TAMSK after a single move
|Age range||8 and up|
|Playing time||20 minutes|
|Skill(s) required||Strategic thought|
TAMSK is the second board game in the GIPF Project of six abstract strategy games, and was published in 1998. Players move sand hourglass timers and drop plastic rings around spaces on a hexagonal board in an attempt to limit their opponent's moves. Each player starts the game with 32 rings, and the player with the fewest remaining rings at the end of the game is the winner. The game is unique among the GIPF Project games in having time as a central game component, and the manner in which time is used is possibly unique among board games in general.
A timer must have sand running through it in order to be moved, and when it is moved, it is also turned over. Thus, rather than giving a set amount of time in which to make a move, each player's set of 3 timers all have variable amounts of time remaining in which they can be moved, and that time changes whenever a move is made. At any point during the game, it may be beneficial to delay moving or to move as quickly as possible, and an opponent can use another timer to force a move if it is in their interest. Timers that have run out cannot be moved for the remainder of the game.
Each move increasingly restricts the usable playing area of the board (a mechanic it shares with its companion games, ZÈRTZ and DVONN), which means TAMSK games move toward an inevitable conclusion in a reasonable amount of time.
TAMSK has had fewer critical plaudits than other games in the GIPF project, and its elaborate production has meant a significantly higher retail cost, but it generated enough demand and kudos to justify a second print run.
With the 2006 release of the third set of GIPF potentials, Kris Burm announced that the GIPF project was complete, but he changed his plans in 2007 with the release of TZAAR, which replaced TAMSK as part of the GIPF series. Therefore TAMSK is no longer on the market.