Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » OLD BGGBlogs (do not use)

Subject: Session Report: January 15, 2005 (Gipf Project) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Joe Gola
United States
Redding
Connecticut
flag msg tools
badge
and everything under the sun is in tune
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Joe Lee and I had scheduled a Gipf-Project-only gaming session for yesterday, and, as expected, the exercise was a fun one. Despite the fact that I was holding a grudge against Joe for a vicious and uncalled-for attack during an online Wallenstein match, we were in a relaxed mood and enjoyed the games without sweating blood over our moves or getting too uptight over who was winning or losing.

We started off with Gipf itself, the central game of the project and one of my favorites of the series. It was Joe's first time playing the standard game with the Gipf pieces, but as he quickly discovered the additional rules and their effect on the game are not terribly difficult to grasp.

The game began with the usual buildup towards the center from the six corners, and quite early on Joe made a simple rusty-at-Gipf bonehead mistake across one of the three axes resulting in the loss of three pieces. I offered to let him take the move back but he declined, preferring to learn from the mistake. Afterwards he played quite well and soon had two of my pieces in jeopardy. I prepared a retaliatory strike, and for a while we both fiddled around trying to gain an advantage over the other. Joe developed a second threat, this one against one of my Gipf pieces, and so I had to switch gears and figure out how to best arrange things so that when he ultimately sprung the trap I would at least have better board position than he did.

Finally the situation reached critical mass and there was a series of captures on both sides, after which I was left in the advantageous position of having my Gipf-pieces in the center of the board. This wasn't to be a huge factor, however, as the pressing issue for Joe was a dire shortage of ammo. I rode out the last moves of the game simply preventing him from being able to take any of his pieces off the board, and finally his tank ran out of gas.

Joe likes the game, which is great for me because it's one of my favorites and it seems to be the one entry in the series that people seem to find the most dry or intimidating.

Something a little lighter was now in order, so I figured it was a good opportunity to bring out Tamsk. The first game was strictly a learning one for Joe; after only a handful of moves he suddenly discovered that the sand had run out in two of his timers. He was up to speed for the second game, however. The match began with a rush to the center followed by a dense, heated scuffle. I attempted to hem Joe's pieces into one half of the board, but one of his guys slipped through the noose. Now it was my guys who were running out of breathing room; I tried to scoot one of my timers around a corner and into his territory but Joe headed me off at the pass; in the meantime I let another of my timers run out of sand like a rookie. Not many moves later it was a decisive win for Joe Lee.

We broke for sandwiches and chat and then tackled the Gipf Project game that I am the least comfortable with, namely Zertz. I had told Joe about my mental block but he took this a little too much to heart and tried to sneak a double-white capture by me. Yeah, right. I grabbed that for myself and aftwards we kept pace with each other until I had three white, two grey and five black and Joe couldn't afford to make another exchange. He stalled and I forced the final swap, earning the win with three of each color.

For the Zertz rematch we were both very cautious, perhaps a little too cautious. He went first, I put a marble one up and one over from his, he put another across from mine to make a triangle, and I put a fourth down to form a parallelogram. Now the board was such that it was impossible to make an exchange without giving away two marbles, and so we continued placing marbles into this latticed pattern (on each row marbles had two empty rings between them, and then on adjacent rows the same pattern was followed but staggered so that that marbles were equidistant from those in adjacent rows). Finally Joe Lee took the last safe space, and so no matter what I did I would be handing him at least two captures. It was getting close to the time that I had to go pick up my son from my parents', so I plunked a white marble down in the middle without examining every possible response. Joe was limited to taking only two marbles, but both of these were white, unfortunately. Forced tradeoffs then flew back and forth and when the dust cleared and the board was emptied I had snagged two whites and a couple other marbles whereas Joe had won four black. I set up a trade to get my third white, but in my haste I gave Joe his fifth black instead of a harmless grey; we were now both one marble away from winning, but it was Joe's turn. He fed me grey until he could get his sixth black marble and the victory.

All in all it was a great afternoon of gaming, and I was very happy to get more playings of the Gipf Project games under my belt. I've now played 7 or 8 games of Gipf (not including games played against GF1), 11 games of Tamsk, 7 face-to-face games of Zertz and 6 online ones at boardspace.net (either against a human or "dumbot"), 5 or so face-to-face games of Dvonn and about 45 online ones (either at BSW or Little Golem), and 3 games of Yinsh. My preference for the games remains the same, with Gipf and Dvonn at the top, Tamsk and Yinsh in the middle, and Zertz at the bottom. I still think that Zertz is a deep and interesting game, and I certainly had fun with it yesterday, but it's just the one that appeals to me the least.

Now that I feel like I have a basic understanding of all of the games in the series (or the five that have been released), my goal is to continue to play the central game to the point where I'm comfortable introducing the potentials. Then we can link up all the games together for Super Giant Monster Showdown MegaGipf.

That is gonna be some messed-up gaming.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chester
United States
Temple
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Joe, you are a great Gipf missionary. You had me a few hairs shy of buying a copy of one of them a few months back. (Actually, now I'm having second guesses about whether that was your co-worker report or not.)

Anyway, once again, I'm intruiged by the games. But I'm still not past the inertia I need to overcome to actually GET one. I wish I could just come over to your house and sample each game. I think I have the attention to learn and play them a few times, but just not enough confidence in my interest (or a potential opponent) to warrant the purchase. But maybe that day will come....

When it does, do you recommend Gipf or Dvonn?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Ben-Ezra
United States
Peoria
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played Super Giant Monster Showdown MegaGipf. It is that good.

Of course, this was before I had really sat down and worked on learning how to play a quality game of GIPF. My friend and I have played this many times, introducing potentials one at a time and all those things that Kris Burm says to do. Now, I think that we are ready to return to the uber-game and give it another go. It will be even cooler.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Ben-Ezra
United States
Peoria
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I know that you're not asking me, but I have found DVONN to be more accessible than GIPF. I think that it is because there is a general sense of "what to do" in DVONN, whereas GIPF is like drag-racing semis in a demolition derby. In reverse. Don't get me wrong! GIPF is a great game, but somehow it feels the most abstract in the series.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Johan Ragnarsson
Sweden
Lund
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
I like Zertz
I know you are not asking me either, but I found Dvonn and Zertz the coolest. Probably played around 100 Dvonns, 50 Zertz, and 10 or so each of the rest.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Gola
United States
Redding
Connecticut
flag msg tools
badge
and everything under the sun is in tune
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chester--

I think Ben is right. Dvonn is more accessible than Gipf, as it's short and it's enjoyable from the very first play. I would recommend it to both casual gamers and hardcore abstract fans. On the other hand, as an ex-chess player you might appreciate the challenge of Gipf. Don't get me wrong, Dvonn definitely has depth, but it seems to me that the scope for strategy-tinkering in Gipf might be in a league with chess and go (particularly when you advance to the tournament game and the potentials).

Yinsh is also worth mentioning because it's a very good option if you won't be playing the same opponent(s) regularly and don't want mismatches in experience to ruin the fun. The only downside is that the game is longer than Dvonn, Zertz or Tamsk, as it lacks the "shrinking board" of those games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.