"Ashta Chamma" is a board game of India, played during the era of kings. This game was used to improve eye-to-eye coordination, and to teach teenagers war tactics and strategy.
The movement of coins is controlled by throw of 4 cowry shells (Dice), hence it is a game of chance. "Ashta Chamma" is primarily a game of chance, but involves thinking and planning. It also helps in developing counting skills. It is an interesting and amusing way to develop strategy skills.
The game is similar but not same as Ludo.
How To Play:
The tokens enter the board, only after a One or Ashta is thrown. The tokens travel anti-clockwise in outer squares, clockwise in inner squares and finally lands up in central square (home). If a player's token lands on a square occupied by opponent's token, then the opponent's token is "killed" and the player gets an extra turn to play. The killed token returns to its starting home square and has to go round all over again. In boxes with pictures, killing is not possible. When a token reaches the square left of its home square, it further moves up into the inner squares and now moves in clockwise direction. However the tokens enter the inner squares, only when at least one of the opponent's tokens are killed. Otherwise they keep circling around until at least one of the tokens of opponent is killed by them. Every token need not kill an opponent. Each token finishes its race when it manages to get into the home. The first player to get all his tokens into home wins the game.
Whenever a Chamma or a Ashta (4 or 8) is obtained during a throw of cowry shells, the player gets a bonus turn to throw the cowries. When a player cuts an opponent's token, he gets an extra turn to play. During an extra turn, either the same token or some other token can be played. If a player throws either a Chamma or a Ashta three times consecutively during his turn, he is out, and cannot use any of the moves. If a player has cut once, all the coins can move into the inner circle, not necessary for every coin to cut opponent. When most of the tokens are dead, it is possible to bring back the dead tokens.
Cowries and their values:
3 as it is, 1 inverted - Move 1 square.
2 as it is, 2 inverted - Move 2 squares.
3 inverted, 1 as it is - Move 3 squares.
4 inverted Chamma - Move 4 squares.
4 as it is Ashta - Move 8 squares.