Today we have two great strategy games we want to show you. Both of them take place on different continents and are highly related to local cultures. The projects are now active on Kickstarter and still available for backing.
The Andes Mountains sound like the perfect place to theme a board game after. Their colorful cultures and breathtaking nature are worth exploring and learning more about. And that is exactly what the Swiss publisher Treeceratops has decided to do. Their newest game called P’achakuna let’s players become traders competing for dye resources available at villages spread among the longest continental mountain range in the world.
P’achakuna is designed for 2 players and utilizes a special board made of hex-shaped tiles. Each tile consists of a valley area and a mountain area, but their proportions are different. One player, who’s leading a team of white lamas is only able to move through the valleys, while the person with the black llamas travels only through the mountains.
There are 7 villages on the board: 6 on each side and 1 in the middle. Each of them has a different colour and a special banner showing their currently demanded resources. Banners are randomly drawn from a bag and always show 2 resources. One of them pays double while the other is exchanged equally (1 for 1). The goal of the game is to collect all 7 different resources first, by strategically moving through the mountain ranges.
Manipulating the board and moving through it is vital in P’achakuna. Every turn each player can move their llama to any accessible point on the map, as long as it’s not blocked by the other type of terrain. You also pick one hex and turn it in any way you want creating new paths and changing the board for both of you. Apart from making more villages accessible, it’s also possible to block the other player by turning the tiles around.
The resources serve an additional purpose other than just being a collectible item required for victory. They can be exchanged in a village for new llamas which cost 4 resource tokens each. Making your team bigger allows for more options and faster way to victory. The maximum number of ownable llamas is 3 per player.
P’achakuna is not just themed after the various cultures of the Andes but also reaches out to people living there. The designers have contacted some local companies to craft Kickstarter exclusive bags which hold the cardboard elements. Treeceratops also cooperates with Swiss NGO Suyana, which is dedicated to helping Peruvian and Bolivian rural areas with development.
P’achakuna seems like a fast, fun, replayable and easy to teach game. Oh, and if you want even more fluffy goodness, there is a pledge option with cute llama plushies (also crafted in the very same country).
Shogun no Katana
Now let’s move to another continent and possibly travel a little bit into the past…
Feudal Japan might be a popular game theme, but we somehow never get bored with it. The land known from samurai cinema, video games, literature and manga feels rich with stories to tell. Same with the swords used by the samurai caste. Legends about their perfection (even if some of them are a bit overestimated) have fascinated many generations and helped katanas make their way into the popular culture.
Shogun no Katana is an euro style game about swordsmiths responsible for creating katanas. The game can be played solo or in a group of up to 4 players. Each of them has their own forge and a personal room used to track progress during the game. The forge is divided into a 4×4 grid where you place the tiles representing katanas you’re currently working on.
To complete a katana you first need to get the resources, and these differ between each sword. Most can be acquired by visiting the Palace and trading on the local Market. Your workers can activate certain rows and columns of the forge so it’s worth planning out how to place the swords and how to maximize your efforts. Alternatively, you can use more powerful monks instead of workers but that requires paying offerings to the temple.
The main board hosts locations vital for succeeding as a blacksmith clan. One of the most important ones is The Palace where you can place the members of your family to reap a number of helpful bonuses.
Decorators are another type of characters you can use and they do their job in the part of the main board known as The Academy. Placing and advancing them earns you Victory Points, coins and other resources.
Each part of the board and the personal player boards needs to be taken care of if you want to end up victorious. Crafting, trading, decorating and strategically panting your family within the palace will together make you the most legendary swordsmith of all time.