What kind of game is it?
The game is played by moving the pieces on the board in the manner of Shogi or Chess. The game is played in the same way as chess or shogi. The secret orders can be as simple as occupying three red squares (which can be occupied by moving pieces to enter red squares), or as complex as having the hero piece, which is your alter ego, defeated first among all players (usually, the player loses when the hero piece is defeated).
Therefore, for example, if a player forcibly targets a red square that is not necessary, the other players may find out about the secret mission and interfere with the game, and if the pieces protecting the heroic pieces are left unnaturally empty, they will also be found out and it will be difficult to achieve the secret mission. The key to the game is how to approach the secret mission secretly and inconspicuously.
Even if it’s not good on the board…
There are two special squares on the board: the red square for recruitment and the yellow square for treasure. When you occupy a base, you can add your own pieces to it every turn. When you occupy a treasure base, you can draw strategy cards that allow you to perform special moves such as double moves.
These bases for recruitment and treasure are the conditions for many secret orders, so you have to guess whether other players are simply occupying them to gain an advantage, or whether they are actually close to achieving their secret orders. Of course, you can use your own pieces and strategy cards to sabotage other players, but it is also very effective to take advantage of the fact that the secret orders are undisclosed to incite other players to danger and sabotage them without getting your own hands dirty.
In addition, since all players want to have a useful base of troops and treasure, they will either use their pieces and strategy cards to fight for it early in the game, or they will spontaneously form alliances to share the base. There are no penalties for betraying alliances, so don’t hesitate to betray an alliance if you think you can fulfill a secret order and get closer to victory.
Can be enjoyed repeatedly
At the start of the game, in addition to the secret mission card, one of seven different hero cards is dealt to the player in public, and each of the seven heroes has various characteristics: some are good at power play with many pieces, some are good at trick play using strategy cards, and some are good at slowly accumulating strength in a safe area. These unique heroes are combined with seven types of secret mission cards, so the fighting style changes every time and you can enjoy the game for a long time without getting bored.
Also, the initial placement of the hero pieces is determined by the hero card. If the base that becomes the victory condition is close to the initial placement, it is quite advantageous. However, if other players think that the victory condition is early, you will be attacked from many directions or receive a concentrated fire of strategy cards, and it is not easy to win. Try to avoid letting your opponent know your victory condition.
On the other hand, if the base that is the victory condition is far from the initial placement, you will be at a disadvantage. You can use all possible means to achieve a thin-ice victory, such as boldly attacking and destroying the opponent’s heroic pieces, making alliances with other players using the opponent with an advantage on the board as a common virtual enemy, or forcing them to fight each other.
Is it difficult for beginners?
There are seven types of secret order cards (= victory conditions), which may seem daunting for beginners. However, there is an installation card enclosed with the game that summarizes the victory conditions and how to proceed with the turns, so you can proceed with the game while checking them. Also, although there are four types of pieces, there are only three ways to move them (listed on the board), so there are very few things to remember compared to Shogi or other games. Also, the strategy cards have various effects, but the only thing you need to learn at first is that if you are within the range of a double move (moving the same piece twice) from another player’s piece, your piece may be taken. The difficulty level of the game is about the same as a standard German game from a while ago, and you can generally understand the rules well enough to enjoy playing through one game.
How much time do I have to play?
It depends on the development of the game, but it is usually around an hour. You can move half of the pieces on the board (rounded up) in one turn, and the map is not very large for the number of pieces, so you will have to make a decision about war or alliance early on when you collide with other players’ pieces.