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The Song of Salt» Forums » Reviews

Subject: To be taken with a pinch of salt: my review of The Song of Salt rss

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Michael K.
Netherlands
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Hoe, hoe, hee, hee!!? Zo werkt dat niet!!
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Tonight, me and three of my buddies had out first try at The Song of Salt. This game was a recent Kickstarter that hardly got any publicity. It is published by a relatively unknown Chinese publisher and I decided to back it because of the interesting theme and the relatively friendly price.

The components are nice: the game comes with a scoretrack (actually the biggest component included), two salt boards (a salt well and a salt yard), five player boards, five player tokens, a special die, a lot of salt/brine chits and five meeples, whose colours are sometimes hardly to distinguish from eachother (light brown, middle brown, dark brown, pink and light grey), to keep track of the scores.

The set up is easy: place the two salt boards and the score track in the middle of the table and put a number of brine tokens on them depending on the number of players. There are always more tokens on the salt yard than on the salt well. Place all the meeples on the score track, starting with 0 and placing one meeple per player on the next number.

The gameplay itself is very light and simple and played in two-staged rounds. in the first stage, all players have a two sided token (called the order board) and they secretly choose a side. All tokens are revealed and the brine tokens on the two boards are split between the players that chose the specific board.

The second stage lets the players save a maximum of 3 tokens and use the rest of the brine tokens in one of two ways: they can exchange the brine tokens for salt tokens in a 2:1 ratio (every salt token scores a point) or they can gamble with the tokens by rolling the special die. When they roll a ‘rain’ result (66% chance), all tokens are lost. When they roll a ‘sun’ result, all tokens are flipped to show their salt side and score points.

Then the round is over and the salt boards are set up again for the next round. The game ends when one player has reached 20 points.

As I said, it is a very light game but there is more to it than it seems at first glance; you have to try to read the plans of the otter players in stage one and must sometimes gamble when you don’t really want to (to catch up with the other players).

Nice little filler, which shouldn’t take longer that 15 minutes to play.
 
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