GAMBO

How to play

2 players from 8 years old, +-10 minutes

THEME

Elephants trample cats, cats eat mice and mice scare elephants. Which clan of animals will manage to stay last on the narrow path to freedom.

The pieces obey to a circular hierarchy, so therefore, in absolute terms, none is the strongest.

It can be momentarily advantageous to lose, and sometimes a sacrificial dynamic can leads to the final victory.

GAME GOAL

To gain as many points as possible by capturing the opponent's pieces.

COMPONENTS

- A board with 2 rows of 9 "starting squares" on either side of a central row of 18 squares.

- 18 pieces, of 2 different colors.

Each color includes :

- 3 elephants, 3 cats, 3 mice, of strength 1, 2 or 3.

SET UP

- All pieces of one color are randomly aligned on one of the two rows of 9 squares, and the pieces of the remaining color on the opposite 9 square’s row.

- Player A chooses his side and color ; in compensation, player B will play the first move.

HOW TO PLAY

On each turn, players have a choice of actions :

- Either advance their pieces to the central row, swap two of their pieces, or duel with an opponent’s piece.

- If a player decides to move a piece into the central row, the piece must be placed on the square that is directly in front of the starting square.

DUELS

- When pieces of both colors are present on the central row, the player whose playing can either advance another piece or engage in a duel with an opponent's piece, at the only condition that the squares between the two pieces are all empty.

- Depending on the forces involved, the attacker will either win or lose the duel in question.

TO WIN A DUEL

Elephants crush cats, which eat mice, which scare elephants :

- Any elephant therefore wins over any cat, any cat over any mouse, any mouse over any elephant.

Between two pieces of the same species, it is the level of strength that decides :

- A mouse strength 3 wins over a mouse strength 2.

Between two pieces of the same species and strength (for example, two cats strength 2), the attacker wins the duel.

The winner picks up the two pieces, and puts them in a pile in front of him/her, outside the board.

COUNTING THE POINTS

- Each duel won is worth the number of points of the winning piece multiplied by the points of the defeated piece.

Example :

- A duel where an elephant force 1 captures a cat force 2 scores 1 x 2 points.

- A duel where a mouse force 3 captures an elephant force 3 is worth 3 x 3 points.

SEQUENCES OF CAPTURES

- As long as there are no duels, each player plays alternately.

- After a duel, it is always the player with the lowest total score who must play or replay immediately. Each time a player's total score exceeds his opponent’s score, he/she loses the hand.

- It is therefore in the interest of the player to provoke a sacrificial attack to keep the initiative and replay up to several times in a row.

- If the number of points is equal, the player who had the hand keeps it, and it is up to him/she to play again.

SWAPPING PIECES

- The player whose playing can, instead of advancing another piece or engaging in a duel, swap two of his pieces, whether they are both on starting squares, both on the central row, or one on a starting square and one on the central row.

- A swap counts as a move.

- After a player has swapped, the opponent must make the next move. It does not matter how many points he/she has.

- You cannot swap if your opponent has just done so.

END AND WINNING OF THE GAME

- The game ends after the last duel.

- The winner of the last duel gets a bonus of 4 points.

- The game is won by the player with the highest number of points.

- If, despite the bonus, there is a tie, the winner of the last duel is declared the winner by convention.

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