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Ave Caesar» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Purge: # 52: Ave Caesar: Race! Chariot Races! rss

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Jayson Myers
United States
Clermont
Florida
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Conclusion: I found this game to be rather silly and overly simple. I heard all about the strategy this game allows, but I really didn't see it in my plays. When all was said and done, we put the game up and it is now a running joke for us. Whenever a game is a stinker, we will say, "Why couldn't we just play Ave Caesar?". As in, this game is so bad, I'd rather play even Ave Caesar.

I'm not sure I like racing games very much. Moving around in a circle and moving as fast as possible does lend itself to a great game for me. The components were good, the rules are fine, the game is just missing fun. Too bad, because I really like the theme.

I purged this game and would not ever play it again.



Components: The components are nice. We have small plastic chariots that come in different colors. They are nice enough. We get a simple, colored rule book that explains the game well enough. The board is double sided and allows for different races. There could have been more boards, but I couldn't imagine playing this game enough to need more boards. Everything is of good quality and nothing is lacking in detail.



Rules: The rules are clear. The rule book is in full color and gives examples of the game. The rules are simple and this game can be played by someone that is 4+. As long as they can count, the can play this game.



Flow of the Game: I am not going to outline the rules here, instead I want to just comment on the flow of the game. In reality, you have three cards and you choose one to play. Each card has a number on it and you move that many spots. I believe the strategy comes in the game by blocking people and not letting them past you, but in our game we just moved as fast as possible. On one of the laps, you have stop in front of the Caesar and pay tribute to him. Perhaps it was group think, but we just moved as fast as possible and the game had no strategy.



Should I buy this game?: I'm going to go with a solid no. If you wanted to play a game where you teach counting to a child, then perhaps. I don't see the strategy in this game. This game is very expensive for what you get. This is one of the few games that have zero redeeming value to me. I would purge this game and advise you to never buy it.
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Victor J
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When I first started playing, I found the boards in the Asmodee version as being quite simple and all chariots tended to finish the race. When I used the original board designs (there is a file for these on BGG), the game became a lot more challenging, as the laps are longer and there are more choke points. There will now be chariots now that fail to finish.

As an example, if you travel the optimal 3 lap route on the Asmodee board, it is 75 spaces long, and your cards add up to 84, so you have an error margin of 9 spaces. On the original board track B it is 78 spaces long, so the error margin is down to 6, and on the original board track A it is 80 spaces long, so a margin of 4. It does make a fairly big difference to the game, as an outside lane run might be devastating. On the original track B there is one corner that uses up 3 extra spaces if you are forced onto it, let alone not being forced to skip a turn when you are blocked....

I find it nice light game to play every now and then as the system makes it so that there is no run away leader like other race games (as leaders can't play their 6 card), which means that there will usually be a few players who have a chance to win up to the very end. And yes, it is a good game for kids to play aswell
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Ian Allen
United States
Madison
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I have to agree. The game is really only mildly amusing as a filler. There is just not much to it.

The older version in the long flat box is slightly more challenging as the other person just posted, but overall - the biggest kick I ever got out of Ave Caesar was that we make everyone stand up and toss their coin onto the table and yell out AVE CAESAR or HAIL CAESAR when they do that stop by the reviewing stand on one of the 3 laps.

If you do that it becomes a barely acceptable filler game.

I have traded off my Asmode copy but my older copy (Ravensburger?) is still around ...for now ...

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Darryl Boone
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Reading your recent posts has been like dipping my bottom over and over into a bath of the silkiest oils and creams.
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william4192 wrote:
Conclusion: I found this game to be rather silly and overly simple. I heard all about the strategy this game allows, but I really didn't see it in my plays.

Ah, well, I'm sorry to hear you were given a wrong impression going into this game. This is not a strategic game AT ALL. But it is good laugh if there's lots of blocking and screwage.

william4192 wrote:
I believe the strategy comes in the game by blocking people and not letting them past you, but in our game we just moved as fast as possible (...) and the game had no strategy.

In a good game of Ave Caesar, there is TONNES of blocking, and the cursing of fellow players for doing so. What you describe (no real blocking) is in my experience not even possible.

Unless...

The original game had different tracks for 3-4 players and for 5-6 players. The newer edition basically only has tracks that are good for 5-6 players. If you play the new edition with 3-4 players, there will be very little blocking and I could see disappointment being the result. Your review is perfectly valid, of course -- boo to the current publisher for this oversight! -- but I'd be curious to know how many players you typically played this game with.

Getting into (gasp)rule questioning -- of course, the game is simple, and I'm sure it's a breeze to understand for experienced players... but that experience can sometimes lead people astray. For example, by far most racing games on the market have the turn order dictated by placement in the race; the player in first goes first. If an experienced gamer comes into the game and assumes the same here, this game would have very little blocking! There are people I know who've played this game a dozen times who I still have to correct because they have a default assumption of first-place-goes-first like almost every other racing game, and don't remember that this game is different.

