The game of the path
Since time began, the Dragon and the Phoenix have guarded over and guided the intertwining paths of life, maintaining the careful balance between the twin forces of choice and destiny. These two powerful beings share the noble task of overseeing the many roads that lead to divine wisdom. Through its masterful blend of strategy and chance, Tsuro represents the classic quest for enlightenment.
Tsuro™ is a board game for two to eight players. Players place tiles on the board to build paths that begin at the edge of the board and travel around the interior.
The object of the game is to keep your path from connecting to an edge of the game board. Outlast all the other players to win.
- • 1 game board
- • 35 path tiles
- • 8 marker stones
- 8 replacement shapes
- • 1 Dragon tile
- 2 game trays
Each path tile shows four lines—or paths—that create eight points on the tile’s edges. When the tiles are laid alongside each other, these points line up and the paths continue. Each tile is unique.
Paths on a tile might cross one another, but they each proceed uninterrupted and independently of the others.
The special Dragon tile keeps track of which player draws first when the draw pile is reshuffled.
1. Lay out the trays
2. Each player chooses a shape.
3. Find the Dragon tile and set it aside.
4. Shuffle the path tiles and deal three face down to each player.
5. These tiles create your hand. You may look at the tiles in your hand at any time.
6. Stack the remaining path tiles face down. This stack is the draw pile.
The board and the stones will not be used in the accessible game.
PLAYING THE GAME
The oldest player takes the first turn.
The first player places his or her marker on any of the start marks (short beige marks) on the outside edge of the trays. Continue clockwise around the board until each player has chosen a start mark and placed his or her marker. Placing markers happens before any tiles are played.
Each turn has three parts:
1. Play a path tile.
2. Move the markers.
3. Draw tiles.
The player currently taking his or her turn is called the active player.
1. PLAY A PATH TILE
The active player chooses one of the path tiles from his or her hand and places it on the open square next to his or her marker. The tile may be placed in any direction. Once a tile has been placed, it cannot be moved for the rest of the game.
A player may not willingly connect his or her own path to the edge of the board (thereby forcing himself or herself out of the game) unless no other move is possible. Near the end of the game, it is possible to eliminate yourself in this manner.
2. MOVE THE MARKERS
The active player moves his marker to the open end of the path.
Then all other markers adjacent to the new tile are moved to the ends of their paths.
A player is eliminated from the game if the open end of his or her path connects to the edge of the board.
Path tiles from eliminated players’ hands are shuffled into the draw pile.
3. DRAW TILES
For the first few turns of the game (or throughout a two-player game), only the active player draws a path tile from the draw pile, replacing the one he or she played that turn.
Later in the game, when players have fewer than three path tiles in their hands, all players will have the chance to draw tiles, even if it is not their turn. Starting with the active player and moving clockwise, each player with fewer than three path tiles draws a tile, continuing around the board until all players have three path tiles or the draw pile is empty. This rule changes slightly if a player has the Dragon tile:
(used only in games with three or more players) The Dragon tile is used to keep track of who should draw a path tile when new tiles become available.
If a player tries to draw a path tile and cannot do so because the draw pile is empty, he or she takes the Dragon tile instead, and no more path tiles are drawn that turn.
When new tiles become available later in the game, the first player to draw a tile will be the player with the Dragon tile instead of the active player. That player sets aside the Dragon tile when drawing a path tile.
Once all players have three path tiles or the draw pile is empty, play continues clockwise around the board.
WINNING THE GAMEWhen only one marker remains on the board, that player wins the game.
ELIMINATION BONUS (used only in games with three or more players)
If one or more opponents are eliminated as a result of a new tile being placed, the active player may immediately exchange any of the tiles in his or her hand for the same number of tiles from the eliminated players’ hands. Remaining tiles from the eliminated players’ hands are shuffled into the draw pile.
PASS THE PILE Some Tsuro groups pass the entire draw pile around the table, keeping the Dragon tile at the bottom of the pile. This can be good for larger groups around big tables. It can also help remind players to draw every turn. Remember not to shuffle the Dragon tile when new tiles become available.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What happens if the paths of two markers become connected (run into each other)?
A: Both players are eliminated from the game.
Q: Can I play a path tile that will force my own marker off the edge of the board?
A: A player may not connect his or her path to the edge of the board (thereby forcing himself or herself out of the game) unless no other move is possible. Near the end of the game, it is possible to eliminate yourself in this manner.
Q: What happens if an eliminated player has the Dragon tile?
A: If an eliminated player has the Dragon tile, pass it clockwise to the next player who has fewer than three path tiles in hand. Q: What happens if all the tiles have been played and two or more markers remain on the board?
A: Those two players tie for the win.
Q: What happens if all remaining players are eliminated on the same move?
A: Those players tie for the win.
Original Game Design: Tom McMurchie
Product Development: Jim Long, Jon Leitheusser, and Tyler Bielman
Art Direction: Shane Small
Graphic Design: Cathy Brigg and Sarah Phelps
Artwork: Shane Small
Editing: Sheelin Arnaud
Photography: Jennifer Clark and Dawne Weisman
Brand Management: Tiffany O’Brien
Project Management: Tina Wegner
Special Thanks To Dawne Weisman, Ray Wehrs, Jim Cook, boardgamegeek.com, and all our awesome playtesters.
©2009 Compound Fun, LLC. All rights reserved. Tsuro, Calliope Games, and Compound Fun are trademarks of Compound Fun, LLC.