Playtime: 60 Minutes
Targi explores the Tuareg tribe, in which men, called Targi, trade goods throughout the desert in order to provide for their families. This is a two-player game where both players are the heads of their own tribes and try to provide the best for their families.
A Brief How To Play
Set up in Targi involves lining cards in a 5×5 grid. This grid acts as the board, with 16 set cards making the border in a set order. The interior is a combination of goods and tribe cards. The goods are items such as salt, pepper, and dates, while the tribe cards are additions to the player’s tribe. The two players are each assigned two tribe tokens and meeples. A robber meeple is placed at its first location, then play will begin.
Players will place their meeples on one of the border locations, taking turns until both meeples have a location. There are a few limitations: Spaces with the robber can’t be occupied, and meeples can’t be placed across from other players. Then, the intersecting space between the border meeples will be occupied by the players’ tokens. Players will then be given what their meeples and tokens occupy. If it is good, the player gets that resource, while the tribe cards can be traded for said goods.
There are of course a few limitations in the number of tribe cards that can be set, but play is fairly simple. The robber will move around the board to start every turn, and when the robber makes a full revolution or when 12 tribe cards are acquired by a player, the game will end. Throughout the game, players will have acquired many tribe cards that can be arranged in a 3 x 4 tableau. There are a few scoring conditions, and the player with the most points wins.
Pacing and Interactivity
With short rounds that are made up of quick, alternating moves, Targi never suffers from pacing issues. It feels good to play, and each action feels significant. The limitations of where players can place their meeples results in a fair amount of planning for the future. The various tribe cards need to be placed on the players’ tableaus in a specific way to maximize points. Some also come with additional perks that will actively benefit the players through the game or during scoring. While planning is required, this isn’t the type of game in which players are likely to suffer from analysis paralysis.
Only one meeple may be played on each space, and the inability to place a meeple opposite of the player’s opponent gives players plenty of opportunity. Players will obviously focus on obtaining resources that will aid them, but they can also negatively affect their opponent. This isn’t a mean-natured game, but there will almost certainly be some interaction, resulting in a game that doesn’t just feel like solitaire.
Theme and Components
As a game almost entirely made up of cards, Targi‘s components won’t astound. They are of average quality and thickness. They do, however, have some excellent art that is both appealing and easy to identify. This is excellent from a gameplay perspective, and it will only take a few rounds for players to be able to identify what most images and symbols mean.
While the components aren’t special, the gameplay suits the theme well. The board feels like a desert for players to traverse, and the trading system is easy to imagine occurring in real life. There are various cards with art of culturally significant items. Like most Kosmos games, there is a learning opportunity here, which is a welcome addition to any board game collection.
While the border cards always remain the same, the interior board’s unpredictable nature gives Targi plenty of value. There are many cards to draw out the fun, and most games will feel different, with players needing to shift strategies due to the slight modifiers that some cards offer.
Targi Is Great For Fans Of…
Anyone who enjoys games with drafting and set collection elements should get tons of value out of Targi. Of course, its player count is restrictive, so if players aren’t looking for games that are exclusively for two players, they might want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, this is one of the best two-player games on the market.
Targi is an interactive and well-constructed game that gives two players a thematic and strategic experience.
Pacing & Interactivity
Theme and Components