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User Rating Comment Status
James Hemsley
United States
Palatine
Illinois
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10
Oct 2009*
This game is fantastic! So much strategy in so short a time. Absolutely a great game of chicken that should be played somewhat reflectively but briskly.
2009-09-21
Owned
Danger Mike
United States
Fenton
Missouri
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10
Nov 2011
Fascinating, intricate brainburner. So simple yet so complex. I have played over 100 games of this online.
2013-12-03
Owned
Want In Trade
Dan Schwallie
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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10
Mar 2009*
This is a rather hefty game packed elegantly into a short playing time. It hits the table a lot for that reason and is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
2009-03-16
Owned
Stefan Daniels
Canada
Surrey
British Columbia
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10
Jan 2010*
About time I gave this game a comment.

I've had this in my collection since early 2010 and it still sees regular play (at least once a month or so). 2-player, 3-player or 4-player... this game just shines. So much active involvement in a game, easy to explain rules (except for the necessary but somewhat counter-intuitive tie-breakers), action management, economy (of a sort); for a 20-30 minute experience there is NOTHING else that even comes close, IMO. Easily one of my favorite games of all-time.

This is a fantastic game to start a games night, but not one that I'd end on since it's deceptively tough on a brain already taxed with exhaustion. Needs to be back in print.
2013-09-18
Owned
Michael
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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10
Mar 2012
ALOT of game in a small package.
2012-03-03
Owned
United Kingdom
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10
Dec 2010
Best filler. This is one of the sad malfunctions of the BGG rating system, and the slippery slope it can unjustly cause on few occasions.
2011-02-20
Owned
J. Stimson
United States
New Hampshire
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10
Nov 2012
Hits my chess addiction and fast-paced boardgame craving at the same time. A friend and I have spent hours analyzing the last few moves of interesting games, yet I played it eight times in a row when I got it for my birthday two years ago. Quick to learn, makes you think harder than most games, I'll never get tired of it.
2012-11-15
Owned
David Fox
United Kingdom
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9.59
Sep 2014
Beautiful, elegant, uncomplicated, deep. Very impressed, and very much enjoy the challenge of playing this game.
2014-06-28
Owned
David Dolzan
Slovenia
Komenda
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9.5
Apr 2010
One of the best two player area control games. Much better than Macht & Ohnmacht. Simple, elegant rules - this is one of the more underrated games. The bonus is that the game works with three and four players as well, each time creating a different feeling. Especially, the four player partnership game is a wonderful experience. Short, deep and really very, very elegant.
2009-06-18
Owned
J. Waterborg
Netherlands
Groningen
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9.5
Feb 2009*
Great game!
2009-02-24
Owned
Paulo Santoro
Brazil
São Paulo
São Paulo
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9.5
Mar 2014
Gateway thumbsdown
blankdepthblank
noblankluck 6
details 3

myblankface
[In my profile, explanation of this evaluation system.]


Very intriguing and original design. Easy rules, hard to play. The kind of difficult reminds me of St. Petersburg - I mean, newbies look at the board, see the possible moves yet don't have a clue about what to do and why. But it's much harder than St. Petersburg (and a completely different game, don't misunderstand please).
2011-06-02
Owned
Nienke Sterrenburg
Netherlands
Amsterdam
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9.2
Oct 2007*
Great concept - very well balanced. My favorite from Essen07.
2007-10-30*
Owned
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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9.2
Jan 2012
In essence this is a very short (30 minutes) yet meaty area control game. The theme is refreshingly original (although it's relatively abstracted), and the production and art are nicely done. It's one of those games that just really clicks with me. Games that it felt similar to in various ways, all of which I happen to also like: El Grande, Imperial, and, (to a lesser extent) Hansa Teutonica.

I like how everyone influences the three factions rather than each player "owning" a different faction. The closed cube economy makes for interesting dynamics between investing in a faction while causing that faction to become weaker. Thus the game has an arc as it progresses, where as you increase your investments/points, it becomes harder and harder to invest and/or strengthen the very color you're invested in, due to a shrinking "cube pool".

Scales well from 2 to 4 players and feels very different at these different players, which bodes well for replayability.

This game fills a nice niche: 30 minute thinky spatial/area control that scales really well from 2-4 players. This game has been out for 3 years, but until someone recommended it to me on a thread a few months back, it hadn't been on my radar at all. Definitely one of my biggest pleasant surprises of the year!
2011-02-13
Owned
Jason Reid
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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9.1
Apr 2011
Stock-holding mixed with area control and hand-management. Short play time! No luck! Tiny box! Packs a lot of agony-per-minute and -per-cubic-inch. Rules changes make the 2, 3, and 4 player games unique experiences (the 4-player partnership mode has great potential). Would take 2 minutes to explain to a newbie if not for all of the tiebreakers (which are quite necessary).

