Himalaya is an excellent “pick up and deliver” game where five villages on the board place orders for goods and a different set of five villages manufacture goods ready for shipment. Players traverse the board to pick up goods offered in one village and carry them to distant villages to fulfill orders. When a village’s goods are depleted or an order is fulfilled, a 20-sided die (20d) is rolled to choose another village to manufacture goods or place an order. At the beginning of each round, there are always five villages producing goods and five villages with unfulfilled orders.
The game is pretty neat but it does suffer somewhat from the use of the 20d. With the 20d, players cannot count on an even distribution across villages throughout the game. If players could predict where goods and orders will be available in upcoming rounds, they can begin to incorporate that knowledge into a strategy of traversing the board. Tilsit has recently made available card paste-ups that replace the 20d. The cards, are shuffled at the beginning of the game and then turned up, one at a time, when a new village must be selected. The cards depict all twenty villages so players can predict the likelihood of a specific village being next in line.
I downloaded the card fronts and backs and my gaming buddy King “I Love Imperial Margarine” Keith printed them out for me. I don’t have a laminator but I did my best with clear packing tape. I’m looking forward to playing with the variant and plan to post a full review in the near future.