From the Shadows of Yedo: Treacherous Plots and Paths

Jun 2, 2024 | Sessions | 0 comments

Avoid the watch to plot and scheme against the shogun across a series of missions in the various districts of Yedo.

It was a couple of years ago that this original version of Yedo made its way into my collection, mostly so my husband and I could check it out and see if we wanted to invest in the newer edition. No surprise: It’s been rather forgotten! Yet I found an unofficial solo variant and was quite excited to try out my final unplayed game beginning with “Y” for now!

Game Overview

Game Name: Yedo
Publication Year:
Franz Vohwinkel
Publishers: IDW Games & Pandasaurus Games
Solo Mode: Unofficial Solo Variant

The goal is to complete a total of 12 successively more difficult missions. Annexes, weapons, geishas, blessings, and other requirements must be met on the quest to ultimately assassinate the shogun. Yet the watch moves about, making it a challenge to visit every city district!

Exploring the City and Gathering Information Against the Shogun in Yedo

First Play

June 1, 2024



Latest Play

June 2, 2024



Setup Time

5 Minutes

Lifetime Plays


Play Time

1 Hour


High Score



Game Area

34" x 32"


Low Score


A Huge, Detailed City

I enjoyed the lovely board artwork here, but it is definitely set up for players all around the table. My stretching skills were put to the test for some of the upper bidding spaces!

The constraints and overall mechanics seemed quite interesting, yet I wasn’t drawn in by the theme.

Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy exploring ideas of spying and treachery, but this is all about planning an assassination.

Still, I didn’t want to simply write off gameplay without giving it a chance! The rules weren’t hard to get through, and I saw a lot of promise with this unofficial solo variant.

A Very Detailed City Map with Lots Going On in a Huge Space for Yedo

Organized Play Space

Luckily, my own play area remained pretty compact! The player mats store a lot of components, and have areas around the edges to organize any other cards or tiles.

Speaking of the cardboard tiles and tokens… Whoa! These are some of the thinnest I’ve seen or felt, although this edition is from a time when components were different.

In a rather funny moment, I just realized that a round summary is on the player mat… No idea how I missed it!

Overall, I was excited to get started and figure out how to complete a number of missions with unique flavor text.

Keeping Everything Neatly Organized On and Around a Player Board from Yedo

Staying One Step Ahead

One of the central elements that kept me on my toes was the watch. This occasionally swapped to move in different directions, but the goal was clear: Avoid and evade!

Ending up in a district where the watch went resulted in arrests, which were devastating when it took a lot to unlock more than the starting pair of disciples. 

I liked this element, and in conjunction with the solo opponent, I felt the constraints and tight decision space.

Gameplay was pretty smooth, too, and I was having a pretty great time managing everything for the missions!

Finding Ways to Avoid the Watch on the Quest to Complete Missions in Yedo

Unpleasant Missions

However, I wouldn’t say that I got a lot of fun out of the stories behind the missions. Their categories said it all: Espionage, warfare, kidnapping, and theft.

It was neat to figure out when to complete these missions since I had to finish a total of 12 over just 11 rounds.

Gameplay was reasonably enjoyable, although I could see some issues with frustrating randomness. I initially lost, thanks to some unlucky rolls for the solo opponent.

There is currently a single set of solo missions, which might be randomized, but the variety is quite minimal.

A Fair Amount of Negative and Ruthless Missions Required to Win Yedo

Falling Just Shy of an Enjoyable Experience

I don’t think I would ever classify the theme as something that would usually fall within my favorites, yet I can suspend my disbelief and get away from cozy solo games now and then. There is certainly something to be said about hesitating to recommend something that’s all about getting ahead in underhand ways to plan a killing… But that’s another topic.

The true failing for me here was the way it all came down to the final mission. Maybe that’s simply an issue with this unofficial solo variant, but the frustration with managing a small number of weapons also got to me. I liked a lot of the strategic elements about planning movement, actions, and avoiding the watch. It just wasn’t enough to make it fun.

Note, though, that a lot of my recent solo games have been multiplayer games never originally designed for solo. I don’t have high expectations, as I’m fully in favor of not having a solo mode for everything out there. Yet I’m enjoying the chance to play games I normally wouldn’t even play multiplayer for a long time. It’s an ongoing, fun learning process!

Weapon Set Woes

Every mission has a certain set of requirements, often in the realm of weapons. However, different missions call for various weapons, and there is a maximum limit of 4 tiles.

Although I could swap these out, the order of the missions made a huge difference. It was frustrating to have to swap something out a couple of times just to move forward.

I understand having constraints, but this didn’t feel like it had any sort of thematic reason for being so limited.

It seemed like it would make more sense to have a very high price to open up more weapon slots… Alas, nope.

A Rather Annoying Time Trying to Have the Right Weapons in Yedo

Anticlimactic Ending

After all the work of completing the first 11 missions, the final act of assassination called for almost everything.

Most of this made sense to me, as it was the end, so I should have had all of these resources and weapons.

But the district requirements were awful. With my 4 disciples, I needed them all in specific areas. And guess what? The temple and red light districts have 1 space each.

Even when I was first in turn order, the solo opponent’s random roll thwarted my efforts in one of the most unfortunate endings that took the fun out of the game. 

So Many Requirements and a Fair Amount of Luck in the Solo Mode to Win Yedo

Session Overview

Play Number: 1 & 2
Solo Mode: Unofficial Solo Variant
Play Details: Easy Difficulty Level
Outcome: 1 Win & 1 Loss

I managed to pull myself together and do much better in my next outing, finishing the first 11 missions in just 8 rounds. And then I spent rounds 9 and 10 dealing with bad luck that prevented me from ending the game… It was only due to a lucky die roll that I won during the final round! I enjoyed some elements here, but don’t expect to return to playing solo again. Keep the shogun alive!

Building Every Annex for Great Benefits and Possible Actions in Yedo


1 Play


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


+ Pros (Positives)

  • Nearly all of the information is clearly laid out on the board and player board, making it easy to locate details.
  • Each district offers a number of unique actions, and deciding which ones to visit each round is intriguing.
  • Avoiding the watch is a key strategic component which isn’t as simple as it might seem with so much to do.
  • Annexes provide interesting action choices and often add bonuses that can help out immensely in other phases.
  • There is a sense of accomplishment from completing the early missions that feels quite exciting.
  • Bidding on bonuses is quite challenging at the start of each round, adding more choices to consider.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • Every piece of gameplay leads up to killing the shogun, which can feel negative, aggressive, and uncomfortable.
  • Completing the final mission comes down to the pure luck of the solo opponent’s roll, which is not a fun element.
  • Gameplay feels a little lengthy for what the experience offers, and there doesn’t appear to be a lot of variability.
  • Finding the right weapons at the right times can be extremely frustrating, even with multiple related actions.

More Yedo

Explore related posts about Yedo!

Victory Conditions

Complete Every Mission

  • Overall Goal Progress 100% 100%

Goals and Milestones


Win at least 1 game at the easy difficulty level.

Continue the Conversation

Have you played Yedo solo? Do you enjoy it or its newer version, Yedo: Deluxe Master Set? I’m glad I had a chance to play! This game probably wasn’t going to be something for me, yet this box needed a little time off of the shelf. Ha! Besides, this pushed my current reverse alphabetical solo challenge forward a bit, and I learned more about what I like!


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