Once upon a time, in distant China, there was a mandarin duck, who was very sad. He did not know which gift to offer to his heart's desire and he floated sobbing on the pond. On the night of the full moon, the frogs saw him wandering and they were surprised by his sadness. "Nice mandarin duck," they asked him, "why are you crying?" "I am sad", he answered, "because I am in love, but I do not know which gift to offer to my beloved to confess to her my love." "Why not offer her a nice bouquet of water lilies?", suggested the frogs. "We are going to help you." And the small frogs spent the rest of the night choosing the nicest water lilies in the pond, each frog trying to prepare the nicest bouquet for the friend of the mandarin duck.
What stories must be invented to justify the mechanisms of a game!
A game for 3 to 6 players
About 30 minutes
Invented by Bruno Faidutti (firstname.lastname@example.org).
English rules by Rachel Hotton.
Each player chooses a colour and takes the three corresponding frog pawns, he puts them on the start square. With 6 players, each one takes only two pawns.
Three water lilies : a pink, a white and a yellow are placed at random on the three locations numbered 1, 2 and 3 of the arrival square. The blue lotus is placed on the location number 4.
The black lotus is put on the last water lily square of the course.
The other water lilies pink, white and yellow, four of each colour, are placed at random on the twelve other "water lily" squares .
The oldest player starts, by successively moving three pawns of his choice. Then it is the turn to the player on his left, and so on in clockwise order.
During his turn a player must successively move three different pawns. He may move his own pawns, but also the pawns of the other players. Among the three pawns moved, at least one must belong to an other player.
First he moves a pawn, of his choice, of one square. There is only one pawn on each square, and the occupied squares do not count in the move. A move of one square may be a jump over one or more pawns to reach the next free square. Then the player moves, in the same way, a second pawn of two squares. Finally, he moves a third and last pawn three squares.
The moves must be made in this order : the first pawn one square, the second pawn two squares, the third pawn three squares, only taking into account empty squares and jumping over all the squares occupied by other pawns.
All the moves are forward, a pawn may never go back.
When a player moves the last pawn on the course, the one closest to the start square, he must add two squares to the normal move (three squares instead of one, or four squares instead of two, or five instead of three).
When a pawn ends its move on a square showing a water lily (including the black lotus), the owner of the pawn (who is not necessarily the player who moved the pawn) takes the water lily and puts it, picture side up and visible, in front of him.
When a pawn ends its moves on a square showing a frog, the owner of the pawn (who is not necessarily the player who moved the pawn) must give one of his water lily to an other player and in exchange he must take one of the water lily from this same player but one of a different colour. The owner of the pawn chooses which exchange he makes, but he must, even if he does not want, make an exchange.
When a pawn ends its move on a "slippery rock" square, the owner of this pawn must give up one of his water lilies, of his choice, which is then placed on the first empty square behind the rock.
Remark: the black lotus may be given up or exchanged just like any other water lily.
The first pawn to reach the arrival square picks up the number 1 water lily, the second the number 2 water lily, the third the number 3 water lily. The fourth picks up the blue lotus and the game ends, even if there are remaining water lilies on the course.
Each player counts up as follows : The first water lily of each colour (white, yellow or pink) is worth 1 point, the second two points, and so one. The player who owns the blue lotus earns 4 points and the one who has the black lotus loses 2 points.
The player with the highest total wins the game.
The Game Cabinet - email@example.com - Ken Tidwell