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Subject: My Take on Attika rss

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My Take on Attika

Attika was a game that briefly entered my radar screen when it first came out. There was some talk about how it made a great 3 player game and I was looking for good 3 player games at the time. It immediately went off my radar as there was nothing that really grabbed me about it in the little I read.

After I had almost forgotten the game existed I played a copy and found that not only did I find it fun, my wife enjoyed it as well. Eventually I found a copy for a screaming deal and decided to add it to the collection.

The Components
Attika (RGG/HiG) includes rules, cards (the small Hans-im-Glueck kind), 4 player boards of thin cardboard, a stack player boards of thick cardboard, 4 stand-up cardboard shrines, and a pile of thick cardboard disks displaying types of buildings players can build.

While the player boards are thin, all the other cardboard pieces are thick and high quality as you would expect from the publisher. The cards are high quality; I just wish Hans-im-Glueck would get over their penchant for small cards. In my copy of Attika, the cards don't fit in the receptacle provided in the box insert so I have to put them under the insert.

Not included were markers to mark which buildings you have already built. Experience with the game will diminish how much of an issue it is, but not being able to quickly see what you and other players have built can cause the game to drag a bit. I have some glass beads that I use to mark built buildings.

The color scheme is largely muted earth tones and pastels. I bring this up because I find the game relaxing and pleasant to look at during play. I've never won Attika so perhaps the mood inspired by the look affects my game play.

The Game
To win Attika you need to connect two shrines with a continuous line of your buildings or be the first to build all of your buildings.

The stack of game boards is used to construct the initial play area which is different depending on the number of players. Not all the game boards are used. These boards are hex grids with some hexes showing different types of resources. The shrines are placed equally distant from each other around the edge of the play area.

Each player stacks the building disks of their color in 4 shuffled face down stacks. The player boards show each building, what it costs to build and what type of building it is.

On you turn you can either draw 2 face down buildings or build 3 face up buildings. You can draw resource cards for each draw/build you forego. When you draw a building you can place it on your player board or build it by paying its building cost. If choose to build you can only build buildings that are already on your player board.

If you build all your buildings of a certain type you get an amphora which allows you an extra action on your turn. If you draw the final building disk in one of your four piles you get to place another game board any where you like on the playing area.

My Take
Attika is a race. You need to efficiently and quickly build your buildings blocking other players from connecting two shrines. It doesn’t hurt to always be close to connecting shrines yourself.

Building is the most unique aspect in Attika. As I said before, buildings are grouped by type. These types are arranged in hierarchies. Buildings can be built for free if built next to each other in their hierarchical order. So Attika is not just a straight point to point race, but you want to stake out the right shape of real-estate to build in to reduce your building costs. For me, this adds to the fun things to think about during this game.

There is a tense tactical game in Attika where players try to cut each other off, block each other in and try to push other players to have to use more resources than they would like. The strategic elements of the game include setting up your player board with complementary combinations of buildings so you can, at any time, throw out a string of buildings for little cost. Additionally you want to collect amphorae and plan to make the most of placing new board tiles.

There is a game characteristic that I call "the unwilling martyr". This is when players leave it up to another player to sacrifice their position in order to stop someone from winning. The characteristic manifests itself in Attika in multiplayer games due to the victory condition of connecting shrines. Often one player will be required to make a play that takes them out of the running in order to stop a player from connecting shrines. I think this problem, while non-existent in the 2 player game, manifests itself most often with inexperienced players and especially in the 4 player game. The 4 player game can be quiet chaotic and make advanced planning difficult.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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I and others don't like the "unwilling martyr" situation so we use the
"3 amphora reward per temple connection" variant. meeple
 
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davedanger wrote:
I and others don't like the "unwilling martyr" situation so we use the
"3 amphora reward per temple connection" variant. meeple


I know of the three amphora rule and I think I'll try it if I ever get annoyed enough with the way the game plays.
 
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Robert Rossney
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Attika is worthless with four, and just barely OK with three.

With two, however, it is a brilliant game.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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..even though you're wrong, I have to ask...uh...why?
 
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Mark Delano
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davedanger wrote:
..even though you're wrong, I have to ask...uh...why?


I can't speak for Rayito's reasoning but I find 3/4 player Attika to take much longer than 2 player, and suffers from continual kingmaker situations. 4 player is especially pointless when you can play two independent games with the same set of Attika, finish in half the time and have twice the fun.
 
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