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Subject: A children's game rss

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Mauricio de Souza Fonseca
Brazil
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September 27, 2011

This is my review of AVE CAESAR.

Target audience: This is a children's game at heart, in my humble opinion. But that does not mean, in any instance, that a group of older people, or a family or a mix of children and older people in any combination may not have fun with it. I have played it with my dad, my daughter and everyone in between, and everybody seems to enjoy the races quite a lot.

Components: You have beautiful double-sided game board, which allows your to race a "season" of four races: two in each side of the game board (clockwise and anti clock-wise), scoring points in each race according to your final position. Each race must have three laps. The chariots themselves are beautifully crafted. Bear in mind that the track designs by no means represent real racing tracks of that age.

Mechanics: This is a card driven game for up to six players. Each player receives an identical set of ramdonly shuffled 24 cards (ranging from 1 to 6, fours cards each number). Then, he set aside three cards, when, comes his turn, he will choose one to play and get another from his deck, In this way he always will have three cards at hand. All cards used are permanently discarded. The players move theirs chariots across the board at the rate of 1 card point/1 space. There are bottlenecks at the race track, and clever use of them will cause other players to stand still in a turn. There is a mandatory "pit-stop" at the end of the first or second lap to pay homage to Caesar (throwing him a coin). Not doing so will not eliminate you from the race, but will make you unellegible for points in the season.

c) Final conclusion: This is a fast-paced game, where strategy plays a part, but luck in card draw is essential. If one really wants to feel what it was to be in a chariot race in ancient Rome, however, he should play the brutal classi CIRCUS MAXIMUS from Avalon Hill.
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Gerald McDaniel
United States
Lakewood
Colorado
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Luck in card draw is indeed important. Last time we played, two of my #6 cards were on the bottom of my deck. Not surprisingly, I finished last in a 5-player game.

But, I enjoy playing it. I don't mind a bit of chance in games, although sometimes the cards (or dice) just aren't with me.
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Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
Duns
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We often play this as a family (2 adults, 12, 10 and 5 year old) and always have great fun. I've also played it with just adults and it works equally well. One of the rare games that this applies to!
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Soren Vejrum
United Kingdom
Richmond
Surrey
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London On Board - the largest semi-organised group of boardgaming dicks in the known universe.
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Play with the original "nasty" rules instead of the new watered down rules , and make your children cry, or shout with glee and evilness in their eyes.

If you cannot move you must discard a card instead of just putting it back in your draw pile. This makes hand management much more essential as if you have to discard just a few high cards you will not be able to complete the race at all.

This small change makes all the difference between it being a simple, mostly "roll and move" game and a cutthroat, fun, tactical, hand management game. I am happy to play this anytime with the "nasty" rules, but I cannot be bothered to play with the new, watered down rules at all. This game is often played as a popular starter and filler at London On Board by adult gamers including hardcore gamers.
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Sven Teuber
Germany
Langenfeld
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vejrum wrote:
Play with the original "nasty" rules instead of the new watered down rules


Which "original" rules are you referring to? The "older" rules from the Ravensburger Edition (not the newer Pro Ludo game) has a base rule that you simply miss a turn if you cannot move, and a variant that reads:

Missed turns: If a player may not move, he misses a turn and puts a card at the bottom of his deck, drawing a replacement.

Discarding a card completely seems to be a house rule?
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gamesgrandpa wrote:
Luck in card draw is indeed important. Last time we played, two of my #6 cards were on the bottom of my deck. Not surprisingly, I finished last in a 5-player game.
To put this particular bad luck into perspective:

The odds of that happening for one particular player are 1 in 29.
The odds of this happening to at least one player in a 6-player race are roughly 1 in 5.
 
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Eddy Richards
Scotland
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Duns
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MIJB19 wrote:
gamesgrandpa wrote:
Luck in card draw is indeed important. Last time we played, two of my #6 cards were on the bottom of my deck. Not surprisingly, I finished last in a 5-player game.
To put this particular bad luck into perspective:

The odds of that happening for one particular player are 1 in 29.
The odds of this happening to at least one player in a 6-player race are roughly 1 in 5.


Also, given the high chance (approaching 100%, in my experience!) of being blocked at some point and having to put a ccard to the bottom, you can pretty much guarantee that your last card isn't a 6.
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Kevin 'Rocky' Robertson
United Kingdom
London
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I like this game, of course you can get frustrated, that's the game, I once spent about 4 turns in the same spot because people bumped me, that's the nature of it.

Throw away or keep? I tend to keep, just because you're held up doesn't mean you should be able to pull out a recovery. 4 players stuck in Cesaers avenue, I'm about 20 points behind, we all come to the second corner very even, but I manage to block! hahahahhaa!

Sadly I get blocked out of the outside lane around the final corner, (I'll remember that Brian!) and can still play to just block peeps, wonderful, nice little game.
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