How To Play: Rising Sun

Our Rising Sun strategy guide covers everything from forming timely alliances, optimizing actions each season, to smart monster recruitment. It starts with a thorough introduction, dives into the nitty-gritty of winning tactics, and wraps up reminding players to adapt and enjoy. This guide is your ticket to mastering Rising Sun.


Welcome to our Ultimate Guide on ‘How To Play Rising Sun’! If you’ve ever wondered about the best strategies to conquer this epic board game, you’re in the right place. We’ve played countless hours, negotiated with friends, and backstabbed (in-game, of course) more times than we can count. This guide will give you a clear outline of the game rules and unveil the top strategies we’ve discovered for claiming victory. Let’s get your clan to the top!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Main Board
  • 7 God Tiles
  • 30 Coins
  • 5 Clan Screens
  • 10 Colored Clan Tokens (2 per clan)
  • 1 Political/War Tile
  • 5 Political Mandate Cards
  • 20 Stronghold Tokens (4 per clan)
  • 30 Bushi (Samurai) Figures (6 per clan)
  • 15 Daimyo (Leader) Figures (3 per clan)
  • 5 Oni (Monster) Figures
  • 5 Ship Figures
  • 1 First Player Token
  • 8 Season Cards
  • 7 Dragonfly Tokens
  • 15 War Province Tokens
  • 24 War Advantage Tokens
  • 5 Reference Cards
  • 100 Ronin Tokens
  • 5 Clan Alliance Tokens
  • 10 Harvest Tokens
  • 5 Sacred Ground Tokens
  • 4 Wild Monster Cards
  • 15 Kami Unbound Figures

How To Play Rising Sun: Rules Summary


First, place the game board in the center of the table. Everyone picks a clan, grabbing their figures, strongholds, and clan screen. Then, place the season cards, political mandate tiles, and victory point tokens near the board. Shuffle the Kami and Monster cards separately and place them face down. Each player puts one of their figures on the victory point track and their strongholds according to the clan setup guide.

  1. Choose clans and gather corresponding pieces.
  2. Set up the game board with season cards and tiles.
  3. Shuffle Kami and Monster decks, place them face down.
  4. Initial setup of figures and strongholds on the board.


Gameplay occurs over three seasons: Spring, Summer, and Autumn. Each season has a Tea Ceremony, Political Phase, and War Phase. In the Tea Ceremony, players can form alliances. The Political Phase involves drawing and playing Political Mandate tiles which allow movement, recruitment, building, and more. The War Phase resolves conflicts in provinces with battles.

  1. Start with a Tea Ceremony to discuss alliances.
  2. Proceed through Political Phase with mandates.
  3. Engage in War Phase for territorial control.


To win in Rising Sun, accumulate the most victory points by the end of Autumn. Points come from winning battles, capturing provinces, and fulfilling objectives on season cards. Strategic alliances and astute use of monsters also influence your score.

  1. Score victory points through battles and objectives.
  2. Utilize alliances and monsters for strategic advantage.
  3. Most points by end of Autumn wins the game.

Special Rules & Conditions

Certain clans have unique abilities, and monsters provide special powers when recruited. Kami cards offer blessings to those who worship them effectively. Watch for the Sun and Moon phases that affect gameplay dynamics and strategic planning.

  1. Consider clan-specific abilities in your strategy.
  2. Recruit monsters for their game-changing powers.
  3. Worship Kami for unique advantages.
  4. Adapt to Sun and Moon phases impacting the game.

Best Rising Sun Strategies

Mastering the Art of Alliance in Rising Sun

Forming alliances in Rising Sun isn’t just about making friends; it’s a strategic masterstroke that can propel you to victory. Here’s how to make the most of your partnerships:

Choose Your Allies Wisely

  1. Consider players’ positions on the board and their resources. Align with those who complement your strategy.
  2. Think ahead. Partner with someone who can help you in the next season.

Communicate and Plan

  1. Discuss your moves openly with your ally. A well-coordinated plan can outmaneuver solo players.
  2. But, keep your ultimate goals secret. Surprise is key in Rising Sun.

Know When to Break Alliances

  1. Always be ready to dissolve partnerships. If an ally’s value diminishes, it might be time to go solo.
  2. Watch for betrayal. If your ally gets too strong, they might turn against you.

Mastering Seasonal Actions for Victory

Spring into Action

First, evaluate the board. Look at where you and your opponents stand. This sets the stage for your master plan. Next, focus on gathering resources. Coins, Ronin, and strongholds play key roles.

  1. Plan your moves based on opponents’ positions.
  2. Maximize resource collection early on.

Summer’s Strategic Shifts

Now, pivot towards expanding your influence. Train and recruit wisely. Monsters can turn the tide, but don’t overspend.

  1. Invest in cards that complement your strategy.
  2. Position your forces to control key provinces.

Autumn’s Aggressive Advances

Harvest time is crucial. Choose provinces that align with your goals. Marshalling your forces ensures you’re ready for the final battles. Alliances may shift, be prepared to pivot.

  1. Target provinces that offer strategic advantages.
  2. Prepare for endgame by positioning your forces and potentially shifting alliances.

Winter’s Winning Moves

Reflect on your strategy. Adjust based on the game’s flow. This phase is about securing victory points and cementing your lead.

  1. Focus on victory points over territory.
  2. Anticipate opponents’ final moves and counter them.

Mastering the Art of Monster Recruitment in Rising Sun

Winning at Rising Sun isn’t just about forming alliances and smart seasonal planning; it’s also about harnessing the power of legendary monsters. These beasts can tilt the scales in your favor, so here’s how to make them bow to your will:

1. Identify Key Monsters Early

  1. Scout the monster roster at the start. Aim for those complementing your strategy.

2. Budget Your Resources

  1. Allocate coins and resources efficiently. Monsters aren’t cheap, but they’re worth the investment.

3. Time Your Recruitment

  1. Strike when others are resource-drained. Post-battle phases are golden opportunities.

4. Utilize Them Wisely

  1. Don’t just collect them; use them. Each monster has unique abilities that, when used strategically, can dominate the game.

5. Adapt Your Strategy

  1. Be ready to change tactics based on available monsters. Flexibility is key.

So, we’ve journeyed through the mystical lands of Rising Sun, strategized with (and against) our allies, and summoned powerful monsters to help secure our path to victory. But remember, in the world of Rising Sun, flexibility and adaptability are your true allies. Each game unfolds a new tapestry of alliances, betrayals, and battles. The strategies we’ve explored are just the beginning. As you play, you’ll find your own way, adjusting to the twists and turns of each game. Get ready to lead your clan to glory through cunning, diplomacy, and might. Remember, in Rising Sun, victory isn’t just about the battles you win, but the journey you embark on with your friends. Until next time, may your kami be with you, and your monsters fierce!

## Victory Awaits: Mastering Rising Sun

Want to know what we think of Rising Sun? Read our detailed review of Rising Sun here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.