Onitama Board Game
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- 2 Minutes to Learn, 10 Minutes to Play, a Lifetime to Master!
- Second game in the Dice Tower Essentials Line of games approved by Tom Vasel
- A game of elegance and simplicity
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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From the manufacturer
Onitama Board Game
An Elegant and Simple Game of Martial Tactics
Carved into the crags of the mist-shrouded mountains of ancient Japan lies the Shrine of Onitama. It is a place of enlightenment and skill, a site dedicated to the spirits that guide the Schools of Martial Arts across the land.
Onitama is a two-player abstract strategy game where you take on the role of a Master, guiding your monk followers, in an attempt to defeat your opponent. Armed only with several moves, your wit, and cunning, do you have the skill to be victorious?
With multiple moves to make every game unique, the speed, the grace, and the unique play style of Onitama truly makes this an essential game for any gamer’s collection!
What is included?
- 1 Roll-up playmat 'board'
- 2 Master pawns
- 8 Student pawns
- 16 Move cards
- 1 Rulebook
Multiple Paths to Victory
There are two methods to achieve victory in Onitama. The first is to capture your opponent’s Master, by landing on it with any of your pieces. The second is to move your Master across the board into your opponent’s Temple Arch space.
The Move Cards
In Onitama, the deck of move cards is shuffled, and two cards are dealt to each player face-up. A 5th card is also placed face-up, to the side of the board. When it is your turn, you may choose to move one of your pieces using one of your cards.
The Move Cards Pass Between Players
After you move one of your pieces with one of your cards, the card you use will be exchanged with the 5th card to the side of the board. This means your opponent will have access to that move, after their next!
Countless Card Combinations
Every game of Onitama utilizes only 5 cards from the 16 card deck, providing an incredible amount of variety and replay value. If you're looking for more, check out the Onitama Sensei's Path Expansion that includes an additional 16 unique, new cards!
An Elegant and Simple Expansion for Onitama
|Description||Onitama, Sensei’s Path is a card expansion for use with Onitama! Included in this expansion are 16 unique, new, move cards that can be used instead of (or in addition to) those found in the base game.|
|Requirements||Onitama, Sensei’s Path requires the Onitama base game to play.|
Onitama is a two player abstract strategy game where players take on the role of a Master, guiding their monk followers, attempting to defeat your opponent armed only with a handful of moves, your cunning and your wits!.
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|Sold By||Gamerz Guild||Amazon.com||VirVentures||Amazon.com||Gamerz Guild||Amazon.com|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||3.75 x 3.75 x 10.5 in||10.5 x 2 x 10.5 in||8 x 2 x 8 in||4.5 x 4.7 x 2 in||2.25 x 2.25 x 5 in||6 x 1.8 x 7.9 in|
|Item Weight||1.5 lbs||1 lb||1.25 lbs||0.62 lb||—||1 lb|
Top customer reviews
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2-player, abstract strategy game of a martial arts masters with their student in a courtyard. Goal is to defeat the opponent's master or get your master into to the other player's throne/chair/colored space.
Each player will use cards to direct the moves of the their units -- very similar to Low Stress Chess, which is the first game I saw this type of mechanic used.
> The pawns look strange, but they should last forever. Still wish they looked not so. . .strange. I'm not sure how else to describe it. It is almost like they are aliens instead of Shaolin monks acolytes.
+ The masters look better and also should last the test of time. Nice and durable
+The Neoprene mat (yes, same as a mouse pad) works perfectly for a no-slip play mat.
+ Cards are great with the Asian characters, which brings great flavor to the cards and they are of adequate durability for a game. This is the one thing you'll be handling the most, so after a few hundred games you may be ordering a new copy of the game or replacement cards. . .but only after a few hundred games.
+ The theme feels strong in this game.
In many ways, it feels similar to a chess King and pawns battle -- but primary through card directed movement -- and with an Asian theme.
+ Low learning curve.
Very easy to learn, but difficult to master. Much, much easier to learn and teach than chess, since there are very few rules.
> There are several comments on BoardGameGeek and other places that the Tiger and Ostrich cards are unbalanced in the original version and in the newer version Tiger remains an overpowered card. Many players simply remove the cards from the deck.