Anyway, sorry to hear about your bad experience. An earlier edition is one of my favourite games so I'd like to discuss the reasons you found it the way you did. It is a super-simple game, it's true, but it can be great fun!
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Victor J
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booned wrote:
The original game had different tracks for 3-4 players and for 5-6 players. The newer edition basically only has tracks that are good for 5-6 players. If you play the new edition with 3-4 players, there will be very little blocking and I could see disappointment being the result. Your review is perfectly valid, of course -- boo to the current publisher for this oversight! -- but I'd be curious to know how many players you typically played this game with.


This is a good point. Judging by the pictures on the original review, there are only 4 chariots in that race, which explains why there wasn't much challenge and the subsequent tone of the review. A second boo for the publisher that the original board for 3-4 players doesn't come with the game.... Though at least we can still download and print it.
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Jayson Myers
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We played with four and that is my normal gaming group.

There didn't seem to be a lot of bottle necking. This game is a laughingstock in my group. It has literally become a joke (to my chagrin).


booned wrote:
william4192 wrote:
Conclusion: I found this game to be rather silly and overly simple. I heard all about the strategy this game allows, but I really didn't see it in my plays.

Ah, well, I'm sorry to hear you were given a wrong impression going into this game. This is not a strategic game AT ALL. But it is good laugh if there's lots of blocking and screwage.

william4192 wrote:
I believe the strategy comes in the game by blocking people and not letting them past you, but in our game we just moved as fast as possible (...) and the game had no strategy.

In a good game of Ave Caesar, there is TONNES of blocking, and the cursing of fellow players for doing so. What you describe (no real blocking) is in my experience not even possible.

Unless...

The original game had different tracks for 3-4 players and for 5-6 players. The newer edition basically only has tracks that are good for 5-6 players. If you play the new edition with 3-4 players, there will be very little blocking and I could see disappointment being the result. Your review is perfectly valid, of course -- boo to the current publisher for this oversight! -- but I'd be curious to know how many players you typically played this game with.

Getting into (gasp)rule questioning -- of course, the game is simple, and I'm sure it's a breeze to understand for experienced players... but that experience can sometimes lead people astray. For example, by far most racing games on the market have the turn order dictated by placement in the race; the player in first goes first. If an experienced gamer comes into the game and assumes the same here, this game would have very little blocking! There are people I know who've played this game a dozen times who I still have to correct because they have a default assumption of first-place-goes-first like almost every other racing game, and don't remember that this game is different.

Anyway, sorry to hear about your bad experience. An earlier edition is one of my favourite games so I'd like to discuss the reasons you found it the way you did. It is a super-simple game, it's true, but it can be great fun!
 
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Jayson Myers
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I rarely if ever get 6 people to get to play with. If I was going to play 6, I'd probably not play this on the off chance it was this bad again.


VictorJ wrote:
booned wrote:
The original game had different tracks for 3-4 players and for 5-6 players. The newer edition basically only has tracks that are good for 5-6 players. If you play the new edition with 3-4 players, there will be very little blocking and I could see disappointment being the result. Your review is perfectly valid, of course -- boo to the current publisher for this oversight! -- but I'd be curious to know how many players you typically played this game with.


This is a good point. Judging by the pictures on the original review, there are only 4 chariots in that race, which explains why there wasn't much challenge and the subsequent tone of the review. A second boo for the publisher that the original board for 3-4 players doesn't come with the game.... Though at least we can still download and print it.
 
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Sven Teuber
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Ave Ceasar is a light game, and it is not overly strategic. It's a short, relaxing "filler", not something you'd play all night long again and again. I can see why experienced boardgamers that expect a brain-teasing strategical challenge will be disappointed by this game.

But a stinker? A game that is bad by design? Something to make a running joke from? I can't see that. You seem to mistake "light" with "very bad / ridiculous". It's not the same. ;-)

Darryl summed it up perfectly:

Quote:
This is not a strategic game AT ALL. But it is good laugh if there's lots of blocking and screwage.


I find it's a perfect "opening game" on a gaming night with a group of six "average" (not "hardcore") boardgamers.
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Jayson Myers
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Figilano wrote:
Ave Ceasar is a light game, and it is not overly strategic. It's a short, relaxing "filler", not something you'd play all night long again and again. I can see why experienced boardgamers that expect a brain-teasing strategical challenge will be disappointed by this game.

But a stinker? A game that is bad by design? Something to make a running joke from? I can't see that. You seem to mistake "light" with "very bad / ridiculous". It's not the same. ;-)

Darryl summed it up perfectly:

Quote:
This is not a strategic game AT ALL. But it is good laugh if there's lots of blocking and screwage.


I find it's a perfect "opening game" on a gaming night with a group of six "average" (not "hardcore") boardgamers.



I actually like a good filler, but this was just (at least with this board) throw down a card and move.
 
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