$10.00
Recommend
27 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

TZAAR» Forums » Reviews

Subject: TZAAR - the 7th GIPF rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mathijs Booden
Netherlands
Leiden
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
TZAAR » Forums » Reviews
TZAAR - the 7th GIPF
Yay, I got this game in Essen out of Kris Burm's own hands - number 393 out of 1000. No-one's written a review yet so here goes

TZAAR is the seventh game in the GIPF sextet of abstract games by Belgian designer Kris Burm, all of which share a hexagonal board, simple rules and endless depth. To keep the series at six, TZAAR replaces TAMSK - a game that uses hourglasses for pieces, which is neat but makes for fuzzy gameplay that was never widely appreciated among the hardcore GIPF following. One might expect some similarity between the two games, but those familiar with the series will note that TAMSK and TZAAR have nothing at all in common.

TZAAR plays on a 5-nodes-a-side hexagon, with the central node missing. On this board the players alternate placing one of their pieces until it is filled up, at which point play commences - just like in DVONN. This is where the similarities end however, and long-time DVONN players (I speak for myself) may have a hard time unhinging their mind from the DVONN-state. Players take turns making two moves each turn (except whites first turn: only one capture). The first move must be a capture, made in a straight line over any number of free spaces. The captured piece or stack must be smaller than or equal in height to the capturing piece or stack. Stacks come in in the second move: this may be another capture, a pass, or a jump onto one of one's own pieces or stacks to create a (bigger) stack. No height restrictions apply in this case. The first player who is unable to make a mandatory capture loses the game.
This alone would be enough of a game, but a twist further complicates matters. There are three types of pieces (tzaars, tzarras and totts) which are present in unequal amounts: 6 tzaars, 9 tzarras and 15 totts. At least one of each must be visible (ie not in a stack) on the board at all times. Should you lose one type, you lose the game as well.

My first game of TZAAR was quite bewildering as initially every piece is free to move and to capture anything - stacks and areas are very hard to protect and the game feels like a 'free for all'. Having played a few games however, some strategy is starting to emerge. As in DVONN, the playing pieces constitute the only fields where pieces can move and so the playing field shrinks with every move. Because pieces can move any number of spaces in a straight line, they will still be quite mobile even in the end game, but by moving pieces out of the way of important enemy stacks one can control to some extent where those stacks can go.
The stacking process itself brings some difficult decisions because small stacks are very vulnerable to other stacks nearby. It seem best to start your stacks in areas remote from enemy stacks, which is easy in early-game when the board is clogged with pieces, but becomes tricky (though sometimes very urgent) later in the game.

TZAAR fits in seamlessly with the other games in the series, much more so than TAMSK ever did. Whether it is possessed of the same genius as DVONN and YINSH (my personal favorites, anyway) only many more games can tell, but regardless, TZAAR is a worthy game to finally (?) round out this fantastic series.

NB: the prerelease copy of the game is not the final version in terms of material, e.g. the box is quite featureless and the paint on the pieces is of inferior quality. All of this will no doubt be improved on in the eventual release, so I make no comments on the cosmetic aspects.
4 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Cote
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Appeal to Reason wrote:
At least one of each must be visible (ie not in a stack) on the board at all times.

Is being on top of a stack considered visisble?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gwen
Belgium
oost-vlaanderen
flag msg tools
mb
ekted wrote:
Appeal to Reason wrote:
At least one of each must be visible (ie not in a stack) on the board at all times.

Is being on top of a stack considered visisble?


Yes.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Ben-Ezra
United States
Peoria
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Was there any mention of TZAAR potential rules? Or will they simply absorb the TAMSK potentials?

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Hulgan
United States
Roswell
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Appeal to Reason wrote:
...the box is quite featureless and the paint on the pieces is of inferior quality.


How bad is it? I'm seriously considering buying an Essen copy but if it's noticeably bad quaility I'll probably wiat until '08. I don't care anyhting about the lack of art on the box, just the quality of the game components.

Thanks!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Helen Payne
United Kingdom
Brighton
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
have a copy - it is pretty good actually, though not up to the others yet
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mathijs Booden
Netherlands
Leiden
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Well it's certainly not bad but the standard over the last few games in the series has been pretty high - DVONN, YINSH and PUNCT have beautifully illustrated boards and boxes as well as very nice playing pieces. Here te box and board are bland - just a plain sandy colour, as a nod to TAMSK I suppose. Maybe the evenual release will feature some desert imagery to stayin that theme. The silvery paint in the rings on the TZAAR pieces is plain ugly and it cracks up as well. I am tempted to take a good black marker pen to the white pieces, and maybe I'll think of something for the black pieces. Then again, I'm quite happy with my prerelease copy
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mathijs Booden
Netherlands
Leiden
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
No mention of those as far as know. TZAAR involves stacking, and I can hardly see room for another potential that involves stacking after the DVONN and PUNCT ones.. so perhaps it will just copy the rules for the TAMSK potential.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Marron
United States
Fullerton
California
flag msg tools
mb
GreatWolf wrote:
Was there any mention of TZAAR potential rules? Or will they simply absorb the TAMSK potentials?

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf


According to the official website:

"The TAMSK-potential will remain part of Project GIPF – say, in memory of TAMSK. To link TZAAR to GIPF, you use the TAMSK-potential."

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.