Note: This web version of Mǽrstánas uses the 0.2.0 rule set.
Mǽrstánas is a free libre open source abstract strategy game where players alternate placing stones within the squares of a 7x7 grid with the goal of creating connection points ("hinges") between their own pieces or the edges of the board.
Players try to achieve the highest score by making the most number of connections.
The board begins empty (similar to Go). Traditionally, the player using the darker colored stones would play first, but players may decide who goes first in whatever manner seems appropriate. Players then alternate taking turns.
On a player's turn, the player places one stone (stán) on a square on the game board. Stones (stánas) must be placed within the square, not on the intersections as in Go. Stones may be placed on any empty square, either standing alone or adjacent to another stone of either color (creating a heorr or "hinge").
Stones may have no more than three hinges; the fourth side must always remain free. Stones may not be placed such that four hinges are created immediately. The edge of the board counts as one hinge; corners count as two because they border two edges. Play continues until no more viable moves remain.
Players receive one point for each stone or edge that is adjacent to one of their own stones (freóndlíc heorr or "friendly hinge"). The player with the highest score wins. Note that tie games are possible.