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Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan» Forums » General

Subject: Complexity and strategy feelings playing Sekigahara rss

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Mario Nuñez Jimenez
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Hello,
I am doubting to get or not this one. I already readed rules and I have a few things unclear (but never played)
I dont know if the game is deep enough to make some different strategies, so we have bluffing but I am concerned players always going for bigger stack and only 2 or may be 3 armies gathering blocks like crazy... getting always the same playing... 'feel'.

Also I am not sure if luck is decisive, just having the right cards for the right units fighting.

Not sure that rules provides mechanics to do different things rather than fight or bluff your opponent, getting reinforcements, but it sounds quite repetitive? only cards/skills for combat extra strength.
Is it replayable enough?

I recently purchased a few acres of snow, and both sides have a clear and concrete strategy (I didnt liked that) to work properly but I see quite a few different actions so its sounds less 'straight' playing.

It sounds easy, not much things to manage or not too much decisions to be taken just bluff but not that much since I think players will gahter units into large stacks and only 2 or 3 fronts ... just thinking about just how many blocks the opponent has and how to get more than him, taking into account if you are fighting a resource city or castle and how your hand of cards is, may be some management in movement but anyway... simple?

Well I would also say that I would appreciate negative opinions rather than positive ones all people always come saying its good game but no details on what.

What didnt you like from the game? thats what I want to know.

Thank you for any comment.
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Fabrice Dubois
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I played my first game of Sekigahara last Friday and i must say we enjoy it. We are planning to replay it very soon.

As a reply to your questions (doubts ?), i would say :

1/ Luck : of course there is luck because of the cards draw but
- there is limited type of cards (4 daimyo and 3 types of card by daimyo (1 mon, double mon, 1 mon and special attack))
- as you refull your hand after each combat/siege/overruns, this is a good means to recycle and rotate your deck.

2/ Balance : the only possible issue are the recruitment locations. They are spread all over the map for Tokugawa but for Ishida, 3 of 4 are grouped on the same side of the map.

3/ Bluff and combat/siege : this is a fun game to play. The combat rules and hidden blocks bring a lot of tense.

The retreat rule is a little bit weird : suppose you must retreat and all the adjacent locations are occupied by your opponent blocks. The rules say that you can choose the location to retreat, even the location where the attacker came (see 8.8.3). We experienced this situation : i was defeated in Kiyosu with Ishida blocks in Kuwana, Gifu and Okazaki.

I bought and played "A few acres of snow" too and it is true that each sides have clear strategy whereas in Sekigahara, it looks like both sides have the same strategy.

EDIT : spelling
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Adam Parker
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Replayability comes down to there only being 1 scenario to this game. There's no room for variants or expansions that I can see. So you basically need to be prepared to accept this fact.

The game rests on its victory conditions. The replayability comes from the fact that there are a number of ways to win. The game mechanics create uncertainty to have you constantly re-evaluating and forming your plan.

So knowing all this - this is what you're aiming for:

Ishida
Kill the Tokugawa block, or own more victory points in terms of castles and resource locations by the end of the game.

Tokugawa
Kill the Ishida block, or kill the Toyotomi disc (always at Osaka), or own more victory points in terms of castles and resource locations by the end of the game.

(To own capture and own a castle, you have to leave a garrison behind).

These are your strategic problems. The game is about solving them. A large stack is definitely not the solution - you've got to figure out what is - with a different set-up and run of cards each time.

What can you move? How can you move? Where can you move? Are you strong enough to fight? Can you reinforce? Do you siege? Do you feint? Do you go all in? What does he have there? Is he gutsy enough to go head to head? Do you garrison? With what? Do you flee? Do you move on?

etc.
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Mario Nuñez Jimenez
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Thank you for your comments, i think it may be a good game to play but not to get.
About replayability?
Didnt find it simple? not much management?
 
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Reinhard Mueller
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negroscuro wrote:
Thank you for your comments, i think it may be a good game to play but not to get.
About replayability?
Didnt find it simple? not much management?

The rules are very simple and the game is very abstracted. It has even less "chrome" than your average Columbia block game. But this level of abstraction was a design goal, so it's a feature, not a flaw. For me personally it is nearly a bit too abstracted.
But this does not translate into simple gameplay. There are lots of difficult decision to make every turn. And there is a lot of suspense and surprise.

