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Subject: The Downfall of Pompeii: An Introduction rss

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James Smith
Australia
Ashburton
Victoria
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The Downfall of Pompeii is a game for two to four players by Klaus Jurgen Wrede (Carcassonne, Mesopotamia). Players represent inhabitants of Pompeii and are trying to escape the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

The game is separated into two distinct phases: populating the city and escaping the magma inferno. In the first phase players play cards representing areas of the city and place their meeples in buildings within the designated areas. This phase is divided into two parts, the first part players simply play a card and place a meeple (which will henceforth be known as pompeeples) in the corresponding building, in the second part after the card with an exploding volcano is drawn Vesuvius 'seethes' players play cards as before but they can place extra meeples on the board if they choose buildings that are heavily populated, also during this part of the game there are 'omen' cards within the deck of cards that allow the drawing player to select another players pompeeple and toss it into the volcano (stupid curious pompeeples... or is he sent up there by the other inhabitants of Pompeii?? the rules don't explain the story behind why they get chucked to the volcano, which would be a bit irking to the lost pompeeple "why am I being chucked in here??" "I can't answer that, just get in and be sure to scream!"). As the board is separated into a grid players are vying for the spaces that are close to the exits so that when Vesuvius erupts (which we know will happen, so it is not really true to life this game...) you can get your pompeeples to safety quickly. After the second card is drawn depicting Vesuvius erupting the second phase of the game begins where players are trying to get there pompeeples to safety. During this phase of the game before moving pompeeples players must draw a magma tile which has one of six symbols representing an area of the city, these tiles can be placed orthogonally adjacent to tiles of the same symbol and any pompeeples occupying the space are chucked into the dirty great volcano. As you are trying to send as many of the opponents pompeeple to a melting hot paddle, you are trying not to get burned yourself and if an area becomes surrounded by lava tiles all pompeeples within that area are sent to Vesuvius.

This game is fun in a macabre kind of way to derive satisfaction from terminating five little innocent pompeeples with a single well placed tile gives you a funny feeling inside, still if you can handle the guilt of destroying a city, this game is for you. I enjoy this game as it can be played in under an hour and has some nice tactics to employ, but also has enough luck involved that it can be played and enjoyed by relatively inexperienced gamers, I wouldn't use it to introduce new players to the hobby as showing newbies a game that involves burning inhabitants of a city may make people think that boardgamers are sadists! Who am I kidding taking the moral high ground just get in there and enjoy it, there are plenty of worse things in the news than a boardgame with with an unusual theme! The one thing that is a bit weird when you think about it is that the winner is determined by who has the most survivors, but how many of pompeeples lost is not taken into account, exept in the case of a where the player with the fewest melted pompeeples wins. That means it is possible for you to win by having 10 pompeeples survive and 20 get tossed to Vesuvius and the player in second may have 9 pompeeples survive and none lost to the volcano, but hey as with life there is survival in numbers I suppose.
 
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Jonathan Kidsley
United Kingdom
Nottingham
Long Eaton, Nottingham
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Good review mate

made me laugh and informative to boot!

Quote:
the rules don't explain the story behind why they get chucked to the volcano, which would be a bit irking to the lost pompeeple "why am I being chucked in here??" "I can't answer that, just get in and be sure to scream!").


"'ere Lucius, take a walk to the top of the Volcano and peer in will you old chap"
 
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James Smith
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Ashburton
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Thanks, I appreciate it! I am glad that you enjoyed it and got a laugh out of it.
 
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