Jungle

Jungle or Dou Shou Qi (the game of Fighting Animals) is a two-player game from China. It is also called Jungle Chess or Animal Chess. This a form of race game in which the objective is for one of a player’s pieces to reach and occupy the adversary’s den.

Rules

Jungle is played on a 7 x 9 board with two rivers, and two dens and six traps as shown in Figure 1.

Jungle board
Figure 1: Jungle board

One player has eight blue animals and the other eight red animals. Each piece is marked with a symbol indicating the type of animal. Each animal has a different strength as shown below.

Animal Strength
Elephant (E) 8
Lion (L) 7
Tiger (T) 6
Panther (P) 5
Dog (D) 4
Wolf (W) 3
Cat (C) 2
Rat (R) 1

The players decide who will move first and then take turns moving one piece at a time. All pieces may be moved one square orthogonally in any direction as shown by the blue arrows in Figure 2A. They may not be moved diagonally. Only one piece may occupy a square. No animal may move into its own den and no animal except for the Rat may enter the river. For example, this would limit the movement of the Wolf shown in Figure 2B.

Jungle moves
Figure 2: Jungle moves

An animal may capture (eat) another animal from the opponent’s team that is of the same strength or weaker than itself, by moving onto its square. For example, a Wolf may eat a Cat but not a Dog. The captured animal is removed from the board. The exception to this rule is that a Rat may capture an Elephant since it may enter the Elephant’s ear and gnaw into its brain.

A Rat may enter the river squares where it is safe from attack by the other animals. It may not attack an Elephant from the river squares. Rats may attack each other in the river or on land.

When a Lion or a Tiger reaches a square at the edge of the river, it may on its next turn jump over the river in any orthogonal direction, and land on the square adjacent to the river as shown in Figure 2C. A Lion or Tiger may capture an opponent’s animal that occupies the landing square if it is of the same strength or weaker than itself. They may not leap across the river to a square that is occupied by an animal that is of greater strength. In addition, they may not leap across the river if they have to leap over a Rat as shown in Figure 2D.

The traps serve to protect the dens. A player may move his animals onto his own trap squares, but if he moves his animals onto his opponent’s trap squares they lose all their strength and may be captured by any of his opponent’s animals. When an animal is moved off the opponent’s trap square it regains its full strength.

The winner is the first player to occupy his opponent’s den with any one of his own animals.