“Shall I make myself stronger or my opponent
weaker?” This is the tricky question you’ll have to
ask yourself on each of your turns.
- 1 game board
- 30 white pieces: 6 Tzaars, 9 Tzarras and 15 Totts
- 30 black pieces: 6 Tzaars, 9 Tzarras and 15 Totts
- 1 rulebook
1. Place the board
between the players so that the long side runs from one player
to the other.
2. Put all
the pieces randomly on the board. The intersections constitute
the play area and are henceforth referred to as spaces. When all
60 pieces are on the board, all spaces will be occupied.
3. Draw lots for your color. White begins.
Note: If you do not like to begin with a random
start position, see points G. and H. below.
There are two ways to win:
1. Players have
3 types of pieces: Tzaars, Tzarras and Totts. These 3 types represent
a trinity: they cannot exist without each other. You must keep
at least one piece of each type on the board at all times. In
other words, the first way to win is to make your opponent run
out of either Tzaars, Tzarras or Totts.
2. Each turn,
players are obligated to capture at least one opponent’s
piece. So the second way to win is to put your opponent in a position
where he cannot capture any of your remaining pieces on the board.
C. The start: 1 move
To begin the game, White makes one move. White
must use this move to make a capture. The rules for capturing
are very simple: pick one of your pieces (of any type) and move
it to an adjacent space with an opponent’s piece (of any
type). Take the opponent’s piece from the board and put
your piece in that space. The opponent’s piece goes out
of the game.
D. The game: 2 moves per turn
After White has started the game with only one move, players
always have two moves per turn.
THE FIRST MOVE OF A TURN
1. The first move is always a “forced
capture”. You must capture! You can capture a piece in an
adjacent space, but during the course of the game more and more
spaces will become vacant. You may also capture by moving a piece
in a straight line over any number of vacant spaces, to the first
space occupied by an oppo-nent’s piece. Take the opponent’s
piece from the board and put your piece in that space. (See diagram
2.) The opponent’s piece goes out of the game.
2. As far as capturing goes, there’s
no difference between Tzaars, Tzarras and Totts. Each piece can
capture any other piece, as long as the piece is at least equally
strong as the piece it wants to capture.
3. The strength of a piece is not determined
by its type, but by its height. In the beginning there are only
single pieces, which means that all pieces on the board are equally
strong. But you can make your pieces stronger during the game
by stacking them on top of each other. A stack of two pieces can
capture any single piece and any two-piece stack of the opposite
color; a stack of three pieces can capture any single piece, any
two-piece stack, and any three-piece stack of the opposite color,
and so on.
4. All pieces on the board move the same
way. A single piece is as movable as a stack of two, three or
2: the arrows indicate which black pieces can be captured by
the white Tzaar.
THE SECOND MOVE OF A TURN
For the second move, you must choose between 3 possibilities:
a) make a second capture, b)
make one of your pieces (or stacks) stronger, or c)
a) A second capture
To make a second capture, the rules are the same as for the capture
with your first move.
2. You may make the second capture with the same piece (or stack)
that made the first capture, or with a different piece (or stack).
b) Making a piece stronger
1. To make a piece (or stack) stronger, you just have to jump
with it on top of another piece (or stack) of your color. You
may jump on one of your pieces (or stacks) in an adjacent space
or in a space that you can reach by moving in a straight line
over any number of vacant spaces. So to make a piece stronger,
you have exactly the same movement possibilities as for capturing.
2. There is no limit to the number of pieces that can be in a
stack. No matter how high, a stack is always considered as “one
entity.” It must always be moved as a whole and captured
as a whole.
3. Any of your pieces or stacks can jump on any of your other
pieces or stacks. For example, a single Tzaar can jump onto a
stack with a Tott on top and vice versa. (See diagram 3 below.)
4. Only the top piece of a stack counts for the different types
of pieces in play. For example, if you put a Tott on top of a
Tzaar, the stack counts only as a Tott (although the Tzaar is
still in play as part of the stack).
3: a single piece can jump onto a stack (of any height) and
vice versa! Also, stacks can jump on top of each other.
You are not obligated to use your second move. If you decide to
pass, you just tell your opponent that it is his turn again.
Note: you can never pass the first move (i.e.
the forced capture) of a turn!
E. For the sake of clarity
1. A piece (or stack) can never be moved
to an empty space. Once a space is empty, it remains empty until
the end of the game.
2. A piece (or stack) can never jump
over one or more other pieces (or stacks). It can only be moved
over vacant spaces.
3. The board has no central space. Pieces
may not be moved across the center.
4. Stacks can only consist of pieces
of one and the same color.
5. You must respect the order of moves:
always the forced capture first, then a choice between three possibilities
for the second move.
F. End of the game
A player wins the game either when he succeeds in capturing the
last piece of one of the three types of the opponent’s pieces,
or when he puts his opponent in a position where he cannot use
his first move to make the forced capture.
Reminder: only single pieces
and the pieces on top of stacks count when checking for the presence
of the three types of pieces. The pieces in the stacks do not
G. Starting position
If you do not like random start positions, put the pieces on
the board according to the following diagram:
4: Fixed start position.
H. Tournament version
When playing the tournament version, the game begins with an
empty board. The players take turns putting one of their pieces
after another on the board. The pieces may be placed on the board
in any order and it is allowed to switch from one type of piece
to another as often as you want.
When all pieces are on the board, all spaces will be occupied
and the game starts according the rules described above.