Patolli is an historical race game from Mesoamerica. There are slight variations in the board layout, but in general it is a circular course folded into a cross shape. The 2 players start on adverse sides with 6 "men" markers. Additionally the players have an equal amount of "treasures" and the game ends, when one player has lost all of those. Which means that it might be necessary to play multiple rounds.
You can build a small Patolli board by utilizing the divided fields on each tile and moving up and down each arm of the cross in counter clockwise direction.
- Middle: A wheel tile
- Add a cross arm on each side: neutral, crossed hammers, neutral.
- At the outer edge you can place a yellow marker between the two outermost fields
- To make the start and ending fields clearly visible: Place two cards with their black and white side pointing to the end field in the middle (see photo). Actually the starting field is +1 field CCW from the end on the left arm of the cross (but you can as well start in the middle for clarity's sake). The end has to be hit with a precise dice roll.
- 2 x 6 cubes as player markers
- 2x 10 cubes as treasures. They can have random colors, but if you don't have the Meeple Mini Expansion you need to define all 4 colors for edge-marker (preferably yellow), 2x player colors and one treasure color.
- Optionally: You can also place one tile as a "sacrificial stone" where all the lost treasures are stored... Alternatively you can play by giving lost treasures to the opponent (this would prolong the game since each player has more chances to lose and gain treasures again...)
Patolli was played with 5 beans that were marked on one side (5x d2) where one side counts "0" and one side counts "1". Which means the players can roll: 0,1,2,3,4,5, but the chances are not equal for each number. If you don't happen to have beans lying around:
- The easiest way is to use coins
- Alternatively get an App that allows to customize dice
- You could also use a six sided dice and count 6 as 0, but the probabilities would be different.
- You can also utilize the cards by using 5 cards with one point and 5 cards with two points, shuffle, draw 5, count the cards with 2 points. However, the probabilities would be different here, too...
Landing on Special fields
- Middle: 4 fields, It is allowed to capture enemy markers here, it is returned to the opponents queue and she has to give one treasure to the player. On all other fields it is not allowed to beat an opponents marker and that field is blocked
- Crossed Hammers: 4 fields on each arm of the cross, If a player's marker lands on this field she has to give one treasure to the opponent/storage
- Outer fields: 2 on each cross arm: Roll again, another turn.