Reviews

Kobayakawa – a betting game set in feudal Japan

Game Info

Game: Kobayakawa

Year: 2013

Designer: Jun Sasaki

Type: Party game

Category: Card game, bluff, deduction

Mechanics: Betting

Number of Player: 3-6 Players

Play Time: 15 minutes

Recommended age: 9+

Last update was on: January 9, 2018 6:23 am

Introduction

Kobayakawa

“The powerful Kobayakawa samurai clan wants to thwart your conquest of Japan. Do you have the strength and guile to stop them? In seven rounds, with only 15 cards, bluff and bet your route to victory.”

With this introduction, iello gives the tone of Kobayakawa, a quick betting game. You will have 7 rounds to gain the most kamons, winning your opponents bets after taking strategical decisions.

Will this 15 minutes bluffing game seduce you?

 

 

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Game Components

Kobayakawa - components

Components overview

Kobayakawa’s box is small – it is no surprise to find few components in it.

  • 15 cards
  • 32 kamon tokens
  • 1 first player token
  • 1 rulebook

 



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Game Setup

Kobayakawa - setup

Setting up the game

  • Every player receives 4 kamons.

 

  • 8 kamons are stacked on the middle of the table. Shuffle the 15 cards.

 

  • You are now ready for your first round.

 

 

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How to Play

A game of Kobayakawa is played over 7 rounds of 3 phases:

  • Preparation phase where the deck is prepared,
  • Draw phase, where every player will interact with a card,
  • Fight phase, where every player will be given the opportunity of betting.

At the end of the seventh phase, the player with the most kamons will be victorious.

Last update was on: January 9, 2018 6:23 am

Preparation phase:

Kobayakawa - start card

We will start this round with a bonus card of value 8

Shuffle the deck of 15 cards and give one to every player. Only the player knows the card he received.

At this time, you will need to know that every of the 15 cards has a value of 1 to 15.

Place the remaining cards, face done in the middle of the table and reveal the first one. The top card of the revealed deck will later come as a bonus to a lucky player. We’ll see how a bit later

The youngest player receives the starting player token.

 

 

 

The draw phase:

Kobayakawa - first player

In this round, I decided to draw, hoping to replace my 13 with a better card.

During this phase, you will have to take a decision: either draw the top card of the deck to replace the middle one, or draw it and decide to keep one of the two cards in your hand. The second one will be discarded, visible in a discard pile.

How will you decide? Well: just know that during the fights, every player will be allowed to fight. Every fighter will reveal their card.

The fighter with the lowest score will add the middle card as a bonus to his card value. The player with the highest score will then win the round.

So… Will you try to replace the middle card, hoping to impact the strategy of your opponents, or will you rather try to get a better card for you?

 

 

 

Kobayakawa - first player

I eventually decided to discard the 4, keeping the 13 in my hand.

Every player will be given one draw phase, clockwise.

Once the turn comes back to the first player, the draw phase ends, and we can now start the fights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight phase:

Kobayakawa - betting phase

For this round, two players decided to fight

Starting with the first player, every player will be given the opportunity to fight. To fight, a player will need to place one of his kamons in front of him.

Place a kamon from the central reserve in the middle of the fight area.

Note: on the seventh round, you need to bet 2 kamons to fight. You will also place the last 2 kamons from the central area. If you have less than 2 kamons left, you may not fight. 

After every player chose whether to fight or not, players will reveal their card.

 

Kobayakawa - reveal phase

My 13 is no match to my opponent’s 11: as he adds the middle 8 to his score, he pockets my kamon.

When every player has revealed his card, you will need to find who has the lowest card value.

That player will add the middle card to his score. Every other player will score the value of their card.

The player with the highest score will win the round: he will take all the kamons bet in that round, including the one(s) from the central reserve.

 




As the round ends, the starting player token moves to the next player and you can get ready for the next round.

Remember that the seventh round is the final one, and that you will bet 2 kamons on this one: the balance of forces may change in that last round!

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Final Thoughts

A betting game is always fun: this one can be explained in matter of minutes to your friends, and it takes only a few minutes to play. We always encounter a lot of frustration when the one card we were relying on changes.. Sometimes for better, often for worse.

You’ll need to know when to take risks and bet, and remember: you’ll need to fight to win!

I would also recommend you to sleeve the cards: they will wear out, sooner or later, and scratching and other markings will happen. If a card is obviously too marked, part of the fun of the game will be ruined.

Kobayakawa Game

3 new from $ 8.99
amazon.com
Last updated on January 9, 2018 6:23 am
9 Total Score
Kobayakawa - a betting game set in feudal Japan

The powerful Kobayakawa samurai clan wants to thwart your conquest of Japan. Do you have the strength and guile to stop them? In seven rounds, with only 15 cards, bluff and bet your route to victory.

Game Instructions/Rules:
10
Simplicity:
10
Components:
10
Repeat Play:
9
Easy to play:
10
Fun to play:
7
PROS
  • Quick and easy
  • Good strategy
  • Fun to play
CONS
  • Damaged cards ruin the fun
  • Theme doesn't impact the gameplay
User Rating: Be the first one!

Kobayakawa Game

3 new from $ 8.99
amazon.com
Last updated on January 9, 2018 6:23 am

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Kobayakawa Game

3 new from $ 8.99
amazon.com
Last updated on January 9, 2018 6:23 am

 

 

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