Polashi – the deductive board game that makes or breaks friendships
A high-stakes social deduction board game inspired by the historical Battle of Plassey where you deceive your opponents and win by choosing sides in a game of wits and strategy. Sounds interesting, right? Let me introduce you to Polashi, designed by Playground Inc., a Bangladeshi duo of board game enthusiasts. Based on the popular board game The Resistance: Avalon designed by Don Eskridge, Polashi takes the already successful game mechanics and adds a unique South Asian twist to it, allowing Bangladeshi players to connect with the game and the story behind it.
As anyone knowledgeable in local history will know, The Battle of Plassey was a decisive fight that changed the fate of the subcontinent forever, with the British East Indian Company becoming victorious against Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah's army due to a betrayal from the Nawab's own commander-in-chief, Mir Jafar.
The players in Polashi each take on iconic roles of the people who played a pivotal part in the Battle of Plassey: Nawab Siraj Ud-Daulah, Lutfunnisa Begum, Mir Modon, Mahon Lal, St. Frais, Mir Jafor, Ghoseti Begum, Ray Durlabh, Omichand, etc. The players are divided into two teams – Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah's team marked with green seals, and The East India Company's team marked with red seals. The objective of Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah's team is to win chapters, while East India Company's is to win by deceiving their opponents. Some of the characters even have special powers that determine the outcome of the games. The rules sound complicated at first but are pretty intuitive after playing a round or two.
The game also includes 14 character cards, 10 pairs of vote tokens, 5 map cards, 5 pairs of chapter cards, and 1 pair of loyalty cards. Though it is recommended to play the game with 5-10 people, it's best played with a large group of friends or family. The intricate character cards, designed by artist Fahim Anzoom Rumman, transport the players into the mindset of the 18th Century characters they are roleplaying as, making it fun for both veteran and new board game players.
Polashi tests friendships, as the more players get into their roles, the more it brings out their competitiveness. Bringing up family feuds and questioning characters are not unheard of, as each team tries to pull one over the other. The more intense it gets, the easier it is to underestimate the opponents. Loyalties are tested as friends turn on each other, eerily mirroring the battle the game is based on.
Polashi urges the players to always think one step ahead of their opposing teammates, calculating moves and making sure that history does not repeat itself. Each player's move determines how the game will turn out, so every move counts, which allows each player to participate equally in the game and stay invested. It is interesting, engaging, and a great ice-breaking game to connect people and make new friends. The first print of the game is currently out of stock, but the second print will be available by the last week of December.
Sara Kabir is a dreamer, a literature major, and a writer. She is often found juggling academics and her countless hobbies. Recommend your favourite board games to her @scarletfangirl on Instagram.