Board Game Geek Rating562 Ratings - Board Game Rank: 4110 Thematic Rank: 716 Strategy Game Rank: 1648
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Great production, but the modular idea is just bad. Each of these conflicts should be its own game, with its own map, art, and history. The modularity of the game downplays the history and gravity of these events. Additionally, there is a lot of gameplay heavily dependent on a player's pop culture political knowledge. You'll know if your ideology aligns with the suite you're going for if you are liberal. I've played this with both camps, and the conservatives always do way worse, as they can't quite tell when something is nationalist/ totalitarian/ democratic. Their perspective is different.
A good time. Combines area control with the conversational experience of something like Cards Against Humanity (which is not at all a good or fair comparison but, alas, I cannot think of another in the moment). One complaint: the early game is very slow to develop, prolonging the overall length of the game and delaying what is a tense, fun bit of board wrangling at the end. Perhaps the Elites can be used to give players initial starting positions / ideological biases (?)
[September 2021 - 6.1] Shasn is a unique experience with plenty of positives, but falls short in its actual gameplay. It's a political game with area control, and the basic gist is that on each turn you answer a political yes/no question -- kinda like you were at a debate. Answer 'yes,' and you'll get these resources or answer 'no' and you'll get a different set of resources. The trick is, you aren't certain what resources you'll get, you can only infer based on the question and answer. So, if I really need blue resources, I try and think how the blue politician would answer the question. It leads to some funny moments, where you have to explain "well, I don't believe this, but I'm answering this way to get the resources I want" ... so in that sense, it's very political. I could see potential for folks to really get into character. So, that part is fun, but when it comes down to the actual area control ... meh ... you're just trying to have more pawns there than the other guy. And unlike an area-control game like El Grande, there is no second place -- it's winner take all. The game tries to spice things up with "gerrymandering" and the ability to shift things around via cards and powers, but it seems empty. Perhaps my biggest gripe is that the game seems rather long and each turn feels samey, beyond the variety in questions. The first half of the game is slow to start getting pawns out on the board, and while the second half speeds up, by then, I was bored. We played a four-palyer game on the normal board, but perhaps playing four on the two-player board would speed-up and tighten the game a little?