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Players: Nige, Mark K, Mark G, Garry
This is the most recent game by the Ragnar Brothers, whose other claims to fame include History of the World and Sixteen Thirty Something. This game is based on the 400 years following the Norman invasion of England in 1066. The successive kings attempted to extend their influence at home and abroad. Players take turns trying to conquer as many regions as they can using their own and other players' forces. At the end of their turn, they then decide whether they control a sufficient proportion of the available land to tax the people - which generate victory points. However, throughout the game players can only tax the people on three occasions, so they need to pick the turns which are most advantageous to them.
Unfortunately, the game took considerably longer to play, on everyone's first time, than we anticipated. It was clear that we were going to be unable to finish so agreed to stop about half way through and call it a learning game. There are some good ideas in the game. Using opponents' forces to clear the way in regions so that you can then march in and clean up is quite novel. However, it does suffer from a fair bit of downtime if you've chosen to space your turns, which you decide upon at the beginning of the game, a long way apart. Still, I'd like to give it another go because we all thought it was pretty good.
Ratings: Nige 7, Mark K 7, Mark G 7, Garry 7