Fel Barros
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Hi,

I'm a retired seasoned backgammon player and always fond of abstracts in general. I felt in love the time I saw the gipf series but due to customs/money restraints (a gipf game would cost like 140 bucks here , at least) , I kept it at bay.

Now , I finally decided to buy as I found a retired chess player to play against me. I read some articles and reviews about all the expansions and how the game can blend together, but it's still a bit clouded to me:

All the 7 games (one of them has been removed from the series but it's still a standalone game, right?) can blend together to make a "ultimate" gipf, however, in order for that to happen, I'd need the "gipft project 1,2 and 3. Is that all?

Also, what order should I follow ? I am planning on starting with gipf for being the first in the series. What from there? The games scales in complexity?

Thanks in advance for solving my issues and a "gipf>tzaar>zertz>dvoon" kind of path will be much appreciated

Thanks,

Fel
 
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David Molnar
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You don't have to start with Gipf. Everyone has their favorite, but Gipf is certainly not the most interesting of the bunch. Each of the other games can be combined with Gipf, alone or together, using "potentials", which are the extra pieces and rules that come in the set 1/ set 2/ set 3.
Set 1 contains potentials for tamsk, so only buy if you have both Gipf and Tamsk.
Set 2 has potentials for Zertz and Dvonn, so would allow you to combine one or both games with Gipf.
Set 3 has potentials for Yinsh and Punct.
There are no potentials for Tzaar yet.
The vast majority of fans of these games enjoy them each separately without potentials. I have had the potentials for years and never used them, and I'm not the only one.
All of the games except for Tamsk can be played online against robots at boardspace.net. Get an account and see which one(s) you like before making that kind of investment.
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Jeroen Harkes
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I depends a bit on what your goal is.

If your goal is to play ultimate gipf. You must learn to play gipf very god, because that is the base game you play. If in gipf you manage to get your potential in the right place, then you can play another game to see if you can use your potential (win) or not (lose). This other game doesn't have to be another project gipf game, you could just as easily roll a dice.

If your goal is to play fun abstracts the order doesn't matter, just what appeals to you most.

Tamsk is by no mean required in any scenario. There are only 5 potentials, so you can't include all 6 games in a gipf game, unless you make some yourself. I think it is quite fun, and I am happy to own it, but wouldn't spend a premium to buy an out-of-print copy.

Yinsh is the most aproachable, and easy to teach.


You wanted a path, well here would be mine:

Yinsh, Tzaar, Gipf, Dvonn, Punct, Zertz and Tamsk
 
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Todd Redden
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Ultimate GIPF has no barriers. You can vector potentials towards the play of ANY GAME, not just GIPF series. To me, the GIPF games are tight and succinct - I prefer to play them as is. I've had all the potentials for many years and have yet to use one, though I've played all the GIPF games MANY TIMES. I like ZERTZ, TZAAR and DVONN best in that order bacause the victory conditions accelerate towards game end. In other words, the universe shrinks and it becomes increasingly difficult to hold off victory with each next move. It seems the same should hold true for PUNCT as well, but in my experiences that game seems to take too long. The other games in the series can go on FOREVER with strong players. In GIPF, YINSH and PUNCT, the universe becomes reorganized rather than shrunken. YINSH is the one I've played the least. I never really liked Tamsk and was glad it was removed from the series.
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Don Eskridge
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This post will be similar to those is follows. I own all the games except Tzaar (yet if I could find an original style copy I would jump on it). I also own all three potential expansions. However, GIPF is almost certainly my least played of the series and I have never played the game with more than just a couple potentials. Before embarking on that quest, I very highly recommend playing GIPF online. Only try to go for 'ultimate gipf' if you are among the very small minority who really seriously love it. Remember that the potentials will *not* change the game enough to make you like it if at first you don't.

My recommendation to you, if you like abstracts, is to simply enjoy the games as unique masterpieces. You enjoy backgammon, which is both fast paced and often uncertain of outcome up until the end. For these reasons I'd recommend Dvonn as your first game. It's pretty much the same: exciting, jumpy, interactive, yet still full of strategy. For your chess friend, I recommend Punct as it's one of my favorites, but GIPF would probably work as well. Yinsh or Tzaar would be good compromises. Hmm, lemme reorganize, in order from backgammon to chess.

