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Fixed Snakes & Ladders

or Chutes & Ladders for those in the USA
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The game Snakes & Ladders is not really a game at all, as there are no choices or decisions to make. Just throw the dice and move. With one simple rule change the game can be transformed in to a real strategy game.

On every roll of the dice the player decides which direction to move, either forwards or backwards. On the surface this looks like a no-brainer, as you would always move to the nearest ladder. But what if that ladder took you to a level that was nothing but snakes? You might be better to sacrifice some height to avoid a risky part of the board. This is the kind of oportunity-cost decision making that one small rule change brings to a boring game.

simonj, Aug 15 2008

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       It's been a long time since I played it, but isn't ludo a bit like that? (No it's not)   

       Looking at ludo, it occurs to me that the other way you could introduce choice would be to have a series of pieces to navigate to safety, the player having the freedom to decide which one to apply a particular die roll to.
zen_tom, Aug 15 2008
  

       - or give the players a set of pre-rolled dice (or a list of random numbers) and the players can decide which number they use on any given turn (but can only use a given number once). This would turn it into a 'perfect knowledge' game (each player knows all the possibilities and also knows everything their opponent knows) like Chess.
hippo, Aug 15 2008
  

       You could play the game the normal way but give each person a set of special powers (e.g. "Go Only HalfWay Down Chute" or "Roll Again") but you can only use each power once.   

       The game would then be mostly luck with a bit of fun judgment added.
phundug, Aug 15 2008
  

       one player could try to move around the board and the other player could move the snakes and ladders.
po, Aug 15 2008
  

       - or both players could move the same counter - each trying to get to opposite ends of the board.
hippo, Aug 15 2008
  
      
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