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Unlike in other cultures, the desert Tuareg men, known as Targi, cover their faces whereas women of the tribe do not wear veils. They run the household and they have the last word at home in the tents. Different families are divided into tribes, headed by the ‘Imascheren’ (or nobles). As leader of a Tuareg tribe, players trade goods from near (such as dates and salt) and far (li…
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Category Tags , , SKU ZBG-691479 Availability 3+ in stock
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Great For Two


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • The deep strategy in a simple and quick two player experience
  • Satisfaction from forming a plan and seeing it come together quickly
  • Knock on scoring effects from combining the right Tribe cards

Might Not Like

  • Artwork is a little bland
  • It’s so good you may want to share with a larger gaming groups beyond the two player limit
  • Even with so few decisions, as with most worker placements, a bit of analysis paralysis can come into play
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Unlike in other cultures, the desert Tuareg men, known as Targi, cover their faces whereas women of the tribe do not wear veils. They run the household and they have the last word at home in the tents. Different families are divided into tribes, headed by the ‘Imascheren’ (or nobles). As leader of a Tuareg tribe, players trade goods from near (such as dates and salt) and far (like pepper), in order to obtain gold and other benefits, and enlarge their family. In each round their new offerings are made. Cards are a means to an end, in order to obtain the popular tribe cards.


The board consists of a 5x5 grid: a border of 16 squares with printed action symbols and then 9 blank squares in the centre onto which cards are dealt. Meeples are placed one at a time on the spaces at the edges of the board (not including corner squares). You cannot place a meeple on a square the opponent has a meeple on already, nor on a square facing opponent's meeple. Once all meeples are placed, players then execute the actions on the border squares the meeples are on and also take the cards from the centre that match the row and column of the border meeples.

The game is predominantly scored and won by playing tribal cards to your display. These give advantages during the game and victory points at the end. Usually cards are played (or discarded) immediately once drawn. A single card can be kept in hand but then requires a special action to play it (or to discard it to free the hand spot for another card). Each card has a cost in goods to play. Goods are obtained either from border spaces or from goods cards.

The display (for scoring) consists of 3 rows of 4 cards that are filled from left to right and cannot be moved once placed (barring some special cards). There is also a balance to be found between the victory point score on the cards themselves (1-3 VP per tribal card) and in the combinations per row (a full row of 4 identical card types gets you an additional 4 VP, and a full row of 4 distinct card types gets you 2 VP).

The winner at the end of the game is the player with the most victory points.




Two is the perfect number

The search for the perfect two player game seems to be very high on a lot gamers agenda. Something that that offers an engaging and thematic experience, with a significant amount of strategy and options. But without a huge set up or complexity that may turn some players off for a two player experience. This is rare to find, but the answer could have been sat in front of us for a while. The 2012 release of Targi may have been over shadowed that year by strategy classics such as Terra Mystica, Tzolk’in and Lords of Waterdeep, but I would urge you to give it a try if you are looking to add a new two player strategy game with some depth into your collection.

7 Wonders Duel, Azul, Patchwork, Jaipur and Sagrada are the other five that would come to mind for the best two player experiences. The thing that makes Targi stand out from that crowd is its worker placement mechanic. My favourite worker placement games, Everdell and Viticulture, play very nicely in a two, but they suit a three or four better. Targi on the other hand is solely a two player experience. And the development of the game as such is felt in the simplicity, satisfaction and smoothness of the game play.

The theme of the game is strong. You are a member of the Tuareg, a semi nomadic people who live in the North African Sahara Desert. Your job is to control the trade routes through the desert and in doing so, become the most prosperous tribe. The path to victory however, is fraught with tough decisions and of course, reacting to what your opposing player does.

Time to trade!

Set up is easy. You lay out the border cards which are numbered for clarity. They are double sided with one side showing text explaining what that card means, the other simply with a symbol. The second side is more aesthetically pleasing and will be clear as to its meaning after one game. The border route is one way to represent the number of rounds in the game. I will explain the other later. A robber figure is placed on the first square. Each round the robber moves along one space until it reaches the final space and triggers the end game.

This also blocks a certain card each round simply with its presence. You then lay out the nine cards in the middle, alternating between resources and tribes. In alternate turns, players then place their Targi figures on the border cards of their choosing. The card they choose determines what resource or power they have that round, and the two intersection points between their three Targi offer two further benefits. Be they resources or tribes. In the game you are looking to get resources to buy tribes to add to your display.

