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Rimau 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 expanded Alquerque board. The one tiger is being hunted by 24 men. The tiger attempts to eat the men, and the men attempt to trap the tiger. An interesting feature in this game is that the tiger can capture a line of men in a single leap. There must be an odd number of men in the line, and they must be adjacent to one another. In most hunt games, the tiger, leopard, or fox is only able to capture one prey in a leap.
Rimau in Malay means "tiger". The men are called orang-orang. Orang-orang is the plural of orang which means "man".
Rimau is the single tiger version of the game Rimau-rimau which has two tigers. Both games have very similar rules.
As mentioned earlier, Rimau is specifically part of the tiger hunt game (or tiger game) family as it uses an expanded Alquerque board. This family includes games like Rimau-rimau, Bagha-Chall, and Main Tapal Empat. In contrast, Leopard games are also hunt games, but use a more triangular board and not an Alquerque based board. Similarly, Fox games are also hunt games, but use more of a cross patterned board.
The men win if they block and immobilize the tiger's movements.
The tiger wins if they capture all the men, or capture enough men so that the men cannot effectively block and immobilize its movements. This usually happens when there are only 10 or 11 men left on the board.
The game uses an expanded Alquerque board. There are two mountains (called "gunung" in Malay) attached on two opposite sides of the Alquerque board. The mountains are triangular boards.
There is 1 black piece called a tiger, and 24 white pieces called men.
Game play and rules
1. In the beginning the tiger is placed at the vertex of one of the two mountains that connects to the Alquerque board. Nine men are initially placed on the nine intersection points of the central square of the Alquerque board.
2. The tiger player moves first and removes any 3 men from the board. Then the tiger player may also pick up the tiger, and place it on any empty intersection point on the board, or the tiger player can simply leave the tiger where it is already.
3. The man player moves next, and must drop his or her remaining 15 pieces on any vacant intersection point on the board one piece per turn before he or she can begin to move any of them. This will take 15 turns. Players alternate their turns throughout the game. The tigers can move and capture from the beginning.
4. After the 15 men have been dropped, they can then move. Only one man may be moved per turn. The man can be moved (in any available direction) along a line to a vacant adjacent intersection point.
5. Similarly, the tiger can move (in any available direction) along a line to a vacant adjacent intersection point in a turn. However, the tiger, alternatively, can capture. The men cannot capture.
6. The tiger can capture an odd number of men (e.g. 1, 3, 5, or 7). If more than one man is captured (i.e. 3, 5, or 7), the men must be in a line. The tiger must be adjacent to the man or line of men, and leap over them onto a vacant intersection point immediately beyond. The leaped pieces are removed. The tiger must leap over them in a straight line that follows the pattern on the board. Moreover, when capturing a line of men, the men must be lined up right next to each other with no vacant points in between them. Once a man or a line of men are leaped over and captured, the tiger can no longer capture further or move. Captures are not compulsory.
7. If the men are reduced to 10 or 11 pieces, the men will usually resign as there is not enough of them to effectively immobilize the two tigers.
Like all hunt games, Rimau is an asymmetric game in that the pieces controlled by one player are different from the pieces controlled by the other player. A tiger can capture whereas men can only simply block the tigers. Furthermore, the number of pieces is different for each player. The tiger player controls one tiger piece, and the man player controls the 24 man pieces. Lastly, the goals of each player are different. The goal of the tiger is to eliminate as many men as possible which would prevent the men from blocking its movements. However, the goal of the men is to block the movement of the tiger.
- Main Tapal Empat
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