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Subject: When push comes to shove, shove the other guy over the edge rss

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Lowell Kempf
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As time goes by, I find myself more and more interested in abstracts. I like how a simple rule set can form a complex decision tree and a lot of different decisions.

Oshi is a game about all about pushing. The object of the game is to push seven points worth of your opponent’s pieces off the board. This little war is played out on a 9x9 grid. Each player gets four one-tier pieces, two two-tier pieces and two three-tier pieces. Those tiers represent how far the pieces can move (orthogonally), how many pieces they can push and how much they are worth when they get pushed off the board. Players take turns moving one piece at a time, just like a lot of other games, until someone wins.

Simple rule set? Simple rule set. Oshi is a very easy game to teach. You can teach to strangers at the coffee shop or kids but probably not cats. At least, I haven’t had any success trying to get my cats to play Oshi.

The components are definitely on the nice end. The board itself is a block of wood, suitable for cutting vegetables if you really don’t like the game, and has the starting positions of the pieces marked on it, which reduces setup time to absolutely nothing. The pieces themselves come in white and red (oxblood, if you want to get particular) and are shaped like little pagodas. You will have no problems telling the three sizes apart.

Yes, you could make your own copy but the actual product is nice enough that owning it is fun.

So, Oshi has simple, intuitive rules and nice pieces. The real question is: Is it any fun? Is it worth playing?

I’d say the answer is yes. There are some abstracts, like Blokus or ZERTZ, that I think just about anyone would enjoy playing, even if the normally hate abstracts. Oshi isn’t one of them. However, if you even kind of like abstracts, then you’ll enjoy Oshi.

So what makes it fun? For me, the two defining factors for Oshi are space and offense.

A game I cannot help but compare Oshi to is Abalone. Both games are about pushing other pieces off the board. However, Abalone gives me a sense of almost claustrophobic restriction and a big part of Abalone (at least in my experience) is creating defensive structures.

In Oshi, I have a much greater sense of space. There are 81 spaces on the board and at least 75 of them are going to be empty at any given time. You are still forming patterns on the board but the empty space plays a much bigger part of them. It makes the game feel more dynamic.

It also feels like you spend a lot more time attacking your opponent than you do turtling up. Every time you push someone off the edge, that means you’re close to the edge so there can be a lot of back forth attacks and careful sacrifices.

Of course, more experienced players might tell me I completely wrong about that.

However, one thing I will hold out is that if you even vaguely think you’ll enjoy Oshi, you will.
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Robert Schultz
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I really want to like Oshi, but every game I've played has ended in a stalemate situation. If someone could offer a clever solution to this my opinion could be swayed.
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Russ Williams
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Gnomekin wrote:
In Oshi, I have a much greater sense of space. There are 81 spaces on the board and at least 75 of them are going to be empty at any given time.

81-16=65 not 75, yes?

Quote:
It also feels like you spend a lot more time attacking your opponent than you do turtling up. Every time you push someone off the edge, that means you’re close to the edge so there can be a lot of back forth attacks and careful sacrifices.

The same is true of Abalone, which does in practice seem to encourage turtling... what's different from Abalone in Oshi that discourages turtling?
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Hober Mallow
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robdnose wrote:
I really want to like Oshi, but every game I've played has ended in a stalemate situation. If someone could offer a clever solution to this my opinion could be swayed.


It never ended in stalemate for us.

I just play by not allowing the same reverse move thats just been played against you.

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