Bagh Chal (Tigers and Goats)

Bagh Chal (meaning moving Tigers or change of Tigers), is also known as Tigers and Goats. It is a two-player board game from Nepal. Some Bagh Chal boards are ornate using small tiger and goat figurines as pieces. India has a similar game called 'Adu Huli' or 'Goats and Tigers' which is played on an unusual pyramid-shaped board.

Bagh Chal board
Figure 1: Bagh Chal board

Rules

The game of Tigers and Goats is played by two players using a board shown in Figure 1. The board consists of a grid of 25 points with connecting lines. Tigers and Goats can only be placed on these points and moves can only be made along these lines. One player has four Tigers and the other twenty Goats which may be placed on any point on the board. The goal of the player with the Tigers is to capture the Goats by jumping them and the goal of the Goats is to block Tigers so they cannot move.

The game starts with a Tiger placed at each corner of the board. Turns are taken alternately starting with the Goats player who places a goat on any point on the board. For the Goats there are two phases to the game. During the first phase, Goats are placed on unoccupied points on the board until all Goats are on the board. During this phase a Goat cannot be moved from the point that is has been initially placed. In the second phase Goats may be moved from one point to any adjacent point along a line connecting the two points.

Tigers can either move from one point to any adjacent point along a line connecting the two points or they can eat a Goat by jumping over it in a straight line onto a vacant point on the other side of the Goat. The eaten Goat is removed from the board and cannot be returned to play. A Tiger cannot jump more than one goat at a time and a Tiger cannot jump another Tiger.

The Tigers win when they have eaten five Goats and the Goats win if they are able to block the Tigers so they cannot move.

To prevent a stalemate position in a game where a player could move a piece back and forth indefinitely, repeated moves are prohibited.