$30.00
Recommend
25 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Mare Nostrum: Empires» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Second play of Mare Nostrum: AAR and Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Tony Kinner
United States
Holland
Ohio
flag msg tools
History Teacher
mbmbmbmbmb
On Saturday the monthly gaming group got together and I brought Mare Nostrum with me, hoping to play. I was in luck because we ended up having 6 people play, which means we got the expansion board out. After two plays I have to say I love this game. Let me talk about this play and at the end, I will give the reason I love it with some critiques as well.

Once I got it setup (a critique forthcoming), I started explaining the game to the 4 new players. it went pretty quickly and we decided to play the first round to show what I explained. Before we even started the Egyptian player made some remark about the Carthage starting hero and it was on between those two. Needless to say, Carthage kept the Egyptian player in check real quick. I liked this because I was playing Atlantis and Carthage was faced the other direction so I was able to expand and take over one of Carthage's provinces without much effort.

Babylon started spreading out pretty quickly and took of two of the legendary cities and was 3/4 after about 4 turns. once I realized what he was doing I made sure everyone else knew as well. Eygpt finally stopped worrying about Carthage and went on the attack and helped delay Babylon's victory. Rome expanded into Greece. There were some good battles between those civilizations. Rome also helped keep the Babylonians in check as well. I stayed out of the way and focus on building my way up the tracks by buying heroes that helped with the leadership tracks. In the end, nobody could stop the Babylonians from taking the final legendary city. Carthage had the last turn but could not even attempt to remove the Babylonians from Syracusae.




Review:

I love this game for several reasons:

-I love that the mythology is correct for most of the civilizations.
-I love that although each civilization has different strengths they are balanced
-The components are gorgeous (I will be buying the mini buildings now).
-I love the play turn mechanic
-using the leadership to choose the player order really keeps everybody on their toes
-Although you are not playing every second you need to pay attention because you don't know when it is your turn and you want to be able to react to something that just happened.
-I love the player interaction
-The Heroes are strong, but not overpowered

Critiques:

-Setup is long.
-With all the components and everything that needs to be ready to go, it takes forever to setup

-Similar setup time to Arkham Horror with at least 1 expansion (Est 30 min)
-You have to have the right players
-If someone is a sore loser DO NOT PLAY WITH THAT PERSON
This game can be very adversarial
-Is someone does something to you, you need to take and move on. (Remember for future rounds)

-For me, this in not an issue, but the game is not short
The game above lasted for about 3 hours and 30 minutes with 6 players
It only took 1 hour 30 minutes with 4 players


Overall I give this a 9/10. I do understand that this game is not for everyone, but for me it is Awesome!
34 
 Thumb up
5.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geppo Muzzak
Italy
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I think you can cut a lot on the setup times if each player doing his own setup is a competent player. Then the first who completes his setup can move to the general setup and take hands from those who complete theirs one after the other. Unfortunately, the more the players, the longer the setup times.

It's a massive game... sore losers are always trouble but at least this is not a game of treachery like Spartacus where basically all sorts of dirty tricks are allowed by the rules.

In both cases, but I guess it's the same with every boardgame, having competent players multiplies the fun and also cuts down on time. Setup is just once... but turn processing can be excruciatingly long.

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert F-C
Australia
Sydney
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Try packing each of the civilizations away with their starting resources.

This also means that all of the resource tokens fit even with combined with the Atlas expansion.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Guttag
United States
West Chester
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey Tony,

I too like Mare Nostrum. To speed up set up, I suggest putting each empires starting components (cities, carvans, temples, legions, forts, commodities/coins, etc.) into a baggie; I found that reduced set up time significantly.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Bolton
United States
California
flag msg tools
I package the starting caravans, buildings and markets with the other empire pieces, but if you package the resources don't you have to get them out again if you're not playing with that empire? Seems like some resources could be depleted pretty quickly?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
WA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the report & review. I don't do Kickstarter but I have been interested in this game since it was first announced. Here's a question for the OP or anyone else who has played it multiple times: do you feel like the starting strategies for each faction will end up being the same from game to game? In other words, I'm wondering about replayability and whether or not there are mechanisms to ensure that each play-through could be unique.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Townshend
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
terraform wrote:
Thanks for the report & review. I don't do Kickstarter but I have been interested in this game since it was first announced. Here's a question for the OP or anyone else who has played it multiple times: do you feel like the starting strategies for each faction will end up being the same from game to game? In other words, I'm wondering about replayability and whether or not there are mechanisms to ensure that each play-through could be unique.


The heroes/wonders make play unique (if you're playing with 5 revealed rather than all revealed--or if you mix the expansion heroes with the ones from the base game). Also, the actions of the players make play unique.

Each empire keeps its base advantages from game to game--for instance, it's always going to be advantageous for Babylon to take legendary cities; it's always advantageous for Egypt to build pyramids/heroes/wonders. And so forth. That is... until Academy Games and/or Asyncron creates different starting heroes for each faction, an idea Uwe has mentioned in passing at conventions. This would completely change the game strategy since each empire would have a different advantage.

In any case, in 9 plays I've found that the game varies depending on what the other players do. If my neighbor begins militarizing, it's in my best interest to do the same. If my strategy was focused on heroes/wonders, that's going to change my strategy. If my neighbor attacks someone else and loses a number of units, I'm now looking at the leaderboard to see if I'm military leader and culture leader (for example) and whether I can pull off a victory by building/capturing some trade buildings. Or taking legendary cities. So while each side begins with the same advantages from game to game, paying attention to the board can/will change your strategy.

And again, the heroes/wonders available will also influence your strategy and the strategy of others. So yes, it plays the same from game to game and no it doesn't play at all the same from game to game. ;-)
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean D.
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played 3 games now. Victories as follows:

1st - 5p Military by Babylon. No surprise and Greece was too involved with War with Rome to do anything about it. Egypt got beaten by Carthage.

2nd - 5p Pyramids by Egypt. Surprise, no quite expected him to have that many resources. Although he was beating Babylon and Held Jerusalem.

3rd - 5p 5th Hero/Wonder by Rome using the Hanging Gardens and Perseus. Greece and Carthage could have won with the Pyramids except for the sneaky win. Trade in the last turn allowed this.

Great Game, plays out quite differently each time so far.

Sean
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.