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Subject: Rockin and rolling rss

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Andrew Rae
New Zealand
Wellington
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Five of us were together today to experience the phenomenon that is shogun. Two had just recieved the game on preorder (it takes a while to get to NZ you know)and another has the game in his next order, so interest was great.

It was a learnign game and we learnt more than a thing or two. I would note that to the uninitiated Shogun is relatively complex and this contributed to many of the struggles we were facing early on. I admit I sturggled to remember this was a larning game and thanks to my mates for having some patience with me and a laugh afterwards. Afterall the laugh was mainly on me.

The main pro of it was the scoring system which made for some interesting opportunities. The high level of conflict was also good if one can get past the fact that others will attack you. The third plus was the action sequence and game balance that resulted from firstly the distribtion of provinces (in the basic setup)and secondly all the different actions including the restrictions to one action perprovince. That is what I liked.

What I liked less was the low effect of the revolt markers (admittedly we played these wrong for the first year), the rice part of the equation seems a little limp.

Perhaps my major fault with the game was that it felt too much like risk, yes risk. Now you are goign to say I'm a plonker, I know you are because it is not risk. But I played the version of Shogun with all the D12 dice and it felt the same way. The map and the battle dynamics tend towards sittign at the end of the board and lumping your men on the boarders. In fact one of our players did that and really only needed three large armies. I would tend towards this strategy every single time if I could and it felt too much like a game of risk. Hence the strategy of staying out of combat was the most sucessful one.

But that said on the whole we did not approach it like this and everyone went mad on the attacks and there were far fewer armies on the board than there might otherwise have been. Congradz to the group.

My strategy was just to keep out of trouble. Effectively what I did in the first year was stock up armies and expand into neutral territories. Sad I know, but in the end it paid dividends and four attacks neeted me several key buildings and atons of points. I was a comfortable winner, my and my big army if you know what I mean.

In truth there were too many strange happens and unique circumstances in this one to give a fair reflection of game play. But I can't pass judgement at this stage and will give it an 8 pending a second game for balance.

If you can get a friend to explain it to you, but otherwise take it slow and easy and don't expect much out of the first year of play. Good luck and enjoy the complexiety of the action phase, this was true genius if you ask me.

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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Arcata
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citylife wrote:
What I liked less was the low effect of the revolt markers (admittedly we played these wrong for the first year), the rice part of the equation seems a little limp.

What did you guys do wrong?

(In addition to the possibility of losing important territories at the end of the year, there's also the effect that territories with unhappy-farmer markers are easier to attack.)

citylife wrote:
Hence the strategy of staying out of combat was the most sucessful one.

What! I thought you said the guy who won did so by stomping the other players and taking their buildings!
 
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David
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He won the game himself. He avoided combat until the final rounds and then picked his provinces carefully. Well done Citylife.

We forgot to add revolt markers to the provinces that were taxed or 'riced' - a major oversight that we spotted and fixed in the third round.

I wrote myself out of the last three rounds, after running out of money and then having my 'tax' province captured twice!

We really need a second game, soon!
 
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