After a few games of Hive with Noah, Sophie joined us to play a game of Himalaya.

We only played a partial game since we were just working through the rules and we needed to get a good night’s sleep in the motel and then get up to go to Kings Island in the morning.

Himalaya has a nice tempo to the game. You program the next 6 actions your caravaner is going to take behind your screen and then everyone simultaneously exposes their program. You then play out your program a move at a time. Your programmed action allows your caravaner to pick up a good in a village (salt, barley, tea, jade, gold), move to another village along one of three types of paths (ice, stone, sand), or deliver goods that have been ordered by a village. If you deliver goods (that you’ve collected in other villages) to a village with an order, then you get to perform two of three kinds of actions: take the order ring which increases the number of yaks in your herd, place a stupa in the village (if one isn’t already there – stupa’s are center’s of worship), or send out delagates into the regions around the village. The type of village determines the number of delegates you can send out (1, 2, or 3).

There are always 5 villages with goods and 5 different villages with orders before any programming occurs. You roll a D20 to determine which villages get the goods replentished and new orders each round.

At the end of the game, the winner is the player with the most ‘power’ in 2 of the three areas of influence: economic (# yaks in your herd), religious (stupas), political (delegates). If no one player has a majority in 2 areas then there are additional rules for breaking ties and determining a winner.

The kids caught on very quickly but Sophie and I kept messing up our programming. We kept traversing to a village to pick up a good but then forget to program the action that let us pick up the good. Instead our next action would be to leave the village (empty handed)….arg!!!

After a bit, we got the hang of it. All three of us liked the game and I think it’s a keeper.

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