Katro → Italian.
|Other Names: Katra|
|First Description: Alexander |
Johan de Voogt, 1998
|Sowing: Multiple laps|
Katro is played by the Betsileo people in Fianarantsoa in the southern highlands of Madagascar. The game was described by the Dutch mancala researcher Alexander Johan de Voogt during an extensive field study in 1998. The board is usually dug in the earth and the players, mostly adult women and men, are often surrounded by a curious crowd of spectators.
Katro is played on a 6x6-board, a very unusual size for a mancala game. Each player owns one half (upper or lower) of the board.
Initially there are two stones in each hole.
You must start your move in the outermost row of your side which has a non-empty hole. Singletons can also be moved.
Moves are multi-lap. As in four-rank Mancala you only move on your side.
If the last stone is dropped into a non-empty hole, all contents are picked up and are distributed one by one in the following holes by continuing in the same direction.
If the last stone of a lap is dropped into a non-empty hole which is directly opposite to a non-empty hole of your opponent, all the contents of his hole are captured. His stones and the contents of your own hole are then distributed in a new lap starting in the next hole on your side. The following conditions must be met to effect a capture:
- As long as you have a non-empty hole in your innermost row, you may only capture from your innermost row. When your innermost row is empty you capture from your central row, if this row is also empty, you capture from your outermost row.
- You may only capture opponent's stones from his innermost row as long as there are still non-empty holes. If these holes are all empty you may capture stones from your opponent's central row. If this row is also empty you capture opponent's stones from his outermost row.
The game is played in a boustrophedon manner. The direction of play is either (see notation below) abcdefghijklmnopqrfedcbalkj or alkjihgrqponmabcdefgh.
Notation -------- a b c d e f l k j i h g m n o p q r M N O P Q R L K J I H G A B C D E F
Players are not permitted to pass a move.
The game ends when a player has no move. The player who moved last is declared winner.
A possible opening move:
From the inital position South plays B to the left...
and captures r and m.
To capture all opponent's stones of his front row
To deprive your opponent of any opportunity to capture in the next move so that you can capture twice in a row
The game is about breaking the balance.
- Voogt, A. J. de
- Distribution of Mancala Board Games: A Methodological Inquiry. In: Board Games Studies 1999; 2: 104-114.