Star Battle Rules and Info

Example Star Battle and solution

Rules: Fill some cells with stars so that each row, column, and bold region contains the indicated number of stars. Stars cannot be placed in adjacent cells that share an edge or corner.

Answer String: For each row, from top to bottom, enter the number of the first column from the left where a star appears. Enter these numbers as a single string with no separators. This example has the key “7313814242”.

(Brief) History of Star Battle: Descended from object placement puzzles. Star Battle is a Dutch puzzle style created by Hans Eendebak for the 2003 World Puzzle Championship in Arnhem, The Netherlands. The idea likely arose from an earlier one by Tim Peeters called Cattle, which included the region and no-touch constraints, but lacked uniform rows and columns, instead having outside clues showing the # of objects in that row/column similar to Battleships.

History of this example: This “24”-themed Star Battle was written by Thomas Snyder for the 2012 24Hours Puzzle Championship in Hungary.

Sources for Star Battle Puzzles: Follow this link for classic Star Battle puzzles on this website and this link for variations on Star Battle puzzles. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Star Battle Puzzles to get started on. More Star Battle puzzles can be found in The Art of Puzzles, in the books Star Battle by JinHoo Ahn and Star Battle 2 by JinHoo Ahn and Murat Can Tonta, and in our beginner-friendly collections Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli and Starter Pack 5: Star Battle by JinHoo Ahn.

Design rules for contributors: A Grandmaster Star Battle will have a unique solution that can be reached by logic alone. Generally, a Grandmaster Star Battle must be larger than the trivial sizes (4×4 for 1 star, 8×8 for 2 stars, …) and 8×8 for 1 star and 10×10 for 2 stars are the preferred smallest sizes. Blackened cells are allowed if necessary for larger themed puzzles but are usually discouraged.

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