Hello fellow Nerdarchists. It is Monday and you know what that means. Nerdarchist Ted here and it is time to bring to you another Board game review. Fresh off of my trip to Philly Games con where I met game designers of indie game company: Spriteborne.
Spriteborne is a solo studio operated by Jake Vander Ende. Jake has been designing games since he was a kid, though Yomi’s Gate is his first commercial project. He is a regular attendee at Philly Dev Night at the Philly Game Forge, where he has been playtesting Yomi’s Gate several times a month since July 2014. Outside of games, Jake runs a crafting website at Spriteborne.com where he uses his laser engraver to create etched glass, laser-burned wood, and more. Jake has been running Spriteborne full-time since September 2012.
Yomi’s Gate indie board game
Yomi’s gate is a great strategy game made with plastic pieces that are laser cut or etched in his basement. So it is cool to have a game developer be the producer and distributor as well. I sat down with Jake at the con and was served an ass whoppin in my first game. I look forward to playing another game even if it is not against Jake.
The game is a strategy has multiple types of pieces from samurai, cavalry archers and heroes to a separate army made up of Oni. The strategy starts at base placement or even before in determining who is going to go first.
Not knowing the complexities of Yomi’s Gate, I let Jake go first, placed my base in a poor place and it all went down hill from there. Once the bases are placed and turns begin you can pick any model from your yet unplaced army on a training ground and move each unit from there.
If you have captured the temple you get essentially a third training ground which can certainly tip the scales in your favor. I made the mistake of placing my base too far from the temple and was unable to capture it from Jake and thus I was at unit disadvantage from that moment on.
The units you place have different movement and terrain can effect each differently so you have to examine each carefully and be cautious about how you move and use them.
There are three methods of achieving victory. You can kill all of your opponents heroes, you can kill all of your opponents army currently fielded or you can capture your opponents base. If you are a chess player you can see the complexities and levels being used here.
I like chess but never achieved the ability to see more than 4 moves ahead so I tend to get smoked by better players. That could explain what happened between Jake and myself. The challenge with Yomi’s Gate is you do not know what units you opponent will field this turn so you have to guess or plan for multiple scenarios, unlike chess where all the pieces are on the board from the beginning of the game.
Yomi’s gate board game
The pieces of this board game are made of a sturdy plastic though they remind me of a single color meeple if you are familiar with that term. As the game is made on demand after an order is placed so it can take a little bit of extra time to get it shipped to you but it is totally worth it.
Even the cool interlocking board of this board game is made by them. Each layout can be different than the last. It reminds me a little bit of Heroscape if you have ever played that wonderful money sink of a miniatures game. You can use all the tiles for a big game or use less and make it a fast and dirty game.
There are three levels at which you can buy this game. You can get the cool deluxe version which comes in a custom made clear box designed and made by Spriteborne. You can get the standard version which comes with just about the same content as the deluxe just without the cool box. Or you can get the basic version which does not include the oni army.
After one play through I was already thinking of cool scenarios to add or do to make the game have even more playability. And that is just the icing on the cake. This board game is totally worth it.
If you want to order the game you can go to the website here. If you want to jump right to the rules and see if this is a game for you, you can so so here. So please go to Jake’s site check it out and if you talk to them tell ’em that Nerdarchy sent you. Hopefully you are as excited as I about getting a copy of this game for yourself.
You know how the drill goes by now I hope. “Until Next Time, Stay Nerdy!”