Ophir Kickstarter Preview

[This post is not a review, but a preview of a game currently seeking funding on Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/justinschaffer/ophir?ref=card). Components, art, or rules may change between when Jim played the game and the final release of the game.]

Ophir is the latest game from Terra Nova games (http://www.terranovagames.com/) seeking funding on Kickstarter. Their previous game, Guile, was successfully funded on Kickstarter about a year ago, and is a light, very interesting, card game all about bluffing and deduction.

Comparatively, Ophir is much more complicated than Guile, but it does still very much fall in the "family" category of games. In Ophir, players assume the roles of different government, trade, and religious dignitaries who are all sailing around the region of Ophir with a singular goal - building the Temple.

A lot about the setup of Ophir is modular and randomized, which adds a lot to the replayability of the game. Even players who have played previously will have to take a good look at the board state after everything has been set up and reevaluate whether their strategies will be effective for this game.

The locations of all the goods and the Temple and Market are random, as are the two barriers (which block player movement), as well as the order of the market cards (somewhat - there is an A and a B deck, which are shuffled separately and then combined, A on top of B). Players also draft the special roles in the game, with the first player having her choice from among 1 more than the number of players.

Players will be sailing around to the different islands, picking up goods, and delivering them to either the Market or the Temple and receiving rewards like money, favor, or victory points. The main way to score points in the game, though, is by contributing gold or silver towards the construction of the Temple. Players can purchase gold or silver by paying either coins or favor, and can then deliver the gold or silver to the Temple site in return for victory points.

Moving around the board is interesting too, because each player will have an influence die on their ship. If a player wants to sail into a space which already contains another player's ship, she has to either spend a valuable favor point, or risk rolling her influence die in the hopes of rolling a value that is equal to or higher than the highest influence die on the space she is trying to move to. If the roll is unsuccessful, her action is wasted and her ship stays where it is, but if it is successful, she is able to move into that space, and the value she rolled is the new value of her influence die - which could be bad news for the other players who might want to move into her space.

How awesome does that look? And this is only a prototype!

In fact, one of the big draws of Ophir is the really phenomenal looking 3-D Temple that gets constructed throughout the game. As each level is completed by the players, another level is added, which has art corresponding to the Temple getting closer and closer to completion.

The game will end when either the Temple is completed, or when there are not enough market cards left to fully replenish the market. At this point, players will get extra victory points for any gold or silver they happen to be carrying at the time, and the player with the most victory points wins!

While there is a lot of randomization in Ophir, the gameplay is very simple, which makes this a great game for more experienced gamers to play with friends or family members who may not be as engaged in the hobby. The art and components will absolutely help those "non-gamers" feel more comfortable and more drawn to the game as well. The pick up and deliver mechanisms are also very intuitive and will be very easy to explain to new players as well. I feel that Ophir is a great gateway game for people interested in the beautiful art or in a easy to learn pickup and deliver game.

If you think Ophir would make a good addition to you game collection, go pledge now! (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/justinschaffer/ophir?ref=card)

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