+ Low luck, as the first hand is random but after that players are maneuvering with a set of cards that each sees. By the way you cannot move without directions from the cards drawn and made available to each player.
Thus, some people who hate randomness may be put off by the idea of cards directing your moves, but the randomness is very brief and only at the start of the game.
+ You can see the cards that your opponent is going to use to move and you see the cards you're going to use. Thus the decisions you have to make are very important and if you lose the game, it is because you let your opponent capitalize on moves that you either didn't see, didn't plan for or simply couldn't stop as you had limited choices in front of you.
+ A very good 2-player, abstract game. Lots of strategy. Some people hate not being able to move pieces based on rules, like in chess, but the cards work out very well and keep it random each game play. . .thus lots of replayability.
> Only recommendation for improvement is to have a grid identifier for the play area, so you could play remotely with a friend who has a copy of their own game. Not sure if having Alpha on one side and Numeric on another would break the immersion of the theme or not, but it would be very helpful.
Overall, nice fun two-player game that also comes in a cool Jenga type box. When I take one of my kids to $1 Tuesdays at Baskin Robbins this will be one of the games we play while enjoying some yummy ice cream.
1. Roll out the Game Mat and position it so that one player is on the red side and the other on the blue side.
2. Take the five pawns (one Master and four Students) that correspond with your color and place them on the row closest to you with the Master positioned in the middle (on the Temple Arch Square) flanked by two Students on each side.
3. Shuffle the sixteen Move Cards and deal two face up to each player.
4. Deal one more Move Card and examine the color of the icon in the bottom right corner. That color is the first player. Place this card on the right side of the board in relation to who the first player is.
5. Return the additional Move Cards to the box and set up is complete.
1. Pick one of your two Move Cards and move one of your pawns according to the movement shown on the card. (Note: The black square on the card represents where your pawn is on the board, and the colored squares represent places on the board where your pawn can move.) Your movements are not blocked by other pawns, cannot land you off the board, and if you land on a square occupied by your opponent, you capture that piece.
2. Take the Move Card you just used and place it on the left side of the board. You then claim the Move Card located on the right of the board.
3. Play continues back and forth between players until you either capture your opponent's Master (aka The Way of the Stone) or you land on your Master lands on your opponent's Temple Arch Square (aka The Way of the Stream).
The first things I noticed about this game was the packaging presentation and components. Unlike a typical rectangular or square game box, this box unfolds and opens like a scroll. The game mat is not made of cardboard, but instead neoprene, like a mouse pad and the pawns show nice detail as well. The next thing I noticed was the theme of the game. Martial arts with different animal moves is a perfect fit and just makes sense.
After taking in all the aesthetics, I focused on the way the game plays. For obvious reasons, Onitama will draw heavy comparisons to Chess. Like Chess, this game requires both short term and long term thinking. You have to figure out your move and plan for how your opponent can counter that move. Unlike, Chess, the pieces move based on a player's two Move Cards. You can see their cards, so nothing is hidden, but these cards are constantly rotating, so you have to be constantly vigilant that the card you use and then give to your opponent will not come back to haunt you. Other aspects of the game play that I liked were the quick set up, easy explanation of the rules, and the replay value. By choosing five of sixteen cards, each game, there are thousands of different combinations you can experience, and each one will provide a slightly different game than the last. Though, I would recommend you stick with the same five cards your first couple of games while you get used to the game.
The game is billed as taking ten minutes to play, but a lifetime to master and I find it hard to disagree with that statement. You can get lost in thought on this game, but if you approach it with equal parts strategy and having fun, it won't overstay its welcome. I find this game to be a nice date night game or one you can play while waiting for the rest of your game group to show up. When I put this game up next to The Duke, another abstract strategy game I recently reviewed, my wife will pick this game every time, because it's easy to pick back up if you haven't played it recently, and it feels like you have a bit more control over your moves as opposed to luck of the draw. I give it 9 out of 10 stars.
Games take around 10-20 minutes and it's painfully easy to learn.
Game play hint!: all cards but one only allow you to progress one row ahead! So if you stay back two rows from your opponents forward most piece, you're safe. While not a "winning" strategy unto itself, it is a thing to keep in mind as to keep the game from seeming "overly thinly".