TAC, the new classic, unites the three original game elements of board, cards and marbles in a classic strategy game that requires team spirit and skilful maneuvering. The exciting factor of chance is provided by 104 cards that make every game unique and guarantee plenty of surprises. However, the individual players’ “TACtik” experience is up to 90% decisive for success. This characteristic feature gives TAC a depth that fears no comparison with backgammon or chess. Yet, in contrast to these popular board games, the players only win within a team. Every player stays involved in the game right to the end. In addition, there is an exceptionally challenging version of the game that is reminiscent of solitaire. It is played in a team of four and is suited for tournaments. Here, the goal is to attain an optimal course of play, achieved in a combined effort.
The timeless design of the “new classic” is also unique. The artfully decorated, wooden TAC board could also easily pass as an elegant item of furniture or original wall decoration. Apart from a version in birch, the solid wood versions in mahogany and walnut give the game a luxurious feel. An exceptional TAC game version has also been developed especially for blind players.
Features of the game – gripping excitement within a team
TAC is suited for two to four players (ideally four) from the age of 8 years and older. The course of the game is determined by an explosive mix of strategy, tactic and chance. The game’s key elements are a wooden board, four times four marbles as game stones, and 104 playing cards, which determine the moves instead of dice. Many special functions and the necessity of continually having to adapt the individually planned strategy to new situations ensure suspense throughout the game. The simple rules of the game place no high intellectual demands on the players, yet experience, team spirit and steady nerves contribute to the fun. The game lasts between 45 and 60 minutes. Generally speaking, though, a first game quickly turns into a tournament-like match series with changing teams and winners.
The authors’ open confession to haptics and quality are reflected in the classic game elements. High-quality cards are played in a central, circular felt-lined area; hand-picked glass marbles move to the safe “house” along an outside ring of 64 half-rounded indentations. To improve environmental compatibility, the TAC game consists mainly of natural materials. The board and the card motifs on a graphic original form, the so-called “flower of life”, symbolize timeless gaming fun. Even the character font, typical for TAC, was consistently aligned to this design.
Both practical experience and tests carried out to date confirm that the TAC game guarantees immediate and continuous fascination and fun. No game is like the other. All players can decisively influence the course of the game right up to the very last second. Characteristic for the game’s consistent thrill is that the players demonstrate an enormous range of - in part - highly intensive emotions: “From exuberant joy to depths of despair”, the game authors Kolja Sparrer and Karl Wenning describe this range of emotions.
However, the greatest feeling is that of “double joy”, which refers to every mutually-elaborated game that has been won. The immediate effect of good team work on the success can be experienced playfully. TAC practices important social competences such as perception, non-verbal communication, interpretation ability and intuitive action, as well as the simultaneous experience of working against one another and with one another, or in competition and teamwork.
The mother of the TAC game is the Indian Chaupar or Pachisi. Chaupar evolved as a modification of the Korean game Yut in the course of the 4th century. Chaupar is the courtly form of the game and, with its complicated rules, distinguishes itself from Pachisi. The English brought the game to England in the 19th century. From there it spread across Europe and America. Numerous variations evolved as a result. Among the best known are Ludo, Haste makes Waste, Sorry, Dog, Pedalo and many more.
Kolja Sparrer got to know an original version of the TAC game at a friend who had brought along the self-constructed game from the Pyrenees in 1989. Via his life partner, Anna Katharina Wenning, elements from the Canadian line were also incorporated. From that time on, it was played by family members and with friends, and new variants were quickly created. Rules were compared, supplemented, tested over and over, and fine-tuned. Thus, the original rummy hand changed into a newly-developed card game, and the game board was also completely redesigned. This resulted in numerous exciting game variations, among these the master version, the game version for two and three persons and the Team TAC version, where all players play together against the TAC rules. After a production stage of nine months, 2004 finally saw the first official presentation of the game at Spiel 04 in Essen, where TAC was enthusiastically received by visitors and trade press.
The son of a doctor and an architect, Kolja Sparrer was born in Munich on 15.01.1973. In primary school he attended the integration class at the Montessori school. He subsequently returned after completion of his high school graduation in 1992, where he completed his community service. This was followed by a two-year carpentry apprenticeship in Munich and completed architectural studies at the Technical University of Munich. Kolja Sparrer has been working as a freelance architect since 2002. In January 2004, together with Karl Wenning, he founded the TAC publishing house to publish TAC®.
Karl Wenning was born in Dachau on 16.8.1949. Following his high school graduation, he studied social pedagogy. Thereafter, he completed a three-year actor’s training in Munich. Having finished both courses of studies, this was followed by twenty years of theatre activity in the field of children, young adults and adult theatre in cooperation with F.J.Bogner – director, author, clown and cabaret artist. As of 1995, he was employed as a lecturer at the School for Curative Care in Schönbrunn and in the care of people with psychological disorders. Karl Wenning has been the managing director of the TAC publishing house since 2004.
Following the founding of the TAC publishing house by Kolja Sparrer and Karl Wenning in 2004, Silvia Kretschmer, Katharina Wenning and Kai Angne already joined the team as freelance employees in the early years. The publishing house has been managed by Kai Angne, Silvia Kretschmer and Karl Wenning since 2012. Simone Schumacher joined the team in December 2016.
Not to be forgotten in this regard is the large number of enthusiastic TAC players who contribute to the exceptional success story of TAC with their support and ideas. TAC has meanwhile gained a global fan community. Every two years, TAC players from across the world meet for the TAC world championship and take up the challenge to win the title.
More information on TAC can be found at www.spiel-tac.de.
Aichach, January 2017
TAC Verlag (Publishing House) / Karl Wenning
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