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Subject: Ave Caesar 200-Word Review rss

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Josiah Fiscus
United States
Pittsburgh (Monroeville)
Pennsylvania
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Ave Caesar is a quick-playing and very basic race game. It forgoes many of the conventions of typical race games such as taking turns based on position, managing the condition of your race vehicle, etc. and mainly focuses on blocking.

Each player gets a deck of cards with numbers 1-6 on them. Play a card from your hand of three, move the number of spaces shown on the card, draw a replacement. That is your whole turn. Tactics generally involve blocking the single-space-wide spots so that others are forced to pass their turns and you can go again. Unfortunately, blocking when you are not in first place often just exacerbates the runaway leader problem. This is mitigated somewhat by not allowing the first place player to use 6 value cards, but it's still by far the best place to be.

The general consensus seems to be that the tracks are more interesting on the Ravensburger edition, but that one is very hard to find. The graphics on the new edition are pretty though, and the plastic chariots and coins are hefty and detailed.

I'm happy to play this, but it really is of very light weight. What TransAmerica is for train games, Ave Caesar is for race games. Good for mixed groups of gamers and non-gamers, or with kids. Most serious gamers will want to play a different race game though.
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Sven Teuber
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Langenfeld
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Concerning the runaway leader, I happened to be in front of the field for almost an entire game last weekend, only to find that if you can't play sixes, you won't make it to the finishing line. At some point, you MUST have someone overtake you, so that you can play sixes. Which prevents not only the "runaway" part, but the "leader" part, too.

Actually, I was overtaken in the second round and used one or two sixes, but still came to a halt just 1 space from the finishing line, with my last cards being two sixes. The second chariot took the win then, because I needed to wait for him to overtake. :-P
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Miguel
France
Caen
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Figilano wrote:
Concerning the runaway leader, I happened to be in front of the field for almost an entire game last weekend, only to find that if you can't play sixes, you won't make it to the finishing line. At some point, you MUST have someone overtake you, so that you can play sixes. Which prevents not only the "runaway" part, but the "leader" part, too.

Yes, in Ave Caesar you have to try to be the 2nd for 90% of the race, and be ready for the moment the leader will run out of 1-5 cards. Personally, I count my 6's to see when I've used all of them and can safely run away, and try to count the ones played by the chariots ahead of me, to be sure I can let them go until they'll have to slow down and wait for me.

I really don't understand all the people complaining about this being a silly game, we have played several championships lasting about 10 races and in the end we are always the same ones in the first places. You have to know when to play your 6's, check when the others do, see where is best to block, be ready to avoid easy blockings, keep your hand varied (avoid having the same card twice/thrice) to be more reactive...

But I play with the old Ravensburger tracks, maybe the new ones make game-play "sillier".


PS: Of course playing Ausgebremst in expert mode is the best, although that game is so badly produced that few people buy/play it. I made my own "Formula 1" version and almost never play Ave Caesar since, I'm sure any company producing a better edition of that game would sell a lot of copies!
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Miguel
France
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happyjosiah wrote:
I'm happy to play this, but it really is of very light weight. What TransAmerica is for train games, Ave Caesar is for race games. Good for mixed groups of gamers and non-gamers, or with kids. Most serious gamers will want to play a different race game though.

Have you tried TransAmerica/Europa with the expansion (Vexation)? They game is still light but it adds a lot of strategy.
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Josiah Fiscus
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franchi wrote:
happyjosiah wrote:
I'm happy to play this, but it really is of very light weight. What TransAmerica is for train games, Ave Caesar is for race games. Good for mixed groups of gamers and non-gamers, or with kids. Most serious gamers will want to play a different race game though.

Have you tried TransAmerica/Europa with the expansion (Vexation)? They game is still light but it adds a lot of strategy.


I have. It definitely makes the game better, but it's still pretty light. Both of these games have in common the fact that there is basically only one strategy and you can lay it out in a sentence. In fact, you pretty much did so in your first post. That doesn't make it BAD per se, but it does make it light.
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Miguel
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Right, indeed if I want to play games with the people around me I need games with simple rules that are easy to explain and that play under 1h... and quite often that hold 6 players: no wonder Ave Caesar and TransAmerica are in our top ten!
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Hardy
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Münster
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franchi wrote:
[q="Figilano"]
PS: Of course playing Ausgebremst in expert mode is the best, although that game is so badly produced that few people buy/play it. I made my own "Formula 1" version and almost never play Ave Caesar since, I'm sure any company producing a better edition of that game would sell a lot of copies!



I agree. But one could transfer two basic change from Ausgebremst to Ave Caesar, to make it almost equally interesting:

1) Before game starts, each player distibutes his cards to 4 piles (instead of only one): First shuffle deck, then look at top card, lay it down on one pile of your choice, continue with next card and so on...
After distributing all cards on the 4 piles, take two cards on your hand (from top of piles). After each move, you can now draw a crad from the pile of your choice.

2) Stopping by at Caesar's place is only optional, but will give you extra cards. Before start, each player puts some cards aside, which he will only get if saluting Caesar.
Which card(s) everyone puts aside is dependant on which track you use. I recommend choosing the card(s) to put aside in that way, that each player has only a reserve of 2 or 3 points, if he doesn't pick up his extra cards.

With this 2 changes, Ave Casaer will be almost as good as Ausgebremst, but you can keep using the better designed bits and board of Ave Caesar.

Ausgebremst still offers the choice of different card decks and 8 different tracks to choose from, so there's still some advantage in using Ausgebremst, but for all those who own Ave Casear already or don't like the looks of Ausgebremst, this will be a nice solution.
 
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