Tsuro strategy tips? Surely you’re joking. Nope, not at all. First though, a mini review.
The players have 3 tiles in hand and have to place one in front of their stone. This makes a path. If you connect to a different path, you have to travel along it. If you crash into someone, you both are eliminated, if you go off the board, you are eliminated. It plays in about 5 minutes, is pretty fun and easy to teach people, and you already know all this. Cool? Cool.
So here we go, Tsuro Strategy Tips, or “how to win against your family on that one day a year where you all hang out together”.
3 basic ideas, all of which amount to “maximize your options, minimize others’ options”:
- Play bad tiles as early as possible
- Stay in the center
- Force opponents to the outside
Play bad tiles as early as possible
First, let’s explain what makes a tile good or bad since a lot of people treat them equally. Each tile has 4 sides, meaning it can be played 4 ways for your stone. Each of the paths on the tile links your stone to one of 7 possible result spots. The quality of the tile is how varied the different locations it points to are. A good tile has 4 unique directions it can end up sending you to, one for each side. A bad tile has the same result 4 times. 2s are poor, 3s are ok.
Think about it, you always want options. If you end up in a situation where going straight will kill you, and the only tile you have is one where every side sends you forward, you lose. On the other hand one where 1 U-turns, 1 turns left, 1 turns right, and 1 goes forward could save you here.
So rule 1: play your bad tiles as soon as you can, save your good tiles for when you need them to survive.
Stay in the center
Again, we’re talking about maximizing your options. If you’re heading towards the empty center, all your exits are safe. If your in the corner, at least 4 of your exits are automatically death. So rule here is simple: stay towards the center.
Force opponents to the outside
Since you can’t force opponents to play good tiles directly, your only aggressive action (other than just sending people directly off the map) is to minimize their choices. Whenever possible, always steer your opponents towards edges, or corners (corners preferred). Even if they survive, they will have to use better tiles to get back, getting you a bit of advantage.
So there you go. Some simple tips to get you a tiny bit of an edge in Tsuro. Now go out there and crush your little cousin.