|Saturday, 21 April 2007|
OK, for this game you will need the tarp to be set up like a graph with sixty-four equal squares. Divide your group into two teams, Team 1 and Team 2. It really does not matter how many players are on each team although about 4 to 12 works pretty well. For this game, each player will move on the board like a knight in the game of chess. So, before the game begins, the Group Leader needs to explain to the teams the way a knight can move. A knight can move one square forward or backwards and then two squares either left or right or two squares forward or backwards and then one square either left or right. So, the move looks like the letter “L”, although it may be upside down and backwards. If players are having trouble envisioning this move, the Group Leader could draw it on paper, or better yet, demonstrate it on the board and then have the players practice it. Once players have mastered the move the game is ready to begin.
Teams go to opposite sides and players can arrange themselves in any of the squares in the first three rows on their side. The object for each team is to make it off the other side of the board without being tagged or captured by a knight of the other team. The team with the first player to make it safely (without being tagged and captured by the other team) off the far side of the board is declared the winner. If no team makes it off the opposite side of the board, the team with the last knight left is declared the winner. The Group Leader decides which team goes first and let’s say, for instance, that Team 2 goes first. So a player from Team 2 makes a knight’s move. Then a player from Team 1 goes. And so on, back and forth. A knight from one team can capture a knight from another team in two ways. Number one, if a Team 2 (for example) knight lands in a Team 1 knight’s square, the knight from Team 1 is out of the game. Number two, if a Team 1 (for example) knight lands in a square next to a Team 2 knight and the Team 1 knight can tag (and still remain in the square) the Team 2 knight (not moving from the square either) then the Team 2 knight is considered captured and is out of the game. In this instance, the Team 2 knight cannot try to tag the Team 1 knight, only the Team 2 knight can be the tagger. Teams continue alternating turns capturing the other team’s knights if they land in occupied squares or tagging the other team’s knights if they land in adjacent squares.
Variation: In this version of the game, one or two people start at one end as the Black Knights, the rest are at the other end as the White Knights. Everyone does a three count- “Knight’s Move Tag!” and on each count (“knights”, “move”, “tag”) all the knights step according to one of the knight’s patterns and move in unison. At the end of the chant, everyone pauses for a moment and the Black Knights try to reach out and tag the White Knights. At this point, no knight, either white or black can move their feet. Tagged White Knights become Black Knights and therefore taggers. Round by round, more players will join the taggers, and the last moves will involve a single untagged player being trapped by everyone else. So by the end of the game, all players will be black knights. This game really has no winners or losers since the outcome is inevitable. It’s just a matter of how long the white knights can hold out. You could change the rules a bit (White Knights win the game if they make it to the other side without being tagged) to make the game more competitive.
If you allow any knight to tag any other knight at any time, assuming they are close enough to tag, during the game, the dynamics of the game will change dramatically. It becomes much more of a “free-for-all” as far as the tagging goes.
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