Theme and What is it?
Set in Feudal Japan, you take up the role of one of the leading clans vying for control of the region. To be successful, you must gain favour from the Kami and negotiate around your opponents to find the best tactical result for victory.
Along the way you will be able to use power abilities and recruit amazing creatures from Japanese mythology. Use everything at your disposal to be victorious.
The game plays over 3 seasons (rounds) and each round players bid for season cards that can introduce powerful abilities or creatures that can be a huge help in the turns to come. Also, each season the favoured lands change. If you want to get resources at the end of the season, you must do your best to gain control of these favoured areas.
Each season players will also take it in turns to choose political mandates. These mandates are your actions for this turn. Each mandate has two abilities, one for you and your allies and another for all the other players. These mandates include the ability to summon troops, move units, build strongholds, collect resources or betray your ally if the timing is right. Players then take in turns to activate the mandate, and then the next player chooses the next mandate, and this continues until the end of the season.
At the end of each season battle commences in each area that is in dispute by none allied players and then it’s established who rules each area and resources are allocated accordingly.
This continues until the end of the third season and then all scores are added, and the winning is established.
Ever since playing Blood Rage I was excited to see what games Eric Lang would be involved in and hearing the news about Rising Sun I was already invested. It ticked all the boxes for me from the off. Designed by Eric Land, illustrated by Adrian Smith, produced by CMON and set in Feudal Japan. What more could anyone ask for!?!
Game Build Quality
CMON don’t seem to know how to produce a bad game. The quality of every aspect of this game is outstanding. I do happen to have the Kickstarter edition but even the cardboard components are always excellent quality. However, the plastic components are outstanding and really do make a big difference to the table presence of Rising Sun.
Adrian Smith has proven he can put his hand to pretty much any artistic project and make it his own. He has been working in the industry for a long time and it’s easy to see how his experience has shaped his artistic style. His artwork sets the atmosphere fantastically and captures the themes perfectly. Knowing he’s involved in a project can really change my interest levels for any board game.
Rising Sun is a fun blend of area control, bidding, combat and negotiation. It forces players to interact both on and off the board. Being able to create allegiances can completely change the way the game flows… but then also being able to betray your ally if the opportunity presents itself can also leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouths… but I love that aspect. You are constantly trying to gauge whether your allied clan is just about to oust you or whether you should do it first. So much fun.
Age Range & Weight
I wouldn’t say Rising Sun is a massively complicated game, but it has a lot of moving parts and can be hard to grasp so I think 14+ sounds about right to me.
Also, I would agree with the timing. I’ve played quite a few games of Rising Sun now and the time scale can vary massively based on the experience level of the players.
I honestly can’t recommend Rising Sun enough. It’s a full package. Excellent gameplay, beautifully sculpted minis and outstanding artwork. Is there anything more we can ask for out of a board game these days? Basically, if you are looking for an area control game that seamlessly includes negotiation and combat, then this is well worth your time. However, I would genuinely recommend this game to anyone. It ticks so many boxes I would be surprised if most players wouldn’t find something to love about it.