The game is played with a board and a set of non-identical pieces in two colours. The object of the game is to force the opponent into a situation where de must resign. This is accomplished by a combination of capturing the opponent's pieces (which removes them from play) and forcing them to move where you want them.
The game board is made up of small pentagons. Overall it is roughly square in shape.
This is an example of the tessellation, not a whole game board:
The starting pieces of each player are not the same. The two sides are generally, but not always, named after the usual colour of their playing pieces:
Both sides have different rules of movement and hence different strategies. White's pieces can move further and White always makes the first move. The two sides also have different rules for capturing the opponent's pieces.
The strategies for both sides are equally hard to master, although it is easier to reach a medium proficiency with White's rules and hence most players prefer to play White. Long-term gaming partners usually alternate between playing Blue and White for fairness. A two-sided die or other random method can also be used to decide.