Archive for the 'Shitenno' Category

Thoughts on: Shitenno

Posted by James (admin) on 7th October 2012

Recently, I reviewed Shitenno and mentioned I thought it would work well as a 2-player game.  Since then, I had the chance to try this out and I’m pleased to say it does work well with 2 players as there are fewer combinations of cards and outcomes to try to consider so you can make a more informed decision.  Rather than having to make one offer of cards at a time, with two players it is a simple one-player-splits-whilst-the-other-chooses process.

Compared to the 4-player game, I found I could better work out which cards I wanted, plus I had more insight into which cards I didn’t want my opponent to have too.  Even with this knowledge, creating a balanced offer of cards/role so that my opponent didn’t automatically take the offer I that really wanted still remained enjoyably difficult.  Also, selecting which role is offered with each group of cards is made more interesting because the person making the offer only uses 2 of the 4 roles each turn – in fact, I think I had more difficulty choosing which roles to offer than splitting the cards (in a good way as it was an interesting choice to make).

The inherent downside to a directly competitive 2-player game is that what you lose the other player gains and vice versa (a kind of ‘tug-of’war’ play pattern), and you only need to watch a single opponent.  I was thinking that an invisible 3rd player would be good to make things a bit more ‘lumpy’ – I’ve noticed over the years, I like an invisible 3rd player in 2-player game (Alhambra was my first experience of it) but just so long as it is slightly predictable and not purely random.  If it’s totally random, one player can suffer through no fault of their own just because they had no way to include the 3rd player’s actions into their plans, and this unbalances the game.

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Review: Shitenno

Posted by James (admin) on 13th September 2012

Shitenno is designed by Cédric Lefebvre whose previous games (Yggdrasil and Offrandes) have been really good.  Shitenno is a game set in feudal Japan which mixes a you-cut-I-decide mechanic with area control.  Each round, 2 troop cards and 1 income card per player are drawn face-up – the first player in turn order is the Tairo who selects any number and mix of the cards and offers them to the other players (in turn order) along with one of the 4 role cards.  A player can accept or refuse the offer – if a player accepts, they take the cards and role and can not accept any more cards that round, then the Tairo selects a new mix of cards and a role to offer to the remaining players who have yet to accept an offer that round.  If no other player accepts an offer, the Tairo must take the cards and role themselves (and the next player in turn order who has not accepted an offer becomes the Tairo).

Once each player has accepted some cards (the final player to accepts all that remains), the players now claim areas in turn order which is dictated by the role cards they received (and the roles also give other special abilities too).

The board has 8 regions and spaces for 4 control markers in each (which I shall call zones).  Players get points for placing a control marker in a zone equal to the number printed on the zone – the zones must be claimed in order and players get more points the later they claim a zone in a region.  The zones in some regions score more points than others, but these take more cards to claim them.  As well as points for claiming zones, players will score extra points at the end of the game if they have the most control markers in a zone (with ties being split by whoever was there earliest). Read the rest of this entry »

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