What is this game?
Mills, also known as 9 Men’s Morris, and the other number versions (5, 6, 7, 12 Men’s Morris) is a very old game dating back thousands of years and played in many countries around the world. It was played in Ancient Egypt, China, Ancient Ireland and throughout the Roman Empire. It is a piece movement and capture game of skill.
Rules and how to play
The wikipedia article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_men’s_morris, gives all the details you’ll need to play.
Some other info on how to play
Some useful videos on youtube:
Here, the game-play is shown on a computer game of 9 Men’s Morris:
And here is a nice example of a homemade Do-It-Yourself set being used:
Another nice demonstration of the 9 Men’s Morris
If you do not have a 9 Men’s Morris board already (they are sometimes printed on the other side of chess boards), it is quite easy to create a board and you can use a variety of items for the pieces.
Make a Board
As the board is a simple combination of straight lines with a few dots, you can just draw a board on a piece of cardboard (e.g. the inside of a cereal box) or a sheet of paper.
The empty Board Diagrams for the various version number versions of the game are all displayed in the wikipedia article.
A pencil and ruler, with some good measuring and drawing will give you a usable board. An older brother or sister (or an adult) can help. You could also print a board diagram (stretched to be as big a square as possible).
Choose pieces to use
As this is a two player game, you will need two sets of different colours (as with chess). For 9 Men’s Morris you will need two sets of nine pieces, for 7 Men’s Morris, you will need two sets of seven pieces and so on.
Possible piece sets could be:
- Chess pieces — 8 pawns and a bishop each, for example (or just 7 pawns each, if you’ve chosen 7 Men’s Morris)
- Draughts / Checkers pieces — many chess sets also come with draughts / checkers sets
- Coins — a usable choice is 5 cent coins against 10 cent or 20 cent coins (these are different colours)
- Make your own counters — cut out two sets of counters from cardboard and shade or colour in one set
- Any other game pieces, buttons, sweets, counters, whatever you have.