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Subject: Brief Overview and Game Play Review for Yokohama rss

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Steph Hodge
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Hi All!

So, full disclosure, I've been working part time running Tasty Minstrel Game's Instagram account and TMG is publishing this game later this year. My game group has been playing an import copy though, and I'd be super excited to talk about it anyway, so I couldn't resist reviewing it.


This game, if you haven't read much about it is a new title from Japan from the designer Hisashi Hayashi who brought to you Minerva, Rolling Japan, Trains, Sail to India. Unlike all of those games this one is HUGE. It is a VERY unique game and very exciting to play.

People might compare it to Istanbul and I can understand that to some extent. Let me just say that I don't enjoy Istanbul, but I love this! It compares in that there is a modular board that places tiles randomly at the start of the game, which offers different game play each time. During your turn you are moving your president pawn around the board to collect and do actions, but it is not in the same style as Istanbul.

The game is actually quite simple once you get going. Photos might suggest very complex but now that I have played I know I could explain the game next time I play it.

Each turn a player places either 2 assistants (cubes) on any one location or 3 assistants on 3 different locations. These are locations anywhere on the board and do not have to be directly adjacent to your president. Then you can move your president through any space with your assistants and lands on a location with assistants and performs the action there. He may not land where there is another players president, but can move through by paying $1.

You get "strength" for how many assistants you have in the location plus any trading houses or market stalls you have positioned there and, of course, your president. You can only get max strength of 5. With a 4 or 5 strength you get the opportunity of building one of your available markets/ trading houses for small benefits or points.

Some of the action spaces offer goods types, these are used for fulfilling contracts and help your influence at the church. Other spaces might allow you to get some technology which provides various bonuses throughout game play. For example, I took one that allowed for me to get 3 bonus points when utilizing the church.

Everyone starts with 8 assistants available for general use. There is a storage that holds more markets and trading houses and assistants, the only way to get them out of storage into your ready area is by going to the specific space that allows you to export them. There are some other ways of getting them out of stock but that is the main location. You probably want to visit that space on the game board at least once if not more times during game play.

What is so cool about this game is how the assistants work. You place them, as I stated above, but when you take an action all assistants used come off and go into your general supply. Everything else still remains on the board. Some get eaten up by other means. You almost always need more assistants.

There are common goals to work towards and when you complete those you mark it with one of your available assistants for points. The Church giving marks your strength and points with the cubes. I went there 3 times and ended up leaving 3 cubes behind. Another trading port for imported goods require you to leave cubes behind. As it happened I was working both the Church spaces and Imported spaces and needed tons and Tons of cubes/ assistants to maintain my objectives. Other folks weren't working so hard on that and maybe didn't need as many.

There is a ton of end game scoring for flags you have collected. The techs you acquire and contracts you fulfill all have a flag nation on them. You want a variety of them to get lots of points, also for a pair of the same flag you might receive a mercenary (if available). These are one shot deals for a bonus action that have to be taken where you have an assistant and there CAN BE a president present on the location. They are sneaky and have strength of 0. Very useful!

There is end game scoring for majorities in the Church and Transport areas too. So you don't want to completely forget about an area if you can sneak in and claim a majority it might be worth it!

This game offers a variety of options and goals to work towards. Turns play out very quickly and it moves at a nice pace and time. It was definitely a huge hit with everyone that has gotten to play it so far, that I witnessed. There is far more options and happenings in this than in Istanbul and I think this is by far Hisashi Hayashi greatest accomplishment. (As much as I LOVE Rolling Japan).


I am SUPER excited for the TMG Deluxe version to come out. The Kickstarter is scheduled to be up on June 21, 2016. This is very well deserved and amazing game. It deserves to wide spread and well loved by many. I know this will be a huge hit. I can't wait to own a copy!!!!


Thanks for reading, Please see some of my images for details. Also I wanted to mention that I am technically employed by Tasty Minstrel Games and might be considered bias with my opinions. I want to be full disclosure! Thanks again!!
























:star::star::star:






-Steph


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Bruno Valerio
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Joe K
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Looks and sounds amazing!
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Ori Avtalion
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Thanks for the review!

Do you mind adding these images to the game's gallery? It's lacking good images and these are great!
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Geoff Speare
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Good review Steph! While I agree that it's simple in gameplay, it's a bit more complex in terms of victory conditions (a bit of the point salad as it were). I found it a bit hard to keep track of them during the one game I played (of course, an English player aid would help!).

That said, I'm liking it more as I think about it - in particular the assistants mechanism is interesting and different. I would definitely like to play it again.
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Steph Hodge
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slackerjoe wrote:
Looks and sounds amazing!


I think you will really like it Joe!

:D
 
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Steph Hodge
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SaltyHorse wrote:
Thanks for the review!

Do you mind adding these images to the game's gallery? It's lacking good images and these are great!


Thanks Ori!

I took some more this week. I hope to get better ones later which I would then post. I do get weary about posting my images to BGG after everything that has happened with my images in the past.

I am on the fence at the moment about that. I will be sure to post some of my favorites though.

Thanks!
 
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Steph Hodge
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galfridus wrote:
Good review Steph! While I agree that it's simple in gameplay, it's a bit more complex in terms of victory conditions (a bit of the point salad as it were). I found it a bit hard to keep track of them during the one game I played (of course, an English player aid would help!).

