The last game from the original Gipf project that I've been able to try is Tamsk. (The link is to Board Game Geek, since Tamsk is out of print and not on Amazon. Plus, Tamsk was originally part of the Gipf project, but was later replaced by Tzaar; hence it being out of print.)
In Tamsk, your goal is to get rid of as many rings as possible. Players take turns moving timers along a hexagonal shaped board, and after each move, they drop a ring around their new location. Timers can only move to locations that still have room for another ring on them, and depending on where the location lives on the board, each location can hold anywhere from one to four rings. Players alternate turns until no more legal moves exist, at which point the player with the least number of rings is the winner. To add more challenge to the game, you may also play where each turn you must flip the timer that is being moved - and if a timer ever runs out of sand, then it is no longer legally allowed to move. Finally, if you want to add even more challenge, a 15-second timer is included which you can flip over on your opponent's turn. If they do not complete their move before that timer expires, then they lose their turn, and you are allowed to place an extra ring.
|Jockying for position|
The next pro that I found for Tamsk is that there are interesting choices that you have to make about when to un-block an opponent's timer. Generally, you want to block your opponent's timers. This prevents them from moving, and thus it allows you to take extra turns - thus playing more of your rings. However, because the locations can be used more than once, if you are blocking an opponent with one of your timers, they will quite likely be allowed to take your vacated space as soon as you leave it. Therefore, you have the upper hand since you have temporarily blocked your opponent, but if you don't take advantage of this by positioning your other timers while they are blocked, then this advantage might only be temporary.
|Showing off a red timer that has died|
The second con that I had for Tamsk was that it simply felt too simplistic. There didn't seem to be all that many strategic elements to it. Like I said before, I don't have a good vocabulary for how to explain this better. Essentially, it felt like in Tamsk, there are just not many choices - do I move towards the center, or along the edge? Do I unblock my opponent yet? That really seemed like about it. Without the timer element (which I hated), you are left with a fairly basic and generic abstract game.
Overall, I give Tamsk a 6.5/10. Part of my disappointment in the game may be that it took me a long time to track down a copy to play, but the game wasn't phenomenal, like I was hoping. However, since I truly dislike the timer element to the game, I will probably move my copy along to someone new.
If you enjoy abstract strategy games, then you might want to check out the other games (that I've reviewed) from the Gipf project - Gipf, Dvonn, Punct, Yinsh, and Zertz.