Gaming > Table-top Games



Onitama is a game that is easy to learn but difficult to master, played on a 5x5 grid with 5 pieces for each of the two players. Each player has a Master, which starts on their own Temple space, along with 4 Students. The goal of the game is to either eliminate your opponent's Master, or alternatively to move your Master into your opponent's Temple. The thing that really makes this game interesting though is that the moves that you are allowed to make with your pieces change each turn based on which cards you have. At the beginning of the game, 5 cards are randomly dealt out of a deck of 16 cards, 2 to each player and one in the middle. Some cards allow you to move forward, others to the side or even backwards. Some cards allow spaces to be jumped, but most only allow a piece to move one space from their current position. When you use a card to make your move, you give up that card to the center and your opponent will pick up that card at the end of their turn. This means that when you are planning out your attack, you have to consider what cards your opponent has, how they will fit with what you're giving up, and how your replacement card from the center will help or hinder you in future moves.

The game can be finished in approximately 15 minutes, but some games can go quite quickly and others can be much slower.

Today, I got the game out to play against my brother, Tim. We started off doing the usual, this-for-that, giving up the first couple Students, but eventually he got into some better positions and was able to take out a few of my students before I was able to get another of his. At one point I had 1 Student on the far left of the board with my Master near the center. Tim had 3 students, but I was able to take 2 of them out with my Master while maneuvering over to the right edge of the board. Tim took the chance to attack my last Student, but that gave me a clear run on the right half of the board to move toward the Temple and secure the win.


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