Das Letzte Kamel (The Last Camel)
An unusual race from the 1001 nights for 2-6 players aged 8 or over
by Tom Schoeps.
The story of the race for the beautiful Suleika.
Once upon a time there was a rich and powerful Caliph, who wished
that his beautiful daughter should be married. Suleika was loved by
the sons of all the most powerful and richest tribal leaders. The
Caliph summoned them all to his presence, and announced that his
daughter should marry the winner of a very unusual camel race. The
strange feature of this race was that the winner would be the rider
whose camel was the last to reach the finishing line. On the day of
the race, all the suitors mounted their camels. They set off, but no
one was prepared to take a lead, and all the camels stood motionless on
the track, it was no sort of race at all. Then a wise man of the desert
appeared, and asked the riders what they were doing. They explained to him their
love for Suleika, and what sort of a race the Caliph had decided on. The wise
man thought for a moment, and then spoke one short phrase. Like lightning,
the riders sprang from their camels, and in moments the race was on in earnest.
So, what was the phrase that the wise man spoke? Quite simply, "Change camels."
- 1 game board
- 6 Camels
- 6 Camel owner cards
- 2 coloured dice
Goal of Game
In memory of this unusual race from the 1001 Nights,
this game was invented, and in the game too, the winner is the owner
of the slowest camel, the camel which is the last to reach the
finish. That means, the player who is best at moving the other
There are 6 camels and 6 camel-owner cards, one per
camel. The cards show the 6 different colour combinations of the
camels saddles. The owner cards are dealt, as per the following
rules, face down to the players who examine them secretly. Now each
player knows which camel they own.
With 6 Players
All 6 cards are shuffled and one dealt to each
player. All 6 camels are placed on the starting line.
With 4 or 5 players
All 6 cards are shuffled one card is dealt to
each player and the cards left over are placed face down to one side.
All 6 camels are placed on the start line.
With 2 or 3 players
The red/yellow and the blue/green owner cards
are put to one side along with the corresponding camels. The 4
remaining cards are shuffled and one dealt to each player. Excess
cards are placed face down to one side. The 4 camels are put on the start line.
The first player to roll a gold star on the dice begins
the game. Play continues in a clockwise direction.
Movement with the Dice
The player on turn rolls both dice and
moves one or two camels forward according to the colours shown. If
both dice show the same colour then either one or two camels can be
The colours Red, Yellow, Green and Blue mean that a camel with a
saddle of that colour may be moved one space forwards. Example, a
player rolls red and green: This means that the player may move two
camels one space forward, one a camel with red on its saddle and one
a camel with green, OR, the player may move the camel with the
red/green saddle twice, one space forward and then a further space.
The Gold star allows the player to move any camel one space forward.
The Black start allows the player to move any camel one space
backwards. Players may not move camels backwards from oasis squares
or from the start space.
If a camel moves as a result of the dice roll onto
a space where one or more camels are already standing then it moves
forward again, by as many spaces as there are camels on the first
space. It is important to remember that each dice move is separate
and may lead to a camel jump. It is therefore possible for a turn to
comprise up to four phases:
- First dice roll
- Subsequent camel jump
- Second dice move
- Subsequent camel jump
If a camel moves as a result of a camel jump onto an already
occupied space, then it gets no further camel jumps. Backwards
movement with the black star does not cause a camel jump either
backwards or forwards.
The three spaces with the Palms are Oases where the faster
camels take a rest. Players who wish to move a camel forwards from
an oasis, or who wish to cross it with a cameljump must first ensure
- If a camel is on the preceding oasis, or has not yet reached it, then the first camel must remain where he is, or break off his cameljump on the oasis.
- The camel may only move on when the previous oasis has been passed by all camels.
- If a dice roll only involves colours of camels which may not move forward then the dice rolls are ignored and the next player takes their turn.
All players continue to roll the dice until all camels have
reached the finish. If some colours can no longer be moved forwards,
because all the camels of this colour have finished, then the dice
roll is ignored. It is possible that a player may be forced to move
his own camel and so cut his own throat. Once all camels have
reached the finish, all players turn over their owner cards and
so show who has won.
The winner is the owner of the last camel to reach the
finish. In games with 2-5 players it is possible for the last camel
to be one without an owner. In this case, all the players have
lost, and had better play another round as soon as possible.
Every player should try to keep his camel as far back in the race as possible and
to move the other camels forward as far as possible. But one shouldn't make it
too obvious which camel you own, keep the other players guessing. Players should
also try to organise the order of their moves to their maximum advantage.
This translation John Webley.
Distributed from The Rules Bank by Mike Siggins
The Game Cabinet
- Ken Tidwell