mille: A game with history, twice over

Buried deep in bsd-games is mille, a text-only rendition of a 50-year-old card game depicting a road race.

Confused yet? Don’t be.


mille works in a very simple fashion — particularly when you compare it with the complexity of modern card battle games.

Hold seven cards, pull one and always play or discard. The goal is to cover 700 points — or milestones, or miles, orkilometers, as you prefer.

At your option, you can play a card to gain points or to confound your opponent, with events like punctured tires or an empty tank intended to delay them.

The game continues until one player reaches the finish, with the option to extend the point limit to 1000 — hence the name.

It’s not a new game, but the general premise is one that has weathered well. Apparently the game is still available in paper form, depending on your location of course.

mille takes a good spin past the title, but can be a little taciturn, prodding only with one- or two-word prompts if you’ve done something wrong. The man pages are the best places to go for rules and tips.

It’s worth trying a few times, even if it doesn’t hook you immediately. In a strange way, it’s a historical artifact, twice over — once a throwback to an era of text-only entertainment, and again as a reminder of even earlier time than that.


One thought on “mille: A game with history, twice over

  1. Pingback: pente: Another historical rendition | Inconsolation

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