Friday, October 23, 2015

Tabletopper Friday - Istanbul (2014)

Stopping out at the Gaming Hooppla last weekend, I got the chance to play a game of Istanbul (2014) along with the Istanbul: Kebab Shop Mini Expansion (2014) with Tom Wham.  There was a small crowd at the Hoopla on Friday evening and I stopped out again on Sunday to about the same, though I was told they were hopping (for a mini-Hoopla) on Saturday.  It's a fun event and I hope I can make it to the full Gaming Hoopla in the spring up in Milwaukee.  One of the things I like about Istanbul, it's always a tight game.  I like the addition of the Kebab Shop and the options it adds to play.


The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
There's hustle and bustle at Istanbul's grand bazaar as merchants and their assistants rush through the narrow alleys in their attempt to be more successful than their competitors. Everything must be well organized: wheelbarrows must be filled with goods at the warehouses, then swiftly transported by the assistants to various destinations. Your goal? Be the first merchant to collect a certain number of rubies.
In Istanbul, you lead a group of one merchant and four assistants through 16 locations in the bazaar. At each such location, you can carry out a specific action. The challenge, though, is that to take an action, you must move your merchant and an assistant there, then leave the assistant behind (to handle all the details while you focus on larger matters). If you want to use that assistant again later, your merchant must return to that location to pick him up. Thus, you must plan ahead carefully to avoid being left with no assistants and thus unable to do anything...
In more detail, on a turn you move your merchant and his retinue of assistants one or two steps through the bazaar, either leave an assistant at that location or collect an assistant left earlier, then perform the action. If you meet other merchants or certain individuals at the location, you might be able to take a small extra action. Possible actions include:
  • Paying to increase your wheelbarrow capacity, which starts the game with a capacity of only two for each good.
  • Filling your wheelbarrow with a specified good to its limit.
  • Acquiring a special ability, and the earlier you come, the easier they are to collect.
  • Buying rubies or trading goods for rubies.
  • Selling special combinations of goods to make the money you need to do everything else.
When a merchant has collected five rubies in his wheelbarrow, players complete that round, then the game ends. If this player is the only one who's reached this goal, he wins immediately; otherwise ties are broken by money in hand.

The description of the expansion is as follows:
An official expansion for the game Istanbul, published in the European games magazine Spielbox, issue 3/14.
The Kebab Shop replaces the Fountain from the original game. 
For placing the Kebab Shop, the same rules as for the Fountain apply. As an alternative, you may pay 2 lira to move your family member from any free space (although not from the police station) to perform an action at another space of your choice.
The Kebab Shop has to be placed as one of the inner spaces of the bazaar.
Note: this expansion is produced on card stock rather than the thick cardboard used for the original game tiles.

I don't think I used the Kebab Shop as much as I could have.  There was chance to have my Family Member go on a market run for me that might have saved a couple steps off my game.  In Istanbul, a couple of steps can make all the difference.
Mostly about card games and board games,
unless they have a decidedly wargamey feel.
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