The Postman Always Crushes Boxes (Or, How I Learned to Play Kaiju Incorporated)

the-boxGiant monsters have destroyed the cities of the world! The megacorporations are the only ones with the cash flow to rebuild them. 3-5 players take on the role of these corporations and attempt to rebuild cities and desperately avoid further Kaiju attacks, all while maintaining their productive edge over their competitors.

I received a review copy of Kaiju Incorporated from Evil Hat Productions a couple of weeks ago and, last night, I finally got a group together to sit down and play. Here’s how the game worked out, and my thoughts (as well as those of a couple of the other players) on the game. Sadly, we only had time for one game but I’ll definitely be playing this again.

Setup is simple and quick. First, everybody chooses a company to play at random. The corporations available to play are Babayagitch Corporation, Gwai Group, Hawkesbury Limited, Kaijumoto Keiretsu, and Monstersanto. Each corp has a particular city that is their base of operations, and each start with three buildings within their base city that form their starting tableau.

tableauThe Tableau

There are three decks of cards in play: Kaiju Attack cards, New Product cards, and Building cards.

Kaiju Attack cards come into play whenever a player has gained enough points on their Kaiju Attack track to loop it past the original starting point. Kaiju Attack points are gained from Your Turn or Rival’s Turn Building cards that have a point value, either positive or negative, on the bottom right of the card beside the red monster symbol. Note that whether your track goes past the starting point either forward due to positive points or backwards due to negative points, you can still loop past the original starting point and suffer a Kaiju Attack! Each individual Kaiju in the Kaiju Attack deck has a different negative impact upon your corp when suffering from an attack: for example, the Kaiju Gazhonga forces you to discard one Your Turn Technology card.

New Product cards come into play whenever a player has gained enough points on their Eureka track to loop it past the original starting point. Eureka points are gained from Your Turn or Rival’s Turn Building cards that have a point value on the bottom center of the card beside the blue beaker symbol. Each individual discovery in the New Product cards provide an amount of Victory Points to attempt to secure your corp’s victory in the endgame.

There are three suits of Building cards: Construction, Industrial, and Technology. Building cards come into play at the start of each player’s turn, where the player can decide to either Build (purchase a building and add that building to their tableau, or utilize the effect of a Special Action card) or Take Income (discard a building and activate earnings from all of the Your Turn building cards of the same suit in their tableau, as well as activating the other players’ Rival’s Turn cards).

playing-fieldThe Play Decks

The Start Player card is passed between the players as each turn completes, beginning with whoever is selected to go first. There’s no method provided by the game to select the initial starting player, so just pick somebody already!

I randomly selected Kaijumoto Keiretsu as my corp for our first play (as shown in the Tableau pic above). Each turn begins with the Start Player drawing a Building card from the five face-up selections available. Each player begins with 5 Yen, so as you can see in the picture, your choice is often fairly limited if you want to Build on the first round. Even the cheapest buildings can add up in the end, though.

After the Start Player, the turn proceeds clockwise with each player choosing one of the Building cards that are face-up, and that player may pay the Yen to Build and either add that building to their tableau or take a Special Action described by the card. The player may also choose to instead Take Income and discard that building to gain whatever income their Your Turn Building cards in their tableau yield. Once all of the players have had an action, any remaining Building cards are discarded, and five more are placed face-up for the next turn and the Start Player card is passed to the next player.

The object of the game is to get as many Buildings into your tableau as you can, make as much money as you can, avoid as many Kaiju attacks as you can, and get as many New Products out to the market as you can before someone gets to the Kaijuskin Handbags at the bottom of the New Product cards. Once a player purchases a Kaijuskin Handbag, the end game is triggered.

During the end game phase, the current turn is completed, and then all Victory Points earned from New Product cards, and the VP bonuses listed on your company’s card, are totaled.  Whoever scores the highest wins! In the event of a tie, those with the biggest Bank Account is the winner. If there’s still a tie, whoever went latest on the first turn of the game wins.

Kaiju Incorporated was a fun game to play after some initial confusion over the turn order procedure got ironed out, and I’m extremely grateful for the review copy. I didn’t end up winning the game but I didn’t get too many Kaiju Attacks either, so I think it went pretty well. It will definitely get played again!

img_0705

I also have a review copy of the Kaiju Incorporated roleplaying game, also from Evil Hat Productions. I’ll be completing a read-through shortly and posting my thoughts.

Until next time!

P.S. Send More Tots!

 

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