Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 21:13:19 +0100
From: Mike Smith (
Subject: Baou (sp?)

I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Eastern Africa where I rediscovered a love for board games. I bought a beautifully carved small table for playing a strategy game for two, played in many countries in Africa called (phonetically) 'Baou'.

The board layout is 4 rows of 8 bowls into each of which 2 playing pieces are placed. There is a larger bowl at each player's end of the board. Pieces are scooped from any starting position on each players 2 rows of 8 bowls and laid one at a time into adjacent bowls along that line. Attack is only possible on the player's front row. If the bowl opposite contains any of the other player's pieces they can be taken and play begins again from the beginning of the original row. If there are no pieces to take play continues. If the player's last piece lands in a vacant bowl his turn ends. The objective is to clear all the pieces from the other player's front row or to leave him no bowl on his side with two pieces with which to start.

The rules and design are simple but nevertheless make for an exciting game. Advantage sweeps quickly from one player to the other yet victory is surprising when it comes. I am getting hooked on this game and would like to learn the other variations I failed to learn by heart on my trip. I wonder whether you'd be able to help me with some information or adresses of web sites for devotees?

Apologies if you recently answered a similar query, I saw many travellers queueing at post offices to ship these beautiful tables home and will be glad to see more people playing this enjoyable game.

Thank you in anticipation of your or your contributor's help.

Mike Smith
Jersey, Channel Islands, UK.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell