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Elephant Hunt. Ituri Forest Pygmi traditional game with chess-like elements. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on Sat, Nov 8, 2008 10:16 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
I'm thinking of making a 3-player variant with a piece called a Roc, which is a giant mythical bird thought to eat elephants.

Charles Gilman wrote on Sat, Sep 4, 2004 07:12 AM UTC:
Thank you for the clarification. I stand corrected. By the way, I did not specify how to win an equal-armies version. The winner would be the first player to capture either an Elephant (enemy or neutral depending on version) or five other enemy pieces.

💡📝Freederick wrote on Mon, Aug 30, 2004 11:36 AM UTC:
The equal-armies version seems very interesting, thanks. I'll try to implement it. You are incorrect, however, about the shamans; they move *either* one or two squares (F2W2 as opposed to AD) and consequently can very well attack each other. They cannot be made colorbound without seriously impairing their ability to attack the Elephant. I'm beginning to think the t[NN] variant of the shaman is more interesting anyway, and I'll be posting that variant as soon as I work out all the bugs.

Charles Gilman wrote on Fri, Aug 27, 2004 07:50 AM UTC:
Regarding an equal-armies version of this, I can think of two possible
arrays, with Shamans in opposite corners. The mixed-case square of Es
represents a neutral Elephant movable (and capturable) by either player.
Allow Elephants to capture any piece except each other, regardless of
allegience, and Pygmies and Shamans any enemy or neutral piece. The four
threats allowing capture of an Elephant must come from the same army, and
Shamans cannot in practice capture each other as they are bound to
non-overlapping sets of squares.

-p-p-p-p-s	-p-p-p-p-s
P---------	P---------
------ee-p	---------p
P-----ee--	P---------
---------p	----Ee---p
P---------	P---eE----
--EE-----p	---------p
P-EE------	P---------
---------p	---------p
S-P-P-P-P-	S-P-P-P-P-

Tony Quintanilla wrote on Fri, Aug 27, 2004 04:53 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I would like to share the following correspondance with Freederick.

On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 Tony Quintanilla wrote :
>Very nice! How did you learn about this game?

Thank you!

I learned about Elephant Hunt secondhand from a francophone friend of mine
in my college years, who had an interest in anthropology.  The notes in
Father Morceau's diary made much ado about the game being played on a
10x10 board; he theorized a lot about the Pygmies either borrowing the
game from a more advanced culture with a base-ten counting system, or
starting with a 5x5 field for the elephant (the Pygmies, it seems, use a
base-five system) from which the 10x10 board arose by subdivision.  All of
this is not germane to the rules of the game, and I don't remember it
well anyway.  The actual rules were given a skimpy and incomplete
treatment in the notes.  The author did mention that the Elephant moved on
the 5x5 field on which the 10x10 field for the Pygmies was 'overlaid by
halving', and that the Pygmies moved 'by hopping about, like our
chess-knight' but I personally doubt they actually made a Knight-move,
which is sort of abstract.  However, other possible alternatives (like D
and/or A) seem to me to be out of the question, as the Pygmies cannot
possibly win if colorbound.  Thus, not having other information, I
implemented them with a Knight-move, which makes for an interesting game. 
The Shaman (witch-doctor, IIRC, was the term employed) was described as
making 'double moves'.  I implemented this as W2F2; it could just as
well be t[NN], or perhaps the move of the Lion in Chu Shogi: t[KK].  These
variants also seem interesting and playable.  Unfortunately I have lost
contact with the friend who provided the information, and I have no idea
of other sources.

Sincerely yours

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