Probably my favorite 2-player game. 3 is ok, but 2 and 4 are where it shines.

I once took a point off because I thought I enjoyed it less with less experienced players. After further experimentation, it turns out I don't.
2011-09-13
Owned
Daniel Val
Luxembourg
Luxembourg
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9
Feb 2009*
Very interesting and clever area majority game with historical theme to add a little flavour.
The 4-player version reminds me to a classic spanish card game: mus.
2008-06-04*
Owned
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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9
Nov 2008*
The comparison to Web of Power/China is obvious. This is a tight, elegant area control game. It truly shines with three players. I think this will be one of my top picks from Essen '07. Upped my rating to a 9, this game is an amazing study in understatement.
2007-11-11*
Owned
Grognard David
Belgium
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9
Jun 2010
first impression after reading the rules !
2007-11-16*
Alan Paull
United Kingdom
HUNTINGDON
Cambridgeshire
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9
Dec 2007*
Excellent game. Area majority but with an original take. You only have 8 actions in the entire game, each player having identical sets of action cards. The game structure is formed by the resolution of each of 8 Siamese provinces between 3 factions, so there's decision-making pressure right from the start. Players don't represent the factions, but collect pieces to show their influence with each one. There are two alternative and opposing victory conditions to take into account. For one victory condition the winner is the player who has removed from the board the most pieces from the faction that controls the most regions, so you're trying to manipulate the leading factions with fewer and fewer pieces available. The second victory condition happens if 4 or more provinces are drawn (represented by the British taking over); in this case, you win by having sets of all three faction colours.

I rate this as one of the best games of the show this year. It's themed, rather than historical. Simple and clean mechanics with originality, lots of tense decision-making, combined with good quality components, a good price and much player interaction.
2007-12-07*
Owned
Javi Santos
Spain
sevilla
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9
Apr 2008*
It seems I can only play with four... but everytime I play, I like it more. Difficult to get the feeling, but I enjoyed it really a lot, found it agonizing and extremely difficult to know your best option. Very original majority game. I really want to play more.
Updated: After my first play with three, I see it is really tight game. It plays very different with 3 and 4 players. Really good.
2008-04-21*
Owned
Shin Yoo
United Kingdom
London
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9
May 2008*
I usually don't "get" the games that claim to be very simple yet very deep - well, this game sure is an exception. The mechanism of the game play is deceptively simple, yet the possibilities are just limitless. So far I have played 3 and 4 player games and loved both. If you love area majority games, this is a must-have.
2008-05-01*
Owned
Kevin Warrender
United States
Rockaway
New Jersey
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9
Nov 2008*
Very interesting game. Gameplay is simple yet the decisions are brain-burning to the fifth power! Works well with 2 or 3 (haven't tried 4 yet). And with experienced players it can be incredibly fast. I highly recommend it.
2008-06-02*
Owned
For Trade
Teemu Tuulari
Finland
Helsinki
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9
Jul 2008*
This game packs a lot of content in a small package. Tough actions, and only 8 of them. Rating might go up.
2008-06-05*
Owned
Tony barrett
United Kingdom
st neots
cambs
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9
Jun 2008*
My Favourite 3 player game
2008-06-23*
Owned
Joel J
United States
Iowa City
IA
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9
May 2010
What makes King of Siam so interesting is that the game is not about pushing for a certain outcome. That game is about fighting for advantage. Creating situations where your opponent is forced to spend more cards than you gives you all the power. Regardless of which way they go, you can always respond in kind until your final card gives you the flexibility to win over what they do. Luckily the game gives you plenty of opportunities to turn the table on your opponents. I would liken it to a wrestling match where the person on top has all the advantage and the game is about fighting back and forth for that advantage until someone is eventually pinned. So tense, so deep, and so fast. That sounds a bit dirty after my wrestling comment, but what the hell, it's one of the most satisfying games I can play in 30min.

2player is great if a little bit dry. 3 player can be as much about managing your opponents at the game so everyone has to be playing a pretty solid game lest they give it away. 4 player is becoming my favorite. The dynamics of the partnerships are so interesting adding just the right amount of uncertainty and extra layers to the tight 2 player structure. Of course, this is even more reliant on all players being somewhat experienced lest your partner basically go out first when you called tichu.
2010-06-11
Owned
Germany
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9
Oct 2008*
excellent!
2008-10-28*
Owned

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