Time for another game....Kanagawa, where you channel you inner artist to paint the most glorious print of animals, trees, people and buildings. Its a tall challenge for moi as my artist talents remain a hybrid of stick figures and finger paints, thus i created my self portrait:
The art on the cards caught my eye so I proceeded to find the rules online and was equally intrigued by the game play and thought it could work for our group. (we have yet to play this as a group....therefore i Solo’d!) But it had no official solo rules....so thank you to Saranac for developing Rastkosaki - new solo variant for those of us who have a NEED to play but can’t get enough friends together
Setup is quick: shuffle cards and sort diplomas, pick starting print and away you go. its very easy to play the A.I. as you are only looking for Storm tiles or whatever matches its starting tile (this game its Summer sunshine), and if you don’t see either one, you get to concentrate on what you want to do....and isn’t that what this is all about? i want lots of trees, all the different animals, people people people, more paint brushes and more movement points to let me do it all.....yeah, if only it were really like that. so my 1st day at art school looked like this:
A.I. starts but since no Storms or Summer tiles appeared i passed just so we could add more cards, when finally in the last row a happy sun appeared so i knew what he was taking. i had time to look over the other 2 columns for what was best....which was getting the assistant pawn token, which allows me to go first each round...awesome!
(this is my 3rd solo game using this variant...1st game i got squashed by 10, A.I. has starting position all game and i felt pressured all game just to keep up with prints he was adding so i neglected some diplomas. 2nd i lost by 1, i gained control of the grand master and played for matching season cards and low scoring diplomas.)
my strategy this game was to try for more high scoring diplomas and to forgo the matching season cards in my print. i like how it was turning out at the halfway point:
i diversified my print with animals, a person, and buildings while having an ok string of Autumn cards while my studio had a variety of colors and an extra movement and an extra brush from a diploma. its going well. and i have to admit, the cards were coming out in my favor this game. A.I. had to take basically 1 card each round and they were a mismash of things...not really threatening at this point.
back to school...i have more skills to hone and grand designs for my print! i got very lucky on my next couple draws as 2 people were added then a bunch of trees which both led to diploma points while the A.I. had very lackluster draws, not able to fulfill any diplomas.
we were nearing the end and i had 1 more superb draw with 2 buildings added which triggered the end game.
so final tally has A.I. 38 and me 53. wha...? i skunked him? it feels really good....or is it the drink? anyway, playing patiently (luckily possible this game) allowed for big points from diplomas. previous games just didn’t have the good draws and combos that i got this game i.e. drawing the needed landscape card to pair with the print...it happened repeatedly..and i loved it! so i’m taking this win and will feel great about myself, knowing that humble pie is just lurking around the corner waiting for a rematch. which may happen quite soon as i like the flow of this game and it plays quickly...about 30min, faster if i take less drink breaks....nah, not gonna happen. game on!