BrainPlay Wiki
Pave the Way
Pave the Way - Image1
Posting Details
Country of origin United States
Created by Justin Selgrad and Shawn Alsberge
Posted by Justin Selgrad and Shawn Alsberge n
Date first posted February 10, 2014
Game details
Game genre Critical thinking
Game summary Pave the Way is a fast pace game reminiscent of classic strategy games such as checkers that combines the planning and foresight of building with the strategies of territory control.
# of players 2 to 6
For ages 6 to 8+

Other details

Game Designer / Creator[]

  • Created by JCT Designs LLC, Designers: Justin Selgrad and Shawn Alsberge

Game Summary[]

Pave the Way is a fast pace game reminiscent of classic strategy games such as checkers that combines the planning and foresight of building with the strategies of territory control. In this game players control guards that will push and shove their opponents out of the way so the player can build a Road from one end of the board to the other. This game can be played in small teams or individually and is ready made to encourage tournament play and community development as players seek to improve their knowledge of the game.

Players / Moderators[]

  • Ages: 8 and up for individual play, 6 and up for team play
  • Number of Players: 2 for individual play or up to 6 for team play (two teams of 2 or 3)
  • This game is designed with teams of two in mind; however individual competitive play or teams of three are also supported. One player controls the Guards while the other player is responsible for planning the Road. You may include a third player and rotate responsibilities Guards, Road and Strategy. To be successful the teammates must plan and cooperate together. No judge is needed except for the occasional dispute that is inevitable in a competitive game.
  • Approximate Play Time: 15-30 minutes

Game Set-up and Construction[]

This game was built with the idea of commonly available school materials and/or dollar store purchases.


  • Checker/chess board (preferably large sized)
  • 6 Red Checker pieces
  • 6 Black Checker pieces
  • 2 Sets of standard dominoes 28 pieces (with values 0 – 6) (1 set for each side)
    • (I would recommend coloring one set with a marker – we used two black sets with white pips and used a Sharpie marker to color the pips on one set)

All of the components can be replaced by handmade equivalents.

The board should be slightly larger to accommodate the dominoes as pieces on the board; however, this is mainly for convenience. If checker pieces aren’t available then an appropriate substitute can simply be made of paper, cardboard, wood, counting stones, etc. Likewise, if dominoes aren’t available or purchasable, you can hand make paper, cardboard, etc. dominoes. The board could also be created via paper, cardboard, etc. (Side Note: teachers could allow students to customize their pieces as an art project!).


Many schools will already have these components available.

If purchased the total cost should at minimum be $2-3 as all the above components are available at most dollar stores. If higher quality pieces are desired then the price will go up.

Walmart will run around $15-20 for the components

I would also recommend thrift stores such as Goodwill where the components are often available inexpensively.

How to Play / Game Rules[]


  • Side: A player or team of players, there are two Sides in each game
  • Piece: A piece generically describes either a Guard or Road Piece
  • Guard: A guard is one of the player’s checker pieces
  • Guard Stack: A stack is two or more Guard Pieces stacked on top of each other
  • Road Piece: A Road piece is one of the player’s dominoes
  • Hand: The player’s reserve of five Road Pieces

Initial Set Up:

  • Set up your chess/checker board so the opposing sides are across from each other
  • Each side should put their dominoes in a bag/box/cup that they can draw from
  • Each side should draw 5 dominoes from their bag and place them face up in front of them as their Hand.
    • If a hand doesn’t have at least two dominoes that match one number, they may dispose of their hand and redraw until they have at least two dominoes with matching numbers

Choosing first player

  • After setting up their hand, each side should draw a domino form their bag and reveal it.
  • Count the pips, the side with the most pips chooses who goes first

Final Set Up:

  • The second player chooses one domino (Road Piece) and places it on the board in a square in the first row of their side to begin building their Road. Draw a domino to replenish your hand.
    • This Road piece is to eliminate first player advantage.
  • Now each side will place their checkers (Guards)
    • Guards may be placed in any square within the first 3 rows on the player’s side.
    • You may create stacks of two pieces if you wish, but not stacks of three.
  • Once both Sides have placed all their Guards, gameplay can begin.

Gameplay Rules:

  • Each Side takes turns placing or moving Road Pieces and moving Guards

Playing the Game:

  • Starting with the first Side, each Side takes turns building their Road and moving their guards until one side has won the game.


  • During a turn each side may perform the following actions in any order they prefer
    • Make two Guard Moves (see below section: Guard Moves)
    • Make two Road Moves (see below section: Road Moves)
    • Replenish Hand as necessary up to five Road Pieces maximum

Winning the Game:

  • A Side wins the game when they have successfully created a Road from their starting row to the opposing Side’s starting row with no interruptions or illegal moves. The minimum size of this Road is 8 (which would be a straight road) there is no maximum size as the Road can turn and branch.

