Saturday, June 14, 2008


The Basics
Description: Anyone who knows a little about Reiner Knizia’s games will know that the good Doctor loves games that deal with trying to get points in various different categories and then only score that category in which the player has the fewest.

The game is played on a hex board. 120 equally sized pieces, each consisting of two joined hexes, come with the game. There are symbols on each hex that make up the piece – some pieces have two identical symbols, some have two different symbols (not unlike dominoes). The pieces go into a cloth bag so that they get drawn randomly. Each player receives six pieces to start the game, which are placed onto a rack and visible to them alone.

The goal of the game is, through clever placement, to obtain points in the different symbol colors. Points are claimed by placing a piece such that the symbols on it lie next to already-placed pieces with the same symbol. Pieces are placed onto any open spaces. So, for example, if a player places a piece with a purple circle on it such that it sits next to an unbroken line of four other purple circles already on the board, then the player scores four purple points. A newly placed symbol can lie next to at most five individual rows of symbols.

Each player uses a scoring track to keep track of his points – one track for each colour going from 1 to 18. If a player reaches the 18th space with any colour, then he gets to call out “Ingenious!” (or just think it if he’s not an extrovert) and take another turn. At the end of their turn, players draw as many tiles out of the bag as required to bring their rack back up to six.

The game ends when no more tiles can be placed onto the board or when a player reaches the 18th space in every color. Now each player looks to see how many points they scored in the colour they scored the fewest in. Whoever has the most points in their least-scored colour is the winner. Simple.

The author of the game has also come up with solitaire and team play, in which two teams of two play with each player not being able to see his partner’s tiles.

How to Play

Where to Play Online (I play the PC version)

Cheat Sheets (from the Geek)

Game HintsViews
  • Opinion: I really enjoy this game.
  • Online: Works fine online. If you search hard enough you can find free download of the PC game.
  • Work: Should be fine for lunch time play.
  • Home: Great game.

Other Info

  • Plays best with: Works fine with 1-4 players, best with 2.
  • Gateway Suitability: Very easy to learn, might take a few turns to get it.
  • Spouse Suitability: Chrissy like the tile placement aspect.
  • Re-playability: Very high.
  • Real Life Setup: A few minutes, just placing tiles in the bag, and grabbing pieces.
  • Real Life Time/Length: 45 minutes.
  • Geek Link:

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