Danny, the Zia Comics Game Guru, gives a brief overview of how to play Onitama. This game mixes martial arts with a chess style board.
Onitama is a two-player game with a random starting set-up on a 5×5 board. Both players start with five pawns on their side, with the main pawn (Master) in the middle.
Each player has two open cards that display a possible move for any of his pieces. There is a fifth card that cannot be used by either player.
On a player’s turn, he chooses one of his cards. The player moves one of his pieces according to the chosen card. That card is then replaced with the fifth card. The other player then chooses one of his cards and moves accordingly. Afterwards that player exchanges the used card with the fifth card (which is, of course, the card the first player just used).
Moving onto one of the opponent’s pawns removes that pawn from the game. Taking the opponent’s main pawn (Master) or moving your main pawn into your opponent’s main pawn’s starting space wins you the game.
This is a game for 2 players age 8+. A complete game should take 10-30 minutes.
Onitama is a fun, quick, and simple game that does employ strategy.