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Subject: Would be nice to see an example playthrough rss

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Dimitri Tiago
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I own Pax Porfiriana and Pamir. I am interested in Pax Rennaisance but I am having a hard time getting a sense of the gameplay aspect of the game from reading the rules. It would be rally nice to see an example gameplay session to get a feel for the game.
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Ken Sinn
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Definitely on my list of things to do, is to write up a preview of the game (I helped playtest the game).

I've played Pax Porf several times, but not Pax Pam. Based on the impressions of my fellow playtesters who played Pax Pam, the similarities between Pamir and Ren are pretty superficial, and limited to the market/hand structure.

At the beginning of the game, there are minimal "Ruling Class" tokens on the map -- these are the units that you would need to defeat in order to overthrow that empire (10 empires in total on the map, one per card). However, in order to generate income, the most common way is to conduct a Trade Fair -- which generates money for players, but also increases the number of "Ruling Class" tokens on the board. It's important to remember that "Ruling Class" tokens don't belong to any player -- consider them NPCs, in video game talk, that can be used to your benefit or your opponent's benefit.

During the first third of the game, players will find ways to add an empire to their tableau, through the one-time effect of cards played to their tableau. When empires are added to your tableau, you will also be able to put more of your "merchants" on the board -- the more merchants you have (esp at strategic locations), the more income you get from Trade Fairs. Players will also start collecting various types of prestige, much like in other Pax games.

Unlike the other Pax games, the end-game conditions are typically not dependent solely on your Prestige. The end-game conditions typically have two elements -- Prestige + something else. Most empires in their tableau (generalizing), most republics in their tableau + Law Prestige, most merchant tokens on the board + Global Prestige, and Religious Prestige + Dominance of that Religion over other Religions. As a result, if someone seems to be aiming for a victory, there are a myriad ways disrupt them, particularly in a 4P game.

In the second third of the game, players are normally fluctuating between 1-3 empires, as they can be captured back/forth. At this point, one of the religions may also have established dominance, so players will be trying to derail that religion. In this part of the game, one or two of the end-game conditions will have been activated -- once activated, any player can claim that victory condition. Activating of a particular end-game condition definitely shows your hand, and the two-card limit really reduces the ability to spring surprises on your opponents, and reduces your ability to mitigate multiple threats (unlike Pax Porf's 5-card limit, where you can stash various Prestiges in your hand).

The last third of the game, players are trying to position themselves for a two-move victory -- one move to meet the win condition, and another move to actually claim victory. That's right, claiming victory takes a player action -- and you only have two player actions per turn. A single action would either be to play a card from your hand (and activate its one-time ability), or to activate abilities from either your East or West tableau. Opponents will be taking shots at you to keep you two actions away from victory, and it's great.

Huge fan of the game, can't wait for everyone else to try it. The other playtesters said that they'll be buying a copy, and they loved how "open" the game felt, in terms of the various strategies/approaches you can take towards the end-game conditions.

--------

Disclaimer: I will be receiving a complimentary copy of the game for helping out with the playtest and rules, but I paid out of pocket to produce my PnP test copy.
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Jack Francisco
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Thanks for the inside look, Ken!
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Einar Faanes
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Can you say anything about how it feels on different player counts? How does it work as a two-player game?
 
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Ken Sinn
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ejnro wrote:
Can you say anything about how it feels on different player counts? How does it work as a two-player game?


https://boardgamegeek.com/article/22856581#22856581

Quote:
Hey there.

One of the playtesters here. I played it mostly at 2P, and GMed a 4P game. It was important to me that the 2P game played well, and it did. There are some slight changes to the 2P win conditions (as compared to 3P and 4P), but the positional posturing and see-saw battle over win conditions made for plenty of tactical maneuvering.

Lots of avenues for trying to secure wins, and you have a wide berth in a 2P game. There are lots of ways to counteract an opponent's potential win. There might be more of a "gang up" factor if one player is close to winning in a 4P game, but since players are limited to two actions per turn, there's never really a sense of an opponent being unstoppable in a 2P game.

Unlike Pax Porfiriana, the Prestige Win Condition is not based on tripartite scoring -- simply more X than any other player. In that sense, a 2P game and a 4P game would be very similar in gathering and maintaining the prestige lead -- but there's just more competition for it.

Experience disparity does show itself -- an experience player will definitely better position themselves against a newer player. This is apparently in a 2P game, but less apparently in a 4P game since beating up the leader is possible.

All in all, can definitely recommend this for 2P gamers.
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S. Mileta
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Are there any "special powers", meaning differences in playing various factions/nations/merchants (such as in Pax Porfiriana and unlike in Pax Pamir)?
 
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Ken Sinn
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Zhovijalno wrote:
Are there any "special powers", meaning differences in playing various factions/nations/merchants (such as in Pax Porfiriana and unlike in Pax Pamir)?


You control one of 4 merchant families. Each family starts the game with a merchant placed on a specific spot in the map. Your starting spot may influence your strategy (some families are more likely to benefit from the initial Trade Routes than others). Additionally, one of the families is always the first player, if they are in play.

Aside from that, there are no differences in abilities between the 4 families.

The 10 empires in play are different: some provide different prestige, other provide different abilities when activated. Every empire allows you to launch attacks against other neighbouring empires, so they are positionally valued differently on the map.
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Galatolol 1
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Such a video would be definietly helpful. We played Pax Renaissance today and had a lot of trouble in understanding game rules in practice.
Although we see potential in the game, we will wait for the video before playing again.
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