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Subject: A fun post-Halloween gaming session of Karesansui rss

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Played a great 4 player game of Karesansui after Halloween. This was a wonderful produced game that we really, really enjoyed. Here is how the gaming session broke down.

It probably took us at least 2 rounds to fully wrap our minds around the reverse bidding nature of the game. In this game, you are trying to pay as many rocks as you can to get as few rocks as you can. There is a really unique way of breaking ties (how many stones are used to get to the appropriate value).

After people get their rocks and place them in their gardens, they see if they get any demerits. After the first round two of the four players got a demerit. At this point, we were able to clear those rocks, so it made for a little more breathing room going forward.

There is going to be one player every round who is going to get a point because they had to pass from the bidding. One player thought it would be a decent strategy to just pass every round and take the random rock from the bag. However, that quickly proved to be a terrible idea as getting points is to be avoided at all moments.

After we played the first few rounds, trying really hard to avoid getting specific rocks (to avoid demerits), the black rock went back into the bag. This proves to be a pivotal change in the game since if the black rock ever comes out then the game immediately ends.

It got to a point where 1 rock for every player would be a big swing in points. Three of us drew out rocks that gave us a demerit. The other player didn't draw a rock that was devastating and drew the black rock as well so the game ended. Victory for them (lucky, lucky draws).

This was one of the games that after we played it once, we all wanted to get it out and play another round, so we did (although this time it was with 5 players). In the second game, the bidding was a little looser and people were not taking more rocks than they were getting rid of as they did previously. This led to a few more demerit points being taken, but the game ended two rounds after the black rock went into the bag.

All in all, this is a wonderful game. If you like bidding games, this will be right up your alley. If you like games with beautiful production values, this will be right up your alley. If you like games with a puzzly feel to them, you will like this game.
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