Tatsu - A Game Of Dragon Mastery
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
From the same mind that brought you Hive, Tatsu is a Japanese themed 2 player backgammon-esque game (although backgammon lacks dragons so Tatsu is a clear winner when comparing the two) created by John Yianni and developed by Gen42 Games.
I picked this game up over the weekend after visiting the Roll Dice Gaming convention in Bristol, where I actually had the pleasure of meeting John Yianni himself and sat down to play this game after he taught me the rules and how to play (is it lame that I was slightly starstruck?!). I started playing and after a couple of rounds I got to grips with all the rules and instantly loved this game.
When starting the game, you either pick the black or the white tiles. Depending on which colour you are, you can either move clockwise or anti-clockwise, this is depicted by the dragons in the middle of the game board which I thought was a nice touch. At the beginning of each turn, the player rolls 2 six-sided dice to move, taking each dice separately (just like in backgammon), moving your dragons around the inside spaces of the board. Players should only be on an outside space if another dragon is already there. If you land on a space where one of your opponents dragons sit, 1 of 3 things can happen.
The three different types of dragons are:
Vine dragons (Green), the players controls a total of 4 vine dragons and 3 of them are automatically in play when the game starts. These dragons are used to 'trap' the other players dragons around the board.
Water Dragons (Blue), there are 3 water dragons per player, these are used to expel a players dragon off of the board, back to their holding tray.
Fire Dragons (Red), used to completely kill another players dragon, there are only 2 of these per player.
To gain a victory you can do one of two things, the first way to win is to destroy all of one type of opponents dragons (all of the red, blue OR green dragons) or knock all of the opponents dragons off so that none are in play!
I already love this game for so many reasons, I'm always searching for a good 2 player game and this fits the bill really well, the average play time is about 30 minutes which is perfect to play while you're waiting around or maybe to play at board game night while you're waiting for other players to turn up.
I enjoy the strategy aspect of games like this as well, it's not too strategy heavy in the sense that you could play this with children and they would enjoy it without strategizing too much but you would also get equal fun from playing with someone who is coming up with an optimal strategy and you're trying your best to mess it up for them, while also taking out their dragons!
The board itself and the dragon tiles are such high quality (a thick puck like plastic ) and the box has been updated from the initial release of Tatsu. I know a lot of people complained that it was difficult to place back into the box in the previous version, so they have made storing it a lot easier by using a plastic insert for the tiles and a standard cardboard box with a lid that comes off with no issue.
I'm so glad I got to play this game on the weekend and this game is definitely a perfect edition to my collection!
Want to try this game - buy it here!