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Yin Yang

Designed by Pablo Garaizar, Yin Yang is another of the hex-box 18-tile microgames from LittleHouse Boardgames. It's played over six rounds, and you can use the six-sided box as a convenient round marker. As you might guess it's a two-player game where one player represents the yin and the other yang, as represented by the white and black sides of the hexagonal tiles.



The tiles in this game all show an 'element' (earth, water, fire, wood, metal) distinguishable by the colour of the symbol at the centre, and with tiles for each element distinguished by 'pure' (ie: its number - 1, 2 or 3). You start off with nine tiles on their yin side and nine on yang. Each player wants to end up with a majority in more elements than their opponent.


The game is a back-and-forth tug of war. On your turn you can either flip all the tiles of the same element or you can choose one of your tiles for its 'pure' number and flip that tile plus that number of adjacent tiles. You then have the option of removing a tile for an element in which you have a majority; this is a 'bet' that will potentially increase your score at the end of the game but at the cost of reducing your in-game options. You're allowed no more than three 'bets' in the course of the game.



Yin Yang is easy to play and you might be forgiven for thinking it's a very simple game. After a couple of plays tho' you realise that there's a subtlety to the strategy and to making those push-your-luck decisions (or, when they pay off, delicate strategic choices) to 'bet' on an element. Because you stand to score extra points for an element on which you've placed a bet, that element may well become a focus for your opponent. Perhaps tho' that bet was a feint aimed at distracting your opponent from their previous plans...


As with the other games in this series from Little House Boardgames – for example, Hextremadura and Pantheon – it's a pity that the rules aren't included in the box: you have to download them from the LittleHouse Boardgames website.


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