The Game

Are you a fan of The Game of Thrones Boardgame? If so, you might be interested to know that a game with similar mechanics but not using any pieces (yes!) except for counters was published some time – the game is Battle for Rokugan.

board
Battle for Rokugan components

As per publisher website: Conquer the realm and bring honor to your clan in Battle for Rokugan! This turn-based strategy game of conquest and mayhem puts players in the role of Rokugan daimyō struggling for control over the rich land of the Emerald Empire. Leaders must balance their resources, plan their attacks, and outwit their enemies to ensure their clan’s victory. The land is there for the taking. The most honorable daimyō will win the day!|

Clans
Battle for Rokugan Clans

The game looked great and when Jarek asked us if we would like to give it a try we of course agreed! The basic mechanics are simple – we fight for domination on provinces to get victory points by secretly playing one chit each on regions on map and then revealing them and, executing actions in specific order. We have 5 turns, we switch order of first player between them which greatly impacts what you know before you commit to particular strategy.  You may imagine how much fun and suspense there is in this game – and that is exactly what we hoped for!

The gameplay

TURN_1
Beginning of the game – we started to slowly conquer neutral provinces. Each of us had a separate clan with specific skills. My Crabs were good at defending and naval combat, Kuba’s Crane at winning draws, Konrad’s Phoenix at taking and occupying Capitals and Jarek’s Unicorn at mobility and funneling the combat.
TURN_2
A close up on the map situation – it is a very tense game, where free space is non-existing luxury after first two turns.
TURN_3
Mid-game actions: Konrad takes over the island plus south-western part of continent, I occupy north slowly progressing toward Kuba. In the center there is a total carnage and disaster with Jarek ferociously fighting with Kuba. Me and Konrad of course benefit from that fight.
TURN_5
The final situation. My forces occupied the capital of Kuba, but I was attacked from behind! Jarek managed to take over the center while Kuba pushed Konrad from top-left province. The final scores were pretty close, with victory going to the Crabs!

SUMMARY

The game is a great suspense – discovering which chits were played by your opponents is one of the coolest parts of the game! The province bonuses can be really powerful and you really never know who your friend or foe is! Definitely, we have appetite to play more of this!