The Reformers(ルターの宗教大改革) and Bible Collection(聖書コレクション)

There are few Christians in Japan, and many Japanese are not familiar with religions.  Therefore, Kirisuto Shimbun, Co. Ltd, a publishing company that strives to disseminate Christianity in Japan, publishes Christian-themed table games to enhance people's interest in Christianity.  These games are called "Bible Collection(バイブルコレクション)".

Kirisuto Shimbun Co.(BoardGameGeek)

Below is a list of games of the "Bible Collection".

  • Bible Hunter(バイブルハンター)(2014)
  • L'Ultima Cena(最後の晩餐〜裏切り者は誰だ)(2014)
  • Bible Hunter:Advent(バイブルハンター アドベント)(2014)
  • Lost Bible(ロストバイブル)(2015)
  • Bible League(バイブルリーグ)(2015)
  • Bible Hunter:Trinity(バイブルハンター トリニティ)(2016)
  • The Reformers(ルターの宗教大改革)(2017)

These games designed by experienced game designers such as Macoto Nakamura and supervised by real clergy, aren't boring games and aren't far off from the Bible.  (However, in the Bible League the characters of the Bible play baseball for some reason.  I could not understand this. )

I knew the existence of the "Bible collection", but I was not very interested in them until I played "The Reformers(ルターの宗教大改革)".

In 2017, 500th anniversary of Luther's religious reform, Kirisuto Shimbun Co. Ltd publicly invited table games with the theme of religious reform.  Sabaku no Kitakitsune(砂漠のキタキツネ)'s "Religious Reformers" was selected as the Best Award and commercialized as "The Reformers".

Players work on religious reform as Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli or Calvin.  Players gain victory points through publishing, missionary work to the city etc. and player who scores the most point at the end of the 6th round will win.

12 action spaces are arranged in a circle on the central game board.  Each turn, the active player moves his player disk to 1 to 6 steps in a clockwise direction and puts 1 or 2 cooperator meeples on the space to which it got.  When 3 meeples are placed on one action space, the player who placed the most meeples takes the action.  Other players who placed meeples take one blessing token.  We call it "Hallelujah!".

When all players placed all meeples they have, the turn ends.  Players retrieve their used meeples to their hands.  At the beginning, players retrieve 3 meeples, but if players get married, they can retrieve 4 meeples.  (Whether clergy gets married is a big difference between Catholicism and Protestantism.)

Publishing and propagation to cities are major sources of scoring.  Also, by acquiring letter cards, you can gain cooperation from influential people.  Players earn cards by performing certain actions and paying the resources written on the card. Flavor texts describing books, cities, and people are written on the cards.

Epilogue of the game changes depending on the score and the acquired card.  There is an epilogue that Protestant drives away Catholic unlike historical facts.

"Bible Collection" games before "The Reformers" were relatively short and light.  However "The Reformers" is a full-fledged 60-minute game that satisfies skilled gamers.  And it seems to be beneficial for evoking the interest in Christianity.  I would like to ask the impression of people in Christianity about this game.


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