Maharani - Board Game Box Shot

Maharani

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In Maharani, the players are architects helping the King to complete the Taj Mahal palace by placing beautiful mosaic tiles. These tiles come into play through a rotating rondel, which enables every player to place the tiles in different parts of the palace. Once the mosaic is complete, the best architect wins the game.

Maharani game components
images © Queen Games

User Reviews (1)

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Miniature Painter
Stone of the Sun
I'm Completely Obsessed
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14 of 14 gamers found this helpful
“Mea Culpa, Maharani”

If I had a nickle for every board game I misjudged or previously disdained, well, I’d probably have a enough to buy a soda. I have discounted numerous games simply because they didn’t meet my expectations regarding what a fun game should look like or how it should play. When I first saw Maharani, I personally couldn’t work up any interest in the game. I received it free for backing the Kickstarter project, Thebes. Maharani looked attractive enough but the theme seemed boring and I feared the game would be overly complicated. Lay tile, move rondel, place workers and score points – yawn! You’re helping the King to complete the Taj Mahal palace by placing beautiful mosaic tiles – who cares? So the game sat on our shelf for months before we played it. What can I say – I was wrong – really wrong – about Maharani.
Game Basics (highlights from the rulebook)
The players try to place mosaic tiles in each quarter of the palace in order to earn as much gold as possible.They earn gold for each mosaic tile and each worker they place. The player with the most gold at the end wins. At the start of a player’s turn, he/she rotates the rondel so that its arrow points towards his/her position marker. Then the player must take one of two possible actions: 1 Place mosaic tiles and workers 2) Refresh action tiles. The player chooses one of the tiles lying on the rondel and places it either without using an action marker on any free space in the same quarter in which the tile is lying OR with the use of an action marker on any free space in any one of the other 3 quarters.
What I liked
1. Placing beautiful, mosaic tiles: Turns out, this is more fun than it sounds (well, it would just about have to be). The tiles you place have different patterns on them and there is something really compelling about deciding where to place them. I tend to want to have the largest section of one particular design, but there can be strategic advantages to breaking up a pattern. Lining up the tiles, trying to determine the ideal placement is really fun.
2. Simplicity: I was initially intimidated by this game because I thought it was going to be really hard to understand and too complicated to enjoy. While my gaming group initially played the game wrong the first time (there were a couple of fine points that we misinterpreted), we soon discovered our mistake and found that the game is actually pretty straightforward. It is helpful to have someone explain the game and walk you through it (but then again, that is true for any game). It is really straightforward, both adults and children can enjoy.
1. Strategy v Luck : This game has an element of luck in it – you have no control over when or where the different designed tiles will appear (and that can greatly impact a player’s choices and ultimate score). However, the player has a number of options in this game and a solid strategy can win the game. It helps to be able to quickly scan the board, assess the situation, and determine the optimal tile placement in order to score more points. This makes the game very engaging and tends to keep all the players’ focused on what is happening (rather than folks mentally checking out until it is their turn).
What I didn’t like
1. Player limit – This is a game I want to break out every weekend, but it only supports 2-4 players and we often have 6-8 players over. I thing that the game could be reworked to support a larger group.
Final Verdict
I am finding that some of my favorite games are the ones I least expected to like. I am still a bit baffled at times how the games that have become my favorites managed to do so. This game is one that, for whatever reason, I can play again and again. This game has opened my eyes and it makes me want to see what other games I have been wrong about! Maharani is a terrific game, with solid game play. It is simple, satisfying, and stimulating – and surprise, it really is fun!

 

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