Introduction to Gobblet board game

admin on November 7th, 2009

GobbletThose who have ever seen Gobblet compared it with tic-tac-toe or connect four games. The goal of the game is to build a row of own color. So, yes, this is the first association that comes to the mind when you see the board and learn the goal. But don’t let this thought to mislead you. Perhaps the goal is the only thing that Gobblet has in common with other named games.

Once you start playing Gobblet you understand that a deep strategy game is hidden in this board and 24 playing pieces named gobblets. The rules of the game uncover its seeming simplicity. The main point here is that if you occupy the cell on the board it doesn’t actually matter that you’ll be there on the next move of your opponent. He can just cap (or gobble in the terms of the game) your gobblet with his own. So instead of winning the game on the next move you must think how to escape the defeat now. Interested? OK, let’s move forward.

The playing pieces remind Russian dolls that hide others inside. There are four sizes of gobblets. I’ve heard that people even use a special terminology when discussing game strategies, like: kings (the biggest pieces), queens, jacks and pawns (the smallest ones). So, once you need to name a piece, for example, to discuss the last game you can easily use this one. Or if you’re playing with a kid something like dad, mom, son and daughter will be more understandable. And for sure comprehension will bring additional fun.

At start each player has twelve gobblets hidden one inside other so they have three stacks where only biggest gobblets are available. On your turn you can do one of the following actions: place new gobblet on the free cell on the board, move the gobblet to another free cell or cap opponent’s gobblet of a smaller size with one of your gobblets on the board. There is one exception of these rules when you can gobble opponent directly from stack when he has three gobblets in a row already. And there are some really natural things that you can’t do: you can’t move a gobble covered by opponent’s one; you can’t cap opponent’s gobblet of a larger or equal size and you can’t put the gobblet back on board if you touch it – you must move it. Once you made your move, the turn comes to your opponent. Finally, when one of the players has four gobblets in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row he wins.

Gobblet rules are quite simple, so a 5 year child can easily understand them. But to play meaningfully game rules suggest starting at 7. To my mind each kid is unique and it’s up to parents to decide when he is ready to play Gobblet. And of course if you being a parent enjoy this game you shouldn’t force your child to play. He’ll do it once he’s ready.

Enjoy the Gobblet!

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