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Subject: Attila - A Mini Review rss

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CanCon, BunnyCon...BorderCon!!!
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May 2018 be all you dreamed it would be and be all that you dreamed...
All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.

In Attila, each player is in charge of helping the barbarian migration out of the hinterland and into Roman territory. There are 6 tribes in all including the Goths, Huns, Saxons, Vandals, Teutons and Franks. But the players must consider carefully which tribes they will assist and lead to victory as they will only earn points for influencing the most successful tribes.

The board of Attila features the barbarian lands of the North and the Roman occupied areas of Southern Europe, Spain, Greece and Northern Africa. On a player’s turn they must add one coloured marker to the board (by playing the appropriate card from their hand), which represents one of the 6 barbarian tribes. Initial units must come out of the barbarian lands (designated by a red border) but as the game progresses a unit may be placed in any region adjacent to a region already containing another tribe marker.

The player can then choose to end their turn and earn one influence point in that tribe’s colour. This is managed on an influence track that represents all tribes and players. The other option is to forego the point and place a 2nd unit of the same tribe on the board. This can be placed in the same region or a new region, but the placement rules must be adhered to.

The main mechanic that keeps the game flowing is the occurrence of conflicts. A conflict will occur whenever a region has a 5th unit placed in it. Each player must then select any cards they wish to play to support the tribes in the conflict. All cards are revealed simultaneously and the cards are added to the number of units for each corresponding tribe. The tribe with the lowest total suffers defeat in the conflict and is removed from the board. The region then acquires a peace marker, rendering the remaining tribes safe from future conflict.

The game is divided into 4 centuries for scoring purposes. The 1st century is over after the first conflict. The 2nd century requires two conflicts and so on for a maximum of 10 conflicts in the game. As a peace marker is placed on the board it reduces the time before the current century is up, allowing all players to judge their position at all times. When a century ends, scoring occurs. The player with the highest influence in a tribe will earn 1 point for each tribe marker of that colour on the board. The player with the second highest influence for a particular tribe scores 1 point for each region that tribe occupies. All other players score nothing.

The strategy of Attila is knowing which tribes to support and helping to ensure that they remain well spread and in strong numbers. They must survive conflicts, which enables them to stay on the board and earn points during scoring phases. Like any good game it is impossible to be strong in all areas so sacrifices must be made. Keeping the tribes you support strong and your opponent’s tribes weak is the key to victory.

The Final Word

Attila is a very clever game that demands some considerable thought from its players. The game also throws in 3 special action tokens that allow double turns, bonus scoring and a hand redraw to improve a player’s options. Knowing when to use these is vitally important and can help swing the battle if played at the right time.
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