Design: Dijkstra & Van Dijk
Number of players: 2 to 4
A gameboard with ledged, 53 solid coloured area-cards, for every player lots of area-markers, tribecards, destiny-cards, 2 dice, light and dark brown camels, plastic coins in gold and silver. The coins are in fact superfluous in the game, because you can only buy camels with them. So a player can get camels right away in stead of coins. Only when there are no more camels, you can use some coins. (See suggestion at the bottom.)
The goal: Conquer and occupy the valuable desertgrounds. And also keep your homevillage ! By tactically moving groups of camels through the different desertgrounds and by using it's specialities you can rule the desert.
saltlake - sandy plain (feche feche) - oasis (guelta)
The desert: Every game the desert will be different. In the middle there is always the saltmakingplace. This one is very important. The others areas are placed randomly. All the players may build their homevillage on some part of the gameboard. All the areas have their own specialities. Some you cannot enter, others have strategic value (in a black triangle) and/or economic value (in a white square). The strategic value gives you an advantage in battles, the economic value brings you money.
A game setup
One game lasts a maximum of 16 rounds and each round consists of a maximum of 5 turns. At the start of each round a die defines the number of turns. When a 6 is thrown, this round consists of 1 double-turn. Every player hands in as many tribe-cards as there are turns. Together with 1 destiny-card they will be shuffled. So everyone has the same amount of turns, but order is not known yet. At the end of each round the total economic value is counted for every player (if he possesses his home village) and he receives that many coins.
saltmakingplace - bluegrey bank (reg)
The means: Every turn a player can take 2 actions: 1) moving camels; 2) 'building' camels. When moving a player may move as many camels from 1 area to another. If the new area was empty, it gets a marker from this player. He will possess this area until someone else enters this area. When the new area is occupied, there has to be a fight. 'Building' camels is allowed in 1 area and in that area must be a marker from that player.
Fighting: Fighting with camels is easy. Throw a die, add the strategic value from your area, divide by 2 rounded down. This is the number of camels the other player loses. Now the defender does the same. (He has less camels now !). The attacker now decides if he continues the attack. If he eventually wins the battle, he has to move in at least 1 camel (and place his marker).
mountains - sanddunes (erg) - village
Obstacles: Each round 1 destinycard becomes active. This can be positive or negative. For example: "It's spring. In every guelta 5 camels are born." or "In the mountains silver is discoverd. The counting at the end of the round is  for every mountain area." or "The Haussa, a strange, hostile tribe, attacks the saltmakingplace and steals all camels.". Another problem is the turnorder. In a round with 5 turns, it can turn out that every player has made 3 or 4 turns, before it's your turn. So the enemy can come very close to your village before you can react. So be careful and protect your home at the end of each round.
The end: The game ends if there is only 1 player left, or when the last (16th) round is over. In the last case the winner is the player who possesses the most economic value AND his homevillage. A tie is broken by the number of camels and coins.
Valuation: This game is a worthy alternation with games like Risk. The changing board and the different qualities of each area make the game different each time you play. In one game all the battle is in the saltmakingplace, another time you can protect just some oasis in your neighbourhood. Fighting the battles is easy, but can be difficult when there are a lot of camels in the areas. So removing casualties can make a mess. An advantage over Risk is the playing time: you can play it more than once in an evening. Very nice.
Variant: Moving camels can be in all directions. Play is changed in a big way if you forbid diagonal moves. Try it some time. I like it better that way.
Suggestion: The coins in the game have no real meaning, so the following idea crossed my mind. I haven't tried it, so I don't know if it is playable or not. At the start of each round the die is thrown to determine the number of turns. Now you thrown an extra die to determine the prize of the camels for that round (see table). You have the use all the camels that you buy in your turn. This way the coins do have a meaning. All reactions on this suggestion are welcome ! Perhaps you can use the same diethrow to determine the number of turns and the prize of the camels. In that case you should change the table so that the camels are cheap when there are much turns and the camels are expensive when there are only a few turns.
|Diethrow||Prize of a camel|
|1 or 2||1/2 silvercoin|
|3 or 4||1 silvercoin|
|5 or 6||2 silvercoin|
Jumbo released Targui again in a limited edition in 1999. You could order the game on their site and the lower numbers were auctioned. For reference they pointed to my site. In the meanwhile I received a nice email from Jumbo (Karin).