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Samurai

English language edition


List Price: $39.95
Your Price: $31.99
(20% savings!)
(Worth 3,199 Funagain Points!)

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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): Hans im Gluck, Rio Grande Games

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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

  • Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

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

  • Artist(s): Franz Vohwinkel

  • Year: 1998

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 45 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 1,110 grams

  • All-Time Sales Rank: #161

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.

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


 
 
 
 
 
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.

 
 
 
 
 
by Scala
why i love this game
May 24, 2004

1) easy to teach new players - really takes less than 5 minutes!

2) every game is different - as the 3 objects to be controlled is scattered differently across the board everytime.

3) little randomness - players have great control over many parts of the game; from where objects start out, to which objects/areas you choose to attempt to dominate, to which soldiers you choose to deploy.

4) plays fast - i dont know how one reviewer found the game long because every game that we've played plays quickly. 30-40 mins. of course, over-analyzing will make games longer!

5) cracks your brain just enough not to give you a headache! yup, the best part is that it makes you think but not so much that your head aches after a game!

6) skill counts - yup, here is one game you cant accuse the winner of being lucky - no way!

7) for all ages - my 6 year old loves it and is as good as his granddad!


Show all 21 reviews >

Other Resources for Samurai:

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