and the fall itself is also slowed by the points on the home board being clogged by singles.

Taking any or all of those extra details will have varying effect on this stage of the game. Given the proportion of games that would arrive at this situation, a significant amount of simulation or playtesting would be needed to determine which nuance(s) most accurately transfer the advantage held before this situation to the equivalent advantage held after it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .