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The Peloponnesian War, 431-404 BC» Forums » General

Subject: How does this stand against Pericles? rss

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Lonny x
United States
New York
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I just saw this game on the p500 list. I already have Pericles and I love it. I play solo. I wouldn't mind another Peloponnesian War game but is the gameplay much different than Pericles? Thoughts, opinions between the two?
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Bob S.
United States
Grand Rapids
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Hi Lonny: I’ve owned The Pelopennesian War since it was originally published by Victory Games. It’s one of my favorite solo games (granted, I don’t have a lot of them but this one has been a mainstay for me for these decades). I also own Pericles; that too is one of my favorites.

Like Pericles, TPW uses point-to-point movement. It also involves determining the strategy that the league (Spartan, Athenian) will use that turn which sets an Objective space for that turn. That is the space to which you will send the first army you organize that turn. You’ll draw leaders during the turn which you can use to create the armies you send out (so long as you make your “augury” die rolls...). As you move, you’ll lay waste to land, have encounter combats, and then often siege or battle an enemy once reaching your Objective space.

The most unique element, I think, in the game is that you SWITCH SIDES routinely, based on how well you’re doing (that is, if you’re making good progress on collecting victory points). Say you start with Athens; you’ll make the decisions about strategy, army organization (within some restrictions), route to the Objective space, and so on. The Spartan side you will run using the non-player system to make similar decisions. As a human, you’ll do a better job responding to changing situations than the non-player engine over turns, so the better you do, the greater the likelihood you’ll switch sides (and so play the Spartans, with the NP engine now taking on the Athenians). It sounds weird but works very well. Your job is to collect victory points by being successful at what you do, regardless which side you are - win sieges and battles, for example. You win the game by having a set amount by its end.

I think it works extremely well, in essence pitting you against yourself - you’re called upon to “take over” a losing side and start winning with it, over and over again.

Each of these games offers unique approaches to the same period, each emphasizing different elements and systems. I enjoy them both; I had no compunction to drop TPW when I purchased Pericles when it appeared. If you enjoy this period, and Herman’s designs, I recommend getting this one too.
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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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Actually, the switching mechanics is the fuel to mini-max your strategy in this game: max-out the VPs in the shortest possible amount of time and route with minimum resources.

How clever is that?
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