I’m a board game enthusiast and have spent far too much money on kickstarter for games. Kickstarter is an evil, evil website, where nice people do crowd funding for books, games, movies and almost anything you can think of. There are a lot of games and miniatures there.
One of the games I bought and have had much fun playing is Rising Sun by CMON Limited (cmon.com). The game is a diplomatic war game for three to six players. It’s available at your friendly neighborhood gaming store.
There are a lot of pieces to this game, as shown by the picture below. I ended up buying a container of Tupperware to store all the gaming pieces, monsters and clans. I left most of the bigger pieces in the original packaging and just put them in the box.
Each player is a clan in a fantasy version of Japan, fighting and/or allying with one another to control the country. Clans come equipped with a daimyo or leader, three priests and three foot soldiers, as well as five castles. Castles are where your forces are generated. You can claim territory by putting your soldiers down. The player with the strongest forces during the final or war phase is the one who wins that territory. Wars are only fought on kuni which have been chosen at random.
There are also monsters and gods to help or hinder a player. I bought the game because it was really pretty. And there were a lot of miniatures, that I might eventually paint (ha!). Even unpainted the miniatures are nice. As shown with the game’s version of Gozilla, called Dai Kiju, shown with a couple of castles on his head. Daikuji is available on the last round of play to stomp things, after spending most of the round wandering. Much fun is had by all when that happens, since most of my friends enjoy classic Japanese monster movies.
There are three rounds in the game: Spring, Summer and Autumn. Each Season ends in battle for contested areas, called kuni on the map. With each of these seasons, you start off with a tea ceremony, where you’re maneuvering to gain an ally.
During the first game I played, there was only four of us, so we decided from the beginning we were ‘round robining’ the ally phase by switching an ally each season, until we got the hang of the game. That worked out pretty well. In the second game, a couple of weeks later with different people, we were a little more cutthroat about alliances, but not by much. Alliances are useful, because allies share the benefits of the action taken during your turns, Therefore doubling the advantages for the allied players. All clans start on a kuni, one that is color coded to match their playing pieces.
After the alliances are made for the season, there are seven turns of gathering resources (including Monsters), building strongholds to deploy samurai, and contesting for battle sites. There are also three rounds of appealing to the gods(kami) for advantages, after turns three and six, adjust before the War turn.
For gathering resources, there are four moves a player can do during their turn: Recruiting, Harvest, Training and Betrayal. They’re pretty self-explanatory. Harvest means you get the resources of the kuni you’re holding. Resources a can be money (to buy monsters, advantages and ronin). Training lets you buy skills, advantages and monsters. Recruiting lets you place more pieces on the board, including priests to petition the kami. Betrayal is what it says, you break your alliance. This will cause your honor to drop. The picture on the left shows clan alliances and monsters during the Summer phase.
Honor is assigned to each clan individually and is the game mechanic which decides when a player moves. Loss of honor and going last sometimes is a good maneuver. You can show alliances by linking alliance tokens, as shown.
There are three war phases, before you add up all the points and end the game. Each new Season also brings new monsters and advantages to buy.
Each clan also has different skills. The dragonfly clan can move anyplace on the board. The Lotus can can choose the mandate they play. The earth clan’s castles are turtles and can move to another kuni if you want, shown in the next picture. The War phase battle’s are bluff more than fighting.
So I highly recommend ‘Rising Sun’ as a good game to spend an evening with friends who are not overly competitive about winning the game and just want to have a good time.
Felicitas is a frazzle help desk tech at a university in Boston, who wishes people wouldn’t argue with her when she’s troubleshooting what’s wrong with their computer. She lives with three cats want her to pay more attention to them, and not sitting at a computer pounding the keyboard. Her house is also home to Angenor the Minotaur, who thinks there aren’t enough labyrinths in the house, even with all the stacks of books.
Felicitas writes urban fantasy with a side of horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with monsters beyond space and time that think that humans are the tastiest things in the multiverse. Her short stories for her most part are firmly routed in the real world. Which one that is, she’s not too sure. Occasionally there’s a romance or two involved in her novels.
Felicitas knits and hoards yarn, firmly believing the one with the most yarn wins. She also is sitting on hoards of manga, doujinshi, and books, which still threaten to take over her house, even with ebooks. Between writing and knitting, she brews beer, wine, mead and flavoured liqueurs.
Felicitas also bakes, and makes cakes whenever she needs to work out an issue in her novels. Sometimes, this leads to a lot of cakes. Her co-workers appreciate them, as well as the starving student workers she attempts to herd.