Created by Michael Petty (mpetty@tir.com)

This is a simple two-player game that I created for an encounter in a role-playing game adventure. A good memory is vital to success in Ta-Se. While I usually enjoy games based purely on strategic skill, I've found this one to be a light and enjoyable game. It seems almost every round is filled with a number of surprise victories. I'd be glad to hear any opinions on the game.

The game requires two different colored sets of eight chips (plastic poker chips work great) with the values 1 through 8 printed on them, and three cups. Players should each take one set of the chips and lay them out in order in front of themselves. The chips need to be in clear view of both players until they are placed in the cups.

The Play

On a typical turn a player will place two of his or her chips in any of the cups (they may both be placed in the same cup). The value of the first chip the player uses must be equal to or higher than the last chip just placed in a cup by the opponent. Then, the second chip the player plays on the turn must have a value less than the first chip the player just put in a cup. Each time a player places a chip in a cup, its value must be announced to the other player. Also, once a chip is placed in the cup, it can't be removed. No player is allowed to look in the cups during play.

Beginning a Round

To begin a round of play, one player must take the first turn by placing only ONE chip in a cup. After this move, the other player takes a normal turn, as described above. This repeats, with each player alternating normal turns until the player who started the round has only one chip. If the chip is "playable" (see note below) then it may be placed in a cup. Then all the cups are scored as described below.

Note: If a player does not have a chip equal to or higher than the one just played by the opponent that player must remove his lowest unused chip from the game. For example, if the player's highest remaining chip was a 6, and his opponent just placed a 7 in the cup, the player couldn't play a "first" chip for the current turn. He would, instead, just throw out his lowest chip, then put in a "second" chip as usual.

Scoring Each Cup

In general, the player with the most points on his or her colored chips in a given cup wins that cup. There is one additional rule however:

First, if both players put in the exact same numbered chip (like both 3's, for example), then the duplicate chips are removed from the cup. Then, whether or not any duplicate chips were in the cup, add up the total number of points on all chips in the cup. If the total in a cup is ever over 22, then the player with the LEAST points in the cup takes the cup.

If the values on both player's chips add to the same amount, the cup is a tie and neither gets the point for that cup.

Sample Scoring

CUP 1Red chips:1, 6 and 7Blue chips: 3 and 5
This cup belongs to the Red player, since the total points on the chips is higher.
CUP 2Red chips: 3, 5 and 8Blue chips: 2 and 8
This cup would actually be won by the Blue player, since the total of the cups is 26. This high total, since it's over 22, lets the player with the lower number of points take the cup.
CUP 3Red chips: 2 and 4Blue chips: 1, 4, 6 and 7
While it first may seem that the total in this cup is over 22, thereby letting Red win the cup, don't forget that the duplicate 4's must be ignored. Therefore, Blue clearly wins this cup with the highest number of points.

After all three cups are scored, record the number of cups each player won in that round. A whole game is 6 rounds with players alternating to go first.

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell