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Subject: Honshu - First Impression rss

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EGG Head
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Honshu is a game that I was interested in playing as soon as I saw it on the Essen Preview list, trick-taking with card placement to make a tableau for scoring. Well, the trick-taking part is kind of a misnomer but the game still delivers.


The goal of the game is to earn the most points by build your map or tableau to earn the most points. Points are earned for different terrain types and for factories that have been provided resources.


The game consists of several cards, and some cubes for resources. The cards are numbered 1-60. Each player starts with a province card with an identical pattern of terrain on the A side and different patterns on the B side. Some terrains produce basic resources the have a box with a resource pictured in it. Other terrains have factories with a star shaped area with a resource pictured in it. There are 4 types of resources and matching factories. When a card is played onto a map with a basic resource, they get a cube of that resourced placed on that square of the map. The other terrains are forests, city, lakes and fallow.



Each player is dealt 6 cards. In a 3-5 player game each player is assigned a turn order and #1 places a card first etc. When all players have played a card the player had the highest number chooses which card they want for their map and so on. Players have the option of using a resource cube to increase their bid by 60. Turn order then changes to the #1 going to the player who played the highest card etc.


The 2 player game differs in this phase of the game. In this case 2 cards are flipped over from the deck forming a pair. Then both players simultaneously play a card forming a second pair. The higher number played allows the player to choose one of the 2 pairs and the other players gets the remaining pair of cards. Each player then discards one of the pair and places the other into their map. The losing player may trump by discarding 2 resources and take the pair of their choice.



When cards are placed into the map, at least one square of the existing map and the new card must overlap.


Another interesting aspect is that after three rounds players pass their cards to the player on their left. After the sixth round 6 new cards are dealt to everyone and after the ninth, cards passed to the right. After the last cards have been played scoring occurs.


Players score 2 pts for every forest square. 1 pt per square of the for the largest orthogonally connected town. Points for each factory that has been provided a matching resource and 3 points for every lake square in each lake beyond the first square. The largest area of fallow ground is a tie breaker.


For variety the game includes 8 different end game scoring cards and one can be used to add variation to the game.



My thoughts- I really enjoy this kind of game. I like figuring out how to maximize the points with card placement. I was impressed by how well the game worked with 2 players. You can easily see the other player’s map and anticipate cards they may want. You still have a nice variety of cards to choose from. It plays quickly and will make a nice little filler. It lacks a some of the tension and innovation in a game that I like to see to make it one of my favorites but honshu will certainly see a fair amount of play for me.
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Jill Pearon
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Thanks for all the info!!!
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