One play with slightly bungled rules. Quite fun lighter Wallace game. I like the speed and the random elements mixed in with the not-too-straining tactics and strategy. Nice interaction. Some take-that, but not too bad. Drawback, the graphic design is more suited for a heavier gamer game and so gives the wrong impression of what kind of game to expect.
Quick, clever reworking of Le Havre for two players. I have some qualms about the determined way the buildings come out. In Ora, there's so many buildings this doesn't seem to matter, but here it might make the game become rote. But for now I'm liking the game quite a bit.
One playing. Didn't like how investors could buy late into a stock and still reap big rewards (and I'd like to have been able to sell shares to make things more dynamic). Military part of game seemed largely like a red herring (eg time waster) to the "real" game. End game was a disappointment of calculations. Might try again, but not hopeful.
edit: raised rating a notch. Still not crazy about the game, but I have to admit I enjoyed it more than last time.
edit again: raise rating another notch. Am I actually starting to like this game?
Samarkand is great either way, but I give the nod to this very minor expansion, mainly because it adds a bit of variation from turn to turn, and it lets you avoid the issue of what happens when you want to sell only two units of a depressed commodity.
Love the role selecton idea. Not crazy how a move made for one's own purpose can inadvertently cripple someone else -- often the person who's already struggling. Still, it's a well built game and I think I'll keep coming back to it off and on, as long as I don't start to take it too seriously.
Thoughts on differences between this and Wallenstein:
Bidding for turn order and bonuses: I enjoy the quickness and randomness of Wallenstein's system. Though it doesn't take long to choose a bonus/turn-order in Shogun, it adds negatively to an already longish game.
Components: some warping on the personal boards. The building tokens are a little too similar and "photo shoppy." Nice coloring on the map and tower. Wish they added the grain/gold numbers on the map (to improve on Wallenstein's lack).
Map: I like Wallenstein's grand open feel. The Shogun map felt a little limiting, even with sea attacks.
One play. Rating may rise. Had more fun with it than most action-placement games, but I still got a little antsy by the processional nature of the mechanic. The die rolling and cards added some much needed surprises for this type of game, and there are a few nice decision points where I had to shift into a different strategic mode as the game went on. More plays will show if I feel like I'm only trying to 'do the same sort of thing but just a little bit better' or if I feel like the game is an open and expansive experience.