Samurai Board Development I
So, I decided to start on the board for Samurai. I had a vision based on the work I did yesterday which is in the previous post and wanted to see where I could land here. I think this is quite nice. Franz Vohwinkel's previous work was inspired by traditional japanese maps. They tended toward the soft side. While respectful of the tradition, it seems to lack power. Additionally, the light players' pieces don't jump off the board like they could – they seem to get lost – though the victory bits do pop. Color coding on the cardboard pieces does not seem so great either (from images I can see online). Granted, I don't have the set yet, but from what I see, this seems to be the case. I'm not sure why they chose to separate the board into pieces and die cut the board around the hexes. It looks cheap. So, I've ordered a copy of Samurai today. Perhaps this will become more clear.
At any rate, I chose a bright red finish for the map set against stark black. The effect here is powerful. It reads Japanese without actually coping existing material. The board is iconic and memorable – which I find a rare thing in gameboard design. I've only just started today, so it is not complete, but it gets the idea across. Japanese symbols weave in and out of the landscape. Each city/village has a unique icon. I can't tell whether that is so in the current version, but I do believe it adds a great deal of interest. My first attempt at the player's chits has them in black to tie to the board with solid areas of color. This helps them to pop off the board and aids in pattern recognition for each player's pieces. The information on them is white which pops off the board being the only white elements. I'm a bit tired now, so won't comment much more, but I do hope to pick it up again in the coming days.