Rakki’s Second-Hand Findings: Tongiaki

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Here we are with another addition of Rakki’s Second-Hand Findings. Here’s a quick spoiler, it’s another board game.

Hopefully, you guys enjoy reading about board games, cause I know I enjoy reading, writing, viewing and especially playing them.

Anyways, now to the part that you want.

Okay so I traversed from city to city in search of this next game, um yeah, I’m just kidding once again I ventured as far as Bookmans in the hopes of finding something interesting.

As I wondered through the store, heading to my usual haunts but, coming up empty handed. I had a sad look on my face, like someone stole my favorite candy from me, as I was about to go home with nothing new.

That is when I stumbled upon “Tongiaki.”

The game was stashed of to a side area, obviously not in any of my normal areas. Luckily I turned my head slightly.

Probably heard a candy wrapper and was trying to catch the person whom stole my candy earlier, just kidding, I eat candy to fast for anyone to steal it.

Back to the game, this copy was printed in 2004 by ÜberPlay, the game was created by Thomas Rauscher.

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The box was the first thing that grabbed my attention as the artwork was intriguing and I tend to pick things up that say “Über” on them, what can I say I’m a sucker.

When I turned the box over it further got my attention by the look of the game itself. It seemed to be a tile placement game, with unique tiles (they are hex shaped, but have curved edges) and it didn’t appear to have too many pieces and looked relatively simple.

So I carried it over to the register payed my $20 in trade and took the game home.

Now it sat on my board game shelf for a couple of months, before I got the opportunity to play it. Playing the game wasn’t bad, it is a simple game to understand, but does have a fair amount of strategy to it.

The game is for 2-6 players, ages 10 and up and takes around 45 minutes and takes about an hour to play.

In the game you play one of the six different colored ships; blue, green, orange, purple, red and yellow which indicate your set of Polynesian people.

Your home island of Tonga has become overpopulated, so some people need to find new islands to populate. Luckily your people are adventurous and have no problem taking to the open ocean.

However, the waters are treacherous and some of your people may not reach their intended destination.

So the object of the game is to expand your people across as many of the islands as you can (some islands are worth more to live on than others), while trying to colonize a couple of them for your people alone.

There are a total of 32 tiles in the game with 16 of them being islands and 16 of them being water tiles, when the 16th tile of either set is played the game is over and everyone counts their points.

To start the game the island of Tonga is placed in the middle of the table, while the rest are shuffled up and set somewhere within reach of everyone at the table.

Each island as a certain number of beaches on it, each beach has a certain amount of spaces on them. At the start of the game each player gets to place two boats in turn order, who starts is up to you, you can play paper, rock, scissors for it or you could do “Lemonheads” at 10 paces, whatever floats your boat. (HA HA, no pun intended, but it worked out nicely)

After everyone has placed two boats it starts with the first player who will then expand, migrate and travel and if possible landfall.

Expansion, is when you choose an island that you would like to expand from(it has to be an island that you already have boats on), however many boats you have on that particular island are how many new boats you get to place there.

Migration and Sea Travel, come after you have placed all the boats you were able to, if one of the beaches had all its spaces filled by your placement, then it is time to set sail. You now draw the top tile from the stack and place it in front of that beach with the red symbol touching in front of your boats.

Now the water ways will either have the number 2, 3, 4 or no number on it. That indicates how many different colors that group of ships has to have in order to sail successfully. So if the water way has the number 3 on it, then that particular group of ships can only have three different colors in it.

For example if a beach had four spots on it and green has two spots occupied, red has one spot occupied and blue has one spot occupied then that group would set sail. Now if it was the same beach and same water way number, but the boats on the beach were two green and two red then the boats would meet an untimely end and be returned to its owners boat pile.

Landfall, If the tile you pull is an island then the respective tribes have successfully navigated the troubled waters and have reached a new settlement. You now get to place all the boats on the beaches of the new tile. You have to place one boat at each beach before you can add multiples to the beaches.

Now at a later stage in the game when you several boats on several islands there may be a point when your landfall may cause more boats to set sail from a particular island. So if this happens you just repeat the steps for migration and landfall if necessary. Once there is nothing else for you to move, then your turn is over.

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There is a way to block players from moving onto an island, as well as stopping their movement, you could found what the game calls a “Royal Island.”

To do this, on your turn, you must be the only person with a boat or boats residing on that particular island. If you are, you may use your turn to found it for your people. That then ends your turn and moves to the next player.

Other players now cannot settle on that island or even pass through it. Allowing only you to collect points from it along with blocking a path from other players.

However, you are not allowed to expand from a “Royal” island either. So choose your “Royal” islands carefully.

Only one island in the game cannot be made into a “Royal” island and that one is “Tonga.” Also, you are not allowed to have more than two “Royal” islands in the game.

The game is over after after the 16 tile of either the land or water ones is turned over and placed on the table. That player will then finish any movement he has and then everyone will count up their points.

The way to total up your points is to count the point values of each island that you either have one or more boats at, as well as any island that you have founded as a “Royal” island and the player with the highest point total wins.

In the event of a tie, then the player settled on the most islands wins. If there is still a tie then the player who has the least amount of boats on the board wins.

All in all the game is a fun quick strategy game, in the couple of times I have played I have yet to win, as one of my friends that I play games with likes to start a grudge or target a particular player in any given game. At least he keeps you on your toes, right?

Anyways, I would recommend this game anyone who enjoys strategy games, but are like me and don’t want to sit down and play “RISK” or other in depth strategy games that consume a lot of time, brain cells and sanity in general.

For those of you out there who may stumble across this game or seek it out, honestly I wouldn’t pay higher than $20 for the game. Problem is it is out of print and people on Amazon are ridiculous. The cheapest I believe I saw was for about $30.

You can find a couple cheaper ones on boardgamegeek.com, in their marketplace. If this sounds like a game you would like to try, be sure to either go to boardgamegeek.com or grab the $30 dollar one on Amazon.

Well that’s it for me, thank you for reading and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them below. Also if you notice the game cheaper any where and don’t get it for yourself. Please post the link in the comments so that someone whom wants a copy will be able to get it at a decent price.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for all those possible second-hand treasures.

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About The Author

Board game enthusiast, I also enjoy my fair share of comics, movies and several other geeky things that this website covers. Imagine that, weird how it works out huh? Finally, I'm a hugger, feel free to ask for a hug if you see me, just thought you should know.

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