Thanks for these responses to Judith Jacob’s inquiry (Letters, April/May 2019).
Here is a photo of the “Mühle zu” wooden game board, handmade by my grandfather, August Block. Since he was not the eldest son and therefore would not inherit the family farm near Hannover, Germany, he became a skilled carpenter, came to America in 1908 when he was 21 years old, and eventually built pianos for the Kimball Piano Company in Chicago. My cousins, siblings and I enjoyed playing the game with him, even though we rarely won.
The board consists of a grid with 24 intersections or points. Each player has nine pieces, or “men.” (We used buttons in two different colors, or nickels and pennies as “men.”) Players try to form “mills”—three of their own men lined horizontally or vertically—allowing a player to remove an opponent’s man from the game. A player wins by reducing the opponent to two pieces (where they could no longer form mills and thus be unable to win) or by leaving them without a legal move.