I also bought AFAOS together with Sekigahara (basically just to save shipping costs ;) ) and while both games are not comparable I love AFAOS much more than Sekigahara at first sight. But that does not mean that Sekigahara is a bad game. In any case it fueled my interest in the era.
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Mario Nuñez Jimenez
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Thank you, i think that finally the best would be to try it, not easy but I will try to find someone to show me the game.

And I also concerned about its abstract taste, I didnt like abstracts.
 
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Marshall P.
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I don't think there is replayability in this game the way hardcore wargamers think of replayability. I think every game is going to play out largely the same way; with a tendency to converge on a series of large battles around the historical Sekigahara area (even though I don't think Sekigahara is actually on the map).

When the game begins, when every game beings, Ishida needs to attack and Tokugawa needs to consolidate and mobilize towards Osaka. Ishida has a "fixed anchor" in Osaka that really defines the game for him. All of these considerations are common between games.

There is plenty of replayability in the details though. The actual nuts and bolts of solving these strategic considerations are challenging and thought provoking. Efficiency with cards and movement is rewarded. This is replayability of more of a "euro" kind where you are getting better at the game.

As I am not a hardcore wargamer I am quite satisfied with the potential replayability. I have played Power Grid, Tigris & Euphrates, and Automobile dozens and dozens of times each and don't get tired of them. I can see the same thing in Sekigahara for me.
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David Bohnenberger
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mdp4828 wrote:
There is plenty of replayability in the details though. The actual nuts and bolts of solving these strategic considerations are challenging and thought provoking. Efficiency with cards and movement is rewarded. This is replayability of more of a "euro" kind where you are getting better at the game.

As I am not a hardcore wargamer I am quite satisfied with the potential replayability. I have played Power Grid, Tigris & Euphrates, and Automobile dozens and dozens of times each and don't get tired of them. I can see the same thing in Sekigahara for me.


For sure, there are plenty of wargames that have only "one scenario" yet can be played over and over and over. Look at the folks who play War at Sea or any of the old Columbia block games and have been doing so for decades. I am not sure Sekigahara will have that sort of longevity, but I don't think the "one scenario" is a problem.
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Jenny Nguyen
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Sorry in advance as my comments will not be all that negative but you should be able to see whether or not you agree with them in order to determine whether or not the game is for you.

For me, there is replayability (not in the usual or traditional sense) because it's a quick playing game with a short set of rules that still scratches my itch for block war games. What I find incredibly addictive, engaging and satisfying about the game is the array of difficult decisions I have to make every turn regarding my hand and what I can do with my hand with regards to my blocks, taking into consideration what my opponent seems to be planning based upon his movements.

There is definitely a fair amount of luck involved. The luck won't screw you over but it will influence your strategic decisions for that turn. A big stack can be meaningless if a player doesn't have the right cards to activate them. Piling all your blocks into the same locations doesn't work because means that your opponent can just walk around the board capturing strategic points. The Loyalty cards can well and truly turn the tide of battle, but they can also be totally useless. Then there's the random draw for reinforcements every turn. I would say that luck is what changes this game every time. The luck of the draw of your cards and the luck of the draw of your reinforcements influences what you can achieve this turn and how you can go about doing that, making for a different game every time as players try to come up with efficient ways to achieve the victory conditions.

I've only played 3 times so far (I'm dying to play more but you know, people like to play other games as well), and as yet, I have not found anything that I didn't like about the game (except maybe the gold blocks which are clearly not all the same shade). I guess, if you're after a truly heavy war game, then this is definitely not it. You could probably strip back the theme and re-apply any number of any other themes to this game because of its abstraction.

I've also played A Few Acres of Snow...and I also loved that! laugh Specifically I loved the tension of the limited hand size and the restrictions of the deck.
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Darrell Hanning
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Quote:
I dont know if the game is deep enough to make some different strategies, so we have bluffing but I am concerned players always going for bigger stack and only 2 or may be 3 armies gathering blocks like crazy... getting always the same playing... 'feel'.


Players will not always be going for bigger stacks. There are a couple of reasons for this, one of them being that large stacks have very limited mobility, and the other being that holding what you have against smaller opposing forces is going to require some garrisons. You might find yourself coordinating the creation of a large stack for a single battle, but you might also find yourself halving to split it up in response to the opponent's moves.
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A L D A R O N
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negroscuro wrote:
What didnt you like from the game? thats what I want to know.

