I knew that set of katanas and the kimono I bought from wish would come in handy one day, so tighten your top knot and let's take a look at Daimyo Rebirth Of An Empire.
Firstly I'd like to be transparent and say I am a huge fan of feudal Japan and its history, so this was already onto a win before i even got into the game. The whole theme of Daimyo Rebirth Of The Empire is set in a future where 6 clans of futuristic samurai are battling to become the emperor of the archipelago.
I must say the art in Daimyo Rebirth Of The Empire is beautiful and really gives off an ancient Japanese feel, but has tiny hints of the future . The board is a large map of the archipelago with stunning art work throughout. You get a ton of meeples, and I mean a ton, from samurai governors and shadow ninjas, to radio tower pagodas. The meeples are all unique and really add to the thematics of the game, and nothing makes me want to judo chop nan in the throat like a samurai meeple. The art on the hero cards also stands out with a little hunt of the post apocalyptic story sprinkled in.
Now onto the actual gameplay, Daimyo Rebirth Of The Empire has several elements including dice drafting, worker placement, area control and a little bit of deck building. The designers have done an amazing job of making this it all flow together. On your turn you are drafting a dice and using its colour to take an action, the actions range from building techno farms to sending a shadow ninjas out to assassinate one of your wife's governors, which has now given you control over another island.
It is this back and forth, tug of war style, area control that really makes this game fun, but don't get caught up just attacking family members, this game has so many different ways to gain popularity and you want to try and explore them all. As if the glorious melding of all the mechanics wasn't good enough each faction has its own asymmetric ability which shakes the play up that little bit more.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
It has an awesome theme, it has beautiful art, cool samurai meeples, multiple paths to victory... It is almost perfect and then you see the player boards, they are paper thin, split into 3 sections you have to line up and what makes it worse is they are covered in meeples and tokens which are constantly being knocked. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I've found out you can actually get upgraded dual-layer boards which is great but I can't help but feel the boards should be standard.
Player boards aside, Daimyo Rebirth Of The Empire is an all-round really well made game, with smooth gameplay that melds all the mechanics without it ever feeling clunky or any of the mechanics feeling tacked on. If you are after a mid-weight game with multiple routes to victory and a good mix of well-balanced mechanics I'd highly recommend you check this out.