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How to Play: Illimat

Game the Game is Geek & Sundry’s tabletop board game show that airs every Wednesday starting at 4PM PT on Twitch and Alpha. Join host Becca Scott as she breaks out some of the best boardgames the industry has to offer, with new guests each week! 

This week Becca’s playing Illimat by Twogether Studios, LLC. This game’s backstory is pretty interesting: Fans of the band The Decemberists will recognize this game from the photos that came out during Hazards of Love (HoLwhere they pretended to be a secret society playing a mysterious board game. Years later, they remembered the cool board and wondered if someone could actually make a game out of it. Enter game designer Keith Baker.

The idea was to make it feel like the game had been around a hundred years ago and forgotten until now while being easy to pick up and understand. And it had to have a mysterious secret society vibe to it. They also wanted it to feel like HoL without depicting the events of it. It was a tall order, but he managed it.

Besides having a cool backstory, it also has some cool features. The play area is a cloth with four quadrants drawn on it, giving it that spooky feel of the arcane. The box is actually used in the center of the cloth as the Illimat, so you don’t need to find extra space to set it while playing and makes the entire game very portable and perfect for your next secret society meeting.

The Illimat alters what can be done in each of the four fields so you can make it so the other players can’t do certain actions. It moves when you play a face card, but you do need to plot your turns carefully because other players can switch it on you too, making your perfect harvest of cards into you changing tactics.

Luminaries add an interesting complexity to the game: they are revealed when you clear a field. They can steal your cards or negate the winter season, adding an unexpected twist to gameplay.

Rounds end when all cards are played from the draw pile and players hands. The first player to seventeen wins the game. Most rounds take about fifteen minutes to play and most games finish in two or three rounds, making it a fairly quick game.

Ready to take it to your next secret society meeting? Join Becca this Wednesday, December 6 starting at 4PM PT on Twitch and Alpha as they play Illimat and see if she can reap when she sows.

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