During Khet, your pharaoh-attack scenario will play out on a game board comprised of 80 squares. Each player controls a sphinx permanently positioned at a diagonally opposed corner of the board; the sphinxes are outfitted with red Class II lasers, which are similar to the low-power laser pointers used in classroom demonstrations.
The most recent version of the game, Khet 2.0, contains red and silver game pieces. Previous versions of Khet used gold and silver pieces, but players complained that the colors were difficult to distinguish in low light [source: Peterson]. The 13 pieces for each player, and their strengths or weaknesses, include:
- Pyramid (7). Each pyramid has one mirrored side. If struck by a laser on its non-mirrored side, a pyramid must be removed from the game.
- Anubis (2). The Anubis acts as a bodyguard for your pharaoh. It is impervious to laser strikes from the front. However, the Anubis has an Achilles heel. It can be eliminated when struck on its side.
- Scarab (2). Because both sides of the scarab are mirrored, it can't be removed from the game by a penetrating laser. (In earlier versions of the game, scarabs were known as djeds.)
- Pharaoh (1). Your pharaoh must be protected. You will lose the game if a laser hits your pharaoh, regardless of whether you or your opponent fired the beam.
- Sphinx (1). Your sphinx can't be removed from the game. It shoots a laser from its permanent position in a corner of the board, and can rotate 90-degrees to the left or right. A button along the side of the game activates the laser.
All pieces, except sphinxes, can be rotated, or moved horizontally, vertically or diagonally to occupy an open square. In addition, a scarab can switch places with a pyramid or Anubis of either color, as long as it's in an adjacent square.
Once you understand the function of each piece, it's time to place them on the board. Khet's official rulebook offers a recommended setup for novices. Players who are familiar with the game can easily create custom start-game scenarios all their own.