You want Tribes to get points. Most points win. Sounds simple, and it is, but the choices of where to place your Targi figures is agonisingly brilliant! Laying them alternately but knowing their intersection points get you more rewards is a brilliant mechanic. You are thinking what you and your opponent wants or needs and are constantly trying to figure out an order by which you can get your chosen cards without being blocked by your opponent. Often you cannot get what you want as your opponent wants it too!

So you need to start with a few options or pivot your strategy mid turn. The game recognises this and offers a unique power on the border cards called Fata Morgana, which allows one player the opportunity to move one of their intersection points to any free space that round. A second chance if needed, and it often is!

Every three rounds the robber raids, taking either resources, points or money. Preparing for this is another element to plan for and spices up the rounds preceding this. Prepping to make sure you have the necessary item to stop the robber taking something else more valuable. But all the time, trying to build your display of tribe cards.

Once you do have a Tribe card, you place it into your display. In total you can have twelve cards max, in three rows or four cards. Where you place the cards is also important as you get an extra point for four unique tribes in a row, two extra points for four tribes with the same symbol.  Getting 12 cards is the other end game trigger, so a tactic could be to get any twelve cards as quick as possible, irrespective of their value or symbol, to surprise your opponent with a quick end.

Targi-board Credit to- Thames and Kosmos

Work, work work!

As you start each round, your brain goes into over drive. You have three decisions to make, where to place your three Targi figures. That’s it. But where they go will determine what five things you can take that round. If a coin resource card is drawn, that will change all your plans as they are very scarce in the game, and you need them to buy most Tribes. But what if the perfect Tribe card is there? Could you risk leaving that as you don’t think your opponent wants it? But then before you can get it you need one more Pepper.

But there is no pepper card out, and the pepper space on the border cards doesn’t line up with either the coin or the tribe I want! All this is gong on in you head as your opponent’s think similar things. As you form you plan, you place your first Targi hoping your opponent doesn’t block you, inadvertently or otherwise. Often they do, so you may then look to place on the Fata Morgana space to control your fate a little more. But what if your opponent blocks that too or claims the space you want anyway. Its excruciating, hilarious and highly rewarding in equal measures!

All in, the game takes 1 hour and feels very smooth throughout. I have played with my wife and six year old son and found both experiences to be equally enjoyable. The game is marketed to 12 and up, but my son picked it up very easily and even on his first game, only narrowly lost by a few points. The worker placement mechanic is what makes Targi shine, but the Tribe tableau building is very rewarding too. Getting a tribe card that allows you to buy another card cheaper or get more points from other types; and then having that pay off later is very pleasing.

Knock on score effects are highly satisfying too. You could have a card that scores one point for every two cards of a certain type. So you collected that second type as much as you could and got four, all placed in one row. Before you have scored either of those five cards base points, they have already scored you four extra points. In a game often won and lost by a few points, this can be crucial.

Pound for pound value.

All this for under £20 in small box. Fun, replayable and satisfying gaming as such a low cost. This has to be up there in terms of pound for pound value. I would highly recommend this.

Targi is a stellar, stand-out two-player board game. Designed by Andreas Steiger, Targi sees two players as rival Tuareg tribe leaders. Can you build and grow the most prosperous tribe in the Sahara Desert? Can you find trade routes to locate the sweetest of deals? Gain goods, trade them for gold or points, all while expanding your tribe. But look out: there are bandits and robbers in the desert! They’re constant sand in your eyes, thwarting your moves and threatening to steal your wares.

The crux of Targi lies in set collection of Tribe Cards. But how to do you earn them? How do you use your Targi figures? How do you avoid the bandits? Fear not, my friends. Today, let’s learn how to play Targi. Then you too can see why it’s one of the jewels in Kosmos Games’ crown…

Targi: The Elevator Pitch

Imagine a worker placement game where you gain actions and goods using an X and Y grid axis. The aim? Buy up to twelve Tribe Cards, which can net you a lot of points. And in board gaming terms, what do points mean? Say it with me now: prizes! The game ends once one player has claimed their twelfth Tribe Card, or after the fourth Raid.

That’s the elevator pitch for Targi if explaining it to your gaming partner. In essence, it’s rather simple. It’s a game that provides effortless elegance, once you’ve grasped the rules. That’s my job here – to explain them to you! – but before we get started, let’s set up the game.

Setting Up The Sahara

Separate the Tribe Cards, Goods Cards, and Border Cards into their own decks. Take the 16 border cards first, and put them into numerical order. (Numbers in the top-left.) Arrange these into a large rectangular landscape border. Start by placing number 16 on the table, landscape, in the top-left corner. Then place cards 1-4 next to it, forming a line. Beneath 4, place cards 5-8. Continue the border left of number 8, with cards 9-12. Last of all, place cards 13-15 above 12, so they reach 16.

