How to Play Onitama | Board Games | Zatu Games UK | Seek Your Aventure

    Zed has hand-picked an exciting and varied selection of games in his subscription box. Expect to receive some of the best games as well as a few surprises!

    Subscribe Now »

    Looking for the latest new releases? Then this is the subscription for you, each month you’ll receive an amazing box full of just the newest & biggest games!

    Subscribe Now »

    Our two new Mystery Box offerings will help you pick up some of the latest top of the range games and exclusive goodies, but at a much lower price!

    Order Now »

    Menu

    Buy 3, get 3% off - use code BOARD3 · Buy 5, get 5% off - use code BOARD5

    How to Play Onitama

    How to Play Onitama Feature

    Onitama is a chess-like, abstract strategy game for two players. In the game, two masters of martial arts are battling it out, with the help of their apprentices, against an opposing school. Players are trying to win to prove they have the best martial arts school in the land.

    So far sounds good, but how do you play?

    Prepare Yourself

    Place the game mat on the table between the players. The players choose which colour to play as and take all the pieces of their colour. If necessary turn the mat round so the correct coloured side is facing the correct player.

    Each player places their Master on the square marked with their colour in the row closest to them. The Students are set out on the four other squares of that row, two each side of the Master. In this guide i will use the term “Pawn” to refer to either a Master or a Student piece/

    Shuffle the 16 move cards then remove five cards from the deck. These are the cards which will be used this game. Give two cards to each player. These are the player's hand and are placed face up in front of the player. The player whose pawns are the same colour as the stamp on the lower right hand corner of the card will go first. The remaining card should be placed alongside the board facing towards the starting player.

    The Contest Begins

    In Onitama, play alternates between the players. Each player’s turn consists of two steps - move and attack and the exchange of cards..

    A Martial Arts Battle

    Each of the Move cards in Onitama sets out ways a pawn can move. There are several movement options on each card. The black square on the card represents the space your pawn is starting from. The squares marked in a different colour show where the pawn can move to.

    On your turn you choose one of the two move cards in front of you and move one of your pawns in the way shown on the card. You then pick which pawn you wanted to move, and move it as indicated. Other pawns do not block movement but you cannot land on the same space as one of your own pawns. You also cannot make a move which would lead to your pawn moving off of the squares set out on the play mat.

    If your pawn lands a space occupied by one of your opponent’s pawns, your pawn would “capture” this piece. A pawn which is captured is removed from the game.

    If you are able to make a legal move then you must move. Only if you cannot make a legal move can you pass on your turn. Even if you cannot move, you must still select a card to use in the second step.

    Readying For the Next Attack

    The player takes the Move card they have just used and places it to the left side of the play mat, rotating it so it is facing their opponent. They then take the card on the right side of the playmat and add it to their hand. This card can be used next turn.

    Victory Belongs to...

    There are two ways to win - the Way of the Stone or the Way of the Stream.

    To win using the Way of the Stone you must capture your opponent’s Master using any of your pieces. To win using the Way of the Stream you must move your own Master into the starting space of the opponent’s Master. The first player to do one of these two wins the game.

    Some Helpful Hints

    Look at your opponent’s cards. Remember, your opponent can only carry out the moves on the two cards in front of him after your turn. You can see these cards as they are face up on the table. This can help you plan your move, either by looking at spaces your pieces can safely move to, or for setting up an attack.

    Consider the card you will get next turn. In a similar vein to above you can, and should, look at the card you will receive next turn. This will help you plan future moves.

    Look at the colour of the cards. Red cards have more options for players to move to the right, whereas blue cards have more options for the player to move to the left. Grey cards are symmetrical, giving players an equal number of options on both sides.

    Moving your piece and passing the card on are equally important functions for the card. Make sure you don’t use a card to move a pawn which will then gift the card to the opponent. Likewise you can be clever when handing cards on. For example, if a player has only blue cards in front of them it is harder for them to move to the right of the board, potentially giving you a path to victory.

    There is no harm in retreating. Many cards give players the option to move backwards as well as forwards. Part of the balance of Onitama is knowing when to go on the attack and when to retreat a pawn, readying yourself for the next turn.

    Remember there are two ways to win.

    Excellent
    08000075444
    Bowthorpe Main Centre, Unit 15, Norwich NR5 9HA
    Zatu Games is rated 4.90 based on 11476
    Reviews

    very competitive prices quick delivery very happy would definitely buy from zatu again

    very competitive prices quick delivery very happy would definitely buy from zatu again

    Fabulous service as always, competitive pricing and super fast delivery, always my site to go to for gaming

    Fabulous service as always, competitive pricing and super fast delivery, always my site to go to for gaming

    Quick dispatch, The game arrived in time and the price of the game was very competitive. My nephew was staying round and I wanted an activity that wasn’t staring at a screen for most of the day. I’ll definitely be ordering games and accessories from them in the future.

    Quick dispatch, The game arrived in time and the price of the game was very competitive. My nephew was staying round and I wanted an activity that wasn’t staring at a screen for most of the day. I’ll definitely be ordering games and accessories from them in the future.

    As I don't like the German Translation of X-Wing I play the original version. Zatu always delivers fast to Germany, fair pricing. Regret very much things will be more difficult when you guys brexit...

    As I don't like the German Translation of X-Wing I play the original version. Zatu always delivers fast to Germany, fair pricing. Regret very much things will be more difficult when you guys brexit...

    Great service and a great saving over other stores. Will be ordering again from them.

    Great service and a great saving over other stores. Will be ordering again from them.

    I've just made my third order with Zatu games and I bet they'll be more. The service is fantastic, products are shipped out very quickly and excellently packaged. If you care about what you are ordering then use Zatu.

    I've just made my third order with Zatu games and I bet they'll be more. The service is fantastic, products are shipped out very quickly and excellently packaged. If you care about what you are ordering then use Zatu.

    I was in a pickle as ordered some games I was hoping to arrive urgently at the same time I ordered a pre-order and they were all penned to be sent to me on the arrival of the pre-order. Managed to speak to someone on the phone after a short email back and forth and the representative was super friendly and sorted the whole thing out very quickly and even got the non-preorder items sent out to me next day delivery for a very small charge. Very happy and impressed with the service.

    I was in a pickle as ordered some games I was hoping to arrive urgently at the same time I ordered a pre-order and they were all penned to be sent to me on the arrival of the pre-order. Managed to speak to someone on the phone after a short email back and forth and the representative was super friendly and sorted the whole thing out very quickly and even got the non-preorder items sent out to me next day delivery for a very small charge. Very happy and impressed with the service.

    We always come to Zatu for our games as we find it's a good price and great service!

    We always come to Zatu for our games as we find it's a good price and great service!

    Fast delivery great price well packed .

    Fast delivery great price well packed .

    Cheapest and quickest by far. Zatu have become my new go to for board games purchases. Wish I lived nearer to them too!

    Cheapest and quickest by far. Zatu have become my new go to for board games purchases. Wish I lived nearer to them too!

    Read All Reviews