Piece Names

  • The pieces are always placed "point downward" so that any adjacent piece is clearly either left or right.

  • The orientation of the bug on the tile is significant; each bug points in a particular direction, which never changes.  The first piece is always played oriented horizontally, with the insect head pointed to the left .  The second piece played is rotated one step clockwise, and so on for each additional bug of the same type.


Move Names

  • The piece which moves is named first.  The place it came from is not named, it comes from where it was, either in the reserve or somewhere on the board.
  • One of the pieces which the moving piece is placed adjacent to is named second. In many cases, there several choices.  It doesn't matter which piece is used as a reference. If the moving piece is placed left of the target piece, / - or \ preceeds the piece name indicating the point of attachment.   If the moving piece is placed right of the target piece, / - or \ follows the piece name.
  • If the move is the first move of the game, or is a "beetle on top" move, no position designator is used.

Note that this section is largely obsolete.  You used to see these cryptic "bA2 wG2-" notations displayed in the game record section of the hive interface, but the modern version of the interface displays the graphic representation directly.

Common Formations

gate formation


A gate formation is when two tiles are separated by  the width of one side of a tile, which is easy to recognize as two points of tiles separated by a small gap.   The gate gap is too small for any piece to slide through, including beetles.   Also, two beetles on top of the hive can form a gate which prevents other beetles from moving up or down through it.   Of course, the beetle which cannot move directly through the gate can move on top of  one of the pieces which forms the gate.

Gates affect the movement of all pieces except the grasshopper.  Grasshopper and Ladybug moves are not affected by gates.  Other pieces on ground level can not slither or move through gates.

Gates on top of the hive, formed by beetles or mosquitoes, are especially tricky.  Beetles and Mosquitoes acting as beetles can not mount or dismount the hive through a gate.  Pillbugs cannot push or pull another piece through a gate.

door formation


A door formation is when two tiles are separated by the width of a whole tile.   Any piece can slide through the door, but spiders gain extra mobility near a door; because when passing through a door they have three choices of direction to continue.

ring formation


a ring formation is when pieces form a continuous circle.  Forming a ring is dangerous because all the pieces potentially become mobile, but your opponent will get the first opportunity to move one.

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