Backgammon-Dvonn-Tzaar-Zertz---Yinsh-Punct-Gipf-Chess

I'd say that about right, considering length, complexity, and excitement between the games, in my humble opinion anyway. Let me know if you'd like any more info on the games. Enjoy!

Don
 
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Jim Temple
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Quote:
There are no potentials for Tzaar yet.

And there won't be, according to the official GIPF site. In Jan 2008, Kris Burm said:

Quote:
Will there be a TZAAR-potential?
No. The TAMSK-potential will remain part of Project GIPF -- say, in memory of TAMSK. To link TZAAR to GIPF, you use the TAMSK-potential.


Here's the link for that quote:
http://www.gipf.com/editorial.html
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Fel Barros
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Well,

Thanks for all the replies..

I've settled for Zértz first as I really like the "cool look". I teach, so I need something who will caught students attention to play it and marbles will do the job, I am pretty sure.

From all the games, the one that I am pretty unsure about is Tamsk. Real time stuff usually don't appeal to me.

Once again, thanks for the feedback and specially the paths, they were really useful

 
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David Molnar
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FakeDutch wrote:
I've settled for Zértz first as I really like the "cool look". I teach, so I need something who will caught students attention to play it and marbles will do the job, I am pretty sure.


I agree with this, from experience. It is also a great game to take to the pub. (Well, to the right pub.)
 
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Todd Redden
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FakeDutch wrote:

I've settled for Zértz first as I really like the "cool look". I teach, so I need something who will caught students attention to play it and marbles will do the job, I am pretty sure.

I'm glad, you should really get a lot out of Zertz (my personal favorite Gipf game.) The dual victory conditions of capturing (as in checkers) 3, 4, or 5 of relatively available pieces, or 2 of each - while interjecting the capture of all pieces sitting on separated islands - as the board shrinks by removing board pieces with every play that doesn't involve a capture - really gets my attention as a gamer. As for abstract strategy, it is a game where you will find (and have to defend against) forced wins several moves deep (very like Quarto, another favorite, in that regard.)

Because play is quick and the board shrinks, you can get in many games in a short time frame. One thing I remember about backgammon was that once we started we were likely to play many games (sometimes 20, and once as many as 50 in a row) non-stop. I think you'll find the same desire for rapid and repeated plays with Zertz.
 
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Robert
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Note that there is no requirement to play additional games to use the "potentials" -- nothing wrong with just using them as additional elements in Gipf. Personally, I find this idea of interrupting an abstract to go play a completely separate game that has no actual connection to the main game (other than your intended move will be canceled unless you win) to be quite obnoxious. It doesn't link the games, it just makes one a nuisance and the other tedious. It's not like there is any connection from the main game to the potential-challenge game. The very idea that your move *may* just get canceled feels unwelcome to me in abstracts.

Also, strictly speaking, you could even change the designer's rules and make potentials more continuous elements in Gipf. Eg, don't require people to play their potentials before they bring in their first basic piece, or even allow players to reuse potentials, or draw from a pool. It's an interesting game, but don't be confined by it.

Since you are buying the games at rather extreme costs, I'd also like to note that the Yinsh board is sufficiently large to play Gipf, Dvonn, and Tzaar, and if you have Gipf, the 3 Gipf sets, and the additional Tamsk potentials that came with Tamsk (or an extra of any of the Gipf sets -- #2 and #3 have two potentials each instead of #1's one), you have enough distinct pieces to play Tzaar and Dvonn (use the pieces with furrows in the outside edge for the red Dvonn pieces, so you can see them in a stack). You could probably come up with additional interesting games from those pieces -- I'm surprised there aren't more variants and game-system types of posts.

Personally, I like Yinsh the best so far, followed by Gipf, which I am still very new at. Dvonn and Tzaar are both very fixed games: I enjoy the shifting board situations more than the inexorable narrowing. I passed on Zertz since it goes even more that way. Tamsk is cute but ultimately the sand timers are uneven and the game itself is very simplistic. "Time pressure" is not much of a strategic element to make up for that.

I still don't really get connect-opposite-sides games like Punct, but it doesn't have that fixed/narrowing element, so it might end up in the better half for me, although it seems unlikely to overtake Gipf or Yinsh.
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