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Tongiaki: Journey into the Unknown» Forums » Sessions

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Mike Haverty
United States
Oklahoma
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I just played my first game of Tongiaki and I really enjoyed it, so much so that I have to wonder why this thing has an average rating of only 6.4...

This was a 2p game. Brian had played once before; he gave me a quick rundown of the rules, which are really pretty simple, and then off we went. Right from the start, I enjoyed this game.

* I like the components. Nicely illustrated tiles, plus the edges are cut in an undulating/wavelike fasion, which only enhances the theme.

* The fact that the more boats you have on an island lets you place more boats is a natural way to encourage you to concentrate placing on one island at a time, but this is directly counter to the fact that you score more points for occupying more islands. The more you spread out with your boats, the longer it takes you to concentrate an effort at any given spot.

* Aggressive boat play seems to work. At one point in the game, I decided to experiment and do the "New Settlement" option, which removes all your boats from the board and then lets you add one back. This seems like a drastic measure, because of the aforementioned exponential growth rate of boat placements on islands. However, by being very aggressive with launching doomed voyages, I was literally slaughtering Brian's people by the multiple boatload and was eventually able to gain the upper hand in board position.

* Chain reactions are awesome. A little chain reaction is nice, but the potential power of this mechanic was brought home to me when Brian managed to successfully launch 5 boats of his own color. He drew tile after tile with small beaches and by the end of the turn he occupied a string of islands, with no quick way for me to get my boats over there. This put me on the ropes for several turns as I scrambled to get some people over onto the 4-point islands he had discovered.

The combination of boat strategies and the opposing pull of spreading yourself thin for points vs concentrating for faster growth potential pushes my buttons just right. Yes, it is really an abstract game, but the theme and mechanics work for me -- I found this more enjoyable than, say, Thurn & Taxis, which became somewhat dry for me after just a couple plays.

I ended up winning by one point, which is always satisfying.

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John Farrell
Australia
Rozelle
New South Wales
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Buster Keaton from 'Go West'
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I agree with Drew - 2 players with the variant is a great game. However with 6 players it moves quite slowly while everyone else seems to have chain reactions while I end up having only one boat on a couple of islands and all I ever get to do is add a single boat.
 
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