That said, I'm liking it more as I think about it - in particular the assistants mechanism is interesting and different. I would definitely like to play it again.


An English player aid is now posted to the geek so that will be helpful for next play!

Yes, I definitely lost track of all of the end game scoring by the end of my first game. I was more aware in my second game though.

Thank Geoff!
 
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Scott Ferrier
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galfridus wrote:
Good review Steph! While I agree that it's simple in gameplay, it's a bit more complex in terms of victory conditions (a bit of the point salad as it were). I found it a bit hard to keep track of them during the one game I played (of course, an English player aid would help!).


Official English Player Aid Here is a link, that first time you do the bonus for the end points can be a big surprise without the little player aid.
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Raphael G.
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galfridus wrote:
(...) an English player aid would help!


While it does not include end-game scoring (the official aid does it very well), here is a detailed but simple aid regarding a player's turn.
Fan-made Player Aid
Hope it can help.
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Steph Hodge
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gameraf wrote:
galfridus wrote:
(...) an English player aid would help!


While it does not include end-game scoring (the official aid does it very well), here is a detailed but simple aid regarding a player's turn.
Fan-made Player Aid
Hope it can help.


Thanks for the information Raphael! :D
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Geoff Speare
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fsnam wrote:
galfridus wrote:
Good review Steph! While I agree that it's simple in gameplay, it's a bit more complex in terms of victory conditions (a bit of the point salad as it were). I found it a bit hard to keep track of them during the one game I played (of course, an English player aid would help!).


Official English Player Aid Here is a link, that first time you do the bonus for the end points can be a big surprise without the little player aid.


Downloaded, I will have it on my phone at least when we play next!
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Jaime D.
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Thanks! Looks promising Great shots, as always.
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Steph Hodge
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Almilcar wrote:
Thanks! Looks promising Great shots, as always.


Thanks Jamie! :D
 
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Mark Palframan
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Does this game lead to a lot of analysis paralysis?
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Steph Hodge
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mpalframan wrote:
Does this game lead to a lot of analysis paralysis?


I suppose there is potential. But, in reality it moves at a very nice pace. The AP comes when players end up in the spaces you wanted to go to and then it might take a moment. And in the final round where the last few actions you might take mean a lot.

I hope that helps.

My games usually last under 90 minutes
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The Soot Sprite
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Thanks for the review! Great photos.

The 'board' looks incredibly busy. Is it easy to take in the relevant options and information at a glance?
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Steph Hodge
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spritey wrote:
Thanks for the review! Great photos.

The 'board' looks incredibly busy. Is it easy to take in the relevant options and information at a glance?



Once you know what everything means (it is really easy to learn this) the game is not as daunting as it first looks. It all makes perfect sense and the game I could easily teach even after my first play.

I think it will do very well in the gaming world. It might not be something I bring out with new players but certainly any of my regular groups could handle this easily enough.
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Helena Hovancova
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On my radar, but probably won't be backing this. EU shipping is always so costly - I'd rather pay this sum to FLGS than to postal services.

I have also had bad experience with the customs backfiring. I ended up paying 21% more than planned. Not that I expect this will happen with TMG. It was 1st timer on kick starter.

Pledged 1$ to see where this goes.
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Steph Hodge
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helena_poprad wrote:
On my radar, but probably won't be backing this. EU shipping is always so costly - I'd rather pay this sum to FLGS than to postal services.

I have also had bad experience with the customs backfiring. I ended up paying 21% more than planned. Not that I expect this will happen with TMG. It was 1st timer on kick starter.

Pledged 1$ to see where this goes.


yeah, I understand that completely. Sometimes it is worth it just to play other peoples copy! ;)
 
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Geoff Speare
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Someone who is prone to AP certainly has plenty of opportunities to apply it during this game. I found the board relative usable despite being busy - it's really the actual range of options you have that lead to analysis challenges.
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Michael Mindes
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punkin312 wrote:
mpalframan wrote:
Does this game lead to a lot of analysis paralysis?


I suppose there is potential. But, in reality it moves at a very nice pace. The AP comes when players end up in the spaces you wanted to go to and then it might take a moment. And in the final round where the last few actions you might take mean a lot.

I hope that helps.

My games usually last under 90 minutes


Thanks to most turns going so fast, a turn that is 2+ minutes long feels like FOREVER. Thankfully also, there is often 2-3 things you want to do on a given turn, and so if you become blocked, then you just do the other things.
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Michael Mindes
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spritey wrote:
Thanks for the review! Great photos.

The 'board' looks incredibly busy. Is it easy to take in the relevant options and information at a glance?


FYI - We will be working on ways to reduce the visual clutter of the board in the TMG version.
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Mark Palframan
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DrMayhem wrote:
spritey wrote:
Thanks for the review! Great photos.

The 'board' looks incredibly busy. Is it easy to take in the relevant options and information at a glance?


FYI - We will be working on ways to reduce the visual clutter of the board in the TMG version.


If be interested to hear more about that!
Any chance the images will be ready during the campaign?
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Michael Mindes
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mpalframan wrote:
DrMayhem wrote:
spritey wrote:
Thanks for the review! Great photos.

The 'board' looks incredibly busy. Is it easy to take in the relevant options and information at a glance?


FYI - We will be working on ways to reduce the visual clutter of the board in the TMG version.


If be interested to hear more about that!
Any chance the images will be ready during the campaign?


For the visual clutter reduction, nope those will not be ready.
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