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Subject: my first impression rss

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Andrea Ligabue
Italy
Modena
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Here is my first impression originally posted on the great Rick's www.boardgamenews.com

I hope it could be useful for you, it is not a full review but just a first impression.

Game Played: Final Version Prototype
Number of Plays: 2 - Invasion Version with 3 players.

Esagek is an abstract game that is reminicient of Chinese Chekers. My first impression is based only on the Invasion game, but you can play Esagek in many different ways, with different rules. I think we have to think of Esagek more as a more of a special tricky chessboard than as a standalone game. The chessboard is made with 7 rotating hexes: one central and six all around it. Every hex is divided in 6 triangular boxes.

In the Invasion game, for 2 to 6 players, you start the game with 6 pawns in one of the six external hexes and to win you have to put 3 of your pawns in the central hex.

You move your pawns from a triangular box to another one across the sides. Instead of moving you can just rotate 60 degrees one hex that contains at least one of your pawns. You are not allowed to rotate an hex that was just rotated by another player. To capture an enemy pawn it must be in an adiacent (side by side) triangular box and you just have to jump over it finishing in the empty opposite triangular box (the one that touches the corner opposite to the side you come form). Like in checkers you can capture more than one enemy pawn just making a series of combined regular jumps. You are not limited in moving just ahead - you can go in any direction. As soon as you lose your 4th pawn you are out of the game but your pawns stay on the board. The first player whose 3rd pawn is in the central hex or the last one having at least three pawns on the board is the winner.

The way you capture enemy pawns is not immediate (since you usually are not allowed to move along the corners but just only along the sides) and what’s also very nice is that the capture movement is not symmetric (so you can just reach a triangular box by capturing an enemy pawn but you are not allowed to go back in the box occupied by the enemy pawn in the following movement).

The two games I have played has been fun. I’m not really attracted to abstract games but the Esagek board is very nice and having the possibility to rotate the hexes instead of moving pawns really opens a lot of new strategies and possibilities not usually allowed in other chessboard games. I think it could be a nice game for people that like abstract games and also the great number of variants could improve the game’s longevity.

Good play!
Liga
 
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