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Abstract Games – Zértz
onsdag, augusti 13, 2008, 1:10
Filed under: Hobbies & Activities

I’ve recently developed a love for ‘abstract strategy games’ – boardgames that involve no luck and uses ”perfect information” (you always know everything that goes on – there are no secret cards in your player’s hand, and you always have all the information presented to you). Among such games we have, for example, othello and chess.

Doing a search a few days ago, I realized how many of this type of games there really are, both commercially and not-so-commercially. I’ve always thought of chess as one of a few. But as it turns out, to my surprise, it isn’t.

One game in particular caught my attention: Zértz. This is is a truly unique game, with true in-depth strategy. Easy to learn, extremely difficult to master. And it requires a lot of thinking of the kind that has caught the attention of IQ-lovers, giving it the ”Mensa’s choice” award a few years back.

In Zértz, the aim is to catch a number of marbles of a certain color – or three of each color! You catch a marble by jumping over it, checkers-style. The twist? You and your opponent play with the same marbles!

During your turn, you must catch a marble if you can. If not, you must place a new marble on the board. Another twist: every time you add a new marble, you may remove a piece of the board, making it smaller and smaller!

An important part of Zértz is sacrifices. Since you must jump another marble if you can, you can force your opponent to move a marble to where you want it. That way, player A may force player B to catch a black marble only to be able to catch a white marble himself. A sacrifice you’ll often have to make.

In short, Zértz is a very unique and quite challenging game. Like chess, it’s suitable for tournaments and challenges even the greatest thinkers. No luck, just pure strategy. And that’s the way I currently like it.


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I’m glad to hear you found Zertz. It is one of the cool ideas in the GIPF Project. You should check out the other games, like GIPF , TAMSK, DVONN , and YINSH.


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