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Create Patterns, Jump Exactly Two Tokens, and Flick a Foe to Their Doom

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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In December 2020, I wrote about five games from German publisher Clemens Gerhards, which tends to release perfect information, abstract strategy games created out of hardwood, and now it's time to revisit the company to see what they've released in the meantime. I would prefer to see the games firsthand, of course, given my interest in this style of design, but I wasn't at SPIEL '21 and neither was Clemens Gerhards, so here we are.

• First, let's look at the two-player game Peak from Andreas Kuhnekath, who has previously created the fabulous games Kulami and Rukuni:
When you move in Peak, you must always jump over TWO playing pieces. These pieces may lie on the board on top of one another, next to one another, or with a distance between them — all options are possible, but you must jump over exactly TWO pieces, not more, not less. Unoccupied spaces are ignored; you can jump over them or use them as destination spaces. If the chosen destination space already contains a playing piece, you stack the new piece on top.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

At the end of the game, the piece on top of a tower determines who scores for this tower; each playing piece is worth one point. The player who stacks best and is thus able to claim the most pieces wins.
Hmm...that's it? Seems so very simple that I can't imagine what it would be like to play it, which mirrors this comment from user getareaction, who is the sole person to have commented on the BGG page to date: "First impression: aesthetically wonderful, beautifully simple rules, interesting decision space, not immediately obvious how to play well. I like it." Sounds like something to explore!

• Designer Sascha Schauf has had two games with Clemens Gerhards previously — Disci and Raupenrallye — and is now back with the 2-4 player game Cube, which plays like this:
In Cube, players try to recreate the color combinations of their task cards on the game board. Whoever first fulfills the required number of cards wins.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

The situation on the game board changes with every turn. The active player can choose to either place a blindly-drawn wooden cube on the board or to move an already-placed cube to a different space.

A ball recessed at the bottom of the game board makes it easy to rotate the board in all directions, and the different perspectives — from above or from one of the four sides — allow for multiple possibilities of fulfilling a task card for all players, whether it's their turn or not. If the cubes on the game board lie on different levels or in different rows, the viewing direction is crucial. Cubes hidden from view don't count.
Habt 8 from Lilly Schauf works similar to Cube, but it's solely for two players in a two-dimensional playing space, with white joker blocks that can serve as any color while players race to be the first to complete eight task cards.

Board Game: Habt 8

Diggrie is a two-player game from Tobias Grad, who in 2018 published Abstrakte Brettspiele, which describes fifty traditional and modern abstract strategy games that can be played on either a checker board or a 5x5 board, one of which was Grad's game Diggrie.

Gameplay details are scant, which is unfortunate since the details of play matter much more when the rules are at a bare minimum. Anyway, here's what I have for now:
Diggrie is a two-player game played on a 5x5 grid, with each player having five flat discs and one taller king disc in their color.

Board Game: Diggrie

To win, you must create in your color a row of four pieces or a square of pieces. You can move over unoccupied spaces; jumping is not allowed. The game includes three variants, and if you include the king piece in play, it needs to be part of the winning row or square.
• Let's close with Schnipp & weg! (Snap and away!), a two-player design from Dieter Zander that first appeared in the early 2010s under the name Kosakenschubsen through his own company, Historische Spiele Zander.

The design is supposedly based on an old Russian folk game, which is what the original name of Kosakenschubsen references: jostling cossacks or cossack pushing. As for how you play, here's an overview:
Schnipp & weg! is a flicking game for two players that's played on a game board shaped like an hourglass.

Each player starts on one end of the board with nine pieces of their own color. On a turn, you flick one of your pieces at one or more of the opponent's pieces, and if you manage to knock at least one opposing piece from the board while not flying off yourself, you take another turn; otherwise, the opponent takes their turn.

Board Game: Schnipp & weg!

If you manage to remove all of the opposing pieces, you start the game again, but with you now having eight pieces instead of nine and with those pieces being one level closer to the center of the game board. Each round that you win, you start with one fewer piece and one level closer to the center. If you win a round after starting on the fifth row with only five pieces, then you win the game.
Clemens Gerhards has released the game with red and white tokens and with brown and natural tokens, but I've seen only the red and white version for sale in the U.S. (I include that link only because I've already ordered my own copy and am no longer at risk of the company selling out before mine is on the way.)
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