Abstract Strategy Games — Page 3 of  6


Project Kells and Tara are trademarks of Murray Heasman.
Patented and made by Tailten Games, Ireland.

TARATM (formerly Project Kells)
...invented by Murray Heasman

A simply stunning game evoking Irish legends and producing ever-changing Celtic knot designs as players build ring forts and link their kingdoms with bridges. Every detail has been thought of with consummate artistry for visual, mental and tactile pleasure, even the packaging. Two games, 8 variants to play: "Sacred Hill" and "High Kings of Tara." Score with kingdoms or with knots as the intricate connections intertwine. Full animated rules on Murray's website. Excellent production values, at a popular price. Are we raving? Aye, and rightly so. This highly original game well deserved being named Games Magazine's No. 1 strategy game for the year 2006. We've thought of some interesting puzzle designs to explore with it, as well. For two players, ages 9 to adult.$40

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Detailed rules of play
...invented by Jeff Dender, puzzles by Kate Jones

The ten different 3-color dice carry all the combinations of how three colors can be apportioned to cover a cube. A point-scoring game gives each player 5 rolls to gain the most cubes of one color on top. Quaint notion:  the player who owns the game gets to play first. We've added tricky color puzzles, including a series in 3-D. Build a cube with solid-color faces. The cubes make a good travel game for all ages, easy to pack in drawstring pouch. Custom-made white plastic sets have jumbo 1" cubes as shown at left. For any number of players, ages 9 to adult.$25

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Detailed rules of play
A+D+D+DTM (pronounced "Add")
...invented by Devin Stewart; puzzles by Kate Jones

The cleverness of this game is a tribute to its teenage inventor. The handpainted 4x5 gameboard (it's also the storage bag) is numbered 1 through 20. Roll 5 dice and add their numbers in any combination to produce a total that matches an unoccupied number on the board. Place your pawn on that square. Use your wits to choose the most strategic places. The number on the black die must be used; the others may be used or ignored. Get 3, 4 or 5 pawns in a straight line in any direction to score points. Largest score wins. Solitaire quests included. For 1 or 2 players, ages 8 to adult.$15

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...invented by Walter Zamkauskas

So simple yet ingenious an idea: each player has 4 "amazons" (start position shown) who, being powerful ladies, move like chess queens. An amazon moves, then stops and shoots an arrow, that again travels like a chess queen, and where it stops a block is planted that remains as an obstacle for the rest of the game. Wall in your opponent's amazons before yours get trapped. You can also play this game on the elegant Transpose board. This paper grid version plays with plastic tokens. Colors may vary. For two players, ages 8 to adult.$12

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RunnuRound complete rules of play (.pdf)
...invented by Joe Marasco

Joe Marasco
on YouTube
Here's an original concept: Find "runs" of 3 consecutive numbers in a randomly scrambled array of ten numbers, 0 through 9, either forward or backward, such as 6-7-8 or 4-3-2. The catch:  runs "wrap around" such that 9-0-1 and 0-9-8 are also runs. Runs even wrap around from one end of a row to the other. The trickiest runs are the multiple or overlapping groups of 3, such as 7-6-5-4 or even 8-9-0-1-2. Those count as two and three runs, respectively, and are easy to miss. And then there are the wild cards, for even wilder variations. Players try to anticipate and predict how many runs a shuffle will produce, and compete to gain bonus points by being quickest to enter their guess. The probability of one or more runs appearing is low, even with four rows of numbers to scan. Excitement builds as more numbers are revealed and players try to make decisions under pressure of time. See rules and variations for RunnuRound in the online rulebook (.pdf). Colorful 1.25" tiles, in handpainted acrylic or wood, have cut-outs for easy flipping in 6x16" tray. Bamboo screens included for concealed play. For 1 to 4 players, ages 10 to adult.$66

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