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Tadsch Mahal
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Tadsch Mahal

#3 ALBS, original German edition of Taj Mahal

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 100 minutes 3-5

Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

Publisher(s): Alea

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Product Description

Control of India at the beginning of the 18th century is up for grabs. The 200 year long rule of the Grand Moguls is collapsing, but they still have some power. Now is the time for the Maharishis and princes to take control of the Indian subcontinent. The players use strategy and cunning to win influence over northwestern India, province by province and city by city. The most successful player (and the winner) is the one who establishes the most magnificent palaces and has the most power in the end.

Difficulty: 5/10

Product Awards

International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2001
Deutscher Spiele Preis
1st place, 2000
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 2000

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

  • Publisher(s): Alea

  • Artist(s): Franz Vohwinkel

  • Year: 2000

  • Players: 3 - 5

  • Time: 100 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Est. time to learn: 20-30 minutes

  • Weight: 1,092 grams


  • 1 game board
  • 100 palaces
  • 5 scoring markers
  • 2 black figures
  • 100 cards
  • 2 gold rings (crowns)
  • 12 octagonal province tiles
  • 24 oval influence tiles
  • 16 bonus tiles (15 square & 1 Taj Mahal)

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.6 in 21 reviews

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Tough Spin-Up, but Great Play
March 16, 2007

I've owned this game for a while, and while it never seemed that compelling to me, a lot of my friends actually request to play this game.

It's essentially two games. A card game to choose order of placement, and a strategic placement game that determines how points our divvied out.

The card game is a meld game, where single cards are laid out in turn. Once a color is chosen, you must continue the turn playing cards from that color to capture as many of the available "tricks" as you can. If you have a hold on a trick you can step out of the game, but you only win spots you are clearly leading in. Staying in longer may provide you with more placement options, but cards are scarce commodities, and the latter tricks get to place their pieces on the board later than the initial wins. Last person out gets fewer cards from the pool, so you end up limiting your future victories.

The placement game involves creating chains of pieces on the board so that subsequent places earn you more victory points. There is also an integral way to exponentially increase your victory points by continuing to dominate one type of tricks known as the "Trade Concession". The placement game is how you earn your points, but it is heavily tied to the card game, making it feel like a singular gaming experience despite the initial impression.

The hard part is getting everyone on the same page to begin with. People who haven't played the game before will be confused how the two games integrate. I really recommend running a tester game for a couple of rounds just so people know what's going on. After that second turn, newbies to the game will be frustrated by the poor decisions they made early, so you might as well just start fresh.

I like this game, but it's a bit dry. I don't find the theme or game pieces compelling enough to make me want to play it repeatedly, but I'm happy when a friend picks it as something they want to play. It's chewy enough to satisfy me as a real challenge and not feel like fluff.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Great Game
March 24, 2003

I brought this game after reading the reviews and was not disappointed. The rules are pretty complicated if you don't have anyone to help you out with. When I played this first, we did get some of the rules wrong but now they don't seem that bad.

I really like the strategy aspect of the game. I think that this game has more strategy and less luck than Settlers of Catan since in Settlers you are waiting for your lucky numbers rolled but instead in this game you have to plan your way in each city so that you play your cards just right for that round and also plan appropriate for the next rounds. The special cards are very important and each one of them is important to a certain strategy for the game. The emperor is important if you are looking for the most connections between cities, the elephant comes in handy for winning cities, +2 and change color are always useful.

I have played with only 3 players and have found it to be quite interesting. I would recommend this game to anyone who is looking to spend 1-2 hours on a game with good strategy options.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Good Game
March 20, 2003

I've read numerous excellent reviews of Taj Mahal and decided to give it a try yesterday and it turned out to be a good buy :)

Initially, we had a hard time trying to understand the rules, but fortunately a guy from another gaming group came over and taught us the game :) We played a 5 players game and I ended up last, but I really enjoyed the game... the mechanism of game play is original and innovative... requires a lot of brain work when deciding what card to play and which cards to choose... all in all, it's a good game... I would rank Taj Mahal to be on par with great games like Puerto Rico and EVO...

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Show all 21 reviews >

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