Another Tuesday, another gaming night…

As the title implies, tonight was gaming night. Recently, every Tuesday evening has been dedicated to playing board games with my friends, and I hope this continues since I really enjoy it.

The game tonight was Shogun: a game set in Japan during the Sengoku period. Each player plays a daimyo, a territorial lord striving to become shogun. To accomplish this, the players compete to expand their territory and build buildings which provide extra points during the scoring rounds.

The game is played over eight seasons: two years of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The first three of these seasons play out exactly the same: randomize action order, plan actions and bid for playing order, and then perform your planned actions. All players execute their actions more or less simultaneously, so the gameplay feels very dynamic. What one player chooses to do affects the decisions for every other player.

The winter, however, is not played in the same way as the other three seasons. During winter, you must make sure to feed your population, or they will revolt. After dealing with possible revolts, scoring takes place. This is the time when you should have expanded and built buildings. Every province you control, and every building you have built, gives one point. There are also special scoring rules for building the most buildings of the same kind (castles, temples and theatres) in one region. Since the game only consists of two scoring rounds, it is important to maximize your scoring potential especially for these rounds. Having the greatest kingdom doesn’t help much if you have it at the wrong time.

An interesting feature in this game is how combats are resolved. For every combat, you take the involved armies and throw them all in a tower, constructed so that some armies pass through it and some get stuck inside it. The winner of the combat is simply the player who sees the most armies pass through the tower. The armies that get stuck inside the tower stay there for later combats, which makes it a bit more interesting; you simply have to take into account how many armies are inside the tower before performing an attack on a province.

All in all, I liked the game, but since this was the first time we played it, it’s a bit too early to say if it’s good or not. Hopefully we’ll play it some other time so I can give my judgement. Stay tuned!

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