Che is a tile placement game in which two players strive to complete closed regions.
Tiles: Two players, White and Blue, share a common pool of 64 Che tiles (duotone Truchet tiles). Each tile has inverted colours on the front and back and may be oriented either left or right.
Front and back of a Che tile.
The two tiles on the left are described as "White dominant" and the two on the right as "Blue dominant".
Play: White places a tile of their choice on the playing area. Players then take turns placing two tiles of their choice squarely adjacent to at least one existing tile such that all neighbouring edge colours match (the two tiles need not be themselves adjacent).
Aim: A player wins by completing a closed region of their colour, which may be any size or shape. If a move achieves this for both players then the mover loses.
A game won by Blue.
Tiebreaker: If the tiles run out before a region is closed then the owner of the largest region wins. A region's size is given by the number of dominant tiles that it contains.
White has the largest region (size 5).
For example, White has the largest region (size 5) in the game shown above. White would win this game if the tiles ran out at this point.
Tactics and Strategy
Double tile placements mean that the current player can generally create an immediate threat that the opponent must respond to every turn, making Che a very attacking game. The mover's two tiles are generally used as follows:
1) Negate the opponent's last threat.
2) Create an immediate threat of your own.
Any tile that achieves both of these functions is a strong play that will give the mover an advantage.
If a player is unable to make a threat on their turn they lose the initiative, and the opponent can then use both tiles to make multiple threats on subsequent turns. This is not immediately fatal but yields control of the game to the opponent, and it's unlikely that a player will recover from such a disadvantage.
Ears: Exposed ears allow their owner to create a double threat with two tiles, as shown below. There will generally be at least one exposed ear on the board except under certain circumstances.
An exposed ear allows a double threat with two tiles.
Ear Pairs: Ear pairs (below, left) constitute a more dangerous pattern that allows their owner to create a double threat with a single tile (move a, middle) or a triple threat with two tiles (moves a and b, right). It can be seen that position x' is an immediate threat as playing there would itself create a further double threat y.
An ear pair allows a double threat with one tile (middle) and a triple threat with two tiles (right).
Playing both tiles on an ear pair creates a triple threat that will win the game in most circumstances. Players should therefore strive to set up ear pairs wherever possible.
It is generally best to play tiles of the opponent's dominant colour as this maximises the number of friendly ears.
The following figure shows the sixteen possible tile pair combinations.
The sixteen possible tile pair combinations.
Che rules copyright Cameron Browne © 2008.
The name “Che” is derived from the letters TRUCHET.
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