Incredibly tedious and fiddly.

Maybe it just suffers by comparison with A Few Acres of Snow, which felt fresh, dynamic, tense, engaging and historically resonant. This just felt dead.
 
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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negroscuro wrote:
What didnt you like from the game?


The lack of control. I really don't like, if I can't use my units, because of unlucky card draw. I really like Hammer of the Scots, where you may be limited in the amount of stacks/groups you can move - but not if they fight at all.

I your opponent has 4 blocks of identical Mons and the matching cards, it is nearly impossible to stop - this happens to me twice, so that I lost nearly three times the blocks my opponent did. I surrendered in week 5, since there was no way to get to my opponentes leader, and no way to gather the castles and ressource points to win the game.

As I said: I don't like the lack of control/amount of card draw luck involved with this game...
 
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JR
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Typically I would be frustrated by that aspect of a game as well, Thomas. In the case of Sekigahara I don't mind it as I find it thematically appropriate. Some of the game materials talked about the cards in hand representing your influence over your army. In this time, as in this game, the armies are comprised of various clans joined together with a common goal, but I have to think that in reality, there would be a great deal of logistical problems with managing such a force, such that things would often be delayed or resources unavailable due to one of your supporting clans having squabbles within, or their own conflicts at a lower level unrelated to the story at hand. Also, subtle treason - failing to respond to a call to arms to see the Lord defeated, etc. It's definitely a mechanic many people won't like, but I think it works for the game.
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Testy Testerson
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Almecho wrote:
negroscuro wrote:
What didnt you like from the game?


The lack of control. I really don't like, if I can't use my units, because of unlucky card draw. I really like Hammer of the Scots, where you may be limited in the amount of stacks/groups you can move - but not if they fight at all.

I your opponent has 4 blocks of identical Mons and the matching cards, it is nearly impossible to stop - this happens to me twice, so that I lost nearly three times the blocks my opponent did. I surrendered in week 5, since there was no way to get to my opponentes leader, and no way to gather the castles and ressource points to win the game.

As I said: I don't like the lack of control/amount of card draw luck involved with this game...


Having played this game only three times so far, take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I've found the game is far more about reacting in areas where your opponent -isn't- attacking. If they have a monster stack that keeps just tearing you to shreds, throw a couple blocks in strategic locations to slow it down and cause light casualties, and then hit them on the other side of the board. If you make it super obvious where you plan to attack, you give up a -huge- advantage in Sekigahara, because once they have seen what is in the stack they know what kind of cards you are going to be banking. Too focused of a hand means you can get attacked elsewhere with no defense.

The other thing I've noticed is that it is dangerous to depend on one stack to do your job, without a few other stacks that you can stage attacks with around the country. If you only have one offensive stack, you are at the mercy of your hand. However, if you make a few smaller stacks that you can use to drop out cards you don't plan to use and refill them after combat with cards you -do- need, you can have a lot more control over how well your stack can perform.
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Oliver Ludwig

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I love Sekigahara. The designer adresses the points critisized here better than I could in his design notes.

(Actually Sekigahara is indicated on the map)

As far as I can see, there's some degree of replayability due to the draw of random blocks and cards.

To those that don't like that: fine. I don't believe war is all deterministic, and I gladly take more replayabilty with the element of some chance.

After a few games I think Tokugawa is more effected by the element of chance, and I don't think anymore, that Tokugawa is op.

mdp4828 wrote:
...I think every game is going to play out largely the same way; with a tendency to converge on a series of large battles around the historical Sekigahara area (even though I don't think Sekigahara is actually on the map).

 
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Aldaron wrote:
negroscuro wrote:
What didnt you like from the game? thats what I want to know.

Incredibly tedious and fiddly.

Maybe it just suffers by comparison with A Few Acres of Snow, which felt fresh, dynamic, tense, engaging and historically resonant. This just felt dead.


I have both games, and I love them both!
 
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Oliver Ludwig

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I heard AfAoS is broken - even with the update.

freddieyu wrote:
Aldaron wrote:
negroscuro wrote:
What didnt you like from the game? thats what I want to know.

Incredibly tedious and fiddly.

Maybe it just suffers by comparison with A Few Acres of Snow, which felt fresh, dynamic, tense, engaging and historically resonant. This just felt dead.


I have both games, and I love them both!
 
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