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Knut-Michael Wolf
Germany
Hamburg
Unspecified
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10
Aug 2004*
Owned
Antonio RM
Germany
Berlin
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9
Mar 2010
After releasing the already gorgeous Ta Yü, architect Niek Neuwahl showed the same knack for abstracts both austere and attractive with the strategy-heavier 1Stein+Co, an area occupation game using orthorhombic blocks that is ever so slightly reminiscent of Go.

Neither as deep nor as difficult to master, this is even easier to learn: in each turn a block must be placed contacting another block, but with a different height unless some portion of board is enclosed. Although this easy mechanism is actually a bit restrictive as far as the development of a game is concerned, 1Stein+Co is gripping from the first play, and it only gets better from there.

The reedition as Le Bloq dispenses of the pretty wooden components for plastic ones, but the pieces and board are actually an improvement - the pieces fit in the board, and they remain stable throughout the game.
2010-01-18
Owned
Korbinian Heinzeller
Germany
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9
Jun 2012
Owned
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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8
Jul 2005*
Jürgen Aden
Germany
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8
Aug 2007*
Owned
Big Woo
Scotland
state:
running out of space...
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8
Oct 2007*
Wooden abstract games easily appeal to us, and combined with the welcome that both "Aztec" and especially "Ta Yu" got in this household, this offering by mister Neuwahl was eagerly awaited from the moment I found out about it.

There is nothing new about an abstract game where players try to enclose the largest territory by placing their pieces, and initially I was a bit sceptical if I would actually like this one as much as the others by Niek. The board looked a bit small and fiddly, especially compared to the size of the wooden blocks, making me wonder how much replay we would get out of it.

Until the sheer brilliance of this area capture variation hit home. A lot of its originality comes from the fairly chunky pieces that you use to create this territory. Not only can they be deployed in 3 different ways (as its length, width and height are all of different length), the clever twist is that the dimension plays another crucial part: placement is restricted by the deployment of the pieces around it, as you cannot place a piece so that it touches a piece of equal height.

What emerges is half an hour of rich and challenging tactical play. Even with 3 players it turned out to be highly enjoyable, although it shines as a 2 player game.And where most other territorial capture games quickly became predictable and follow well trodden paths ("Go" being an obvious exception), this one offered far more (and better) strategies than we realised on first play. Simple "cause and effect" that characterised our opening match has all but disappeared and players seem to spot increasingly intriguing alternatives to the more obvious direct enclosures. Like "Go" and "Twixt", finding the right balance between attack and defence is crucial. Likewise, when staring a seemingly beaten situation in the face, look outside the immediate area for a counter move, as it frequently exists on the other side of the board, changing the problem situation when you manage to snake support pieces back into the mix.

The only downside is that at times it can be hard to get a good view of the grid on a cluttered board; it's too easy to miss essential moves if you don't have a good downward view. But that's easily forgiven as the game is too good to let that minor quibble in the way of the fun it offers, and one that a Lazy Susan can easily fix. I can see this last for quite a while yet. Well impressed.
2007-10-14*
Owned
Steve Ramsden
United Kingdom
Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
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8
Oct 2007*
Owned
François Haffner
France
Sologny
Saône-et-Loire - Bourgogne
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8
Oct 2008*
Owned
Thomas Stahlie
Austria
Mödling
Niederösterreich
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7.7
Aug 2012
Owned
Guenter Cornett
Germany
Berlin
Unspecified
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7
May 2004*
Harald Ewald
Germany
Mönchengladbach
Unspecified
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7
Jun 2005*
Annette Reuter
Germany
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7
Jul 2006*
Owned
Frank Rudloff
Germany
Essen
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7
Jul 2009*
Owned
richard glanzer
United States
New York
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7
Sep 2009*
Ingo Kasprzak
Germany
Castrop-Rauxel
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7
Jun 2009*
Owned
Larry Chong
United States
Kendall Park
New Jersey
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7
Jul 2009*
Simple abstract to learn and has interesting gameplay. I would have liked this much, much more if there were different board versions available (like Rumis) to provide more variability and higher re-playability.
2009-07-26
Detlef Dölling
Germany
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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7
May 2010
Owned
Andreas Hellwig
Germany
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7
Feb 2011
Owned
F. D. Williams
Germany
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7
Sep 2012
Owned
John Farrell
Australia
Aspley
Queensland
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Averagely Inadequate
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Buster Keaton from 'Go West'
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7
Feb 2013
I love the bits, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of depth to the game. At least it's quick.
2013-02-18
Prev. Owned
Pia Lemberger
Austria
Vienna
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7
Feb 2014
Randy Schmucker
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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7
Mar 2013
Owned
Harald Mücke
Germany
Mönchengladbach
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7
Apr 2013
Owned
Bart Roelofsma
Netherlands
Almere
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7
Aug 2013
Owned
Deb J
United States
Westport
Connecticut
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7
Feb 2015
Le Bloq version - and that version is a very good implementation of the original idea. The small cubes look cool (most important), make it easy to count spaces, and physically align by fitting on to the board.
Game itself takes less than 30 mins. To some extent it's a combination of spotting opportunities, thinking ahead, and capitalizing on any of your opponent's missed opportunities. Nice abstract with just great quality pieces. (The blocks are solid.)
2015-02-09
Owned

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