Legend tells that there is a mysterious house in our city. Only under a full moon shine during a leap year, its surface is reflected in the moonlight and you can finally see it. It was at that time, when heroes, wizards and witnesses gathered, looking for it and hoping to obtain its wealth.
But the chests full of gold are not the only thing behind these closed silver doors. The walls of a dark, cold stone, hide also dangerous creatures. Each of the chests is guarded by a grim and hungry monster. On each of the three floors, there is a hidden treasure chest, but only the strongest of all opponents can reach it.
Today is the right day. Wizards, dwarves and warriors were gathering throughout the day in a parking lot. They were hiding under their cloaks, so they won’t draw too much attention to the bystanders. Only a few dedicated people knows about this event and come to look at the legendary conquest.. Today we will also witness this extraordinary event…
Tschak! the game comes from the distribution of not yet very well known swiss company GameWorks. However, we believe that this situation will change over time, because their games offer innovative, interesting and easy ideas for every audience. And also Tschak! is like that. Its author Dominique Ehrhard created also a great carpenter game Marrakech. But this time, we have a logical game before us, which is a light-hearted fun for everyone. You will find a name Vincent Dutrait under its witty illustrations.
Most games from GameWorks are hidden in small oblong-shaped boxes and Tschak! is no exception. When you try to look inside, you are flooded by pamphlets with the rules, because each of language mutations has its own guide. But fortunately they are thin, so they don’t occupy much space. Along with them, also the three times folded game board covers the entire dimensions of the box. At the moment it stretches before you, you get the picture of fortress (towers) and its three floors. It is here, where your adventurers will go.
In addition to the game board, you still need two square cardboard cards, one winter and one summer. Because it is a card game, there are also forty adventurers cards and 28 square fortress cards. You will easily differentiate between those to due to different shapes. Both will need to shuffled before the game can begin.
The list of components is complemented, when we mention a pile of chips representing gold, that was hidden in the tip of the tower.
Before the shuffling can begin, you will split tower cards according to the back to two halves – you get a pile of treasures and monsters. Adventurers cards have a total of four colors – white for sorcerers, warriors wear green and dwarfs are red. Each of those decks consists of dozen cards. Only four purple card remains – these are artifacts, your heroes can wear. At the top of the card, you will find a number, that indicates the strength of the traveler. You will split also these cards by color and shuffle them separately.
Preparation is the only part of the game, that depends on the number of players. The game is designed primarily for four players, the other numbers use square boards, that will represent the missing player. So while in full number, all of these boards are not used, you’ll take in one in three and with two you will utilize both.
The game consists of four identical rounds, which are always prepared exactly the same way. You won’t shuffle the cards during the game, all stay exactly same for the entire game. Cards of monsters and treasures are exact for the duration of game. When they run out, game ends.
You will lay the tower in the center of the table and above it a pile of gold. From there, you must select few pieces of gold, which are always hidden at the top of the tower for each round. The heroes, who survive all the way up the tower, will fight for them. To the left of the tower base, you lay a pile of monsters, and treasure pile to the right. Now turn three cards from each pile and scatter them into three floors of the fortress. On each floor there are two cards now, one treasure and one monster.
Players now get three random cards from the blue, green and red colors each and artifact card, which sums up to ten cards in hand. If fewer than four players are participating in a game, then boards (summer and winter) will get their share of cards too. At the end of the distribution of all the cards are then distributed among the players or boards.
The game itself is very easy and straightforward. All players will determine group of three fighters for each floor. There must always be three different colors, so you can either send three characters or two with an artifact. It is only up to you to decide. Once you reveal the cards, you identify the strongest team. This player gets the treasure card, the weakest then receives a card with the monster. Players will keep treasures and monsters until the end of the game, when they add up their value – gold icons minus skulls. The team with the highest total wins.
If it were everything, that is to Tschak!, the game would be quite random and erratic. But fortunately there are principles, that we have not mentioned yet. The first and crucial for the whole game is the fact, that the cards with characters do not mix between the turns. They are moved around the table instead in a clockwise direction. At this point, also the supplementary boards started to make sense to you, because they stand for missing players. They are here only as a reminder and swap space, where a group of warriors is resting, until they reach another player with next exchange.
So each player tries out all combinations of cards, which are in actual game and can not ever complain about adversity. At least in this respect. The only thing influenced by a chance, is the distribution of monsters and treasure chests on different floors. And the situation in which you chose your gang, is often not as clear as it seems. The package contains also cursed chest (it has a negative value in points – skull symbols) and special rewards: rings of power and troglodytes.
