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Block Games → Sekigahara (2nd Printing)

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Sekigahara (2nd Printing)

COMPONENTS

  • Mounted Map
  • 119 wooden pieces
  • 1 and 1/2 sticker sheets
  • 110 cards
  • Rulebook
  • Two player aid cards
ONLINE RESOURCES

DESIGNER: Matthew Calkins
MAP & BLOCK ART: Mark Mahaffey
RULES LAYOUT: Neil Randall
PACKAGE ART: Rodger B. MacGowan
PRODUCERS: Andy Lewis, Tony Curtis, Rodger MacGowan, Gene Billingsley & Mark Simonitch


Price: $69.00 
Quantity:  

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Product Rating: (4.62)   # of Ratings: 21   (Only registered customers can rate)

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Showing comments 11-15 of 15 (Previous 10) Click Here to see all comments
11. Will on 2/9/2010, said:

I like what I've seen and read so far. I will pre-order.
Was this comment helpful? yes no   (1 people found this comment helpful, 9 did not)
12. Charles on 6/6/2009, said:

I simply cannot stand that someone would rate a game at one star never having played it. So I will do the opposite as well because the rules I've read and the sites I've seen show that this is going to be a GREAT game. It will probably be a sleeper hit when it finally comes out.
Was this comment helpful? yes no   (2 people found this comment helpful, 8 did not)
13. Jeremy on 1/13/2009, said:

I played a prototype of the game. The blocks and card system are wonderful. The balance of strategy and tactics coupled with the level of misdirection results in an enjoyable experience. The Google Earth map is NOT the actual map for the game.
Was this comment helpful? yes no   (11 people found this comment helpful, 1 did not)
14. Ronny on 1/4/2009, said:

I didn't play the game neither, however to rate a game just on a map isn't very objective. So I rate the game high to compensate for it. I like the style of the maps and components. From what I've read so far (Examples), I'm very interested in this game (I'm not a wargamer yet).
Was this comment helpful? yes no   (4 people found this comment helpful, 6 did not)
15. David on 3/12/2008, said:

I played a demo at a con in February. I very much liked how the cards in hand determined one's actions. Card flow was quite brisk, so one's options could change rather quickly. Most importantly, this game is FUN to play!
Was this comment helpful? yes no   (16 people found this comment helpful, 1 did not)
Showing comments 11-15 of 15 (Previous 10) Click Here to see all comments
Second Printing Note: This printing will be identical to the first, except that this one will come in a deeper (3") box, and we will of course update the rulebook with any errata we find by the time we print (that book will be available free online as a pdf, as always).

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The battle of Sekigahara, fought in 1600 at a crossroads in Japan, unified that nation under the Tokugawa family for more than 250 years.

Sekigahara allows you to re-contest that war as Ishida Mitsunari, defender of a child heir, or Tokugawa Ieyasu, Japan's most powerful daimyo (feudal lord).

The campaign lasted only 7 weeks, during which each side improvised an army and a strategy with what forces their allies could provide. Each leader harbored deep doubts as to the loyalty of his units - for good reason. Several daimyo refused to fight; some even turned sides in the midst of battle.

To conquer Japan you must do more than field an army - you must be sure it will follow you into combat. Cultivate the loyalty of your allies and deploy them only when you are confident of their allegiance. Win a battle by gaining a defection from the ranks of your opponent.

Sekigahara is replete with unusual mechanics:
  • No dice are used
  • Cards represent loyalty and motivation. Without a matching card, an army will not enter battle.
  • Allegiance is represented by hand size, which fluctuates each turn.
  • Battles are a series of deployments, from hidden unit stacks, based on hidden loyalty factors. Loyalty Challenge cards create potential defection events.
 Sekigahara is a 3-hour block game based on the Japanese campaign waged in 1600. The 7-week war, fought along Japan's two major highways and in scattered sieges and backcountry skirmishes, elevated Tokugawa Ieyasu to Shogun and unified Japan for 265 years.

Sekigahara is designed to offer an historically authentic experience within an intuitive game mechanic that can be played in one sitting. Great effort has been taken to preserve a clean game mechanism. (Despite a healthy amount of historical detail, the ruleset is a brief 6 pages.) Chance takes the form of uncertainty and not luck.

No dice are used; combat is decided with cards. Blocks = armies and cards = motivation. The combination of army and motivation produces impact on the battlefield. Armies without matching cards don't fight. Battles resolve quickly, but with suspense, tactical participation, and a wide range of possible outcomes.

Legitimacy is represented by hand size, which fluctuates each week according to the number of castles a player holds. Certain events deplete legitimacy, like force marches and lost battles. Recruitment, meanwhile, is a function of a daimyo's control over key production areas. Objectives (enemy units, castles, resources) exist all over the map.

The initial setup is variable, so the situation is always fresh. Concealed information (blocks and cards) lends additional uncertainty. In this way the game feels like the actual campaign.

Blocks are large and stackable. Every unit on the board is visible at once, and the strategic situation is comprehensible at a glance. Components use authentic clan designations and colors, and have a Japanese feel.

True to history, the objectives (castles and economic centers) and forces (armies of allied daimyo) are dispersed. Support for one front means neglect for another. The player is pulled between competing priorities. Each side wonders where his opponent wants to fight, and where he is unready. There is a great deal of bluff in the game.

Each player must rally the several daimyo of his coalition, managing the morale and motivation of each clan. The forces are dispersed, and while there are reasons to unify them, the objectives are also dispersed, and the timeframe compact, so skirmishing will occur all over the island.


Designer's Synopsis of How This Game is Different from Others on Feudal Japan:"Sekigahara is a simple 3-hour block game based on the campaign in 1600 that unified Japan. Hidden information on blocks & cards, but no dice. Cards are not events (this isn’t a typical “card-driven wargame”) but rather motivation (suited by clan). Units fight only when a matching card is produced."

Additional differences:

(1) A lot of ‘game’ in 3 hours: many decisions, historical feel. The mechanics are really simple. Feels more like the event in question than most 3-hour wargames. Doesn’t bog down.

(2) Elegant graphical design. Japanese kanji and symbology; minimalism in blocks, board and cards. Mark Mahaffey has done amazing work.

(3) ‘Randomization’ subordinated to uncertainty. Plays like poker sometimes. You know how strong you’ll be in a hypothetical battle, and your opponent knows how strong he/she will be, so you read each others’ actions to gauge whether you want to initiate it.

(4) Double game being played: (a) units in position, (b) units motivated enough to fight. Most games would be all about (a) and leave (b) to the dice, but here you know in advance the effectiveness of your troops, by looking at your cards. The game is true to history in this regard (the campaign turned on defections & abstentions). Unit combat performance was too essential to the outcome of this campaign to leave to the dice.

(5) The combat system, with hidden forces and sequential deployments, is novel. Christophe Sancy made a great graphical illustration of a climactic combat sequence. It’s posted on Boardgame Geek.


TIME SCALE 2 weeks per turn
MAP SCALE
Point to point
 
UNIT SCALE One block = 5000 soldiers
NUMBER OF PLAYERS 2