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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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9.71
Jul 2015
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
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
Jacco Versteeg
United Kingdom
Crewe
Cheshire
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9
Sep 2009*
Very intense brainburner of a game. The very limited game options, the constant weighing of the consequences, it all adds up to a very difficult to grasp (although very easy rules) game that will take many more plays (for me at least) to try and discover some sort of strategy.
2011-07-27
Owned
Patrick
Canada
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9
Dec 2008*
Simple but very clever majority game. Plays very well with two, three or four players (in team of two). The limited amount of actions available for the game make decision making much trickier !
2008-12-02*
Prev. Owned
Paul Nomikos
Canada
Kingston
Ontario
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9
Apr 2009*
Simple and intriguing game. You want to play again and again. It is a gem but for people that they like kind of abstract games (although the theme here fits very well). Give it a try, it will surprise you!
2009-04-01
jose silva
United States
Glenshaw
Pennsylvania
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9
Jun 2015
a lot of thought packed in half an hour.the best short 3p game I know
2015-06-02
Owned
Want To Play
Tomas Lundin
Sweden
Åtvidaberg
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9
Mar 2010
An almost-masterpiece by Peer Sylvester. Counter-intuitive, brain-burning strategy with a unique mechanic: You try to strengthen your influence over the seemingly-winning faction (acquiring cubes of that color) but in doing so you must inevitably weaken that faction on the board - thus hurting the chances of that very faction. Marvellous.
2010-03-29
Owned
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Don't fall in love with me yet, we only recently met
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9
Dec 2011
I love games where the strategy is much more complex than the rules, and after a couple of plays this definitely seems to be one of them. Each player only gets 8 actions in the entire game (though it does only last 30-45 mins), so they have to be chosen very carefully. The interesting thing is that the cubes on the board don't represent players, but independent factions, and by increasing your personal influence over a faction you reduce its power on the board. There's something almost Zen about it all, and I'm really looking forward to trying it again, though it will have to be with a well-chosen group of players.
2010-01-31
Owned
Want To Play
Chris Rudram
Canada
Victoria
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9
Dec 2009*
Beautifully designed game. You do 8 actions in the game but it feels like so much more.
2011-11-05
Sergey Nikolenko
Russia
St. Petersburg
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9
Jan 2010
An absolutely amazing game. Very elegant, very subtle. You really should try it, if you haven't already.
2010-01-29
Owned
Duck Farmer
Australia
Ziggurat City
Phantasmagoria
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9
Dec 2013
Almost a perfect jewel. Initial rating of 9.

10 plays: Initial impressions remain accurate - this has the potential to be an all-time classic. Stays at 9.
2015-04-02
Owned
quelf elf
Spain
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9
Dec 2011
storage
2012-08-12
Owned
Francis Gauthier
Canada
Québec
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9
Aug 2010
My kind of game !
Tried the 4 players team version, can't wait to try with 2-3 players.
Tried it with 2 players, it doesn't work as well, but they're still some brain burning to be had.
2010-08-25
Owned
Tom Shields
United States
Tacoma
Washington
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9
Dec 2014
Just a lovely little brain burner.

The designer taught school in Thailand and, while living there, learned how Siam avoided colonization by the British & French in the 19th Century; a successful tightrope walked by a number of factions struggling for control when the King initiated modernizing reforms. yet they didn't fall into the chaos of civil war, which would've prompted the British to walk in and establish order to protect their, erm, "interests." So, neat designer notes.
2013-09-25
Owned
John Brier
United States
Aventura
Florida
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9
Mar 2014
Ostensibly spartan, but from a few simple ideas and map this game squeezes wonderful depth and angst. I can't think of another multiplayer game with as good a ratio of playing time to depth. Also, I think the partnership aspect of the 4p game really adds another layer; so much so that at this point I'm not sure how much I'm interested in exploring the game with other player counts. UPDATE: I was wrong- the 2p game is excellent
2014-08-26
Owned
Eric Vogel
United States
Hayward
California
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9
Feb 2011
The partner's version of this game is just brilliant. Very intense too.
2011-02-10
Owned
Hungary
Budapest
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9
Apr 2011
Astonishing. Intense game, in which you have eight actions to gain majority for a faction in eight areas, while gaining control of the faction at the same time which weakens its position on the board in exchange. Or you could screw with your opponents, and weasel the English in. Good luck with that, though. Because of the limited actions, you have to play your opponents, you have to watch your timing and have to be able to change course if necessary. On top of all this, while each mode differs from the other, plays equally well with 2, 3 or 4 players, and very accessible to kids over 8 or newbies, while it remains just as tense and exciting as with battle hardened pros.
2011-04-12
Owned
Steve Constantelos
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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9
Jul 2011
Deep, elegant, finely-crafted. Inscrutable?

I like playing this with randomly dealt hands, but it works fine either way.
2012-05-27
Owned
Björn Hansson
Sweden
Bromma
Stockholm
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9
Jun 2014
Fast, intense and brain burning. Very smooth and streamlined. Livingproof for the fact that "less is more"
2012-01-19
Owned
Jason Tseng
Taiwan
Hsinchu City
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9
Mar 2012
Apple Paul

California
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9
Apr 2012
January 2012: King of Siam is a distinctive and different sort of game.

In particular, each player has the exact same set of cards, with the exact same set of distinctive card effects on each card, looking at the exact same board, operating under the exact same set of rules. No dice rolls, no surprising new card, or card effect coming into play through chance, not even a hint or glimmer of luck. Not that such gaming characteristics are anything particularly exotic...chess and virtually every abstract game you will ever play (eg Blokus) can be characterized as such. But...

In King of Siam, the simple but pleasing mechanics very nicely create short term, medium term, and long term effects, that cause you to constantly adjust your short term, medium term, and long term strategy and tactics. And all of this information is very accessible and visible to you on...let's face it...a very simple board.

You feel like you really should be able to figure out the puzzle in front of you...because it is in a relatively simple and accessible form. And, of course, when you do figure out the puzzle, you feel pretty good about the whole thing. A game that is perhaps not fireworks...but good in a very quirky way. I give it an 8.

April 2012: After playing this a few times now with three, I think this game is very much of a classic, very chess-like. Raising my rating to a 9.

June 2014: Still a brilliant classic.
2014-06-25
Owned
Jeremy Brown
United States
Gorham
Maine
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9
Jan 2014
Feels like a fusion between Wallace and the gipf series.
2012-02-14
Owned
Kenrick Fearn
France
Ruffec
Charente
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9
Mar 2015
A little box with a lot of punch ...
2015-03-04
Owned
Hal
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
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9
Apr 2015
Dense is the best way to describe this game. You only take 8 actions, but deciding when to take each one, and then what do with it, is tricky every time. The two layers of majority needed to win makes this game exceptionally difficult and interesting. Judging your timing in this game is agonising - you can't tell if it was too soon until someone else plays, but you always feels the pain when you play too late and have junk cards left in hand. The most game for the fewest components.
2015-04-19
Owned
Tucker Taylor
Canada
New Westminster
British Columbia
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A woman needs a man like a fish needs a saxophone.
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9
Aug 2015
Possibly the perfect three-player game. I am terrible at this but I love it anyway.
2013-12-11
Owned
Nate
Australia
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9
Jun 2014
Half way through my first game of this, I declared it one of the best games I had ever played. The amount of game that is packed into 8 cards and 30 minutes is incredible.

Definitely the best "filler" game I've played so far, and something that sets the benchmark. It's games like these that I'm searching for, and the ones that deserve to be in my collection.

There's so much beauty inherent in the design, I always get this feeling of wanting to affect change, to make a move, and ultimately regretting it when I make a move too far. I never seem to regret not making a move though; I need more patience.

29/06/14 - Played the partnership version and this game was fantastic! This game just gets better and better. It's amazing how the limited actions can confound new players, but after the first game it just clicks. The partnership version is really interesting, and the ability to not only monitor your opponents but pay attention to your partner and their signalling makes this an absolute delight. My partner was new to this game, and they followed my lead perfectly; I began by trying to force a single colour, trapping the opponent's team into over committing before my partner made a push for a different colour. It was poetry in motion.

I can't recommend this game enough.

4 player is far and away the best way to play this game.
2014-10-19
Owned
SJ S
United States
New York
New York
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9
Sep 2014
This game really impressed me. every time i play this i'm amazed at how much tension can be created with 8 little cards. sometimes I see a way forward, and then realize that my own strategy steps on itself by being "circular" in logic. yet, i'm still not sure whether the best approach is to play this analytically, or intuitively. would love to try the 4P partnership of this game.
2014-11-09
Owned
suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
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9
Feb 2015
Just picked this up. In a weird way it is like an time compressed, essence condensed version of Twilight Struggle for three.
2015-02-28

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