Comments at superdupergames.org:
Abande at superdupergames.org - Rank 7/76 (1st March 07):
- A very fun, tricky game with just enough pieces to make the end game very interesting. As the board fills, pieces you thought were safe sometimes become liabilities.
- Really smart abstract stacking game with connectivity and territorial elements.
- A standout among stacking games that passes the "Let's play again" test.
Attangle at superdupergames.org - Rank 6/76 (1st March 07):
- Love this game. Simple rules but lots of surprises and opportunities
- One of the best games I know
- Not as good as Dieter's Abande but still an excellent game.
Counterstrikes backed up three or four deep make you think very hard.
- An area control game in disguise?
- Very nice mechanic, deep strategy. Easy to miss things and make stupid moves.
This is a collection of six pure abstracts, all employing the same pieces and boards. Considering the titles, I wonder that it wasn't called "Abstract A" or even "Go With Your A Game". Included are a colored, double sided folding board -- one featuring a traditional square grid, the other a triangular grid -- and 100 round pieces in two colors, all inside a somewhat flimsy blue box. Overall the set is great for fans of pure abstracts and those enjoying fast, elegant two-player games. Those who play looking for a theme can, of course, move on; the rest may like to read about the individual games, below.
Strategy: Medium; Theme: Low; Tactics: High; Evaluation: Low; Personal Rating: 6
Abande, by Dieter Stein. In this stacking game, players seek to stack over one another, but must ensure that all pieces remain chained together. To avoid being stacked on, players thus keep extending the chain until the end of the board is reached, at which point the chain tends to roll itself back up again. The win is difficult to plan here due to a very clever scoring rule: only stacks adjacent to an opposing stack count.
Accasta, by Dieter Stein. This stacking game offers features most closely resembling a theme. A player's forces are arrayed in his castle and the winner is the first to deposit three of his stacks in the opposing castle. There is some of the same nervousness as in Draughts/Checkers where no one wants to advance very much for fear of capture and so only do so when a re-capture plan is in place. This can be taken to the level of re-re-capture as lookahead becomes considerable. Apart from Checkers 100, this is probably the most traditional feeling game in the set.
Alva, by Alvydas Jakeliunas, originator of Hey! That's My Fish!. This is a jumping game (as is Draughts/Checkers), but the board starts empty. On a turn a player either must jump if able, or, failing that, places a piece. A single jump can leap over multiple pieces in line, rather than just one as in Checkers, However, jumping over exactly two is not allowed. Much of the game centers around either blocking jumps or forcing the opponent to make one, which even though it loses a piece, leaves him in a position where you can take more. Because of the depth of the lookahead and need to imagine the changed situation, this is probably the most complex game in the set, and may be too much for many of the more casual players.
Attangle, by Dieter Stein. In this stacking game players must move two stacks at a time so as to converge on an opposing stack. Acquiring three stacks of five wins. The tricky part here is imagining how the board will look right after a capture and positioning in such a way that the opponent cannot immediately re-capture. Finished stacks remain on the board so the geography is ever changing. With its quickly reversing situations, this is probably the most visceral one in the set.
Attraktion, by Jaroslaw Cichocki. Each checker placed on a the square grid attracts all other pieces in its rank and file one space twoard it. By such means a player wins when one of his pieces is surrounded by four opposing ones. This is one of those games where the strange way of looking at the board forces so much focus that when your opponent casually announces that she has won, you can only look up and say, "Really? Where?" The idea of a game that partly plays itself -- here the magnetic power -- has always appealed to me and is my favorite "high concept" in this set. There are also interesting strategic possibilities. For example, a player can scatter pieces widely, making it very difficult to get four together. The opponent then needs to counter by grabbing choice central real estate. This can lead to a number of tricky decisions, especially on the large board.
Checkers 100, Traditional. To be supplied later. By the way, many of the rules to these games are on-line if one wants to first try them out. "
(Rick Heli at http://spotlightongames.com/list/nights/t.html#tactic )