Rating: 7.5 Very Good
Popularity:25
Difficulty:Easy
Year:2016
Players: 2-4 players
Playing time: 60-90 minutes
Age:14+

Official Site: Inis Site


Created by: Christian Martinez, Dimitri Bielak, Jim Fitzpatrick

Published by: Matagot, Gen-X Games, Hobby Japan

Alternate Names: Иниш, イニシュ

Description:

Inis is a game deeply rooted in Celtic history and lore in which players win by being elected King of the Island (Inis). Players can try to achieve one of three different victory conditions:

  • Leadership: Be the leader — i.e., have more clan figures than any other player — of territories containing at least six opponents' clans.
  • Land: Have your clans present in at least six different territories.
  • Religion: Have your clans present in territories that collectively contain at least six sanctuaries.

Over the course of the game, players also earn deeds, typically chanted by bards or engraved by master crafters, that reduce by one the magic total of six for any condition. While one victory condition is enough to claim the title of King, a game of experienced players usually has a tight balance of power, emphasizing the leadership of the capital of the island.

At the start of each round, players draft a hand of four action cards (with 13 action cards for three players and 17 for four players) during the Assembly. Action cards not played at the end of one season are not held for the next. Players also have access to leader cards for the territories that allow it and where they were elected leader during the assembly. Each Assembly reallocates those cards. Finally, they collect "epic tales" cards that depict the deeds of the ancient Irish gods and heroes, like Cuchulainn, the Dagda, Lugh and many others. These will be kept and used to inspire the clans and achieve extraordinary feats...under the right circumstances. The cards provide a variety of actions: adding clans, moving clans, building/exploring, and special actions.

Careful drafting, hand management, bluffing (especially once players understand the importance of passing their turn), good timing, and a precise understanding of the balance of power are the keys to victory. After a discovery game you'll be ready for a full and epic game, where an undisputed player will be king by the Assembly for his merit and wisdom.

While Inis has "dudes" that are "on a map", it's a beginner's mistake to play this as a battle game because eliminating other clans reduces your chances of scoring a Leadership victory condition. Peace among different clans, with or without a clear territory leader, is the usual outcome of a clan's movement. Battles will occur, of course, as the Celtic clans can be unruly and a good player will listen to his clan's people (i.e., his hand of cards). That battle aspect is reflected in the clan's miniatures representing warriors. Woodsmen, shepherds and traders complete the set of twelve minis for each player; these occupations have no impact on the game, but give it flavor.

Prices:
Retail Price:$68
Ebay:$68
Expansions:
Inis: Seasons of Inis
Awards:
SXSW Tabletop Game of the Year Nominee 2017
RPC Fantasy Award Board Game Nominee 2017
Golden Geek Board Game of the Year Nominee 2016
Golden Geek Best Strategy Board Game Nominee 2016
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Inis takes place during the height of the ancient Celts, when history and legend are one and the same.

Players are chieftains leading their clans beyond the seas from Ireland to a newly discovered island. They settle the land, explore the surrounding area, harvest resources from the mines, and construct Citadels and Sanctuaries for their protection.

Bards recount the tales of their gods and heroes, druids act as advisors, and master craftsmen immortalize Celtic civilization.

Each chieftain believes to have the most legitimate claim to the throne of this new island. Only time will tell who among them will ascend to become Ard-Ri, the High King of this new realm! …



A clash is resolved in three steps:

  1. Citadels

  2. Resolution

  3. End of the Clash

I. Citadels

During this step, clans can take shelter in the Citadels of the clashing territory.

A clan in a Citadel is protected and is not involved in the clash in any way. After the clash ends, the clan leaves the Citadel.

Starting with the next player after the instigator and proceeding in turn order, each player (except the instigator) can take one of his clans in the clashing territory and place it in an unoccupied Citadel. This can take several turns; when all Citadels are occupied or no more players wish to occupy them, proceed to the Resolution step. …



Each of the Epic Tale cards make specific references to Irish Celtic legends, which are explained here:

Diarmuid and Gráinne: Gráinne is betrothed to Fionn mac Cumhaill, who is a great warrior, but is older than her father. On the day of the wedding, she convinces Diarmuid to elope. Fionn pursues them endlessly

Eriu: The Tuatha Dé Danann made the promise to the Milesians, who had recently arrived in Ireland, to name the island after Eriu in exchange for her help. She is the goddess that personifies Ireland. …



Card Drafting

Inis handles card drafting differently than most games that use a card drafting mechanic.

For example, in Inis it is possible for a player to take his held card from Step 1 and pass it to his neighbor during Step 2. This allows players to adapt and have the option to take cards they see later in the round that might be more appealing.

Passing

Passing is a useful option that allows you to delay your decisions and save your cards for later-but it can be risky. If you pass and all other players also choose to pass after you, the Season ends, and all players must discard their Action cards. …




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