If you’re looking for a solid worker placement game, then this is certainly worth a look. Its easy to learn but you’ll have lots of fun trying to master it.
Theme and What is it?
Set in the Edo period of Japan, Yedo is the capital city and you are one of the main factions trying to curry favour with the Shogun by completing various tasks and missions with your agents throughout the city. You will have weapons and abilities that can assist you with your tasks, but you must outwit your opponents and take the right chances.
Each round begins with each player bidding on an area of resource around the board. These areas consist of weapons, missions, action cards, extra agents, geisha’s and buildings that can make a huge difference to how each round of the game is played.
Players then take it in turns to place workers around the board in the various locations available. The end goal is to complete as many missions as possible through various types of set collection.
There are also events and guards that have to be dealt with each round, but these are more negotiated tactically rather than specifically interacted with.
The players set the number of rounds for the game and the winner is established after all missions and goal cards have beEN counted.
I am personally a massive fan of Asian history and culture so anything to do with Edo Japan will always catch my eye and I’m also a big fan of a solid worker placement game and this uses the mechanics very well to keep everyone involved. Needless to say, I was invested in this just from seeing the box.
Game Build Quality
I am a big fan of the quality of this game considering it was first release back in 2012, way before the current wave of popularity board games we are seeing throughout the world. The card stock is excellent and the various card sizes are appropriate for their requirements. There was a Kickstarter recently that upgraded the wooden components and revitalized the artwork, but both versions have their charms.
There actually isn’t a massive amount of individual artwork in Yedo, but what there is are very fitting for the theme and very well represented. The game board is a masterpiece though, its shading and lighting really give the perspective of a bushelling city scape with each of the locations blending into one another. It’s always been a big draw for me. It gives fantastic table presence.
I have never had a “bad” game of Yedo even when I’ve lost, I’ve enjoyed the experience of getting there. Trying to negotiate around my opponents by pipping them to the important locations or maneuvering around them when needed to ensure my turns are never wasted. All the decisions you make in Yedo have huge impacts to each turn, and I really like the weight behind it. It’s a game that I can happily introduce as a gateway game or know I’m going to get a deep experience with time served gamers.
Age Range & Weight
Due to the level of tactics and choices in Yedo I would say 14+ would be about right. Any younger than that and I think some game’s nuances could be lost. The timing is pretty spot on. I can easily get through a game of Yedo with 3 players in 120 minutes. Anymore players than that and we probably do get closer to the 180 minute mark.
Yedo is an outstanding worker placement game that includes a fist full of mechanics that all work exceptionally well together. Every choice you make is crucial to your success and so you find yourself trying to think several moves ahead but also trying to figure out what your opponent might be aiming for too. The theme also works very well with the style of game that’s presented here. Yedo Japan was full of culture but also thick with deception and this game leads you down both baths.
If you’re looking for a solid worker placement game, then this is certainly worth a look. It’s easy to learn, but you’ll have lots of fun trying to master it.
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