Kaiju Exchange – Capital Gains Studios – Preview

Kaiju Exchange-BGG (1)

Search for kaiju material, trade it, and get the best deal. Will you corner the market and over this new breakthrough exchange?

Matthew Kearns

MeepleGamers

8.3/10
Kaiju Exchange-Matt (2)

Theme and What is it?

9/10

Kaiju Exchange follows the events of Crytocurrency in the world of Debtzilla and Wongamania. The great economic kaiju Debtzilla, Ponzitron, Inflationsaurus, and Taxopus have been defeated, yet their remains are vital components to the world in creating new and wondrous technologies and medicines.

A new commodities market has been created dealing in the remnants of these creatures. Discover new sources, trade, and cajole to get the best deal. Will you corner the market on Taxopus tentacles or Pozium and gain influence over this new breakthrough market?

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Gameplay Mechanics

7/10

Goal

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*Preview: Rules Subject to Change* The goal of Kaiju Exchange is to be the first to gain 6 Influence before the other players and the Banana Republic gains 8 Influence.

Setup

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*Preview: Rules Subject to Change* Each player chooses a City Mat, receives 5 Wonga (W), 2 Demand cards, and 2 Exclusive Contract cards.  Prepare the Demand Draw Deck, Discard Pile, and Global Demand. Set up the Banana Republic and place the remaining tokens/tiles (Expertise, Material, Alliance, Coins and Favor) within reach of the players.  Shuffle the Event deck and place near the Banana Republic.

Turns

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*Preview: Rules Subject to Change* Kaiju Exchange is played in a series of rounds where each round is conducted in three phases: Event Revelation, Players’ Actions, and Banana Republic.  In the Event Revelation phase, the top card from the Event deck is turned over and becomes active for the current round. In the Players’ Actions phase, each player takes the available actions in a specific order.  Finally, in the Banana Republic phase, the Banana Republic manages the exchange and tries to remain in control of it.

During the Players’ Actions phase, the players (starting with the round’s First Player) perform the following steps: Extraction, Inventory, Business, and Refresh.

The Extraction step is when a player pays for his existing Crew, hires new Crew, acquires Material based upon his crew, and trade Material with the Banana Republic.

During the Inventory step, a player pays 1 W to get rid of excess Material above 10.

In the Business step, a player uses the Material in his Inventory to fulfill Local Demand (Demand cards in his hand) and/or Global Demand, OR one of his Exclusive Contract cards for Wonga and potentially gaining Influence.

Finally, in the Refresh step, a player discards his Local Demand cards, draws two new Local Demand cards, and replenishes the Global Demand cards if there are none left.

Once all of the players have taken a turn in the round, proceed to the Banana Republic phase then pass the First Player token.

One Influence is obtained when a player fulfills 3 Local/Global Demand in one turn, fulfills an Exclusive Contract card, for every 6 W held, or obtain 3 identical Crew tokens.

Kaiju Exchange-Matt (6)

Initial Impressions

8/10

I liked all the other games by this publisher (being a watcher of the economy and sucker for a game that can teach you something) and so was excited to their new game. Kaiju Exchange looks nice even if it’s not the final product. Once you get going with it, the flow can move fast but it also changes constantly which keeps you on your toes.

Kaiju Exchange-Matt (7)

Game Build Quality

8/10

It’s hard to talk about the game components in a preview because in the final production they may change altogether and I was warned a number of pieces will change or be different from this version. Regardless the quality was pretty good.

Components are playing cards, play mats, wooden tokens, and cardboard tokens. The playing cards and play mats card stock, while having a nice gloss and texture, are a bit flimsy so I hope they improve those. The cardboard and wooden tokens used on the play mats are too big for the spaces, but they will be different in the final product. The quality of these components, though, are sturdy and nicely presented.

Kaiju Exchange-Matt (8)

Artistic Direction

9/10

The art in Kaiju Exchange continues to impress! The style and color remains consistent between their products in this shared world, even though they have different artists contributing. Please keep it coming.  Presentation though will be modified from the preview to the production as some elements will be added and clarified.

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Fun Factor

8/10

If you liked the other games centered around economic principles, then you’ll like Kaiju Exchange too. Learn how scarcity and trade affect worth of commodities while becoming a leading dealer in the slimy residue of the Inflationsaurus and taking over the whole market.

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Age Range & Weight

9/10

The age range started as 8+ but will change to 10+.  I agree with this change as the strategy needed and constant speculation management as available Material and Demand changes every round.

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Conclusions

8.3/10

Kaiju Exchange on the whole does what it sets out to do. Trade commodities, fulfill demands, and make the world happy while gaining influence in the market.

The rules and their presentation though need to be tightened up a bit, it doesn’t feel as clean as their other games and it certainly could benefit from player aid cards. OurAt the start of the play throughs, the players all did pretty much the same thing: spend almost your Wonga on Crew, pay off the Crew in the next round, then finally get Material without doing anything else. Once we got through the first two rounds, then the game took off with each player able to pursue their own strategies.

The Banana Republic is an interesting 5th player AI/threat mechanic as it interacts in a scaled-down version of what the players can do: gaining Material and fulfilling Global Demand cards. The players could rely upon the BR for obtaining Material but it becomes less necessary as players gain more Crew.

The game layout Kaiju Exchange relies heavily on symbols to indicate actions, abilities, bonuses, etc. — we had to regularly refer back to the rule book for their definition (part of the reason for player aid). The rule book also does the same and a good portion of it is given to defining what they are.

Irrespective of these comments, I am still looking forward to the final version of Kaiju Exchange — Capital Games hasn’t let me down! Check out their Kickstarter using the button below!

Kaiju Exchange-Matt (12)

Disclaimer: My name may be found as a credit with the game as I had passed along comments regarding wording cleanup and consistency in the rulebook following the completion of this review.

Kaiju Exchange - Capital Gains Studios - Preview
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