Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Nicolas Sato


No. of Players:
2 - 4

G@mebox Star



In Kenjin two to four Warlords of feudal Japan are waging war on each other, and each player is separated from his neightbours around the table by two Landmark tiles of differing Victory points for which the neighbouring players will fight. For this reason each player receives a set of 14 Army cards showing some different kinds of units, but apart from some minor variations in artwork all the cards in each player deck are identical, without any special abilities for each player.

Taking turns, the players now have to assign two of their Army cards to one or two of their neighbouring Landscape cards during their turn. Some of these Army cards will be placed openly, whereas others can be placed faced down, leaving the opposing player(s) to speculate which card the player might have used for this placement. When all Army cards have been placed, all cards will be revealed and battles will be carried through for each Landmark card, with the card going to the player who has placed Army cards with a higher strength value on his side. However, the battle is the place where the special abilities of some army cards are triggered, and these abilities may give a player a quite decisive advantage. So, a Samurai card actually will remove some opposing units before the strength values of the cards are compared, but on the other hand the Samurai can be countered by the Archeress, removing the Samurai before his ability comes to bear. Quite strong is the player's Warlord card, since it will add one additional Strength point for each Army card which has been placed at the same Landmark card afterwards.

Other characters on the other hand have special abilities which will be used during the builup phase before battle. So, a Spay or a Wizard can be used to inspect or turn over a face-down enemy card, a General can move a facedown Army card to another Landmark card, and an Assassin actually can remove a freely chosen face-down card from the game, taking its place in the other army instead.

As the game can be played with two to four players, a player either will have one or two opponents which he must take care of at the same time, and each of these settings has its own challenge since the player may have to chose quite different strategies depending on the cast of players. Especially the two-player game quickly develops into a game of wits where both sides try to bluff and outwit each other.

Another factor which makes the whole setting interesting is the fact that both players have the same set of 14 Army cards at their disposal, giving them exact knowledge about the units available to each other player. The hand of 14 cards is quite manageable, and once you get used to the 10 different types of units the game plays rather smoothly without seeing too much downtime. In order to keep the clashes between the players interesting, it's the Landmark cards which offer some variations, not only in terms of Victory Point value but also concerning the battleground depicted on those cards. So, a Supply Base Landmark card actually will bring the winner of this battle an additional Strength point for two of his other battles, whereas a bridge may restrict both adjacent players to a maximum placement of 3 Army cards.

Coming with great artwork in a small box, the Kenjin certainly qualifies as a must-buy, especially since it's once again a perfect game to take along on a holiday trip!

[Gamebox Index]

Google Custom Search

Impressum / Contact Info / Disclaimer


Copyright & copy; 2015 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany