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GameWright: Sushi Go! – Strategy

May 26, 2016

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Point Analysis

When you look at the cards one of the first questions that will come to mind is “which one is best?”

This can really be boiled down to efficiency. You will want to get the most points for the least amount of effort (fewest cards). Below is a breakdown that looks at exactly that.

Card Number required Points Points per Card
 TEMPURA  2  5  2.5
 SASHIMI  3  10  3.3
 DUMPLINGS  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5  1 |3| 6| 10| 15  1 | 1.5 | 2 | 2.5 | 3
 NIGIRI 1  1 | 2| 3   1 | 2| 3
 NIGIRI w/ WASABI 2  3 | 6 | 9  1.5 | 3 | 4.5
 MAKI ROLLS (Most)  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5| 6 6 6 | 3 | 2 | 1.5 | 1.2 | 1
 MAKI ROLLS (2nd)   1 | 2 | 3  3  3 | 1.5 | 1
 PUDDINGS (High vs Lowest)   1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5| 6  12  12 | 6 | 4 | 3 | 2.4 | 2
  PUDDINGS (2nd vs Lowest)    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5| 6  6  6 | 3 | 2 | 1.5 | 1.2 | 1

So, now that we know these values what does it all mean?

So we can immediately see that Sashimi is a high risk / high reward set. If you can get a set of 3 it’s one of the most efficient options out there. However, the downside is that they aren’t worth anything unless you can get three of them. This is why it’s best to use chopsticks to grab a pair of sashimi cards. Once you have two it’s much harder for your opponents to keep you from the third piece you need to complete your set.

The other thing we see is that both Maki Rolls and Pudding suffer diminishing returns. We see that you don’t want to collect more than 3 Maki Roll cards unless it will put you first. Even then it’s far better to get second place with just 1 card than grabbing several cards to get first.

Pudding cards are actually a bit better than Maki Rolls. This is because the difference between getting first vs last is 12 points. Even if all you’re trying to do is stay out of the last place, 2 pudding cards are worth as much (per card) as just about anything else out there. But again it suffers from diminishing returns and so like Maki Rolls it’s not worth it to keep stacking them when you already have a sizeable lead.

Strategy

When you get your starting hand if there is a chopsticks card you should play it. All of the “big points” are combinations of 2 or more cards. The chopsticks card allows you to capitalize on a hand that contains a high-value combination. Even just using it to play 2 sashimi cards is powerful because your neighbor will be hard pressed to keep you from getting the last card you need to complete your set. Also, don’t be afraid to hold on to your chopsticks if a high-value combo isn’t presenting its self. After all, if you wait until two cards are being passed to you to use them, not only are you getting to play two cards of moderate value, but you are passing your neighbor a card that is now literally worthless.

If there is not a chopstick card then I would suggest playing a tempura or a wasabi, while these cards arent worth anything on their own this sets you up to needing just one more card to get a bunch of points. Tempura is nice because your neighbors will often overlook this card since the 5 points it offers won’t “feel” like a threat.

Alternatively, if your starting hand contains more than 2 sashimi cards this can be a safe play since there is probably at least one more in another hand somewhere. So you have a reasonable chance of building up a sashimi set even if someone grabs one in an attempt to stop you.

If your starting hand is strangely devoid of chopsticks, wasabi, tempura or multiple sashimi cards, then I would suggest playing a pudding or a dumpling. While individually these cards aren’t particularly strong you may have an opportunity to silently gather 3 or more of these overlooked cards. By the time someone notices what you’ve been doing it will be too late to stop you.

Knowing what you should be playing, is only half the game though. In this game you really need to pay attention to what other players are doing. If everyone around you is grabing maki rolls and sahimi then consider collecting something else everyone seems to be ignoring. Also, you should pay attention to what the neighbor you are passing to is playing. If they have two sashimi and just need one more you might consider playing them (even though a single sashimi isn’t worth anything to you) in order to prevent your neighbor from getting 10 points. At the same time however, you should recognize losing battles you can’t win. If you can’t stop someone from getting what they need (because there are multiple in the hand) then don’t bother collecting something that won’t help you.


 

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