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Uckers (Ludo)


Stores Needed are:
1 x Pussers Broom handle, supplied by your friendly Jack Dusty.
¼ Ply Board 24” x 24”, stolen from the Chippies Workshop.
Nato Green Paint
Ships Grey Paint
Red Paint
Yellow Paint
Blue Paint
All paint from Paint Store after appropriate bribe.
Two Dice, removed from the Monopoly set borrowed from the Wardroom.
Old Pussers Table Saw, stolen from somewhere.

Take saw and broom handle and cut 16 pieces approx. ¾ inch thick.
4 Red
4 Blue
4 Yellow

4 Green

Paint Ply as shown in picture.


Object of Game:
Either Two or Four PIayers
Get all your pieces home before your opponent
The game of Uckers is played mainly on HM Ships

Two Player Game Rules
1. Players must choose colours, either RedGreen or YellowBlue (opposite colours).
2. All the pieces start in their respective corners.
3. The Players then take in turn to throw both the dice. The player with the highest score goes first.
4. Who ever won Rule 3 then throws first.
5. Each Player then takes in in turn to throw the dice. A Six is needed to get one of your pieces out. If a Six is thrown a Piece is moved out and  moves the amount of squares on the second dice. (ie a 6 and 4 is thrown then the six moves the piece to the ‘doorstep’ and then moves four spaces) You move clockwise around the board.
6. Play continues in turn. If a Player throws Two Sixes then he can either get   one piece out and move it six or get two pieces out of the same or one of each colour. A player does not have to take a piece out if he has thrown a six. If he already has a piece or pieces out it can be moved the amount shown on both dice ( ie. 6 & 4 move 10 on one piece or 6 on one and 4 on the other) If a player throws a six he gets to throw again.
7. If a Player lands on the same square as his opponent then his opponents piece goes  back to his corner.
8. If a Player lands on the same square as one of his own pieces but another colour it is known as a  MIXI-BLOB and his opponent can go over a  MIXI-BLOB  or indeed land on that square and send both his opponents pieces  back ‘Home’. If your opponent has two or more of the same colour (not mixed) then the path is blocked and may not be jumped over.
9. If you are blocked behind your opponent you have the choice to challenge the block at your next go by throwing the appropriate SIXES needed. Ie if your opponent has a pile of two you must throw two sixes in a row. If a pile of three then it is four & five for four. Note, you must challenge the block before throwing the dice.
10. A Player must move if he can. If he still has pieces in his comer and coming out would mean that he would form a MIXI-BLOB then the move must be made.
11. You can have all pieces out at the same time, but you must move a piece out if you throw a six and your only move available is by doing this.
12.  If a player cannot move the total amount thrown on the two dice, then he must move the piece the full value of the highest die.
13. After you have thrown the dice you must move the number thrown. You can split the move by moving two pieces ie. If you throw a five and four you can move one piece four and the other piece five. You cannot split the move. A total of nine was thrown, you cannot move ie six and three.
14. On the home run you must throw the exact number with two dice to get ‘HOME’

Four players may play as individuals, same rules except there would be no MIXI-BLOBS. Or you may play as partners, when the MIXI-Blob rule would be back in play.

Please take heed when playing this game with sailors. If beaten they tend to lift the board up to search for the so called concealed instructions on the underneath of the asaid board.
Never leave the game unattended as he will surely move a couple of your or his pieces, only to declare the ship rolled if you discover this ploy.
The ‘Airy Fairies’ (Fleet Air Arm) tend to use different rules, with such phrases as ‘Suckbacks’ or is that ‘SuckJacks’!!!!!

8 Responses to Uckers (Ludo)

  1. Teecy

    February 27, 2012 at 11:27

    Its great to see the old game I was very good at it I was on the Forth the first time I played it I was only 16 seems like a life time away . I joined a old royal navy club but not one of the people had even heard of it so I left . It’s a great game can take hours to play it but it is good .

  2. David Bourne

    March 3, 2012 at 23:22

    We used to play this, when I was on 15 Sqn RAF,when we were stationed at RAAF Butterworth Malaysia during the Indon. confrontation in 1964. We had many names for various situations or things. Such a chest was a six . Thus one chested out and sifted up on one’s donk. Apart from suck back we also had suck back or blow back. There were many more such title with a gallery of spectators or kibbitzers. It was great fun but the Aussies failed to understand what was going on.

  3. Jimmy Green

    August 29, 2012 at 15:47

    I started playing when I was serving on HMS Carysfort in the Eighth Destroyer Squadron out on the Far East Station in 61-62 and continued throughout my naval career.I am now retired but have a board on thr kitchen table and my wife and I have hotly contested games daily.

  4. Jean mortlock

    February 1, 2013 at 10:31

    I was taught how to play this in the 1930s by my mum, and always thought I was playing ludo. So I have always taught my family the same way! Never dreaming I was playing Uckers.

  5. gaz

    May 7, 2013 at 12:32

    Remember playing uckers alongside at Victory Jetty, Portsmouth ( serving with HMS Newcastle, D5 squadron). A sunny morning duty on the gangway with sleeves rolled up. A straight contest between Q.M. and B.M.. I was the B.M. and won. Oh, so sweet was the victory. circa 1997.

  6. Ian Watts

    July 13, 2013 at 06:08

    When I was based in Townsville’s Lavarack Barracks in 1974, I was asked to fill in as a fireman at the neighbouring 162 Recce Sqn. for a month or two. This was one of the last Sioux Rotary Wing Squadrons. To while away their time whilst waiting for a fellow officer to return, the pilots would play Uckers. The board was suitably decorated with pics of nude women to male it more interesting. Haven’t seen the game played since. Thought it to be a one-off occasion.

  7. Winston Heppolette

    July 24, 2014 at 16:39

    In 1960, I met man, Kenneth Kirkman, who introduced me to the game of Uckers. He was not a military man but he was the father of the girl I fancied big-lime. After a while, when he must have recognised my intentions, he challenged: “You will not marry my daughter unless you beat me at Uckers.” Being a brash 16-year old, I said: “No contest!”. Of course, it wasn’t. As I tried relentlessly, the future looked remote. Eventually, some years later, sweet victory released a tension which had been mounting with ridicule from members of his family. Needless to say, I refused further challenges an eventually married that girl!

  8. Steve "Ronnie" Barker

    September 23, 2014 at 15:25

    First introduction to Uckers was my first ship HMS Invincible 1989. Mick Rowlands (Killick seaman specialist) taught me. many games of being roundly thrashed but there are a fair number of names on the bottom of the board who I had 8 pieced before I left.

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