Klicka för svenska      Himalaya (French)

Distributor: Tilsit
Category: Strategy game
Players: 3-4 (best with 4)
Play time: 60 minutes
Ages: 12+
Content: -
Game target: -
Rules: Rules in English
Strategy: -
Comments: My edition is from 2004. The designer is Régis Bonnessée.

Extract from Belgoludique report 2005-02-05

Finally I had the chance to test Himalaya with Jeff, Karine and Ann-Catrine. As I had played the non-published downloadable version Merchant of Empires a couple of years ago, I wanted to test it with the advanced rules, which all the other agreed made the game much better (at least two of then had played it before with the basic rules). I would describe the game as “RoboRally meets Dalai Lama with a scoring, which would make Reiner Knizia green of envy”. It’s mainly a transportation and fulfil contracts game. There are 20 villages with 3 type of building (=level of village). 5 villages are randomly getting orders and 5 villages are randomly getting resource cubes and then the players may select different villages among the others as a starting place. Each round is divided in 4-5 phases:
1)      Progress turn marker (12 rounds).
2)      Each player secretly programs his 6 actions (walk 1 of 3 paths, make a deal or rest). The deal choice is either to fix an order with resources you have or to pick up the lowest valued resource in the village.
3)      Resolve actions.
4)      Add goods and orders randomly, if less than 5 of each type.
5)      Inventory in round 4/8/12, where majority in each 5 resource types, gives economy bonus = 3.

Whenever a contract is resolved, you can choose 2 of 3 things:
1)      Build a stupa (if none in the current village) to get religious influence
2)      Barter, that is keep the order in front of you and get economic influence
3)      Send out delegations in the region around the village to get political influence.

At the end of  the game, you first check the religious influence and the player with least gets eliminated. Then you check the political influence and the least gets eliminated. Finally the winner is the one of the last 2 who have most economical influence.

The advanced rules is only 3 extra markers, which everyone get a set of. They are to either hinder a path, make a path slower or open up a market in a village (take whichever resource you want) during a single turn. The first player may first choose and continue clockwise. Nobody may choose anything already played in the round. All used markers are out of play. These rules gives a better control of the game, not least to be kept as a threat. When reading the rules afterwards, I noticed that we had missed the inventory part of the advanced rules.

I like this game, although the random distribution of goods and orders, make it a bit too luck driven, as it depends on in which village you happen to be and how far from the resources you are. Still the fact that half of the villages always have either a contract or resource cubes in the beginning of each round, makes you always be able to do something. The randomness is the reason that it only gets Rate 7 of 10.

Extract from Varberg convention report 2005-02-18 Then I introduced them to Himalaya. Of course with the advanced rules, as they make the game much more tactic. Although it's randomness of distributing contracts and goods, I'm liking it more for each time I'm playing it. The rules (except the advanced one) seems to be exactly the same as it's downloadable predecessor Merchants of Empire, which I think still is available. I good description of this game is "RoboRally meets Dalai Lama with a scoring, which will make Reiner Knizia green of envy". It has a kind of elimination scoring, where the one with least influence in religion (stupas) is first eliminated, then the one with least political influence (delegations) and then the winner is the one with most economical influence (yaks). There are some difficulties with the graphics, as it's difficult to see, who is leader in each influence. This can be solved with a kind of table, which you update along the game. Also is one of the areas for the delegations slightly unclear. The game was played a couple of more times during the weekend and it seemed that most enjoyed it. Rate 7 of 10. Winner was Fréderic, followed by Fredrik and myself and last was Stefan.



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