Aseb, 'The Twenty Squares game' (frequently misidentified as Tjau, ‘The Game of Thieves’ or ‘The Game
of Robbers’) was played from 3000 B.C. until 400 A.D. and is one of the oldest known games. It is similar in play and design as Senet.
The object is to be the first player to bear off all 5 of his pieces, by landing them precisely on the last square.
Once successfully borne off, a piece plays no further part in the game.
The players throw once each alternately, and move a single piece by the appropriate number of positions. A
move must be made, and made in full. If no move is possible, then the turn is forfeit (passes to the other
player). When forfeiting a throw, the opponent has the option of adding the forfeited throw to his own.
HOW TO MOVE THE PIECES
Each player enters the pieces onto the board from his reserve and moves them as follows:
Pieces move forward only. As pieces reach the last square (by exact throw), they bear off; be the first to
bear off all your pieces and you win! The marked squares give you an extra turn; when you land on them, you
get to throw the sticks and go again. Only one piece may occupy any given square; if you land on an opposing
piece, it is removed —sent back to the player’s reserve.
To bring your first piece on, you must first throw a 4 or a 6; when that happens, you throw again and move
the piece in by that amount. The remaining pieces can be brought in on any throw. Waiting for that initial
throw of 4 or 6, particularly while the opponent is already moving, can be quite frustrating, so it is an acceptable
variant to forego that rule entirely.