SAIL: Structured Activities in Intelligent Learning

Richard R. Skemp

March 10, 1919 – June 22, 1995

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Explorers [Num 3.7/7]

A board game, for two or three players. Its purpose is to consolidate addition skills, especially those past ten and in the teens.


  • Game Board* (see figure following Rules of the Game)
  • Die 1-6 and shaker
  • Markers: up to three per player

Rules of the game

  1. Each player manages one, two, or three explorers, according to number and experience of players.
  2. The explorers have to find their way from the start, through the forest and desert, to the Lost City.
  3. They go forward according to the number thrown on the die by the players in turn.
  4. In the forest, positions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 may be occupied by only one explorer. The rest camp (5) has room for all who come.
  5. The oases likewise have room for as many as arrive. The missing numbers are in the trackless desert, where there is no landmark to show where you are. Explorers may only move to the numbers shown on the board. Thus, an explorer at 6 could only move to 11 (by a throw of 5) or 12 (by a throw of 6). A player at 13 could move to 16, 17, 18 (throw of 3, 4, or 5). The exact number must be thrown to reach the Lost City (20).
  6. A player may choose not to move. However, a piece must be moved if touched. The penalty for a false move (to an occupied location in the forest, or to a number in the trackless desert) is to return to START if before 5, and otherwise to be rescued and taken back to the forest rest camp to recuperate. (This rule may be relaxed while learning the game.)
  7. The winner is the first player to get all his explorers to the Lost City. Play may however continue until all have arrived.

Explorers game board (reduced)

© Richard R. Skemp, 1993. SAIL through Mathematics, Volume 1.