Istanbul Mocha and Baksheesh Board Game Review: Powerful new features revolving around…coffee!

Instanbul Mocha and Baksheesh Expansion

Intro

You’ll want to read the original Istanbul review first!

Mocha and Baksheesh is one of those board game expansions which cannot, I repeat, CANNOT be ignored during the game. As I often do when first playing expansions, the first couple of games I skirted around the newness. I tested the waters with a toe here and a foot there while my wife dove in head first right off the bat…and she destroyed me. =-) Compared to the fantastic original Istanbul game, the Mocha and Baksheesh expansion ramps up the intensity, excitement, and ways to win. Here are the added components and my thoughts on each:

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Istanbul Letters and Seals Board Game Review: A fantastic expansion to an already great strategy game

Intro

Wow! Letters and Seals is a terrific expansion to Istanbul. It falls in that perfect zone of replayability where it doesn’t diminish from the replay value of the original (as compared to some expansions which are so much better they virtually take over the original game) and other expansions that are only so-so (where you only play the expansion because you invested the money to buy it). It adds some really fun dynamics to an already very solid game. Here are the added components and my thoughts on each:

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Istanbul Board Game Review: Dynamic worker placement strategy game with many paths to victory

Intro

The first word that comes to mind when I think of Istanbul is solid. It’s a solid, expertly-crafted worker placement strategy game. It is a balanced game with rare blow-you-out-of-the-water wins. The gameplay mechanics are superb, unique, and make actual, real-world sense (as opposed to many games which leave you wondering, “Now why…?”). Replay value is extremely high, not only for the basic, starter mode but especially for mixing up the placement of tiles…and especially after adding in the two incredible expansions (reviews coming soon!). There is a great balance of interaction and impacting other players’ strategies.

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