Guard Moves:

  • A Guard can move horizontally and/or vertically up to two spaces. During these move the player may create a Stack or perform a Shove
  • Stacking:
    • The player may move a Guard onto a Road Piece, another Guard or Guard Stack of Two that their Side owns.
    • If this if your first Guard Move the newly created Guard Stack can perform the second Guard Move
    • Road Pieces count as 2 Guards for the sake of Shoves, but Stacks that include a Road Piece cannot move
    • Guard Stacks can only have up to 3 Guards

  • Shoving:
    • You may Shove the opposing Side’s Guards, Guard Stacks, or Non-Stacked Road pieces by moving a Guard Stack into a square occupied by an opponent’s Piece
    • To successfully do this, your Guard Stack must have one more piece than the opponent’s Stack
    • When you successfully Shove your opponent, take the top Guard off your Guard Stack and leave it in the Square that the Guard Stack shoved from (reducing the Guard Stack’s size by 1)
      • You may perform multiple Shoves with a Guard Stack that started 3 high
    • When you Shove you move the opponent’s Guard or Stack directly away from your own.
      • This may result in creating a stack for your opponent
      • If cannot Shove straight away, then Shove the piece toward the owning Side. If that square is also unavailable then move it to any available adjacent square.
      • If the all three options fail, then the Shove cannot occur, you may choose to stop your Guard Stacks move or redo the Guard Move.
    • Shoving a Road Piece:
      • A Road Piece counts as 2 Guards and can therefore only be Shoved by a Guard Stack of 3.
    • Placing a Guard on a Road Piece is a good way to ensure it cannot be Shoved
      • Road Pieces may be stacked as a result of a Shove, but you may not place a Road Piece in a square already occupied by a Guard
      • Follow the same rules for deciding where the Road Piece is shoved to as you would a Guard or Stack.
    • Shove Result Priority:
      • Straight Away from the Shoving Guard Stack
      • Toward the Owner
      • Any available adjacent square

Road Moves:

  • There are four moves that can be performed:
    • Play a Road Piece from your Hand onto your Road either In-Line or as a Branch
    • Begin a new Road by placing a Road Piece in your starting row (you may connect roads through legal plays)
    • Move a Road Piece that is free on at least one end to a different part of your Road either In-Line or as a Branch
      • Eligibility clarification: the Road Piece is only attached by one end to another Road Piece, is stacked on top of another Road Piece, or is unattached completely but still on the board (usually the result of a Shove or other Road Moves)
    • Discard a Road Piece back into your Drawing Bag and replace it in your hand
  • Playing a Road In-Line: One half of the Road Piece must match the number that is open. e.g., A 5 may be played adjacent to a 5.
  • Playing a Road as a Branch: When creating a branch the domino must match either number on the connecting domino. A Branch is always Perpendicular to the road. e.g., the Road Piece I wish to branch off is vertical and has a 6 and a 2, I can place a Road Piece horizontally next to it with either a 6 or a 2 connected to that piece.
  • You cannot place a Road Piece in a Square occupied by any Guard or Road Piece. Road Pieces may be stacked only as the result of a Shove.
  • When two Road Pieces are stacked use the bottom most Road Piece for determining legal moves. The stacked Road Piece is considered free on both ends and therefore eligible to be moved.
  • (see diagrams for examples)

Templates / Diagrams[]

Pave the Way - Image1

Road Move Examples:

Pave the Way - Image2

Guard Move Examples

Related Web Links[]

Other Details[]

This game is designed to encourage multiple skill developments in the players especially in Reasoning, Executive Functions and Team Building. The players will find themselves juggling two layers of strategy between using their checkers to block and shove their opponent and building their road toward victory. Players will face challenges of resource management, spatial awareness, planning, self-regulation and several risk/reward scenarios as they manipulate their pieces to win the game.

This game encourages ideals of team-play and communication. By dividing the control over the team's pieces it requires the team-mates to coordinate and trust each other to lead them to victory. Further, it offers a two heads are better than one situation allowing younger kids to engage in the deeper strategies. Several first order optimal strategies also exist which help to prevent young players from getting frustrated. Older players will find that focus and impulse control will help them form better strategies and lead them to victory.

With the competition and depth in this game, a community can grow around the gameplay. Like similar grid based strategies games (chess, checkers, and go), new ideas and tactics can develop and be discussed amongst the players in a greater community. This game is also ready made for tournament play.