How to play
2 players from 8 years old, +-10 minutes
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.
GOAL OF THE GAME
To gain as many points as possible by capturing the opponent's pieces.
- A board with 2 rows of 9 starting square on either side of a central row of 18 squares.
- 18 pieces, in 2 colors.
Each color includes :
- 3 elephants, 3 cats, 3 mice, of strength 1, 2 and 3.
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 one of these 3 actions :
- Moving their pieces to the central row.
- Swapping two of their pieces.
- Engage in 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. Once into the central row, the pieces can not go back to their starting square.
When pieces of both colors are on the central row, the player whose playing can either advance another piece into the central row or engage in a duel with an opponent's piece, at the only condition that the squares between the two pieces are all empty (you can not engage a duel with a piece that is not directly confronting with yours).
Depending on the forces involved, the attacker will either win or lose the duel.
TO WIN A DUEL
Elephants trample 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 of a duel picks up the two pieces, and stack them beside the board on his side.
COUNTING THE POINTS
Each duel won is worth the number of points of the winning piece multiplied by the points of the defeated piece.
- 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, this player 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 plays again.
The player whose playing can, instead of advancing another piece or engage in a duel, swaps two of his pieces, whether they are both on starting squares, or 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 if their score is lower, higher or equal.
- You can not swap if your opponent has just done so. You can not swap more than 3 times in a row.
You may swap after your opponent only if you make at least one action in between. For example, if your opponent has just swap, then you sacrifice a piece and it is still your turn to play, you are allowed to swap your pieces.
END 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 score.
- If, despite the bonus, there is a tie, the winner of the last duel is declared the winner by convention.