$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 134.71

7,856 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
49.5% of Goal | left

Support:

Recommend
18 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Polis: Fight for the Hegemony» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Wheat, Wheat, the Magical Fruit rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Bob Durf
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Polis, Fight for the Hegemony is a very neat little game, one thats not quite a Eurogame and definitely not a Wargame. What seems to matter between the two is that wargames can often (and especially my multiplayer more political ones) be played intuitively. I've had new players win games of Civilization, Here I Stand, and Sword of Rome, and thats because in part you can enter those games and formulate a strategy based on common sense, social awareness, and plain old gumption. Surprisingly, its increasingly why I realize I prefer introducing new gamers to those types of big 'unplayable' games rather than a eurogame like Agricola. Eurogames are much more puzzle like, and I have never seen a new player defeat an experienced one at Puerto Rico, Agricola, or the very pinnacle of this type of game, Tera Mystica. Eurogames favor familiarity with the particular puzzle each one presents, and new players start hopelessly ignorant no matter how intuitively talented they are (although obviously a new player can win depending on a big intelligence gap). Bringing it back to Polis, the game system is definetly Euro. My usual gaming partner and I needed to restart twice after mangling our management of our poor Poli (plural of polis?), because the structure is so rigid and initially hard to grasp. Yet, the very fact it is harsh perhaps shows something beyond a typical Eurogame. Your people will starve, you will self destruct, your opponent can catch you in an economic stranglehold. And each time, you'll dive back in to adjust your moves-because every move counts.

Gameplay: I already started discussing my overall feelings of the gameplay above, but almost everything seems to fit together quite nicely. From building improvements in your cities, to capturing other Polis, to building up an economy without losing too many precious victory points (or what ever they are called in this game), every action is very simple, yet interesting when considering the wider picture. The variable turn length is also interesting, it is up to the players to determine how far they can push their engine forward without damaging it too much by overexertion. A particularly good addition is the ability to bribe cities with your diplomat--it introduces a different path forward that might seem easier but presents its own challenges (will your diplomat get captured? can you actually afford to bribe a city?).

The military part of the game is actually fairly well done. I like the combat cards as a mechanic, as the formation plays give you quite a bit to think about depending on the battle. In small battles, you'll often just want to wipe the opponent out when you have the chance, but in big ones, or if you can afford it, you might prefer to play cards that can net you some victory points. The one let down in this area is the siege rolls. When every victory point counts, siege rolls can be highly variable and can disproportionately affect your game chances, especially early on. Because you will not need or be able to take many rolls on your sieges, it only takes a couple bad rolls to hamstring your entire game, since it can lower your ability to tax and move as well. Additionally, the difference between Sparta and Athens on land and sea is nicely done, the mechanic is extremely useful in small engagements and tapers off in big ones you commit to.

The random events seem like they were thrown into the game because its the type of game that would have them if it was a wargame. They don't add much, not with the limited turns, unless its one of the randomly more powerful ones. If the game was more attached to a historical setting they might fit in better, but its not, and they don't.

Strategy: I'm not going to go as in depth with the strategy section, because a lot of it is creating a solid euro game engine for your Polis, and neither myself nor my usual opponent is very good at Eurogames (hence the two restarts). I will mention a couple things we noticed. Most importantly for new players--as Athens, you should focus on galleys. It sounds silly to say that after reading a rulebook and knowing the importance of sea movement and the Athenean advantage on the sea, but it is very easy for a new Athens player to see many hoplites owned by Sparta and engage in a land war and ignore the possibilities a sea stranglehold brings. The Athens player by our experience was very likely to fight on Spartan terms on land instinctively rather than take to the seas. On that note, its important not to underestimate the ability Athens has to control trade routes-its good to have enough galleys to be able to power project wherever Athens pleases.

OUTTAKES:

ATHENS, AKA MINAS TIRUTH, AND SPARTA, AKA THE DARK TOWER: It is amusing that the event that ended the war between Sparta and Athens is impossible in Polis, with the apparently unbreakable citidles both Poli have.

WE BUILT THIS CITY: Like their achivements in other areas, the ancient Greeks perfected building arenas, statutes, temples...and yes, even people with just a little stone, grape, and olive oil.

PELTASTS: Speed bumps for hoplites since 500 B.C.
18 
 Thumb up
2.03
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Asimakis
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Plural of polis is poleis.

PLB.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
flag msg tools
We will meet at the Hour of Scampering.
mbmbmbmbmb
Can't agree with your conclusion about whether or not it's a wargame, or how you got to it.

The sides are actively engaged in a military conflict, and this game - while not using the consim standards that facilitate jumping in by traditional wargamers - covers that conflict in a fairly satisfying fashion. Players maneuver and engage their forces. Pretty straightforward, that.


But I would never call Tresham's Civilization a wargame, either. Instead, it's the original civ-building game.
6 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew MacLeod
Canada
London
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
BobDurf wrote:
...wargames can often (and especially my multiplayer more political ones) be played intuitively. I've had new players win games of Civilization, Here I Stand, and Sword of Rome, and thats because in part you can enter those games and formulate a strategy based on common sense, social awareness, and plain old gumption. Surprisingly, its increasingly why I realize I prefer introducing new gamers to those types of big 'unplayable' games rather than a eurogame like Agricola. Eurogames are much more puzzle like, and I have never seen a new player defeat an experienced one at Puerto Rico, Agricola, or the very pinnacle of this type of game, Tera Mystica. Eurogames favor familiarity with the particular puzzle each one presents, and new players start hopelessly ignorant no matter how intuitively talented they are (although obviously a new player can win depending on a big intelligence gap).


GeekGold for this!
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Nice review of a great game !

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pas L
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
No good will come of this, mark my words!
mbmbmbmbmb
I won my first game of Agricola (two other newbies, one experienced player).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.