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Subject: First game, 5-players on Orient map, & Exploiting weakness rss

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Greg Low
United States
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Our weekly game group decided to take a shot at Antike this week. It is my latest aquisition, and despite being one of the highest prices I've had to pay for a new game, I'm pretty happy with it.

We had five players, on the Orient map. Those familiar with the game might realize that the Egyptian player begins the game with five players on this map. Egypt started going towards a temple, while every other player began by arming. Persia deviated only slightly from the others in that he only armed one unit (using his iron, but saving his coin).

Egypt bought a temple on gold before expanding and went for monarchy. Greece expanded thru galleys. Phonecia built armies and went inland. Arabia went for market. Persia built temples.

In the middle of this game, action lit up. Phonecia found itself with wheel, and many legions on the boarder of Persia. Persia began at Artaxata (temple and 3 legions), Ninive (city), & Babylon (undefended temple). With the opportunity to destroy a temple, Phonecia dove in. The temple in Babylon was destroyed, but this action left much of Phonecia undefended.

Egypt struck Phonecia, with recently aquired roads, and took Tyros, Palmyra, and Antiochia. Monarchy kept the gains from being quickly recovered.

Greece similarly capatilized on Phonecia's weakness by taking Ephesos and Sinope by galleys.

Arabia also saw their opportunity in the Persia/Phonecia battle, but on the other side. Persia's temple in Charax was not adequately defended, and Arabia struck for a general/strategist victory point.

From that orgy of activity, a cold war settled in. The game ended with Egypt taking their 7th victory point from a mariner from arming, and then taking their 8th and last victory point from the last scholar by developing currency.

Edit: Egypt ended the game with 2 kings, 4 scholars, 1 citizen, 1 mariner.

At the end of the game, Arabia and Greece were just behind Egypt in points. Persia and Phonecia never recovered from the war.

I think we are likely to see a bit less conflict in the next game, and I defnately found the defensive technologies to have more value than I had anticipated. I was also impressed by the efficiency of having exactly 13 gold. When you can leapfrog from no tech to the top level if someone else already has the technology.

Sadly, a rough first game may have put off the Phonecian and Persian players, so we may need to put it on the shelf for a few weeks.

With lessons learned, and the other map, I think the game has lots more to explore.

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