Close-up of a game in play
Abstract strategy game
|Age range||8 and up|
|Playing time||30 minutes|
|Skill(s) required||Strategy, tactics|
GIPF is an abstract strategy board game by Kris Burm, the first of six games in his series of games called the GIPF Project. GIPF was recommended by Spiel des Jahres in 1998.
Players take turns pushing tokens (one player taking black, the other white) from the edge of the tri-gridded, hexagonal board, with pieces already in play pushed in front of the new placements rather than allowing more than one piece on any space.
The game is lost if a player has no more tokens to play, and since each starts with a set number of tokens, it is clearly necessary to recycle pieces already positioned to keep playing. This is achieved by contriving to line up four pieces of the same colour in a row on the board, at which point those tokens are returned to their owner, and any opposing tokens extending from the line of four are captured.
Because a single player will often move several pieces and change numerous on-board relationships, it is remarkably difficult to predict the state of the board more than one turn ahead, despite GIPF being a game of perfect information. Play tends to be highly fluid and there is no real concept of long term territorial or spatial development.
The game can be expanded with extra pieces (available separately) called Potentials, which allow different kinds of moves to be made. These are named for the other games in the GIPF Project, though the other games are not actually necessary in order to utilise the Potentials named after them.