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With most abstract games, your opponent can move any number of ways and you have to determine which ones are best in order to counter them and succeed. In Sim Serim, on the other hand, your opponent can move in only one way -- yet there's still lots of uncertainty on each turn. Here's how the game is played:
A 7x7 board with two opposing corner spaces removed is placed diagonally between the players (or teams, if you're playing with four). On a turn, you and your opponent each choose to conceal from 1 to 4 stones in your hand. After revealing the stones, whoever offered fewer stones places them in a diagonal row from left to right, then the other player follows. "The stones must be placed one after the other, adjacent to the last stone placed in the row," says designer Heinrich Glumpler. "You may not choose which position in the current row is filled. In the case of a tie in the number of stones offered, the same player goes first who went first in the previous round. (In the case of a tie in the first round, black goes first.)"
Whenever a row is filled, the current player chooses which row the players will next start to fill. The game ends when the board fills, then the players rotate the board 45 degrees and look at the horizontal rows and vertical columns they created. They score points for each set of exactly three stones in their color—but they lose points if any horizontal or vertical set has more than three stones. Glumpler says that this scoring condition sets up a lot of thinking and counter-thinking each turn, with the ability to determine which new row to fill being another crucial element.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com
- 1 game board
- 24 dark stones
- 24 light stones