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Evade is the easy-to-learn game of moves and countermoves in which two players attempt to outmaneuver and outbluff one another. Before play begins, each player secretly designates two of his six pawns as Evaders, "magnetizing" them for easy identification. During the game, players attempt to skillfully maneuver their pawns across the board, bluffing when necessary to keep the Evaders' identities secret so they won't be frozen by the opponent. First player to successfully maneuver one of his two Evaders into his opponent's starting row wins!
Evade is a game a close friend of mine and I have regularly played over the years. It was produced in the early '70s by 3M Company.
Evade is played by two players on a 6x6 board. Each player has just six pieces... two 'Evaders' and four 'Guards.' The identity of your two Evaders and your four Guards is kept a secret from your opponent.
Both Evaders and Guards move the same -- one space in any direction (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) to any vacant space. However, Guards have the ability to 'freeze' an opponent's neighboring piece for the rest of the game (and freeze itself in the process) by landing on top of it. Evaders are not able to freeze pieces.
The object of the game is to be the first player to move an Evader across the board into your opponent's starting row. If neither player is able to do so, (because each player had both of their Evaders frozen) the game ends in a draw.
To me, Evade resembles a tiny football game. The blockers (Guards) are attempting to tackle the ball carrier (Evaders) who are attempting to reach their opponent's goal line (the other side).
Evade is more than just a bluffing game. Tactics, to a small degree, play a roll. Because pieces can be frozen in their tracks, they become 'obstacles' the other pieces must now maneuver around. There are times when you may wish to freeze an enemy piece, not because you think it's an enemy Evader, but to create an obstacle in that area of the board. You then may be able to maneuver an Evader around this obstacle and avoid an enemy piece who might have a clear path to you otherwise. Because the board dimensions are so small, it is often easy to swing a Guard around to stop an enemy piece that you think might be an Evader... assuming you have a Guard nearby. If this Evader has a blocker running along with it, you'll then need two Guards nearby to stop the piece, since your opponent's blocker will surely take out one of your Guards.
The components are very poor. First, the game board is only 5 inches by 6 inches which is really too small to play on. (Unless you're playing in a car when I suppose it's now an ideal size.)
Secondly, if the lightning conditions are poor, it's hard to tell the gold pieces from the silver pieces! There needs to be a bigger contrast between the two.
Finally, your Evaders are labeled before the game by placing a tiny magnet underneath two of your pieces. To me this method is both awkward and crude. Among other things, if you're not careful you'll give the identity of an Evader away if the tiny magnet happens to fall off in the act of moving your piece.
Evade is cute but nothing more. Played on a different board (possibly larger, or maybe with hexagons) along with a few minor rule changes and enhancements would probably help to liven it up a bit, and give it a little more depth and substance. Still, my friend and I have played dozens and dozens of games, and we haven't stopped playing it yet. Two stars.