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    CK Lai

    So I finally picked up my pledge last night… this is probably the one and only KS project that allows me to pick up my pledge for free!

    What’s the game about? “In a game of Rise of the Kage, 2-4 players can choose to play as the ninja of the shadow wind clan. Deadly warriors, tasked with a variety of missions all ultimately focussed upon taking down the Takashi clan, the Jwar Isles’ ruling family. Or you can choose those that have sworn their lives to protect their Daimyo; the brave guards of the Prefecture of Ryu.

    Ninja or guards, players face difficult decisions. Do the ninja recklessly force their way through their opponents whilst undoubtedly raising the alarm level, go too slowly and stealthily though and they face losing the advantage that night brings, dawn ultimately bringing an un-reckonable force down upon them. Do the guards throw themselves in the way of their more deadly rivals or strategically attempt to slow them down? Rise of the Kage offers a great blend of sneaky skills and gobsmacking kills.”

    Here’s my pledge with 2 modest add-ons (the 2 small boxes with “O” and “N” and the 2 card decks that also allow me to play the Bushido tabletop minis game):
    My RotK pledge

    If you buy the base game + expansion, this is what you’d get inside:
    The retail box contents

    But pledging via Kickstarter nets you these:
    With Kickstarter freebies!

    The plastic used is actually pretty good quality, but spears are long and thin and the minis were all crammed into plastic bags with predictable results:

    But it’s nothing a quick dip in hot/ice water won’t fix. The sculpts are very nice and the detail is all there:
    Project: ELITE wishes its minis would look this good!

    The game seems solid but the rules need re-organising. So if our esteemed Universal Head (aka. Lord and Master of EoG) would like to work his usual magic and bless 1,112 backers of RotK, the PDF rules can be found here ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll give a write-up of the gameplay once my minis dry (from their hot/cold water bath) and I can play my first game.


    I’m halfway through listening to the latest Gamer’s Lounge Podcast which has a review of the game. Seemed pretty positive about it

    Universal Head

    Looks impressive, I completely missed that one. Not sure Iโ€™ll be doing a summary for a game I donโ€™t have though!

    CK Lai

    @ UH: I pledged because they offered a local pick-up for free. May not have pledged otherwise.

    And, yeah… I figured as much… But I had to try ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Now I’ve got to stir my lazy butt and do it myself ๐Ÿ˜€


    Gamerโ€™s Lounge did say they manual wasn’t exactly the best feature of the game.
    He & his wife were using the grey with green ninjas to indicate being spotted & tan/orange to red to indicate alert guards and said it was really helpful during game play.

    Those figures look very well detailed and there are so many of them.
    Could they be used in Okko ?

    CK Lai

    @ Razide: Yeah, if you backed during the KS, you get the alternate coloured sculpts (pink and green) to indicate your various states during the game (Detected/Undetected; Alert/Not Alert). Very nice!

    Yes… the rulebook is a pain because the info is all over the place and is not presented in a systematic way. (Having said that, it’s only 12 pages long, and that guy must NOT have had the pleasure of trying to play Myth with the v.1.0 rules… now, THAT was a real PITA rulebook that needed a fan to RE-WRITE his own Unofficial Rulebook for us to be able to actually play the game).

    That said, the gameplay moves smoothly once you get the hang of things. I played a test game last night to run through the rules. Had to abort it. Too many newbie errors! (eg. I mistook the cost of recruiting a Guard for how many Actions he could take a turn. Ouch! That allowed him to kill a Ninja in 2 turns… not letting the Ninja run away at the penalty of generating a Noise token…)

    But yeah, it’s a fun game with the Stealth, Evade, Detect and secret missions mechanics. The best part is it borrows the best part of L7: Omega Protocol: “Adrenalin”. If, during his turn the Ninja player generates Noise, those Noise tokens are given to the Guards player during his turn that can be used to Recruit or activate Guards. Sweet!

    Hopefully I can get a second game in later tonight!

    Okko:Yup! I don’t have the Okko minis to compare, but the boards are 100% compatible. One thing about RotK is the game board is static (like Tannhauser). Nicely detailed but you’re stuck with what they give you. The Okko maps are modular, so you could, in theory, make up your own map and play the Missions on the Okko maps.

    The RotK minis are lovely once they go through the hot/cold water dunking. The plastic is good quality that holds details well. It’s just that they shoved and crammed all the minis into these small plastic bags that ended up squashing them. Not sure how many minis you could use for Okko as the Okko minis are very specifically keyed to the comic, but the scale matches. That final photo I posted shows all the sculpts from the base game + expansion + add-on 1 boss mini + 1 add-on Ninja less the KS Exclusive Princess Hostage mini (that I forgot about).


    You could use the minis for the general non-characters in Okko such as those from the Yakuza Hazu Akai.

    How big is the game board ?
    The lights on it look atmospheric in the pictures I’ve seen.

    I see there is a video of the rules but it is in French – le damitte !

    CK Lai

    Don’t have that expansion for Okko. Only the Karasu. I think the metal minis for Bushido give you more scope for Okko proxies… but not for the named minis, though since they’re so specific.

    Yeah, the board is 2 x 2 and very well produced. In fact, the physical components for the game are very nice. Not quite FFG class but close. No complaints there. If they’d done a better job on the rulebook, I think this game would be generating more buzz as there’s nothing quite like it out there at the moment. A stealth Ninja game! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My board set up for last’s night’s test game:

    My super-stealth ninja sneaked into the mansion with no problems… (you can see the Unalert Guards in orange while she’s still in Stealthy Grey).

    But my average Ninja failed his stealth search, causing the Guards to move into Alert mode (pink minis) where they managed to Detect him, hence the Green mini.

    You can download the Beta Rules (about 90% complete from final) via the link I gave above, then this link of BGG does a very EoG-like summary (doesn’t look as nice, of course) that solves about 95% of any rules issues you might have. Very good!

    The other issues with the rules are just timing issues (when some effects and cards get played, etc.) that needs to be worked out via FAQs.


    Looks good.
    I did see a short video explaining gameplay. I keep thinking the guards are going to smash the ninjas with rowing oars.

    The Okka Yakuza is really just nine new character cards along with some equipment like Red Algae.
    You could almost just use the two photos showing the front & backs of the cards if you use figures instead of standees.

    CK Lai

    The short game play video used the Beta rules. Final printed rules are slightly different. I wish GCT would put out a game play video with the final rules. A lot of unclear rules questions would be answered. Oh, well…

    In the meanwhile… my 3rd test play of the game: the final Ninja left alive (the super-stealth Ninja) finally got cornered… by the Boss, no less. She was already Detected. She could’ve tried Evading the 2 Orange Unalerted Guards… but not the Boss. Trying to leave the Area of Influence of an Alert enemy while Detected is an automatic fail, generating a Noise token… that meant the Turn Marker would +1 the next Guard turn, reaching the Bell and giving the Victory to the Guard player (my wife).

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