$10.00
Recommend
26 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Samurai» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Samurai: Carlos Xiangqi Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Carlos Xiangqi
Mexico
Guadalajara
Jalisco
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Review
Carlos Xiangqi
DISCLAIMER: My mother language is spanish
so this review can contain a funny tone, plenty
of orthographic errors, and awkward commentary
you have been warned modest

Samurai

This is a Tile lying game from Reiner Knizia. You are in Feudal Japan trying to gain influence over 3 castes, nobility, religion and people.



1COMPONENTS


You have:
The BOARD, which is a modular map of japan.
The Tokens, made of resin, heavy and nice. They represent the 3 castes.
The Tiles, made of cardboard
The Screens, used to hidde your tiles
The Manual which is well written.



2THE SET UP


1. You put together the modular map depending on the number of players.
2. Distribute the Tokens around the Cities & Villages
3. Take 5 tiles

Distribution of the Tokens


There are two version of the rules
a) Distribute the tokens randomly
b) Each player puts one token per turn until the map is full. (this add some strategy to the game)

You have to place 3 tokens in the capital, 2 tokens in every city (the icon on the board shows 2 houses) and 1 token in the villages.

You cant place two of the same tokens in the same city.

Taking the Tiles
There are two version of the rules
a) Take 5 tiles randomly and place them behind your screen
b) Choose your starting hand (5 tiles)

I find that if you let players choose their starting hands the player with the first turn have an advantage.. in that case i have the house rule that dictates that in the 1 round no one can place more than 2 tiles.

3GAMEPLAY

1.- You must lay a tile or tiles
2.- If a city is all surrounded by tiles (from any player) the influence over the city castes must be resolved, and once this happens the players capture the tokens they won. In case of a tie the token is put aside.
3.- Randomly take tiles from your supply (tokens are upside down) until you refresh to 5 tiles.

The objective of the game is to gains influence over the cities castes (capture the tokens)
You gains influence by placing tiles next to cities. This tiles have a number and a icon. The Icon represents which caste this tile influences and the number represents the power of this influence.

In this example, GREEN is exerting influence over the left top citie with the people (farmers-rice symbol-whatever) the influence is 4.

Also note that he is NOT exerting influence over the bottom left city, which have a religious caste (Buddha).


The Tiles

There are 2 types of tiles
a)Normal and
b)Fast-Tiles, this tiles had a Japanese symbol in the bottom.



Players can only place ONE normal tile,
ONE normal tile and any number of FAST TILES.
or ANY number of fast tiles.

a)You have 2,3,4 power tiles of every caste
b)Ship tiles (1,1,2, all fast-tiles)
c)Samurai tiles (1-fast tile [ronin], 1, 1, 2, 2, 3)
d)Special tiles (1-fast tile, 1 normal)



All tiles but ships have to be place on land adyacent to a city (cant be placed over a city)
Ships have to be placed on the sea
Ships & Samurais exert influence over all castes in a city

The Special Tiles

The Swap token tile let you swap one token location for another



In this example the High Helmet changes position with the rice.
The only limitation is that you cant break the rule about having two of the same caste-tokens in the same city.. you cant.
You doesnt have to lay this tile in the map, just show it and once played place it aside.

The Exchange tile tile let you replace one of your own NORMAL tile on the board.. and the play that tile on another space.




In the example you place the Exchange tile (value 0) in the place of the 4 Rice, then take the rice and place it on another space.
the exchange tile have a value of 0 influence, so if it is placed next to a city that is not completely surrounded, you influence is zero, if it is placed on a space where the city has been taken, it doesn't matter (like in the example).

Why should i place this tile next to an unclaimed city with tokens? maybe you are losing the battle there and prefer to use one of your caste-tile elsewhere.

The Capture

When the city is surrounded BY LAND (sea spaces can be empty, ships are only for influence not for enclose cities), the tokens are taken by the players with the most influence over them.
Some times a player can take all the tokens on a city or one token is for one player and the other to another one.

If there is a tie the token is place beside the map.

In this example Green and Blue ties with 4 points of influence over the people of this city. Red doesn't have any influence in this city.


4SCORING
The game have 2 ways of end (with one variant)

The end is triggered when
a) The last of one type of caste is captured
b) 4 tokens are put aside because of tie battles

In this case the active player end his turn and then the scoring begins.

The variant end is triggered when
a) All tokens are captured
b) 4 tokens are put aside because of tie battles

In this case the active player end his turn and then the scoring begins.

One of the most critical aspects of this game is the scoring, for some is difficult to explain, for others, it makes no sense.. other are ok with it,, im one of those.

I find that is not that hard, and actually is one of the better aspects of the game.

1.- Caste Support Sum all the tokens per caste every player have. Give ONE point per every caste one player have the most.
in case of tie
2.- External Influence Sum all the tokens you have OUTSIDE your winning caste, the one with more support gains one point.
in case of tie
3.- Total influence Sum ALL TOKENS... the one with more gains another point.

I have a file submission on BGG with a scoring aid, once its approved i will posted in here.

5THE FEEL

Some poeple started this hobbie with carcassone, or ticket to ride, or smililar, i was lucky enough to jump from monopoly and scrabble to this game...

Is a good tactical-strategic game for 2
A good tactical for 3
and a carnage kill em all for 4

I had read complains about the chaos of 4, and i agree, but that is precisely the fun in it... you cant play with 4 like with 2... with 4 is all about swift actions and bold moves, you have to kill every time you can and use your hand aggressive and arrogantly... maybe you will lose, but it is nonetheless a blast.

The game is outstanding IMHO. Is a territorial game about controlling zones.

