Tria – A Fresh Take on an Ancient Game
Elevate your X’s and O’s game from scrap paper to sea stones with this sophisticated handmade set. Play continues by moving the stones until there’s a winner, bringing a fresh element of strategy and fun to an ancient game. It’s a good old-fashioned duel that gets your eyes off the screen, and becomes an elegant décor item when not in play. Handmade by Arra David and Anne Johnson in Windham, New Hampshire.
How to Play
- Two players each choose three stones that match in color
- Each player alternates putting stones on the board, with the intent of placing three in a row.
- If all pieces are placed without a winner, play continues with a stone being moved to any empty place until the champion emerges.
- Leave the decorative set out for the next game.
The Story of Tria
Tria is based on an ancient game that was a forerunner of tic tac toe, called Terni Lapilli, played more than two thousand years ago. It was named Terni Lapilli, for the ancient city Terni, and for the volcanic stones (Lapilli) with which it was played. The same 3×3 grid was used as with tic tac toe, and these grids have been found carved in building ruins. Play continued with 6 stones in the 9 spaces until a winner placed three in a straight line. When the game made the switch to pencil and paper, the pieces no longer moved, and this important strategic element was lost, allowing the common stalemate that makes the modern game less exciting than the original. This version pays homage to the rules of the original version, forges a connection between hands and the ancient materials of stone and hardwood, and creates smiles as strategies emerge.