Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Machi Koro Harbor Expansion


Product– Machi Koro Harbor Expansion

Producer-IDW Games

Price– $20 here http://www.amazon.com/IDW-Games-AUG142812-Machi-Koro/dp/1631401688/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429068035&sr=8-1&keywords=machi+koro+harbor   OR WIN IT HERE! https://throatpunchgames.com/2015/04/10/machi-koro-give-away/

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 45 minutes (2-5 players)



TL; DR– This is how you improve an original with an expansion. 94%

Basics-TO THE SEA!  The Harbor expansion of Machi Koro adds several new things to the base game.  I’ve previously reviewed the base game here (https://throatpunchgames.com/2015/01/29/ring-side-report-board-game-review-machi-koro/ ).  First and foremost, the harbor expansion now adds a fifth player.  Next, the game completely changes the card availability mechanics.  In the base game, you roll a six-sided die, cards you or other players owned would trigger, and finally you could purchase any available building card or major landmark for your town, with the winner being the person who built all four major buildings.  This addition now mixes all the building cards together in a pile.  Cards are drawn and each different building is placed in a separate pile until 10 different piles are generated instead of having all the buildings face up and available at the start of the game.  Otherwise the game plays the same as before with the first person to build all their landmarks being the winner!

Mechanics– This expansion adds a new player and new cards.  That doesn’t sound like much, but adding the ability to play five people really makes this game that much more fun.  I can get this to the table that much more often.  Honestly, that’s awesome.  Next, the change in card availability is small thing with a huge impact!  Not being able to buy the same thing all the time massively changes the types of decisions made keeping you on your toes creating an atmosphere of positive stress.  This game moved from a simple game to an exercise in smart choices with limited resources.  Honestly, I WON’T play the basic rules again as this rockets the game from a simple Catan-ish game to its own stand alone masterpiece.  It’s still a game where randomness can really destroy a player’s chance.  That said, this game is even more fun now with the small changes added in the expansion.  4.25/5

Theme– The base game isn’t a theme powerhouse, but this game does build nicely on what was there.  This game is called the Harbor expansion, and one of the new landmarks is, obviously, the harbor.  What really improves the theme of this game is now some cards need other landmarks to function.  You CAN’T fish with a tuna boat if you don’t have a harbor to fish from!  It’s a simple addition, but now the cards make a bit more sense.  Also, the random nature of what pops up does make this game feel a bit more like developing a town as different towns try to attract new businesses.  It’s not perfect, but it’s much better!  4.5/5

Instructions– The rules are short, concise, and easy to read.  If you can manage the base game’s pages, then this games short addition is no problem.  It even clarifies some points from the original game that were somewhat fuzzy.  Well done! 5/5

Execution– It’s time for another video!  Watch my unboxing here: http://youtu.be/Dm8ZLiifjlA This expansion is more cards, some being new buildings, more landmarks, and an extra set of landmarks to add a fifth player.  The art is still the Machi Koro style you know and love.  Even, the box is well put together.  This is basically more of what I loved from the original Machi Koro game. 5/5

Summary– Machi Koro is a quick, fun game to begin with.  It might not be the eight hour Eurogame experience some players want, but thirty minutes for a four player game is pretty solid.  The Harbor expansion honestly ups the game to a new level.  It’s simple a better game by just changing the way buildings are reveled as well as the new thematic buildings.  Also, for less than $20, it’s a no brainer.  This is a great game with great additions that also allows for more players! 94%

We have some good news!  IDW Games has given me a copy of the base game to give away!  Want to win the game that started this all?  Click here and follow the instructions- https://throatpunchgames.com/2015/04/10/machi-koro-give-away/

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