Main Tapal Empat

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Main tapal empat is a two-player abstract strategy board game from Malaysia. It is a hunt game, and specifically a tiger hunt game (or tiger game) since it uses an Alquerque board. The interesting aspect about this hunt game is that the tigers are able to move as many spaces as they can in a straight line as long as the path is clear. Most hunt games have tigers, leopards, or foxes moving only one space at a time. In effect, the tigers in this game have the movement capability of the Queen in Chess.


The tigers capture as many goats as possible so that the goats cannot surround and block the tigers' movements.

The goats attempt to surround the tigers and block their movements.


The game uses an Alquerque board. There are 2 tigers, and 18 goats represented by black and white pieces respectively, however, any two colors or distinguishable objects will suffice.

Rules and game play[edit]

1. Players decide who will play the tigers and the goats.

2. The two tigers are placed on any two vacant points on the central square of the Alquerque board. The goats are set beside the board in the beginning.

3. Goats are dropped on the board one piece per turn on any vacant intersection point on the board. They cannot move until all 18 goats are dropped on the board which requires 18 turns. However, tigers can move right from the beginning on their turn, and start capturing goats.

4. The goat player starts first, and drops his or her first goat on any vacant intersection point on the board. Players alternate their turns.

5. Tigers move following the pattern on the board. Tigers can move (in any available direction) as far as they want on a straight line as long as the path is unoccupied onto a vacant intersection point. Only one tiger may be moved in a turn. Alternatively, the tiger can capture a goat.

6. Tigers can capture by the short leap as in draughts and Alquerque. The leap can only be done if the tiger is already adjacent to the goat at the beginning of its turn. The tiger cannot move and then leap. The tiger must either move or leap on its turn. The tiger leaps over the adjacent goat, and lands on a vacant intersection point immediately beyond. The leap must follow the pattern on the board, and it must be done in a straight line. Only one goat may be captured in a turn, and is removed from the board. Captures are not compulsory.

7. Goats move following the pattern on the board. Only one goat may be moved per turn. A goat moves (in any available direction) along a marked line onto a vacant adjacent intersection point.


Goats will generally give up when their numbers are reduced to 10 pieces as there are not enough of them to effectively immobilize the tigers.

Related games[edit]

External links[edit]