A tactical game for 3-4 players aged 12 and up*
In two- and three-player games the protection cards are not needed and only eight or ten islands are used. Also, in two-player games some of the wooden tiles remain in the box.
More on this at the end of these rules.
How to Play:
An archipelago of twelve islands somewhere south of Hawaii: the players
travel from island to island and collect offerings suitable for the gods.
In return they receive support and the temple pieces necessary
to win the game.
The four gods Kanaloa, Lono, Ku and Pele support in each case those
players who sacrifice to them most. Offerings for the most important god,
Kane, are particularly important for scoring at the end of the game.
Setting Up the Game:
The temple pieces and the protection cards are placed beside the game map.
The offering tiles (but not the volcano tiles) are put into the cloth bag.From this, 24 offerings are randomly drawn and placed face up on the designated island spaces.
Now, without revealing them, draw 6 further offerings. Add to them a volcano tile. Place all 7 face down on the Bambus logo portion of the game map. These tiles are only needed shortly before the end of the game. The remaining 10 volcano tiles are now mixed into the bag with the offerings.
Each player receives two playing pieces and seven fish of the same color, as well as a randomly-drawn gods card. The player with the gods card Pele also receives the volcano.
Make available for ready reference the two overview cards and the tactical
notes at the end of these rules so that each player can quickly become
familiar with the turn flow and the capabilities of the various gods.
We recommend for your first game:
One player explains the game on the basis of the rules, another uses the
second copy to look up any questions which might come up.
Course of Play:
When all of the fish have been placed and each player has chosen a location for a playing piece, the Ku player takes the first turn.
The current player has two options.
One of these two actions must be executed. Additionally one can use one
characteristic of his gods card.
The player moves his playing piece (from tail to head) over a white fish or a fish of his own color to an adjacent island. Immediately afterwards the fish is turned over, so that the other side is showing. However, it maintains the same orientation.
If a player cannot move, because no white or same-colored fish is pointing
to an adjacent island, then the player can execute one of two alternative
Upon arriving on an island, the player takes one of the two offerings.
Then he draws a new tile from the bag. If it is a volcano tile he places
it on the edge of the game map and draws tiles until he gets an offering.
This he places on the island.
If there is no volcanic eruption, then it is the turn of the next player
in clockwise order.
A player voluntarily sacrifices as many of his offerings as he likes to a god. One may never sacrifice to more than one god at the same time. Additional restrictions:
At least one tile of an offering must show the symbol of the corresponding god. Additional tiles showing the symbol of this god or that of Kane can also be offered at the same time. (Thus, if all tiles show the Kane symbol, they must be offered to Kane.)
The point values of the sacrificed tiles are totaled. The player takes temple pieces in the color of the god in question and stacks them in front of himself to form a tower. The large pieces count nine points, the medium, three, and the small, one point. For a better overview, players should exchange smaller for larger pieces as soon as possible (three ones for a three, three threes for a nine). In this way it can be grasped more easily, who has the most valuable temple to a particular god.
The expended offerings are removed from the game.
If a player has sacrificed more to a god than has every one of his fellow players (compare temple values), he immediately receives the gods card of the god in question. The player, who previously had the gods card, now receives the protection card.
The protection card is also given to the player who sacrifices more to a god than the past owner of the protection card, but not more than the owner of the gods card.
A condition for the receipt of a gods or a protection card is in any case that the player has sacrificed to this god at least as much as to Kane.
As soon as the owner of a gods card has sacrificed more to the god Kane than to the god corresponding to the gods card, he must give this gods card to the holder of the protection card. The protection card is now given to the player with the third most sacrifices to the god. If there is a tie, the card is instead unowned and placed beside the game map. Follow this same procedure if the owner of a protection card has sacrificed more to Kane than to the god in question.
When sacrificing one should definitely consider the possibilities and consequences conveyed by the special characteristics of the gods!
Ownership of a gods card brings the player the strong support of the respective god. Ownership of the protection card brings a weaker form of support. Mostly it protects from the effects of the gods card.
After all tiles have been drawn from the bag, the seven tiles which were
placed on the Bambus logo at the start of the game are put into the bag
and the game continues as usual.
ScoringEach player's Kane temple determines how his other temples are scored:
Temples whose values are smaller than that of the Kane temple are not scored. Temples whose values are larger than that of the Kane temple are reduced to the value of the Kane temple. To show this, the surplus pieces are removed, if necessary by replacement with smaller pieces (but save those removed in case of a tie -- see below).
Now each player sums the values of his Kane temple and his other temples having the same height as the Kane temple. The player with the highest total value wins the game.
In the case of a tie the higher point total of the unscored temple pieces (removed temple pieces and unscored temples) decides.
An example: At the end of the game a player has temples of the following values:
The temples of Ku and Pele are not scored since their values are smaller
than the temple of Kane.
Rules for Three Players:
The protection cards are not used; no player is
protected. Also, the Pele player is affected by the consequences of the
Rules for Two Players:
Kanaloa should only be tried with two if one has already played the
four-player version multiple times.
At the start of the game the players, particularly those who do not enjoy the favor of the god Ku should beware of placing all of their fish with their own color upward. This is because when they travel over their fish, they will be turned to show the white side -- an ideal way for the Ku player to follow his victim and to rob him round after round.
Mainly is it useful to first collect a few offerings before one sacrifices several to a god all at once. Frequent sacrificing means a loss of speed. It is also important to consider that through sacrifices one can take the support of a god from another player. When sacrificing, consider whether another player is able to sacrifice a larger point total to the same god.
At the start of the game the god Kanaloa is very strong. The support of this god rather strongly permits obstructing other players and itself provides an advantage. With advanced players there is strong conflict over this god already at the beginning of the game.
Support from Pele becomes particularly interesting if there is already a Pele tile available and as it becomes more probable that a second will appear. At this point one should at least think about passive protection from Pele. Also, the player order is interesting: if the Pele player sits directly left of a player, he is more likely to force this player to lose a turn than if he sits to the right of him.
Support from Lono becomes particularly important towards the end of the game, since at that point the players need very specific tiles in order to come out in front in the scoring. Use of a second playing piece is often a good idea, however, it also facilitates attacks by the Ku player.
Ku is the weakest God, particularly in four-player games. Constantly
present as a threat, he frequently does not really have a chance. He
becomes very strong however when played with Kanaloa, the (even if only
passive) support of Lono (2 playing pieces) or Pele (players who have lost
turns cannot flee).
Special thanks to...
...Steffi, Holger, Mirko, Antje, Uwe, Martin, Faxe, Achim, Gabi, Monika, Matthias, Jochen, Michael, Brigitte, Wolfgang, Robert, Ulf, Benni, Michael, Alexandra, Christiane, Kagi, Gela, Annaberg-Team, Hippodice-Spieleclub und alle anderen SpieletesterInnen, die ich vergessen habe, hier zu erwähnen...
The graphic designer
Bambus Spieleverlag Günter Cornett | Kopfstraße 43 | 12053 Berlin
Telefon/Fax: 030 - 612 1884 firstname.lastname@example.org