By Chuck Gaydos

There are also Three Player Rules, courtesy of Dethwing


There are Tag Team Rules, courtesy of Shado-kei.

This is a two player game similar to Rock, Scissors, Paper; you'll do well if you can guess what your opponent will do. The game can last for several rounds, so you'll have time to detect patterns in your opponent's player and take advantage of them, maybe.

Each player represents a Ninja warrior with 25 strength at the beginning of the game. On each round the players simultaneously tell the referee how much strength to use in an attack on the other player. The strength used is permanently gone from the game. You can't use more strength than you have left and you don't have to use any if you don't want to. If one player uses more strength than the other, the player using the lesser amount must use three more to roll away from the attack. The first player who loses a round and doesn't have three strength left loses the game. If both players reach zero strength at the same time then the game is a draw.

Sample game:

  1. Player A uses 3, player B uses 2.
    Player B loses the round and 3 more strength for a total of 5.
    Strength remaining: A=22, B=20
  2. Player A uses 3, player B uses 4.
    Player A loses the round and 3 more strength for a total of 6.
    Strength remaining: A=16, B=16
  3. Player A uses 5, player B anticipates this and uses 0.
    Player B loses the round and 3 strength for a total of 3.
    Strength remaining: A=11, B=13
  4. Player A uses 0, player B uses 2.
    Player A loses the round and 3 strength for a total of 3.
    Strength remaining: A=8, B=11
  5. Player A uses 1, player B uses 1.
    Strength remaining: A=7, B=10
  6. Player A uses 2, player B uses 1.
    Player B loses the round and 3 more strength for a total of 4.
    Strength remaining: A=5, B=6
  7. Player A uses 3, player B uses 3.
    Strength remaining; A=2, B=3.
  8. Player A uses 1, player B uses 3.
    Player A loses the round and can't pay the 3 extra strength.
    Player B wins.
The obvious strategy here is to win each round by a little or lose it by a lot. If you can detect a pattern in your opponent's play you can take advantage of it. Of course, your opponent might be setting you up for a sudden change of strategy.

For face-to-face play a referee isn't needed. Players can use pennies or Risk pieces for strength, hide the amount to use in a fist, and open them simultaneously. Kids can drag out their worthless pog collections and use those.

As a variant, each player must choose a number from 0 to 5 and is not allowed to use that amount of strength during the game. If you can determine what number your opponent can't use, you can use that information to your advantage. Each player starts with 50 strength in this version.

Three Player Rules

Standard rules apply, except:
In the three player variant, each player starts with 50 strength instead of 25. Each player still chooses one number per round and loses that much strength. Extra strength loss is resolved as follows: Unless agreed to before the game begins, negotiations between players are not allowed.

After one player is eliminated the two player rules are used for the rest of the game.

Tag Team Ninja Combat, by Shado-kei.

In tag team ninja, one member of each team fights each round, tagging each other in whenever they feel it is to their benefit. The only addition is that each team member not fighting a round gets 1 energy back while they are out. Here is a sample game, Shado-kei & Mouko vs. Ryoushi & Chuck.
S-K    Mouko   Ryoushi  Chuck 
25     25(in)  25(in)   25 
        4       3(6)  
25(in) 21      19       25(in) 
 1                       1 
24(in) 22      20       24(in) 
 0                       0
24(in) 23      21       24(in) 
 0(3)                    3 
21     24(in)  22(in)   21 
        3(6)    5  
22     18(in)  17(in)   22 
        0(3)    3  
23     15(in)  14(in)   23 
        2       0(3)  
24     13(in)  11(in)   24 
        0       0  
25     13(in)  11(in)   25 
        3       2(5)  
25(in) 10       6       25(in) 
 2                       0(3) 
23(in) 11       7       22(in)
 1(4)                    3 
19(in) 12       8       19(in) 
 4                       4 
15(in) 13       9       15(in) 
 2                       0(3) 
13(in) 14      10       12(in)
 0(3)                    2 
10(in) 15      11       10(in) 
 0                       0 
10     16(in)  12       10(in) 
        5                5 
11     11(in)  13(in)    5 
        2       0(3)  
12      9(in)  10(in)    6 
        0(3)    4  
13      6(in)   6(in)    7 
        3       3  
14(in)  3       3        8(in) 
 0(3)                    5 
11      4(in)   4        3(in) 
        3                1(4) 
12(in)  1       5(in)    DEAD 
 0(3)           5  
 9      2       0        DEAD
Shado-kei & Mouko win with 9 and 2 strength remaining.