Live from Origins 2003: Samurai Communist Assault!

When I saw the Kanji and the black and red motif, I thought Tenjo had a booth again and got all excited, but instead, it’s another intriguing board game with a samurai theme. Senjutsu, from a startup publisher called Salvador Games, puts your samurai guys on little octagonal bases that stack up, and have different icons printed on the side that faces you. These are items: staves, bows and arrows, big boots representing martial arts… they determine how the piece moves as well as what attacks it can make. There’s also the piece with a scroll on it, which is what your opponent wants to steal. It’s Stratego gone so wrong it’s right. This is one of the more exciting “new little board games” I saw, but why do all the Japanese-themed games use the same colors on the box? Nothing wrong with the colors, I’m just saying, is there something historical that I’m not aware of? ‘Cause Zendo (the new boxed edition of which doesn’t quite have a web page I can find) looks kinda all Japanese, even though it’s just the most brilliant and innovative abstract game you’ll see this year, and it uses green and white. So hey.