wokingham, Nr reading
Sometimes I pretend to be normal
But it gets boring, so I go back to being me
The historical scenario 1 set comes with 2 scenarios: The building of the Pharaoh Cheops’ Pyramid and the conquests of Alexander the Great.
The board is double sided, with each side depicting one of the scenarios. Included in the box for the Alexander scenario are a set of chits and an Alexander figure. The Cheops scenario includes chits for the stones each player uses to build the pyramid, along with some Pharaoh stones, some punched-out boat tokens (though you can use the boats from the Seafarers expansion). Included for both scenarios are a lot of gold chits, and 4 large victory point cards for the Pharaoh’s favour/Alexander's advisor.
The board is quite thick, and should stand up to repeated usage with little or no warpage. The chits and favour cards are made of the same thick cardboard as the longest road and largest army markers form the basic game, and so will also stand up to repeated use. Although the chits are basic graphic wise, they serve their purpose well, while the favour cards feature a nice graphic design, which links them to the scenario very well, with the amount the card is worth clearly visible, and are the same size as the longest road marker.
Overall, the components are very high quality.
From the basic game, you need to supply the commodity cards, the development cards, robber, dice, the longest road and largest army markers, and each players roads, settlements and cities.
The scenarios included in this box change the base game by adding much more complexity to it.
The Cheops scenario focuses on trading, as the initial placement of settlements, and the resource and port availability, mean that no single player will be in a position to dominate, as if you want things like wood you have to expand away form the ore, and both are on the other side of the board to the pyramid. During the game, you can pay a port owner 1 gold to use their port, provided you have a route conecting your settlement to the port, even if it uses other players' roads. This means that as the game progresses, and more routes come into play, there is more benefit to expanding outwards, giving you more resources for trade, instead of just concentrating on one or two hexes.
Meanwhile, the Alexander scenario focuses more on resource management and planning for the future. This is due to the bidding mechanism for both event chits and initial settlements, combined with the fact that there is not much room to expand during the first part of the game. This means that you could use nearly all your resources in the early game, and then just fall behind as you can no longer claim the more important middle-game settlements.
In summary, these scenarios should only be attempted by people who have a very good grasp of settlers, who are looking for a different take on the settlers core game system. Though you may want to try before buying them, as the new rules and added complexity may turn off those who just like settlers for its straight-forward rules and quick playing time (these scenarios can take between 60 minutes and 90 minutes if everyone knows what they are doing).