Space Walk → Italian.
|Inventor: Rüdiger Dorn, 1997|
|Variant of Kalah|
|Sowing: Single laps|
Space Walk was invented by the German Rüdiger Dorn in 1997 and published by Ravensburger in 1999. The extraordinary design was created by Franz Vohwinkel. The game is one of the most popular modern mancala game listed in BoardGameGeek with more than 11,000 views (as of February 1, 2009).
The original edition can be played with 2 - 5 persons. Only the two-person game is a good game of skill, the larger variants tend to be unpredictable.
Rules of the Two-player Variant
Space Walk is played on a board which has 2x6 "planets" and one large "black hole" at each end. Each player has three small, three medium-sized and three big "spaceships" in a particular color, e.g. one player may have blue spaceships, the other player red ones. Additionally, each player owns four black chips. Initially the board is empty.
Each turn a player lands one of his spaceships on a planet (any of the 12). At this stage of the game, it is not permitted to put spaceships, which are of equal size, on the same planet.
The original rules are flawed as they permit the second player to mirror the moves of the first player. If the second player would continue to imitate the first player's moves throughout the game, he would eventually win.
Some solutions that would fix the game:
- After the first phase has ended, the pie rule could be used. The first player decides who continues the game. If the colors are swapped, the right to start the second phase is changed, too.
- As in Dvonn, a stacking game invented by Kris Burm, the player who started the first phase will be the one who will go second in the second phase, while the player who had to play second in the first phase, will begin the second phase.
- If the second player imitates all the moves of the first player in the first phase of the game, he will immediately be disqualified and loses the game without any further play.
- Start with a three move pie-rule for the two-player game (one player makes one move for player one, a move for player two, and a second move for player one, then player two decides which side to play).
From now on, planets must be evacuated. You can only evacuate planets (again, the side of the board does not matter) which have at least one of your spaceship. The evacuated spaceships, your own ones as well as those of the opponent, are distributed clockwise in a continuous chain, one by one, to the next planets and black holes, first the large spaceships, then the medium-sized spaceships, eventually the small spaceships. If there are several spaceships of the same size, you can decide which one you drop first.
- You may move, either before or after your turn, one of your spaceships to the following planet or black hole. (In the original rules such an action could only happen after your turn, but Rüdiger wrote Ralf Gering that he would now prefer the revised rule as stated above.)
- You may move again after your normal turn has ended.
Only one action is permitted per turn.
Any action must be paid with one chip which is put into a black hole.
Spaceships are lost when they are moved into a black hole.
The game ends when a player has no spaceships left on board. The remaining pieces are now counted: A player gets one point for each of his small spaceships, three points for each medium-sized spaceship, four points for each big spaceship as well as two points for each chip he didn't use in the game. The player with most points is declared winner. If both players have the same number of points, the game ends in a draw.
In 2005, Ralf Gering suggested to add another action that is not part of the original rules:
- If you want to pass a move, pay a chip.
- Space Walk. In: Pöppelkiste 1999.