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Samurai
 
 
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Samurai

English language edition


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Product Awards:  
Deutscher Spiele Preis
4th place, 1999

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 45 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Hans im Gluck

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Product Description

For centuries, Samurai have represented unfailing courage, imperturbable loyalty and internal harmony. There are three Samurai forces: peasants, clergy and nobility. The way to power leads through these three: peasants, represented by rice fields, clergy, represented by Buddhas and nobility, represented by high helmets. To become a Samurai, one has to be supported by one of these forces and have strong connections to the other two. Each player has an identical force and they deploy their forces to the spaces around the power figures. When a figure is surrounded, it is captured by the player with the strongest sympathetic force. To win, a player must gain dominance in one of the powers while getting better support from the other powers than the other players.

Product Awards

Deutscher Spiele Preis
4th place, 1999

Product Information

Contents:

  • 39 figures:
    • 13 high helmets
    • 13 buddhas
    • 13 rice fields
  • 80 hexagonal tiles
  • 4 Japanese screens
  • 1 game board in 4 pieces
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Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.4 in 21 reviews

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Surprisingly, as good as I expected
September 01, 2005

Descriptions don't do games justice. I expected Samurai to be good based on the positive comments and the good ratings, but reading about the actual gameplay left me unconvinced. It seemed like a lot of counting and math. But I liked the look of the board and pieces, so I ordered it.

We love it. From the first time opening the box we were impressed by the elegantly simple mechanics of the game, and repeated playings have proven consistently interesting and entertaining.

One of those "professional" reviews said it didn't feel Japanese. Maybe not, but it does make me feel like a tile-slinging Samurai. Each move is careful and deliberate, and at just those crucial moments -- Sha Pow! -- a lethal blow. Executed like a real warrior.

Kudos to Knizia.

 
 
 
 
 
Fun, short, and challenging
April 02, 2005

Samurai is one of Reiner Knizia’s best games. There is something about this game that I absolutely love. It’s probably a combination of things: I love the attractive board. I love that the game pieces feel “substantial” and high- quality. I love the decision-making and strategy. I love winning the pieces and adding them, like trophies, to my collection. I love that the game scales well for two or more players. I love that it’s short. I even love the ancient Japan theme.

I’ve played Samurai about five times. So far, it’s a favorite of my gaming group, which consists of me, my wife, and another couple. I’m not usually very excited about abstract games. But for me Samurai feels less abstract (and much more fun) than chess, Torres, or Knizia’s game Lost Cities, for example.

This game does require some thinking, so I wouldn’t call it a light-weight game. But the brain-burn is merely medium and is eased by the shortness of the games. You could have to wait a little for others to analyze their next move. But this hasn’t been a problem in the games I’ve played (and my wife is one who tends to take long turns in these types of games).

In my book, Samurai is a “must have” game.

 
 
 
 
 
Undiscovered Gem
October 22, 2004
Samurai is a Knizia game from several years ago. It had been a game that I considered buying for a couple years but didn't exite me enough to shell out for it until recently. Boy, I wish I had bought it sooner. It has a very pasted on theme in typical Knizia fashion. Normaly abstract games don't excite me even with the pasted on theme. But Samurai is quite enjoyable. Players place tiles in an effort to surround various tokens. When a token is surrounded players add up the strength of their respective tokens and the player with the most strength wins the token. Choices are numerous, but it is not such a deep game that analysis paralysis will set in. The rulebook is very thin, only a couple pages long. Samurai is a fairly quick game. Play should last about 45 minutes once players are familiar with it. Samurai scales very well from 2- 4 players. Bottom line. Much better than you would expect by just reading the rules.

Show all 21 reviews >

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