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Subject: Review for Venetia rss

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Diego Méndez
Spain
Getafe
Madrid
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REVIEW FOR VENETIA

An essential game for lovers of Venice's or the Mediterranean trade's history


In Venetia, each player represents a dynasty which must, on a map of the Mediterranean, open trade routes and get colonies. In order to do this, every turn the player will choose an action dice (there are three types: military, political and commercial dice, with small differences in the way they are played) which will show them the number of cubes the player can put on the game board. As Venice expands, other powers won't remain quiet: some threat cards will fill the board with territories under enemy shields (like the Ottoman Empire's, or the Kingdom of Aragon's) and enemy fleets which must be destroyed if contact with the colonies is to be kept.

Moreover, players will periodically try to overtake the rank of Dux (leader of Venice). This rank allows for spending some exotic red hats (Dux counters) in additional actions or victory points or preventing enemies from expanding in inconvenient areas.

There are three optional rules:

• a more historical board setup (recommended)
• rules to influence the Dux election through ducats and monuments applied in Venice's six urban areas (sestieri) (not especially recommended); and
• the power of veto for the Dux (it's *very* important to play with this rule!!).

The game is fluid, easy to learn and doesn't take longer than 90 minutes, no matter the number of players. Its greatest disadvantages are a high price (it came out at 50 euros, although now you can get copies at a good price, around 35 euros) and the great importance of luck, which will put off those who want to win every time they play best. Not here: you can be the best player in a game and still lose.

As I see it, these disadvantages are overcome by far with its design (gorgeous map!), component quality, historical rigueur (it's very good documented and things happening in the board did really happen, with correct enemy coats of arms and historical notes explaining every detail) and, globally, the fact that you can teach it in 10 minutes and it's a short game with lots of Italian expressions and historical blazons very prone to telling anecdotes about the battle of Lepanto, the Crusades or the Aragonese expansion in the Mediterranean sea.

If you leave this historical taste out, it's just one more game and fails in the luck side. However, if the history of the Mediterranean or Venice excites you and it's precisely this taste of epoch which makes you enjoy, this game is E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A-L. And even more so when you discover Wolf Silvermoon's expansion, with up to seven different rulesets to make it even more interesting and more historical, which adds never-ending replayability:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/107976/variantes-de-juego-...

[Wolf Silvermoon's expansion is in Spanish only. If you are interested in it, I can give you some details and even translate it into English if there is enough demand. I have also made a small expansion with rules for the battle of Lepanto and the sack of Constantinople, which I can post if you are interested.]
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Mr. Fred
Germany
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Very good review. I would love to get an English translation of the variants.
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Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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I can emphatically confirm this:
felipechadid wrote:
If you leave this historical taste out, it's just one more game and fails in the luck side.
 
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Doug Birdwise
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Yes, I would like to get the English translation of the variant too. Does anyone know if it was done and where it can be obtained?
 
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