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Subject: Slightly disappointed with Ikusa.... needs some variants... rss

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Sean Swart
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Okay, I like this game. Have since I first owned a copy back in 1986 called Shogun. I was hoping that this game would have been a updated version that addressed some of the problems with the original, but sadly it is the EXACT same game. shake

Not that it can't be fun to play, because it is, and with the right group of folks, it can be a hell of a good time. However, it can bog down and almost always does. Also the map has always been bland and lifeless in my opinion.

I had hoped that territories would be colored be based on the different clan areas of at least one time period of this game. Thus you could play it normally or pick territories with possible traits in each province. Or even cards that could give tactics and or missions. Thus you could finish the game much faster but having clan missions. Gain three of them and win the game. That kind of thing.

Since the new version offers nothing for people that own the early versions Shogun, or Samurai Swords, I feel this is a miss opportunity.

Well that is my rant..... Guess I just have to keep using my own variants until those gaming gurus get a clue.
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Guido Gloor
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FWIW, I was glad to be able to get an unmodified version of the game I missed in my youth, almost exactly as it used to be (minus the swords).
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Scott Randolph
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I tend to agree, it's a great game, and one of the most influential games in modern game history, along with the MB GM Series of games that took the tried and true proven game mechanics of Risk and improved, enhanced, expanded and extended those mechanics to much higher levels of strategy, decision-making and multi-player diplomacy.

When Eagle Games came along they elegantly (most of the time) addressed one of the areas greatly lacking in the MB GM series of games, the "LMS" game mechanic (LMS = "Last Man Standing"). Another area where they improved upon some of the basic principles of the MB GM Series was by applying point systems and victory conditions other than simple conquest (not that "simple conquest" is bad, it's just inherently more interesting to have other ways to win).

There are a couple of readily available (here on BGG) variants to Ikusa that address these issues for those who who wish to play Ikusa without LMS, and with VP accumulation as an alternate path to victory; "VP-SHogun" is one.
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M Whaley
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I love the original game, but we have played quite a few variants over the years to spice things up. We even wrote one ourselves (currently the highest ranked one). It has the potential to be slower than the original game, so don't say I didn't warn you.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/32788/shogun-variant

There are a bunch of victory point variants in the files section you could check out (too many to list). Two other good ones are listed below. The Tenka variant has some of the characteristics you described, with weights for different provinces based on their historic value.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/2986/tenka-zip
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/47493/historical-scena...

Hopefully you can enjoy some of these!
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Scott Randolph
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I like this one the best:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/45452/vp-shogun-aka-vi...

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M Whaley
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I wonder why... whistle
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Christian Kalk
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I think Ikusa is a game that has stood the test of time...still a great game for its genre. I don't feel the game itself needs any updating, but it would have been nice if they'd taken advantage of 20+ years of feedback to improve the rulebook somewhat, and throwing in a little something "extra" such as optional rules or scenarios would have been a nice bonus.
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Sean Swart
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Thanks for the feedback. I look into some of those variants. Might just be the ticket. Still I think they missed the boat on improving this game. At least added some color to that lifeless board. Always made finding the provences difficult till you became use to it.
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Scott Randolph
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KamikazeJohnson wrote:
I think Ikusa is a game that has stood the test of time...still a great game for its genre. I don't feel the game itself needs any updating, but it would have been nice if they'd taken advantage of 20+ years of feedback to improve the rulebook somewhat, and throwing in a little something "extra" such as optional rules or scenarios would have been a nice bonus.


Agreed, this is something I think Eagle Games did very well when they re-released old MB GM games (or inspired games) like "Attack! The Expansion" and "Conquest of the Empire II."

CotE2 came with "classic" rules and new rules, two games in one. That could have easily been done with Ikusa. Ikusa is a fantastic game "As Is," but it is just harder (for my group of friends anyway) to get my gamer friends, now 30 years older, to the table to play 5-6 hours in the "LMS" format (last man standing).

It is still an amazing game, one of the most influential of our era, and Michael Gray is a game design genius IMHO.
 
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Aaron Gelb
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OH nice! I have Ikusa (for nostalgic reasons) and it doesn't get played because it goes on too long...also our gaming group, with the introduction of Euros and more euroey ameritrash games like Chaos in the Old World will love and more likely play this game with a limited number of rounds and a VP goal instead of last man standing.

Love it!
 
