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Japan during the Meiji period - a close, isolated, and feudal country - decides to change into a modern westernised state. The Empire sends emissaries to foreign nations, brings technicians and scholars from the west, builds a network of railroads, and achieves an outstandingly fast industrial revolution.
In Nippon, players control Zaibatsu and try to develop their web of power by investing in new industries, improving their technological knowledge, shipping goods to foreign countries or using them to satisfy local needs, and growing their influence and power as they oversee the era of rapid industrialization of Japan.
The foundations of the big Zaibatsu were the traditional silk workshops, but soon the conglomerates diversified their influence and power, building a complex structure of interconnected companies that made them giant players in the world's new industrial era. Each player takes the reins of one of these big corporations and tries to develop it in order to grow and achieve power.
Nippon is a fast-paced economic game with challenging decisions, set during an important time in Japanese history, and when a new great nation is born.
|By||Sarcyn||From||Derbyshire in United Kingdom|
|This was one of the most highly anticipated games of 2015 and I have to say that after just one play I can completely understand why. It's full of elegant mechanics and feels very streamlined for something that many would rightly deem a 'heavy euro.' The complexity comes from the chain of decisions that each player makes, rather than from complex rules. On your turn you take one of two possible things to do: you take a worker and perform one of the two actions associated with where that worker came from, or you consolidate - meaning you get your income, pay for the workforce you've used so far and potentially claim a bonus for end-game scoring. The mechanic that makes the game stand out though is that there are several colours of workers and the more colours you have in your workforce the more you pay when you consolidate. This means that every decision to take a worker has that little bit more to it, whether it be balancing your need for a certain action with the extra cost that you’ll have to pay later, or taking one colour because you know that one of your opponents really wanted that colour. The designers were very keen to point out that the game plays ‘very fast’ during their Essen Spiel preview and I have to admit that ‘very fast’ and ‘heavy euro’ didn’t really compute for our group, but even we found that after we got into the flow of the game some rounds went by in the blink of an eye. Another feature that I personally love in games like this is that there are multiple pathways to victory. I managed to win our game (though I’m sure that our group would like me to point out that a minor rules mistake that we all made benefitted me more than others) by focussing on building trains and boats and completely ignoring coal - ending the game without increasing my supply at all - whereas my opponents took different strategies and before the final scoring none of us were sure who might win. I could go on into further details about the mechanics and flow of the game but there is a very fine run through by Paul Grogan on YouTube and I think this review has rambled on long enough! Suffice to say that I can highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys games that feature a hatful of meaningful decisions, with multiple pathways to victory. And I haven’t even mentioned the very fine artwork of the board and player mats.|
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Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro
Spirit Games (Est. 1984, Lefglow Ltd) - Supplying role playing games (RPG), wargames rules, miniatures and scenery, new and traditional board and card games for the last 35 years
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