Re-Chord - A Kickstarter Preview
PUBLISHER: Yanaguana Games
DESIGNER: Marshall Britt, Andrew Toth
PLAYERS: 2 – 4
TIME: 30 – 45 MIN
Introduction to Re-Chord
Re-Chord is an area-control, pattern building game with tactical “take that” where players are competing guitarists vying to become the most popular at the end of the game.
Description from the publisher:
Re-Chord is a board game that incorporates real guitar picks and chords. Guitarists attempt to score the most points over the course of the game by taking various actions to increase their genre’s popularity. There are two ways to increase popularity in Re-Chord. The first way is by filling the fretboard with as many of your secret genre’s color picks as possible, without revealing your genre if possible of course. The second way to score popularity is by playing chords, which are cards that require certain pick colors to be in specific locations. The guitarist with the most popularity at the end of the game wins!
In Re-Chord, players known as Guitarists, attempt to gain the most popularity by playing music infused with the essence of their secret genre. Guitarists will also play chords to score popularity and if they are able to repeat the same chord throughout the game, they will score an even large popularity boost!
On a Guitarists turn, they may choose from one of the following three actions to take:
- Take one Pick from the public pick pile and place it face up on any available string & fret. The guitarist MAY then carry out the action of that pick’s power if desired.
- Take one pick from the bag and place it face down on any available string & fret. The guitarist MAY then remove an adjacent pick from the same fret this face down pick was placed in. If a pick is removed in this way, it goes back into the bag. Guitarists may privately view the pick color prior to placing their face down pick.
- Take additional Chord cards. A guitarist may draw two chord cards from the deck and must keep at least one. Guitarists may keep both cards and may return any number of unfinished chord cards to the deck during this phase. The maximum number of unfinished of chord cards a guitarist can have is three.
After each Guitarist takes their action, check for any filled frets that trigger scoring and refill the public pick pile equal to the player count +1 by drawing picks from the bag. Picks in the public pile are color side up and open knowledge for all players. Picks taken from the public pile must be played face-up however activating the ability is optional.
The various pick abilities are a major driving force behind Re-Chord. Utilizing these is essential to completing chord cards and scoring your secret genre when each fret is full.
Completing Chord Cards
Guitarists may increase their popularity over the course of the game by completing Chord cards from their hands. A Guitarist may play a chord card at any time during any Guitarists turn. The required pick locations and colors on the card must match the fret board state exactly for the picks noted on the card. The way guitarists score Re-Chord points is by playing a Chord card with the same name as one already in their tableau. Instead of scoring 4 points, they will score the Re-Chord points.
Scoring on the Fretboard
The way guitarists score genre popularity points on the fretboard is by filling each of the frets with six picks a piece. The frets may be scored in any order and picks can be placed on any valid space and fret during the game. Once a fret has been scored it cannot trigger scoring again, but picks can still be moved to and from that fret’s spaces. The genre scores are increased when multiple picks of the same color are on the same fret.
The point structure for matching picks per fret is shown on the board in ratio form. (1:1 / 2:4 / 3:11 / 4:17 / 5:25)
How to Win
A guitarist ends a game of Re-Chord by placing the final scoring pick on the final fret, which is the fourth closed fret. Once the final fret is filled, the last scoring round will occur and then guitarists reveal their hidden genres. Add each guitarist’s chord card scores, Re-Chord scores, and genre score together. The player with the highest total score wins. In case of a tie, the player with the highest Re-Chord Score wins. If there is still a tie, the guitarists share the stage for victory!
What might you like?
This theme is incredibly unique and interesting! The mechanics blend together to form a near perfect symphony of fun, depth, and strategy. The chord collection and area-control complement each other so well that you are sucked into the theme.
I’m also in love with playmats in any board game. Playmats feel next-level to me and Re-Chord is no exception. Because you will interact with the board often, the tactile feel of the playmat is a great addition. What I love most about the playmat is that you can ditch the rules and play and teach the game straight from the playmat. Nearly everything you need to know, barring a few rules clarifications, are printed on the playmat and that is a brilliant idea.
I received a prototype version of the game, so the picks were not final, but I was impressed with the overall appearance and I’m excited to see the final components. The artwork and design layout are clean and intuitive. Gameplay is tight, tense and tactical. You will be invested in your opponent’s turns just as much as your own, because the game state can change so quickly.
The scoring mechanisms of area control, set collection and pattern building work well together and trying to uncover your opponents' secret genre can prove challenging.
What might you dislike?
There isn’t much to dislike in Re-Chord but I will walk you through a few things to keep an eye on.
If you dislike “take that” elements in games, it may not be for you. It can be quite frustrating trying to complete a chord card, only to have other players shift or remove the pick you need from a specific fret location but that’s part of the tactical feel in the game and keeps the game tense and exciting.
Drawing random chord cards can be troublesome at times. Sometimes you will draw a chord card that is nearly impossible to complete while your opponent’s draw into cards they complete the next turn. You can always discard difficult chord cards, so it’s largely a non-issue, but it is something to keep in mind as you play.
I would have liked the chord cards to orient horizontally, instead of vertically. I’m a visual player, and while it’s easy to turn the card in the same direction as the playmat, it’s not necessarily convenient. I’d love to see the layout of a horizontal chord card vs a vertical one.
Re-Chord is an absolute rocking time. If you’ve wished for a “guitar hero” theme in board game form, your wish has come true! It’s quick and easy to learn but provides deep strategic and tactical decisions on your turns. Re-playability is quite high, as the pick-pull system from the bag provides enough variation to change the game each time you play. The game plays and scales well at all player counts and it plays quickly enough to not overstay it's welcome at the table. Overall, Re-Chord offers a lot of satisfying mechanics that orchestrate a great time for everyone at the table.
You will like this game if: you enjoy area-control, set collection, pattern building and chit-pull systems. Also, if you’ve ever wanted to be a rock-star, this is your chance!
Re-Chord tours INTO KICKSTARTER ON SEPTEMBER 27TH!
Don’t miss out on this show! Reserve your ticket today!
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