You have to take influence (tokens) with the minimum resources (power, and number of tiles) For that to happen you must identify weak positions on your enemies formations, opportunities given by the terrain (some cities are surrounded by less spaces than others).
Take advantage of spaces where you can influence two cities with the same tile.
You must be aware not only on Influence Power, but to space, and for that timing and counting empty spaces are a key.
It doesn't matter if you have an overpowering force on a city if you CANT fully surround it.

There are randome tile drawing so there is luck. I like games with random elements, and i find this luck doesnt override the skill of a good player or a string of good moves.

One thing that this game have is that with the limited resources, and some cities have plenty of space around them, (and the ships), doesn't matter if you doesn't draw one particular tile in your turn, you can still can make good moves, and have good decisions.

The scoring method forces you to be powerful in one area but without neglecting the other castes.

The rules state that tokens must be hidden behind your screen.
I don't like this rule, i don't care for memory skills in this game in particular. I always play with the tokens visible, that way the game become more tight.

You are fighting to gain the most of one token, and then another player overrides you and you must try to continue to influence this same caste or trying another, without neglecting the others 2... is a balance act that only a samurai can make.

A Tile influencing two cities.


A 1 Samurai guarding a weak position, any player can play a weak buddha and capture the token


Tiles doesnt only have influencial power, but capturing power
in this example green utilices a tile without influence on the city to surround it and capture the token.



Subtleties of the war
In this example Green and red share a common space to cities they are fighting for. Green can wait red (or another player) trying to capture the bottom buddha, which helps green to surround the city (saving one tile to green) and capture the token.

6THE PICTORIAL The Atmosphere

Some people take the THEME too seriously around here, i respect that. For me, every board game is an abstraction of a mathematical model. No matter how much you think the theme make sense, there is no way a couple of cardboard and plastic pieces are going to emulate something in the real or imaginary life.

For me the theme is more about the atmosphere, the artwork, how this atmosphere help your imagination to make the game more pleasant to the senses and the relational mind.

A children can see a huge theme in checkers... he can see monsters, and princess, and only God knows what else, they doesn't need fancy graphic designers...

The adults, well that another story.
I like the atmosphere in the game, i like to pretend im actually to dominate this feudal japan, and every time you unleash a 3-Samurai, 3 armies of samurai are controlling this city.

The artwork is beautiful.



So much to conquer an so little resourses


THE MAP FOR 2 PLAYERS


THE MAP FOR 4 PLAYERS





10/10 BGG Scale



26 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carlos Xiangqi
Mexico
Guadalajara
Jalisco
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
ScoreSheet

8 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tommaso Franco
Italy
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Estupenda reseña, ¡muchas gracias!

I have a question regarding scoring: could you comment on the way you play with open capture?

There has been a lot of debate regarding this aspect, open/hidden capture. Have you faced some Analisys Paralisys problem (i.e. people counting pieces before they move)? What about kingmaking (player who can't win but has the last move and decides who does win)?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carlos Xiangqi
Mexico
Guadalajara
Jalisco
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Tommaso 73 wrote:
Estupenda reseña, ¡muchas gracias!

I have a question regarding scoring: could you comment on the way you play with open capture?

There has been a lot of debate regarding this aspect, open/hidden capture. Have you faced some Analisys Paralisys problem (i.e. people counting pieces before they move)? What about kingmaking (player who can't win but has the last move and decides who does win)?


Hi Tommaso, i appreciate your comments.

I prefer the open tokens because without it the game doesnt add tension, it adds randomness (unnecessary). For a game where only 1 token can change the winner, it doesn't make sense to hide this info.

But i suspect that AP (analysis paralysis) and kingmaking where two of the reasons Knizia added the rule.

About my gaming, yes i have found sometimes with some people AP, but this varies from game to game and depends on the type of player.

But this AP is not annoying, or long. The are not many tokens per caste, per player .. and unless you are too new to the game, or play without a clue, open information is there to a quick peek only to adjust some tactics on the fly trying to block or gain influence and balance the game. We always arrange the tokens in a way are easy to see the number of the tokens to the other players.

I prefer some AP that playing blind, if i play blind, what is the point of get this or that token, is a blind-bet, is random, (unless you have good memory, but even so, carries the same problem, the "memory guy" could have AP).

But the group it self can hurry de guy, we do this all the time, putting pressure to the slow one, the info is there to quick peek and quick decisions, not to abuse it and make mathematical analysis out of it.

About Kingmaking, it depends on the group too.
In reality since this is a territorial game, if the last player move give a token to one of the two leaders, is because the arrange of the tiles allowed such situation... and while the last player have the decision of where to lay the last tile, here are some interesting notes:
If you play the rule where the end is triggered by taking the last token of one caste (instead of the total war where you play until the last token). The last play is triggered by taking this last token, (or taking a 4tied token) you then can have a rule that enforce a losing player to NOT take the last token of a caste, so he cant end the game, he must play elsewhere... if he doesnt have a play then should pass.

Since is a game of domination, if a player is behind the leaders, he doesn't have the right of ending the game.. unless this last play give him a better scoring, help him to climb a position.

In a groups where you are not overly competitive kingmaking will be almost always unintentional

The beauty of this game (or any game) is that a couple of house rules really enhance games to a particular group, some people think the purest way of playing a game is by the given rules, to me, the base rules are a good starting point to develope a more personal and dynamic game depending on the players.

Im sure that some Samurai Players who are competitive can come with rules that make kingmaking impossible.

Cordiali saluti
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tommaso Franco
Italy
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for your quick reply. Funny though, that we maintain this conversation in english - puesto que podríamos hacerlo en español - o anche in italiano a quanto pare

I've played with open scoring in a computer implementation of Samurai, assuming the AIs would count pieces better than I do whistle
Next time I'll try open scoring with "real" players, I agree with you it adds tension to the narrative.

Hasta la próxima
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephan
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Great review, thank you. meeple
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.