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Samurai Spirit» Forums » General

Subject: So, which comment is right . . . ? rss

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Ben Stanley
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I'm excited for this game. My autographed GenCon copy with promo is in the mail, sent by a kind fellow BGG user.

So until it gets here, I need to entertain myself with reading the first comments users have posted. And I notice two of the first ratings for the game are on opposite ends of the spectrum, and the comments are opposite: one complimenting the game because it is "Thinky and engaging. Full of agonizing decisions . . ." while the other complains that "There were very few decisions to be made. And the rest were very obvious. We all felt like we were just drawing cards and seeing what happens."

I was struck by how opposite those two impressions were, and it seems like a somewhat objective question: are there lots of tough decisions to be made or not?

Anyone else who has played the game have an opinion on how many and how difficult the decisions are in the game?
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Paul Hackman
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It's hard to tell with a demo because we didn't get to play to the end and see how our decisions played out. The decisions are subtle, which doesn't necessarily mean they aren't significant. Certainly you can play the game in a non-thinky way. You draw one card and then decide where to put it so there's not a ton of options to consider. But you want to try to hit a certain number, you want to match all the symbols, you want to consider the possible penalty on the attacker, and you need to think about how many possible "outs" you'll have on the next turn.

My impression would be that some of the complexity of something like Ghost Stories is sacrificed to accommodate 7 players. If turns were more complicated then playing a seven player game would be unbearable, but as it is most turns will be very quick yet still important. Yet, playing with so many players will add it's own complexity because if even one samurai isn't pulling his weight then it can do severe damage to the village.
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Anthony Rubbo
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Paul nailed it.

It provides great potential to flex those risk management muscles and discuss the best way to attack what might be coming next. Also, what I didn't fully grok from the rules read-through was that you use the same subset of the deck in each of the 3 rounds, which allows you to adjust odds & learn your weaknesses for the mid and late game.
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Paul Hackman
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LemonyFresh wrote:
Paul nailed it.

It provides great potential to flex those risk management muscles and discuss the best way to attack what might be coming next. Also, what I didn't fully grok from the rules read-through was that you use the same subset of the deck in each of the 3 rounds, which allows you to adjust odds & learn your weaknesses for the mid and late game.


That's good to hear. It wasn't very clear from our demo how the latter rounds worked and how you could make sacrifices in the short term to help out in the long term.

It reminds me a little of a game like Friday. The first time you go through the deck in that game the decisions seem fairly obvious and you are unlikely to lose in the first round because you've got plenty of life to sacrifice. But then when you go through the second or third time you realize that you made a ton of mistakes the first time through and now you are in deep trouble.

Or, to compare to a Bauza game, if you only played a demo of Ghost Stories you might feel like the game isn't all that hard. Just move and use your starting tokens and Yin Yang symbol to defeat the ghost. Seems pretty boring. But using up all your resources in the first third of the deck means you have little hope in the last third.

I don't actually know if Samurai Spirit is hard or if there is ever a time you would choose to put a high value card on the right hand side since I've only played one third of a game, but I can see the possibility for subtle but significant decisions.
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Anthony Rubbo
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pomomojo wrote:
I don't actually know if Samurai Spirit is hard or if there is ever a time you would choose to put a high value card on the right hand side since I've only played one third of a game, but I can see the possibility for subtle but significant decisions.


Consider these --

You can put only one card in each Defense slot - how long to you want to keep that flexibility open?

The most recently played Raider on your combat Line will attack you every turn he is sitting there - if he is a low value, but is burning down the village, is that acceptable?

When you hit your target Kiai total, you get to remove the oldest card played in your line...if that card is of low value, you're only getting a small benefit. It might be better to accelerate your progress toward your special ability early, keep your left side flexibility open, and then be able to burn the big card for free when you hit the Kiai.

...plus all of the decisions on when to Support and how to work the numbers best to your advantage, and keep everyone's bases covered.

Subtleties abound
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