Chief EGG Head
Talat from Bruce Whitehill was released by HUCH! & friends this year. It was originally released as Drei. Talat is a bit unusual in that it is designed for 3 players. It can be played by two but I haven't tried it yet. Talat is a nice looking game with 3 boards with 5x5 grids. Each player has 9 pieces/towers (they are black, white and speckled). The pieces are 3 sizes - big, medium and small and 3 shapes - triangles, squares and hexes. Talat is a game of hierarchies where the weakest piece can capture the strongest piece completing the cycle.
Originally posted in my blog
Game play is a bit more involved here. Each player has two boards in front of them. The boards are 5x5 grids with player colors located on one side and opponent's color on the other. Players take turns placing one of their towers on their home color of one of the two boards.
Players may then move or capture on one of the boards on their turn. Towers move either 1 space ahead vertically or diagonally. You may not move backwards. To capture another player's piece you most be either adjacent horizontally, or vertically or diagonally ahead. In addition the rules of the hierarchy must e followed. Big pieces may capture medium towers and medium may capture small. If pieces are the same size, pieces with more sides top the hierarchy, in other words, hex beats square, square beats triangle. The small triangle can capture the big hex tower. Captured pieces score 5 points.
You can also earn 3 points by moving your towers to the opponent's side of the board to their colored area.
The game ends when two of the three player boards are "frozen" meaning it is not possible for any more pieces to be captured.
As a three player game, Talat provides an interesting challenge. You have to balance your moves over the two boards, sometimes sacrificing a move on one side to make gains on the other. At times, one player may feel "ganged up" on if both other players are making moves against them. I think 3 player abstracts are difficult to balance but I think Talat does a reasonable job.