Duel der Schamanen
(Duel of the Shamen)

Invented by Wolfgang Kramer.
Translation by Ken Tidwell.
Copyright AMIGO Spiele & leisure time GmbH, D-63322. Rödermark MCMXCV.

2 Players
12 years and up
about 10 minutes [Ken: but up to an hour]


The Shamen were an elite, highly respected part of American Indian society. As the link between the hereafter and the living people they placed their mental powers at the service of their Tribe. A ritual game was played on the shortest night of the year to honor Wakan Tankas, the protector of the universe. The players tested their mental powers in a playful duel. Through skillful placement of the duel stones and play of the mask cards each player attempted to collect all of the cowrie shells.

The winner holds the title of great shaman. Set your mental powers free and become "The Great Shaman"!

Before the first game, paste the number stickers onto the duel stones. The bison stickers should be pasted onto one color of stone and the wolf stickers should be pasted onto the other color.

Each player gets:

Lay the stones openly before each player. The 3 mask cards should be held hidden in the hand.

[The illustrations show two Mask Cards, a Cowrie, Duel Stones, a Bison, a Wolf, and Shell Chips.]

Goal of the Game

The board has nine spaces in which duels are fought. The winner of a duel is awarded a prize of cowrie shells by the loser. The goal of the game is to collect all of the cowrie shells.

Course of the Game

First Stage - Distribution of Power

The players distribute their duel stones onto the nine spaces on the board during the first stage of the game. Each player may have only one stone on each space. Stones with the same value may not be placed on the same space. The bison player begins by placing one of his duel stones on one of the nine spaces. Then the wolf player places two of his duel stones. Placement then alternates with each player placing two stones. The wolf player will only place one stone on the last turn of placement. Now every space should contain two stones, one stone from each player.

Second Stage - The Duels

First the location of the duel must be determined. Each player chooses one of his three mask cards and plays it face down. Then both masks are revealed simultaneously. The two masks determine the location of the duel: the bison cards decide the row, the wolf cards decide the column.


The player with the strongest power on that space, ie the stone with the largest number on it, wins the duel. The loser must give the winner a number of cowrie equal to the difference between the numeric value of the two duel stones.

After the first duel the bison player exchanges any two of his own duel stones with one another, i.e. they change places. Care must be taken that stones with the same value are never be placed on a square together. Then the next duel occurs. Again each player chooses one of their mask cards, the location of the duel is determined and a number of cowries equal to the difference of the values on the duel stones is forfeited to the winner.

Now the wolf player exhanges two of his stones with each other and another duel occurs. Play alternates in this fashion. One of the players exchanges two stones before each duel.

Game End and Winner

The game ends when one player has won all of the cowrie shells. That player is declared the winner. When there are two strong players, it is wise to set a time limit. The player with the most cowries when time runs out is declared the winner.

Memory Variant

This variation is played with masked duel stones. The rules are as described above with the following exceptions:

In the placement phase the stones are placed face down on the board. Only the player that placed the stone knows its value.

To resolve a duel, the stones on the duel space are turned face up so that the winner can be determined. Afterwards, the stones are returned to their face down positions.

While playing this variant two stones with the same value can be placed on the same space. If this happens and that space is chosen for a duel, then the duel is declared a draw and neither side wins.

Players are not allowed to examine the value of stones while exchanging them.

Professional Variant (Profi Rules)

All duel stones lie face up on the table. Players are allowed to place either their own stones or their opponents stones during the placement phase. Apart from the first and last turn, two stones are placed each turn. This could be two of your own stones, two of your opponents, or one of each. When placement is complete each space should contain two stones: one of each color.

During the exchange phase, players may either move two of their own duel stones or two of their opponents stones. Alternatively, you might also allow more than one stone of each color on the same space. In that case, it is legal to move one stone from each color. The values of these stones are added when determing the winner of a duel. Logically, there must also be spaces which contain no stones from one of the players. These spaces are considered to worth zero to the missing player.

If the total values of all stones for both sides are the same, then a tie is declared and no prizes are awarded.

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell