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Mare Nostrum: Empires» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First games of Mare Nostrum rss

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Tore Tur
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Hi!
I started to follow this forum to see news of where and when one could expect the game to finally arrive (another European backer ^^).
Anyway, I got it last week and manage to get two 5-man games in today and thought I would share them with you.
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(Good to know: Both our first and second game was heavily influenced by the outcome in the first one-two rounds.)

Game 1 (me playing as Babylon)
No trading at all first round, so focus was immediately on building.
Rome went first and claimed Dalmatia and building a fort there, which pissed of Greece a great deal drawing Rome and Greece into a game-lasting conflict over Dalmatia. Egypt went next and copied Rome’s idea, but failed in the implementation. Egypt built influence in both Garamantia and Judea, plus a fort in Garmantia. They did so before Cartago and Babylon, which put Egypt in a very dire position. Both Cartago and Babylon saw the weaknesses of Egypt and prepared to attack. Babylon also noticed the lack of Greece triremes and so went on to claime Asia, building a city and fort there.

Egypt got crushed first round, their only legion destroyed and both Cyrenaica and Judea taken, buildings occupied in the former and influence flip pending in the latter. After this, the game was more or less over. Greece and Rome took and retook Dalmatia from each other. Greece eventually feelt safe enough to being an influence flip, only to be thrown out by the statue of Zeus (which, from that perspective seems very powerful: it is practically impossible to ever convert a region from that player ). In the same round Babylon (by now military leader) realized that they could win: built the city of Jerusalem and invaded Alexandria thereby claiming their fourth city and thus victory.

Game 2 (me playing as Egypt)
Rome claimed Dalmatia and built a trireme. Egypt fortified Cyrenaica and built influence and caravan in Nubia. Babylon claimed Judea with influence and fort and moved a legion to Asia. Cartago built a temple in Africa and a legion in Libya. Greece built a legion and a trireme but were unfortunately talked into an attack on the lone Babylon legion in Asia. After the attack was resolved, Rome noticed that Macedonia only was defended by one legion, and thus sent two legions there by sea to conquer it. Being the military leader, Rome realized he could flip the influence without fear of being dislodge and did so. So this time around it was Greece that very early was removed from the game.

The rest of the game saw a slow Roman fortification process, building lots of forts and then lots of trade. Greece irritated them for a bit (using a trireme to launch attacks at Italia), but eventually decided to invade Armenia instead. Cartago and Egypt ended up in an arms race between Cyrenaica and Libya, Egypt soon claiming the military leadership, extended into Garmantia and bought Nebuchadnezzar. But before being able to actually profit form the military investments and build more trade, a foolish attack was launched at the Cartago capital. Egypt lost two legions and military leadership in one blow (dealt by themselvesshake) and in next turn Cartago invaded Cyrenaica and Babylon begun eyeing Alexandria in order to claim their fourth city for victory.

In the last turn Egypt fortified Alexandria to an extreme level (placing 5 legions there). Rome was (unknowingly to all) getting closer to a wonder Victory, but wasn’t trading enough to actually allow that to happened (despite Rome being the trade leader). Cartago probably hade the economy to build hero nr 4 and 5 the following turns, but not the time. Everyone expected Babylon to engage in an Epic battle for Alexandria, but (to everyone’s surprise) used two triremes instead to travel past the Cartago wall of defence and claim their capital instead.

Conclusions:
Both times one player miscalculated and left an opening for enemy forces to take advantage of, effectively removing that player from the game more or less. At the same time, across the sea, two other nations engaged in a costly arms race and combat. Both times this lead to Babylon being free to do whatever he wanted, claiming an easy military victory. Maybe Hammurabi’s power is a bit over the top? Basically its one series for free the first 3-4 rounds of the game, making it easy to build 4 3-cost things a turn (while everyone else only can build 2 or 3 things).

Military (in general, but not the victory condition) might be a tad bit powerful: it is extremely costly to lose battles, and thus very dangerous to fall behind. One legion is very vulnerable always killed by two opposing legions, by requiring luck to even score a hit. One legion alone is basically no defence at all.

One thing we have to learn is the power of triremes – very few were built and seen as an expensive way of acquiring more territory. This made for very local conflicts between players starting next to each other. Another thing to learn is the power of trade.
The most frequently chosen tiles were “none” and “one”, three and four resources happened only once.

We will look into some better logistic system… handing the resource markers back and forth takes a lot of time and is just frustrating. Any suggestions? (I play on the small map, so placing the resources on the map as suggested by someone here gets a bit crowded…)
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Overall a fun and engaging (and brutal) game. Almost wish I had bought more addons (large, map, resource chips etc ^^)


//Itheria
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Tom O'Neill
United States
Pacific
Missouri
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I have played once. And it was on the larger board. It was the way to go.
As for Trimenes, yes, you need to implement them.
They changed my strategy. I was the assyrians (cant remember what they were called in the game). I had all Turkey and was getting to use the land to move into Greece and Europe. Greece built Trimenes and hit my soft underbelly in Turkey where I hadnt built a fort. HAd to rethink my whole strategy ti remove them and it put me way behind.
I had an alliance with Egypt. And they won the game. I was going for the victory condition that was money, I believe. Might have been enough money to build the pyramids. Cant remember.

But a fun game, for sure.
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simon thornton
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Liverpool
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Your first two games seem very violent . It must be your group. My first game saw Greece win with the Pyramids early on after ramping up its coin production and nobody else was paying attention.

The second game saw a narrow 5th wonder/hero win for Carthage although it went to the wire. In both games there was some skirmishing but no all out wars.

I cant see any way around the trading except get the 'poker chip' sets if you can then they are so tactile you dont care about the fiddliness.
 
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James Deckert
United States
Salina
Kansas
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>>power of trade.
The most frequently chosen tiles were “none” and “one”, three and four resources happened only once.

Did the trade leader keep changing? If not you have to use all 3 trade tokens before reusing a token.
 
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Tore Tur
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jamesdeckert wrote:
>>power of trade.
The most frequently chosen tiles were “none” and “one”, three and four resources happened only once.

Did the trade leader keep changing? If not you have to use all 3 trade tokens before reusing a token.

First game was too short really (3-4 rounds).
In the second game we messed up somewhat, keeping Cartago as leader until round 4-ish and then realizing that Rome should have been leader since round 2 or so. When we noticed the mistake we recycled the tokens as usual when changing leaders, which I suppose ended up as one more time than what it should have been that game.

Some nations (Rome and Greece) depend on there being trade at the start of the game to even get three series of three, whereas other nations (Babylon and Egypt) don't care as much. During our games the trade leaders also felt that they had what they needed and that they would only help others by offering more trade. Only occasionally did they go for a more expensive hero/building which prompted them to trade more to be able to do so. Eventually I think our group will realize that the trade leaders have the potential to get many different resource through trade, and how to use that to one's advantage.

 
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