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Subject: A Short Review rss

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Danko Petrovic
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Hello! You can read my other short reviews here.
And in my growing blog here.

Please keep in mind that I own and play Ultra Tiny version of this game. Standard version is mostly the same rules-vise but it can affect DESIGN and COMPONENTS sections.

The game is packed in standard sized cards pack. It consists of a small deck of cards and 70 wooden cubes representing armies and various trackers. In the deluxe version the game comes with golden d12 die for solo play and a nice bag to carry it all together.
Most of the cards are used for territories and races and the designer, in an effort to reduce the size of the game, has put those on the same cards. This also reduces the game's variety over Standard version, but nothing too serious.
Overall, components are of very nice quality with linen finished cards.

Design is nice but nothing exceptional. Everything is very clear and nicely presented.

In the game, every player has one Race card, one Territory card and one Resource tracking card. Aside from those there are 2 more cards that are always used; Tower card and Actions card.
The game has 3 different resources Iron, Food and Mana. Iron is mostly used for building Tower and as a secondary resource for war, Mana is used for leveling your race and as a primary resource for war and Food is used for recruiting and keeping armies.
One game round consists of 5 actions chosen by the players out of 6 different available. Each player chooses one action disabling it for further choosing during that round, plays it and then, each other player can play the same action OR choose to collect resources from his regions. Once all 5 actions are chosen and played, the game end conditions are checked and round ends.
Available actions are Patrol (regional army moving), Quest(territory army moving), Build (Tower building), Research (Race leveling), Expand (Army recruiting) and Trade (Resource trading).
Wars are played in a way where every player secretly bids a certain amount of war points (that need to be spent through resources after battle). The player who spent more is the winner of the battle, and the loser must retreat or lose his army (defender wins ties). When playing with more than 2 players, the war participants can agree to both play White Flag, spending no resources and allowing each other to use the same region. Bidding is still done secretly, so traitors are inevitable
The game end conditions are when at least one player has leveled his race to the 5th level, or built Tower to the 6th level or recruited all 7 armies. The points are tallied and the winner is the player with most points.
Two player game introduces dummy army (not really a player) on it's own territory. Conquering this territory carries a large number of points, so it is highly recommended.
Solo play introduces dummy player controlled by the d12 die.

The game is marketed as 4X game. And I really have no feeling that it is 4X... It is just not as grand as it should be to feel like it...
But... I really like this game. It is fun, beautiful, easy to learn and pick up, and pack unbelievably large number of content in such a small package.
What I really like is that it is completely devoid of luck elements.
Also, keep in mind that I like it, although I mostly played it only with my wife. The two player variant is great, but playing it with more players is making this game much-much better.
That said; I cannot recommend it for Solo play. Solo rules are too forced and too much luck based.

I played this game more than a dozen times. About 80% of those were 2-player games, which is worse for replayability. Still, I want to play this game more, and have no feeling of it getting dull. So, replay value should at least be rated as Solid for a game with almost no random elements.

Very small and easy to carry package, great components with clear (but not beautiful) design and so much fun and variety, easily likable by more hardcore gamers because of it's theme and no-luck mechanic, but also great for newcomers because of easy to learn rules!
Absolutely great for 3+ players, we like it very much for 2... Very bad as a Solo game.
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Aaron White
New South Wales
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Bennett from Brawl
Slow and Thoughtful
I love the cubes, I cannot explain why but the minimal design is really appealing.
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Tonichi Sanvictores
Marikina City
Metro Manila
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Rook96 wrote:
I love the cubes, I cannot explain why but the minimal design is really appealing.

I feel the same. It's got such a "wow" factor when you open the ultra tiny box and see all the components they were able to squeeze into it --- and it's for 5 players!

My only gripe is that it's too easy to dislodge/misplace the cubes when they're on the resource track. A nudge here, a nudge there, and suddenly it seems you have 1 more resource than you actually have.

Otherwise, I really like this game. I even play it with my 8-year old son who, on a good day, can beat me. (We avoid Tower Building and play the flavor of each race. We find it more fun this way.
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