Calvin’s Commentaries: Triad

There are games that you sit down to play and quickly wonder how it is the game was not created half a century ago given the simplicity of rules and the basic concepts of the game.

Triad by Klaus Nehren was just such a game.

Created in 2018, this game is crazy simple.

The board is a simple 6X6 one.

The players are each given six six-sided dice that are modified so that there are two ones, two twos, and two threes. You roll the dice and place them lowest to highest along the row closest to you. That’s the set-up. Super easy and quick.

The play follows that same formula, simple and straight forward.

On a turn, a player chooses one of their dice and rotates it to a different number than the one it was. They then move that die the exact number of spaces of the new number in any of the eight possible directions. Another piece of either colour or the board edge stops movement and the die must move the exact number of spaces.

That’s it for movement.

So what is the goal here?

You need to get three die in a row, horizontally or diagonally, with just a couple of conditions.

The three dies must be all different, or all the same number.

And, the row of three must include pieces from both players.

The player moving will always be the row creator in Triad.

While one successful triad creation is good, it is not enough to win. You must create three triads over the course of the game, but each one you do create reduces your available resources. This is a tricky little twist. When you create a triad you must remove one die of your colour used in the line of three from the game.

As you might expect this game is quick. Once two pieces are close to each other, a triad is typically a move or two away unless you go on defense quickly. Even then the board is small enough that there really is no place to ‘hide’.

If a player moves to create a triad which as two of your colour, you do need to break up the pair after he pulls his piece, or be very wary he will move another piece to recreate the triad, perhaps attacking from the other end of the line.

This is a quick filler abstract strategy game that fascinates in how hard it is to see where attacks may be coming from, but games are short enough that you can learn over several games in a hurry.

Hard to beat in simplicity, but a bit frustrating in how balancing attack and defense is harder than a fill game typically is, which might be Triad’s true strength. Check it out at

Thanks to fellow gamers Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.

About Author