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Scott Randolph
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asgelb wrote:
OH nice! I have Ikusa (for nostalgic reasons) and it doesn't get played because it goes on too long...also our gaming group, with the introduction of Euros and more euroey ameritrash games like Chaos in the Old World will love and more likely play this game with a limited number of rounds and a VP goal instead of last man standing.

Love it!


Awesome Aaron, thank you, one of the subtle but really interesting mechanics of VP-Shogun is that one is encouraged to try and eliminate a Daimyo from two different players, rather than just continually pounding on the same weakest player. To me this is very thematic as a true Master Warlord must assert his/her dominance over more than just one other rival!
 
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Aaron Gelb
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SFRR wrote:
asgelb wrote:
OH nice! I have Ikusa (for nostalgic reasons) and it doesn't get played because it goes on too long...also our gaming group, with the introduction of Euros and more euroey ameritrash games like Chaos in the Old World will love and more likely play this game with a limited number of rounds and a VP goal instead of last man standing.

Love it!


Awesome Aaron, thank you, one of the subtle but really interesting mechanics of VP-Shogun is that one is encouraged to try and eliminate a Daimyo from two different players, rather than just continually pounding on the same weakest player. To me this is very thematic as a true Master Warlord must assert his/her dominance over more than just one other rival!


That sounds awesome. Can't wait to try it!
 
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And my take on a couple of simple variants:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/46564/setup-and-victor...
 
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Chester Hendrix
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Speaking of variants... do check up on the Strategy cards!

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1125037/retooling-the-st...
 
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Ben Lo
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Hello,

Try my variant Shogun-total war. With Samurai battles board game, You can now resolve the battles between armies/provinces on a separate battlefield board using the C&C rules. When you combine the two systems, you can play an epic samurai battles game.

Check it out:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1236001/shogun-total-war
 
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Chester Hendrix
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Looked up a number of these variants, and I like Scott Randolph's variant best. Even then, though, I thought the 'Peace Coin' idea added a level of complexity that it didn't need. I walked back through it and modified the presentation a bit to make it less complicated. I'm not sure which 'version number' you'd call this , but think of it as a slimmed down version.

Thanks, Scott - the 'Last Man Standing Syndrome' is the only thing that keeps this from getting played more often [I play every year with my boys]. I'm thinking this will bring it out more often!

Your Buddy, Chester


Shogun / Samurai Swords
Mile High Strategists – “Game Day with the GUYS” crew
Victory Point Shogun variant
v2_7.18.09
Modified by Chester Hendrix on 9/18/14

RULES for Victory Point Shogun / Samurai Swords


1. Unless herein modified all standard as-written rules for the MB GM Series game “Shogun” (also sometimes referred to as “Samurai Swords”) remain unchanged.

2. Game Length for Victory Point Shogun:
a. The normal game length in complete rounds of play shall equal the total number of players plus two. Example: if there are [5] players the game will go for seven normal, complete rounds. At the end of the normal length final round, Victory Points (“VP’s”) are totaled and whichever player has the most VP’s wins, and is declared the Shogun Warlord. [NOTE: for 2 players, play 5 rounds].
b. Overtime: one extra round will be played if, at the end of the normal fully completed set of required rounds of play, any player is [4] VP’s or fewer behind the VP Leader. At the end of the last round/overtime the game is over. Whichever player has the most VP’s wins and is declared the Shogun Warlord.

3. Victory Points (“VP’s”) are as follows:
a. VP’s ebb and flow throughout the game and are awarded to each player at the end of that player’s turn [it is possible to earn VP’s on another player’s turn. For example, destroying an attacking army] in the form of coins/tokens/written points or whatever medium the players choose to represent VP’s. VP’s are earned in the following manner:

i. Possession of one Province = [1] VP

ii. Possession of Province with Castle = [2] VP’s

iii. Possession of Province with a Fortress = [3] VP’s

iv. For each and every Daimyo Experience Level above Level 1 that a player’s Daimyos have gained, the player receives [1] VP. Example: a player has one Level 1 Daimyo, one Level 2 Daimyo, and one Level 3 Daimyo; receives [0] VP’s for the 1st Daimyo at Lvl 1, receives [1] VP for the 2nd Daimyo at Lvl 2, and receives [2] VP’s for the 3rd Daimyo at Lvl 3.

v. Successfully assassinating a Daimyo with the Ninja yields [1] VP; either as the primary strike, or as the revenge counter-strike

vi. Eliminating a Daimyo’s Army, including the Daimyo’s board piece yields [4] VP’s.

vii. Eliminating a player’s Last Daimyo, or final remaining Daimyo, yields [7] VP’s.
 
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