There should be ‘Raid’ cards at each corner (numbers 4, 8, 12, and 16). Cards are double-sided, with iconography alone on one side, or written text on the reverse. For your first game, consider having the written text side up, for reference. You could also consider having both players sitting alongside each other. That way you can both read these cards.

This ‘border’ creates an empty 3×3 gap in the middle. Shuffle the Goods Cards and draw the top five. Within this 3×3 centre space, place one Goods card face-up in each of the corners, and one in the middle. (Like an ‘X’.) Shuffle the Tribe Cards, and place the top four, face-up, into the remaining spaces. Now you’ve built a 5×5 grid of cards. The border remains the same every game, but that central 3×3 grid is modular every time.

Keep the remaining Goods and Tribes Cards face-down next to the grid. Place the square Goods chits, gold coins, and Victory Point (VP) tokens nearby. Put the grey Robber meeple on the number 1 Border Card (‘Noble’). Give each player three Targi meeples of their colour, and two cylinders (‘Tribe Markers’). Also give both players the same starting resources: two of each Goods type (dates, salt, pepper). Players also start with one gold coin, and four VPs (1VP and a 3VP token).

Pick a start player – the last player to have eaten dates? – and give them the First Player Marker. Now you’re all set up and ready to play!

Border Control: Placing Targi Meeples

Targi takes place over, at most, 12 rounds. It’s interspersed with four Raid phases, which aligns with the 16 Border Cards. The rounds are formulaic in nature, so let’s break them down step at a time. Players take turns placing their three Targi meeples, one at a time, on Border Cards. Wherever you place your meeples, you’ll get to take that action at the end of the round. This is a first-come, first-served basis. Only one meeple may stand on a single Border Card. This is standard worker placement fare – nothing new, here.

There are other things to consider though, with regards to how meeples get blocked. No player may place their meeple in the same space as the Robber. (In round one, that’s on the ‘Noble’ card.) You also can’t place your meeples on any of the four Raid spaces. Finally, you can’t place your meeple on the Border Card opposite one with an opponent’s meeple on it.

For example, Blue might place their first meeple on Border Card 2. White now cannot place their meeple on Card 1 (because of the Robber). They cannot place on Card 2 (because Blue’s meeple sits there). Neither can they place on Card 10 (because that’s opposite to Blue’s meeple on Card 2). They can place their meeple anywhere else, providing it’s not a Raid space. Let’s say they place it on Card 6.

Now it’s Blue’s turn again. Blue could place this meeple on Card 10 if they want; it’s legal to place it opposite your own meeple. (However, from a strategy point of view, this might not be the best move – I’ll explain why, soon!) Blue cannot place on Card 14, because that’s opposite White’s meeple, sitting on Card 6. So they place their second worker somewhere else, and so on. This continues until each player has placed all three of their workers.

X and Y Targi Targets

Next, both players place their Tribe Markers into the 3×3 central grid. These sit at the points where two of their meeples meet. Think of this as a point on a graph, treating the two meeples as values on the X and Y axes. These Tribe Markers end up on either central Goods or Tribes Cards, not on the outer Border Cards. Pay close attention to what those nine cards are within the central area when placing your meeples. And if you get blocked, what other central cards appeal, as a backup option along that row/column?

With the placement of three workers, it’s possible to earn two of these central cards in this manner. This is why you might want to spread your meeples out. Placing your meeples opposite one another during the worker placement phase results in one less point where X could meet Y. The result? One less Tribe Marker. After this, the first player executes all their actions, in any order of their choice. This is either four or five actions. (Three meeples on three Border Cards, and one or two Tribe Markers in the central grid.)

What do those Border Cards Mean, Anyway?

Not including the four Raid Cards, Border Cards come in two different types. Some provide specific goods: salt, pepper or olives. (Cards 2, 3, 6, 7, 11, 15). If you placed a meeple on one of these cards, remove the meeple and claim the goods from the supply. Other Border Cards have an action on them (Cards 1, 5, 9, 10, 13, 14). If you placed a meeple on one of these cards, take the action and remove your meeple. The Border Card stays in place afterwards.

Actions include:

  • (5) Trader: Exchange 3x Goods (of the same type) for 1x Gold; or 2x Goods (of the same type) for 1x other Good.
  • (9) Fata Morgana: You may move one of your Tribe Markers (on one of the central cards) onto another vacant central card. This offers flexibility if your opponent/Robber prevented you aligning your meeples to get the central card you needed.
  • (10) Silversmith: here you can trade goods for points. 2x Goods (of the same type) for 1x VP. 1x Gold for 2x VP. 4x Goods (of the same type) for 3x VP. 2x Gold for 4x VP. You may do this once per turn, even if you could afford to do it more.
  • (13) Caravan: Draw the top Goods Card from the deck. Then you can take whatever’s stated on the card: 1x or 2x Goods, or 1x Gold, or 1x VP. Then you discard the Goods Card.
  • (14) Tribal Expansion: Reveal the top Tribe Card from the deck. If you can afford the stated cost, you may pay it and add it to your tableau. Or, you may take the card into your hand, providing you don’t have any other ‘reserved’ cards like this.

