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Jorge Zhang

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Disclaimer: This differs from a "Review" in that I take a close look at the rulebook and base my impressions entirely off of that. This means that I have not actually played this game. I do this for games where a physical copy of the game could not be obtained. My hope is that this can still be helpful for a few reasons: firstly, to confirm that the rulebook is understandable. Secondly, to save you, the reader, time in parsing through the digital rules to get the gist of the game. And finally, as an additional opinion on a game where other reviews may not have yet been released.


Philosophia is a neat game designed by a philosophy teacher, which I thought was really cool. This game is all about achieving great wisdom, which is an interesting and refreshing goal. This is represented by gaining 3 Labyrinth tokens. You must collect these before the Romans invade and and the Ancient Greek World is destroyed. Before we jump further into these rules though, I wanted to shout out a really cool thing that the designers decided to do with the rulebook:


Color coding the rulebook? Genius idea!

In the rules, one of the first pages tells you how to use the rules. In the above chart, they describe what each of the colors mean. I thought that this color coding was a brilliant idea, and really helped parse what information was important and what was not important to the gameplay. Very cool! Anyway, back to the rules. You play as an ancient greek philosopher and you take turns moving 1 space, and then taking 1 action. There are a lot of actions, but they are mostly self-explanatory and some are restricted by location:


The different actions in Philosophia

You can tutor to get 2 coins. These coins serve as the currency for the game, and I find it very funny that the main way these philosophers make money is by teaching others. Creating a following lets you place 1 cube at your current location. Players can only have 1 follower per location. You can hire a builder for 2 coins (represented by a builder token). On a later turn, you can build a school at a certain location by spending a builder token. Schools are really powerful since they get you closer to accomplishing your goals, and any player entering the location your school is on has to pay you 1 coin. Hiring a Sophist gives you a Sophist token for 1 coin. You use these sophists as an action to convert another player’s follower to your own. Finally, you can take 1 Labyrinth token if you meet the criteria.



Hopefully I have not lost you, as this explanation is getting kind of long. I’ll skip to public debating, but just know that there are a bunch more actions you can do that do different things. Alright, onto the debates! First, you have to prepare for a debate by collecting Sophistry and Syllogism cards for an action (there is also a “final debate” where players can purchase these cards for 1 and 2 coins respectively). Sophistry cards are logical fallacies, but you get to take them 2 at a time. Syllogism cards are logical rules that beat all Sophistry cards, but you only get to take them 1 at a time. In the public debates, the first player plays a card face-up. The opponent gets to counter with a card. If it’s a Sophistry against a Sophistry, they tie and both players get 1 point. If a Syllogism card is played over a Sophistry, the Syllogism card wins and that player gets 2 points. So, why would you ever get Sophistry cards if they always lose? Well, if your opponent runs out of cards, you automatically get 1 point for each Sophistry card you play. I find this hilarious. You can either prepare a really solid argument with no logical fallacies, or you can prepare a lot of very silly arguments and hope you can simply outlast your opponent. Very fun. Overall, this theme appeals a lot to me and it seems like it would be somewhat educational as well to learn about different fallacies and logical truths, as well as some Ancient Greek history.

Rulebook: The rulebook is very well put together and I am a big fan of the color coding as mentioned earlier.

You can find this Rulebook Preview and more here: http://jorgezhang.com/2019/05/01/rulebook-preview-4-crystall...
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Joseph Adams
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Thanks Jorge! I love your work! Good luck with Daggers High!
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