Hyena Chase Game Rules

How to Play Hyena Chase Game


Hyena Chase is a racing game from Sudan played on a spiral shaped board. The game is natively known by the name "l'ib el merafib" in Sudan. In English it is known as "Hyena" game or "Hyena Chase". Each player starts with one piece of his/her distinct color which starts outside the board. The pieces are called "mother" in the game which must start from the starting point (called the "village") of the board, reach to the center point (called the "well") safely and return back to the "village". The first person to do so wins the game and then unleases a hyena which also starts from the "village" goes to the "well" and comes back to the "village" and in this process can eat other player's mothers who are unable to reach to the "village" safely. The game is played with three casting sticks with one side marked and other side blank and by 2 or more players.


The first player is decided randomly. The movement is decided by the number of marked sides falling uppermost. If all sticks are showing blank, then it is equal to 6. The roll of 1 is called a "taba".
The game is played as per the rules described below

  • No move can be made for a roll of taba (or 1). It is counted as a currency which can be used by the player during various stages of the game. Other three rolls of 2, 3 and 6 can be used to move a "mother" by equivalent spaces on the board.
  • Moving "mother" from outside the board to the "village" - If a "mother" is outside the board, her player on his/her turn throws the sticks repeatedly, until a 2 is thrown. Player also keeps a count of the number of tabas they have thrown. A "mother" can be moved to the "village" once a 2 is thrown and a taba has already been thrown. If a 2 is thrown but no taba was thrown earlier, mother can not be moved to the "village" and the turn passes to the next player.
  • Susequent turns - Once a mother is in the "village", player throws the sticks once and move his/her mother by equivalent spaces for a roll of [2, 3, 6]. If a taba is thrown, no move is made and player's tabas count is incremented.
  • Two or more mothers can be at the same spot.
  • A mother can reach the "well" by exact throw. If a throw takes the mother past the "well", then the throw is lost and turn is passed to the next player. If a player is short of reaching "well" but can pay tabas equal to number of spots required to reach the "well", then he/she can pay tabas and reach the "well". This is optional and the player can choose to reach the "well" by throw of the sticks in the subsequent turns.
  • Upon reaching the well, the mother must spend two tabas to wash her clothes and additional two tabas to begin backward journey to the "village". If the player does not have sufficient tabas, then he/she must wait until the tabas have been accumulated by the usual throw of the sticks.
  • The returning mother can reach the "village" by an extact throw of the sticks and also has the option to pay tabas for the shortfall. If the throw takes her past the "village", then the throw is lost.
  • The first mother who returns to the "village" wins the game but play continues to decide losses for other players. The winning player releases a hyena upon reaching the "village". The hyena can leave the "village" and make forward journey after paying 2 tabas.
  • Hyena moves twice the value of sticks i.e, 4, 6, and 12 for the throws of 2, 3, and 6. Tabas are collected in the usual manner.
  • Hyena can reach the well for an exact throw or, a payment for the shortfall shortfall (a taba for each space) and can start a return journey on payment of 10 tabas.
  • If hyena returning from the "well" to the "village" overtakes a "mother", she is eaten and her player suffers greater loss. The player who is able to reach to the "village" safely after the winner, suffers lesser loss. Mothers safely back to the "village" can not be eaten by the hyena even when the hyena is in the "village". Similarly mothers at the "well" can not be eaten by the hyena.

Reference Rules: Cyningstan.com | Hyena icons made by Freepik