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Jihad!: The Rise of Islam 632-732» Forums » Reviews

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Terence Co
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An interesting game on the rise of Islam.

Uses a Richard Berg style attrition movement rules seen in his game Crusades and Onwards Christian Soldiers(units basically have unlimited movement but the farther you go the more chances of your units dying).

Also has interesting religious conversion rules which excellently shows how Islam rose in the Middle East(war prisoner converts).

The most interesting part was a game within a game, every turn, units Muslim units which have not attacked are subject to a rebellion roll to see which Muslim units turn rebel.Then the muslim player tries to suppress the rebels. Then a roll is made to see if the Muslim leader dies and if he dies, he dies without the heir or not. Then a roll is made for a civil war.

Then if civil war happens play stops. and the Muslim player takes over the loyalists while the Empire player plays the rebels and they start fighting. This is to the death until one side is complete destroyed. Then after the smoke clears and whoever has the suviving units. Civil war ends. the regular game begins and the Muslim player takes over his side again regardless on who won the civil war(if the rebels won, they become the loyalists). and play begins again.

The Muslims have the advantage as some of their units have excellent attrition values(the Bedoins) and they get to convert Empire troops which have fallen in combat. They are also united and they explode from the Arab peninsula into the surrounding countries.

They are only limited by attrition through movement(which is horrendous as a lot of the map are desert or rough), a bloody combat table and the civil war which can really mess up the Muslims).

The Empires player is not united and can have their units defect to the Muslims when lost in combat. The Byzantines however is the only power which can give the Muslim player a run for their money if used right(they can be the death knell of the Muslims if they are really weakened by the civil war).

Only part I did not like were the rules, needs better editing.

Also what I disagreed is that all units of the country should be converted in order for the Muslim player to rule the country which includes ships, so we had a funny situation where there was a fleet of ships offshore earning hordes of money but the muslim player actually controlled all the land and cities.

Also I think the rule that Empire troops which have not moved is also subject to attrition is also fiddly and very annoying as each player has to roll for each Empire unit which has not moved whether they die from attrition or not. This is easily handled by the stacking restrictions depending on the terrain.

I also think that Muslim players can only recruit converts from the Empire units if they have won that battle(either the Muslim player was the only one left standing on the battlefield, eg. The empire units either got massacred or retreated. A tie with both sides massacred and retreated is not counted as a victory). This is more realistic.

Excellent production values. I think the game is balanced overall but the Muslim player has the advantage.
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