Eric Lang is known for his “dudes on a map” type of games. One of those that people are really excited to get is Rising Sun. There, players are in charge of their own clan in a fantasy version of Medieval Japan. Will your clan use honor and diplomacy to attain power? Or will it backstab anyone it can in search of their ultimate goal? You decide.
Rising Sun is played over the course of several seasons. During each one, the players will go through several phases. This begins with a tea ceremony, where alliances can be struck. These alliances offer benefits to both parties, giving each a leg-up during the course of the rest of the season. But remember, only one clan can be the greatest, and there’s always a chance for betrayal. So choose carefully when making an alliance, as you can never be to sure of how genuine your buddy’s smile really is.
During the game, players will be placing out their clan’s characters on the map, looking to gain power in the various regions. Conflict is pretty much inevitable, as the clans try and gain war tokens from the various spaces. Having many and varied tokens is a sure key to final victory. But it’s not just attacking that can win you a battle. Honor goes to those whose stories are told. So, even if all your soldiers die during the fighting, history may still remember yours as the greater side.
The gods and monsters of Japanese lore also take a very active role in the game. Players can send their priests up the holy mountain to pray that the various deities’ shrines, which will give them various bonuses along the way. They can also recruit powerful monsters to fight for them. Battles go so much easier when you have several Oni on your side.
Diplomacy, bartering, trading, and negotiation are a major part of the game. Except for during a few specific times, players are free to make (and sometimes break) deals. “If you don’t attack this province, I won’t place soldiers here.” or “If you give me a couple coins, I promise not to go to this temple” are all perfectly viable things to say during the game. This isn’t meant to be some “no, information and nobody speaks” type of game.
Be sure to be on the lookout for Rising Sun as it gets closer to its release date.