Each floor has also its rules for laying cards. The first floor, the players plan and reveal cards one after each other. They can adapt their strategy on how others play. On the second floor, you are already revealing only in two steps (first one, then two cards). And in the last third floor, you show all three fighters simultaneously.
If you have counted with us, you know, that one card remains in the hand of players at the end of the third floor. With this card, players compete for direct gold rewards, which awaits at the top. Only the strongest of the remaining fighters gets it for his master.
At the end of the game, when everyone has lead every group of adventurers, the decks of of chests and monsters are empty. Now you add up all your gathered points. Positive for gold chips from the tower roof and chests of gold with the symbol in the upper right corner – how many yellow dots, so many points. Creatures work exactly the same way – the number of skulls equals the number of negative points.
But then, there are still rings of power and cards with troglodytes. The more you are able to collect them, the more points you bring – namely, their number squared. Because there are six of them, you can get for them up to incredible 36 points. Cards with purple troglodytes on them work in exactly the same, just the opposite direction. Points are then added together and the one with the largest point gain, is the winner and best adventurer.
Tschak! is essentially a very simple card game, that takes from you twenty minutes of your time. Seemingly ordinary game often generates incredible battles and is full of balanced and tense situations.
We can blame the principle of cards exchange. In a positive way. Already after the first round, you know exactly what each package contains and what you can expect from your opponents. With the floors rising, you will also know, what they can still play and you can adapt according to their tactics.
You will however submit everything to the team, that you get in this round. Sometimes you will have to decide between lesser and greater evil, when the monster and cursed chest land on same floor. Sometimes, your main intention would be to prevent your opponents from getting another ring of power, or conversely you will want to slip to him the card of a troglodyte. There is simply plenty of possibilities and fun arising from the game.
Planning cards plays a crutial role in Tschak!. On the first floors, all players have a wide selection of heroes. That is why the author chose revealing car one by one, because you can adjust your plan. Playing of three cards at once would be just too random.
Tschak! never has an obvious winner until the end. All players have the same conditions, at least as the teams are concerned. However, if you get a strong team and there are only dull treasures in the tower, then you may feel a little disappointed. But that still does not mean, that you can not win the whole match. At least you can try to get a reward at the top of the tower.
Unfortunately Tschak! is prepared precisely for four players. In three it works still quite well, but in two it’s not that good. Although smart card swapping still works, the tension and tight competition is already gone. Players can never come not first and not last, so either they will get a treasure or a monster. No other way. Like this, it is basically impossible to avoid some pitfalls in the game. You will enjoy Tschak! much more in four players.
You might think that the fights often come to a draw. And you’re right. Fortunately, the rules quite clearly describe the hierarchy, in which you decide such situations – the wizard with a wand always wins. If that fails, then the decision is moving across the team, to the warriors and dwarfs. The winner on the floor is always determined, even when almost equal groups stand against each other. Finally only one remains standing and gain the treasure.
One more complaint could emerge – variability. Fortunately, the deck of monster and chest cards contains exactly two extra cards. So you don not have the same offer in different game, and its order will also vary, and that applies also to heroes decks. Games are definitely not so similar as it seems at first glance.
Now we will have to focus solely on manufacture qualities. Cards have appealing illustrations, each one is somehow different. Everything is made of quality materials and the impression is underlined by the elegant design of the box, where all parts fit nicely into place.
Last articles suggested, that the game is a little more advanced for a card game. But the game provides fun to players of all ages and even beginners. The rules are greatly written.
Tschak! looks like a simple relax game. Even the playing time suits this leisure play. And yet it is full-featured game, that you will enjoy deeply. The whole game runs smoothly and is full of important decisions. Battles are balanced and players must carefully plan each step. There is only one catch – it is not as good in two players, as it was supposed to be. But if you plan on playing with more opponent, then Tschak! certainly deserves your attention.
Tschak! is an interesting variation of a card game. The players try to conquer four fortresses guarded by monsters. On each floor, there waits also a well-earned reward in a shape of chest of gold. Enemies compete against each other by playing card of heroes, but they must plan first. Players switch their groups every turn, so everybody has same chance on winning, when it comes to the end. There are some skillful illustration on cards, but the game is not suited for two player game. You will enjoy more fun with three or four players. But simple rules and fluent gameplay offers still very enjoyable game for all, who yearn for adventure.
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card exchange = everybody has same chance on winning