Triggering Your Two Tribe Markers

If one of your Tribe Markers is on a Goods Card, claim the stated Goods from the supply. (Salt, pepper, olives, gold, or 1VP; sometimes it’s a combination.) Return your marker from the card, but then remove the Goods card from the grid. Replace it with the top card from the Tribes deck, placing this card face-down in the vacant space.

If one of your Tribe Markers is on a Tribes Card, you can buy the card. The cost in Goods (and/or Gold) is in the top-right of the Card. If you cannot afford the cost (or don’t want to pay it right now), you can still take the Tribe Card. You may hold one unpaid card like this, ‘in reserve’. You can’t claim another unpaid card in this manner, though. In such a circumstance, this second Tribe Card immediately joins a discard pile.

The only way to buy a reserved card like this is to place a meeple on the ‘Noble’ Border Card. The Noble’s action lets you build the reserved card in your hand, or discard it. (Of course, you cannot trigger this action in the first round of Targi, because the Robber’s blocking this space.) Whether you build the Tribe Card or reserve it, you replace it with the top Goods Card from the deck. It sits face-down in place, dor now. As the game progresses, these cards will continue to replenish in an alternating fashion, like this.

Targi Tableau Time

If you can afford the Tribe Card, you place it face-up in front of you, into a tableau of sorts. At the bottom-right of each Tribe Card, you’ll see its value in end-game points. Some cards have text on them, which are one-off or game-long passive bonuses. Some of these offer set-collection incentives, such as owning certain types or quantities of Tribe Cards. Talking of which: there are five different types of Tribe Cards. (Camel Riders, Wells, Oases, Camps, and Targia – female Tuareg members). You’ll want to pay attention to these symbols, for further end-game bonuses.

When buying a card, you place it into an imaginary 3×4 grid. (Three rows, and four columns.) You may place the card into any of these three rows, but it must sit on the left-most space. At the end of the game, you’ll earn bonus points, depending on the symbols you have in a row. If the row has four symbols of the matching type, you’ll earn an extra four points. If the row has four different symbols in it, that’s worth two extra points. As well as this, if it doesn’t meet either of the above criteria, it scores zero extra points. Likewise, if it isn’t full (four cards), it doesn’t score any bonus points.

The Running Robber, And Relentless Raids

Once both players have activated all their meeples and Tribe Markers, the round ends. Some Goods and Tribes Cards will be face-down in the central grid. (The ones that replaced the cards activated/bought in that round.) Turn them face-up. Give the First Player Marker to the other player. Then advance the Robber one space clockwise. So in round two, for example, it moves off the Noble Border Card and onto a ‘Get 1x Date’ Border Card. Now the new First Player gets to place their first meeple, and the round continues as normal.

When the Robber moves onto a ‘Raid’ Border Card (numbers 4, 8, 12, and 16), a Raid occurs. This is different to the regular round. Instead, the players must pay in the stated quantity of goods to the supply, or lose points. You know this is going to happen, so you can prepare for it. After both players have surrendered either good(s) or point(s), the Robber moves on. Then a regular round begins again, with the First Player placing their first meeple.

Who’s The Triumphant Tuareg Tribe Leader?

The games of Targi end in one of two ways. One is if someone buys their twelfth Tribe Card, completing their 3×4 grid. In this case, both players continue until the end of that round, then add up points. The other way is if the Robber reaches Border Card 16, the fourth and final Raid space. This final Raid occurs, and then players add up their final score.

Your end-game points include any silver VP tokens you might have earned during the game. You add this to the face value of your Tribe Cards, plus any end-game bonuses they might provide. Last of all, you’ll earn extra points for the Tribe Card types in your rows, as stated earlier. Whoever has the most points gets crowned the Targi top-dog!

Zatu Score


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • The deep strategy in a simple and quick two player experience
  • Satisfaction from forming a plan and seeing it come together quickly
  • Knock on scoring effects from combining the right Tribe cards

Might not like

  • Artwork is a little bland
  • Its so good you may want to share with a larger gaming groups beyond the two player limit
  • Even with so few decisions, as with most worker placements, a bit of analysis paralysis can come into play