US Sales Manager for Eagle-Gryphon Games
Karesansui: The Rock Garden
45 - 60 minutes.
I was invited to Kantcon in Overland Park, KS to demo some great games for Eagle & Gryphon games, one of those games was Karesansui: The Rock Garden. I demoed Karesansui once over the weekend to six excited gamers, whom had never played the game before.
Not only had these six players never played Karesansui before, they had never played an auction style game before. Karesansui has a very interesting twist on being an auction style game. Starting out, I had Matt, Paul, Aimee, Shaun, Panda, and Andrea draw 5 rocks from the bag.
Shaun stared off the game. For the first few rounds, there were a lot of low bids, as players were trying to win auctions for fear of being lazy and getting a demerit. After the first round, everyone who won an auction, pleased the zen master by not having any forbidden sets.
In the next round, Matt and Andrea took a couple demerits each as their zen gardens produced forbidden sets after the auction. Watching the bidding rounds in this game is very fun, as you see players under bid each other to win more rocks for their garden. It's very interesting to see the players try to decide which rocks to remove from their bid to not create a forbidden set with the rocks they take back.
It's very easy to overlook creating certain forbidden sets, and when players discover that they have, it produces a fun and entertaining moment.
In one of the latter rounds, Panda, decided to bid all of her rocks from her garden. Then Paul, using fewer rocks, bid all of his rocks as well. This went back and forth between the two until they both had most of their original rocks back on their garden board.
The game ended, when Paul, took the last demerit cards for two different piles. Everyone really enjoyed playing and had a great time challenging themselves with this game! Aimee won with 2 points, producing the best Zen Garden with the fewest forbidden sets!
Aimee 2 (only two points she scored was by passing in the first two rounds)