Call out for all tea lovers!!!
Following the success of their two previous campaigns, Dan & Connie are back with the newest one for tea lovers – Chai: Tea for 2. Even though it shares the same theme as the first one, the duel version features totally different gameplays, and more strategic plannings. The best part is the game still maintains the high quali-tea.
Unlike Chai, players will take part in a different perspective: tea planting and shipping. They will have to compete in a series of years, until a certain number of ships depart. At the beginning of each year, both merchants will gain specific types of tea tokens, depending on where the first player lands the Tea Assistant on. This action also lets merchants move their tea tokens up on their plantation board. As a note, as soon as tea tokens reach the top of the board, it will immediately be shipped to the appropriate boat. Both merchants will start preparing their workers (rolling all 7 dice of their perspective color) for the Tea Worker Actions.
There are five different boards for merchants to send their workers out:
- Harvest board: merchant can harvest an additional Tea Token by sending on Tea Worker to this board. The token will start at the bottom of the plantation
- Market board: there are a total of 6 slots available on the Market Board. A Tea Worker will get its owner a Plantation Card from its respective spot on the market. Plantation Card provides additional power to the merchant’s plantation board.
- Palace Board: unlike the market board, where Tea Worker has to match the die value to the spot, Palace Board allows dice of any value. There are 4 immediate actions available at the Palace. These powers mainly focus on adjusting the position of the Plantation Card(s) on the Plantation Board. It also has an action guaranteeing the merchant will play 1st next round. (Playing 1st means controlling the Tea Assistant to gain resource at the beginning of the year)
- The harbour: this is where the main contract competition takes place. Players will send two-to-four Tea Workers with sequential values to reserve a ship. When a merchant wins a ship, it will be placed on top of the respective merchant. Then, merchants can start loading the ship with the Tea Tokens from their plantation board. Merchants can compete for the same ship as well.
- Production board: in contradiction to sequential dice value in the Harbour, merchants will have to place the same dice value at the Production board. This is where merchants can speed up the token movement toward the top of their plantation board. The highest reward is 5 movements, while the lower two are 3 movements and 2 movements.
Once both merchants are out of Tea Workers, the year ends. The merchants will repeat until one of them has shipped the indicated value of shipment.
The very first impression from Chai: Tea for 2 is a more strategic gameplay. This game reduces a lot of luck dependent features compared to the original Chai game. Players can always use the Tea Token to modify the value of the die as well. In addition to that, the duel version introduces more conflicts than the Chai game. For instance, each spot on the market can be claimed by only one Tea Worker. Once it is claimed, the player has to wait till next round to compete for the spot again. Another one is the perpetual face off in the Harbor and the Production Board. Players will have to constantly pay attention to the other Plantation Board, to be aware of what they are up to.
The second impression is a nice tidbit of scaling. Both players have to agree on the Ship Goal to end the game. If they want a longer gameplay, they can both select 5 as their goals. Otherwise, they can select 3 to keep the game shorter to enjoy their tea while it is still hot.
Last but not least, the game stands out with its special-tea again, the art. The vibrant colors in the game emerges players into a safe and sound atmosphere. The freshness of the tea leaf, the non-stop negotiation at the harbor, or the sanctuary of the palace, well resemble in this game. Moreover, the illustrations are friendly and informative, which helps players to follow the flows. This makes the game suitable for casual to light gaming partners, who want to relax while playing with a cup of Chai.
The campaign will be available on Kickstarter till Friday, June 4 2021 8:00 PM CDT. Here is the link to the campaign.