Kickstart This! #144: Namiji

Designer: Antoine Bauza (7 Wonders, 7 Wonders Duel, Conan, Ghost Stories, Hanabi, The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet, Takenoko, Terror in Maple City, Tokaido)

Artist: Xavier Gueniffey Durin (The Big Book of Madness, Conan, Lords of Xidit, Seasons, Taluva, Tokaido)

Publisher: Funforge (Agricola, Agricola Revised Edition, Barenpark, Brass: Birmingham, Brass: Lancashire, Caverna: Cave vs Cave, Evolution, Evolution: Climate, Grand Austria Hotel, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, Nemesis, Patchwork, Quantum, Tokaido, Viceroy)

Genre/Mechanisms: miniatures, point to point movement, set collection, time track, variable player powers

Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Namiji is already fully-funded. In fact, pledges currently total more than 9x the initial funding goal with 2 days left to go on the campaign.

Player Count: 2-5

Solo Mode: no

Complexity: light

Risk: low

What It’s About: A spiritual sequel to Tokaido, featuring light gameplay with a time track and set collection.

How It Works:  Namiji, like its predecessor Tokaido, is a light game played using a time track. Whatever player is in last place on the time track takes a turn. Strategy involves what space players choose to land on, as well as the spaces they choose to block opponents from being able to take. Players must stop on Dock spaces. What really distinguishes this game from Tokaido are the actions available on the various spaces. These include:

Line Fishing/Net Fishing– when Line Fishing, players take a face-up or face-down Fish token from the School of Fish, then flip a face-down Fish token face-up; when Net Fishing, players take the first Net token from the deck and place it on their rack. Fish and Net tokens score when rows and/or columns of their rack have been completed.

Crustacean Trap– draw a random Crustacean from the bag. Players can draw up to 5 tokens, stopping any time, but if they draw 2 crabs they have to return all of the tokens to the bag.

Whirlpool– players take the rightmost Offering figurine from their Boat board and place it on the big Whirlpool area. If they manage to donate all 4 of their Offerings over the course of the game, they’ll negate any end-game Offering penalties.

Panorama– set collections made up of 3, 4, or 5 sections, just like the Panoramas in Tokaido, except represented in Namiji by Dolphin, Orca, or Whale.

Sacred Rock– draw 2, keep 1, and try to achieve the objective by the end of the game.

Docks– mandatory stops for all boats, and an opportunity to improve equipment, much like the Inns in Tokaido.

The game ends after all Boats have reached the Finish Port. Players earn a bonus based on the order they arrived (7 points to the first arrival, and 2 points less for each successive arrival), as well as points for completed Sacred Rock objectives, less any leftover Offering penalities. The player with the most points wins.

Comparisons:   Tokaido.

What Should I Pledge?:
$67 Namiji Designer Edition: the exclusive Designer Edition plus all unlocked stretch goals.

$39 Wooden Tokens & Case
$6 500 Premium Sleeves
$77 Tokaido Deluxe 5th Anniversary
$17 Tokaido Matsuri 5th Anniversary
$22 Tokaido Matsuri miniatures (16)

KS Exclusives:
The linen finish on the cards, the Yokai Boat player board and mini, the Yokai Story, the Printed Velvet bag, the linen finish on all the cardboard tokens, additional designs on the Shrimp Tokens, the poker-sized cards, the Shinto Boat player board and mini, the Shinto Story, the Panorama bonus tiles, the Yurei Boat player board and mini, the Yurei Story, the additional designs on the Crab Tokens, the Piggy Boat player board and mini, the Piggy Story, the plastic victory tokens, the No Boat player board and mini, the No Story, the 5 pre-painted Player Boat minis, the 20 Offering Minis, the custom acrylic scoring tokens, and the oversized main board.

All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $67 for the Designer Edition pledge, $39 for the Wooden Tokens and Case, and $17 in shipping for a total of $123.

Namiji completes its Kickstarter on Friday, November 29th and tentatively ships in July 2020.

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