Translated by John Webley.
A fantasy-filled game family game from the 1001 Nights for from two to six players.
Once upon a time, Scheherazade was called, as so oft before, to the Sultan's chambers, that the long hours of the night might swiftly pass. But this time, instead of a story, she brought with her a game to entertain the Sultan. It was set in Basra, the home of Ali Baba. Many years after his great triumph over the Forty Thieves, their descendents revived the gang, and stole back Ali Baba's treasure, and that of the town of Basra. But Ali Baba had lost none of his cunning, and he soon realised what was happening. So it wasn't long before the thieves lost the chance to enjoy their ill gotten gains, and instead, had to answer to the Caliph for their crimes.
The player with the largest fortune after two rounds wins the game.
There are 4 types of space on the board.
The Town walls divide the 4 town quarters, in each quarter there is a table showing the value of the various treasures in that quarter.
In the middle of the board, there stands the Destiny Table, which may lead to the bandit's downfall, or perhaps not.
The Treasure value of each gang is set and lies between 20 and 160. The actual value for each member is printed on their card. The risk of being caught by Ali Baba is related to the value of the card, ie the higher the value of the card, the more likely that bandit is to be caught.
The card is as shown, uppermost is the name of the gang, in the same colour as that gang's treasure symbol on the board.
Next, directly below is the name of the group within the gang to which the bandit belongs, plus a small symbol representing that group.
The number above the table is the treasure value of that card.
Finally comes the personal Destiny Table for that bandit.
The four members of a group are particularly strong when they are all together, if a player possesses all four of a group then they gain double the Treasure value for that group, but also run a greater risk of being caught by Ali Baba.
There are 24 Movement cards, which allow the players to move Ali Baba. They are divided equally amongst the players. The cards are divided as follows:
The player whose turn it is must always play a Movement card and move Ali Baba the set number of spaces. The total of all the cards is 52 spaces, and this constitutes one complete round around Basra.
1) Disposal of Bandits: At the start of each turn a player may dispose of as many of their bandits as they wish. This means that they sell the bandit's treasure for the going rate in the town quarter that Ali Baba is in, as shown on the board. The cards are returned to the bottom of the relevant pack. and the money is taken from the Banker. The value printed on the card has no bearing on this sale, and there are no bonuses for complete sets.
2) Movement of Ali Baba: Ali Baba must be moved each turn. The player plays a Movement card and moves Ali Baba forward by the number of spaces shown on the card. If this involves Ali Baba moving over one of the three junctions on the board, then the player may decide which route he takes. Ali Baba always moves clockwise. The total of all the Movement cards brings him back to his starting place. If therefore, all the cards have been played and he doesn't move to the Start/Finish space, there has been a mistake, and he should be moved to the Start/Finish space whatever the number on the card.
3) Carry out the action of the space moved to Empty Spaces. The player may draw up to three Bandit cards from the packs by the board. He may choose between any of the four currently visible cards. Once he has chosen a card the next card in that pack is turned over before he draws again, ie he may draw all three cards from one pack or from three different packs as long as sufficient bandits are available. The cost of the bandits is the cost of their treasure in that quarter as shown on the board. When Ali Baba moves to a new quarter, the price changes accordingly. The cost is payed to the Banker. Example: Ali Baba is in the third quarter. A Player chooses 2 Defrauders (Betrger), and 1 Robber (Ruber), and so must pay the Banker 160 Piastres.
Players may own as many Bandits as they wish. The Bandit cards are placed, face up, in front of the player, where they can be seen by all the other players.
1) Throwing Treasure Away. The players can first if they wish throw away any of their cards. To do this they must first pay 20 Piastres per card to the Banker. The cards are then returned to the bottom of the relevant pack. Cards may also be sold to other players for any mutually agreeable price. Swapping cards however, runs right against the Bandits' most treasured traditions and is therefore banned.
2) Ali Baba Extends his Feelers: The player whose turn it is rolls the Black die and puts it onto the space on the Destiny Table showing the same number.
3) Last Chance To Throw Treasure Away: The players can now see how close Ali Baba is to catching their Bandits, All the cards bearing the numbers in the row next to the black die are now in grave danger. The Players have a last chance to throw their treasure away as before, but this time they must pay 100 Piastres per card to the Banker.
4) Destiny Takes its Turn: The Player whose turn it is now rolls the White Die. This is put onto the space on the Destiny Table showing the same number as rolled.
5) Ali Baba Catches The Gangs: The crossing point between the two dice gives a number. All bandit cards showing the same symbol as on Ali Baba's square, and the same number as has been decided by the dice roll, are caught, and dragged before the Caliph for trial. Example. The Black Die shows a 4, and the White a 3. Checking the Destiny Table, these two lines cross on the number 15: All Bandit cards with the symbol on Ali Baba's square, and the number 15 on their personal Destiny Tables on the card, are taken off to the Caliph.
6) Releasing Bandits: Each player must now attempt to free all their Captured Bandits from the Caliph. The player pays 200 piastres for every card that comes before the Caliph. If they are unable to pay then they must look at the "Bankruptcy" section.
The space with the four symbols and a question mark means that the player who has move Ali Baba onto this space may decide which of the four gangs has been discovered by our hero. The player chooses one symbol to be affected, naturally enough it is likely to be a symbol which they themselves have few or none of.
The space with the four gang symbols and a dice: Here, the player who has moved Ali Baba onto the space must roll a die. On a roll of 1 or 2 the Swindlers (Schwindler) are affected, on a 3 or a 4 the Thieves (Diebe), on a 5, the Defrauders, (Betrger) and on a 6, the Robbers (Ruber). The rest follows exactly as for a normal symbol space.
The space with all four symbols on is the point where Ali Baba hits the jackpot. Here, all four gangs are affected, and every single card is in jeopardy.
Distributed by Mike Siggins from The Sumo Rules Bank
The Game Cabinet - email@example.com - Ken Tidwell