Ender Wiggins
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Mare Nostrum: Mythology Expansion is the expansion to the popular civilization game Mare Nostrum, that adds an extra player to the game, and new heroes, creatures, gods, and possibilities.

After playing this game and discussing it with a fellow gamer, I've scoured the personal comments (and also skimmed through the reviews), and carefully organized some key quotations to bring you the important things you need to know and what other people think about the Mare Nostrum Mythology Expansion. Perhaps you could call this a kind of "consensus of opinion" - biased of course, because I'm the one who gets to pick the quotes to include. Nevertheless, here you have it, an at-a-glance overview of some of the majority opinions that you need to know about this game.

NB: For more reviews like this, see this list.



1. It improves the original game by adding several good elements: a sixth player, mythological creatures, gods, extra heroes, and revised rule-book.
"Adds the sixth player, new commodity, a lot of heroes, and the Monsters!"
"This supplement for MN enlarges the play area with a fresh board for a sixth player, Atlantis, and mightily expands the pool of heroes that player civilizations can draw upon; also adding a new turn phase utilizing the power of the gods, with one-turn spell-like card play. Mythological creatures, like Centaurs, Titans, and Krakens, can now be called upon to do their master's foul bidding, usually to attack weak empires, crushing fortresses and legions that stand in their shadow."
"In addition to giving you great stuff like mythological creatures to bolster your ranks, a pantheon of gods to call upon for help, a new nation and a new board it also addresses some balancing issues."
"The plethora of additional heroes and gods really open up the possibilities for players in the game and make a good game great."
"Adds a sixth player, a map extension, TONS of new heroes, a 13th commodity, souped up military units, a new "god" phase, and a bunch of rule tweaks. Nicely, it also includes a completely rewritten rulebook. The mythology theme integrates seamlessly without destroying the original flavor of the game."
"With all the special cards added (creatures and myth heroes/heroines), it adds a very card-driven flavor to a Euro-styled Civ wargame with resources/economics. Additions of a sixth player and a 13th commodity type is a nice touch (now you can get 12 of 13 commodities to build The Pyramids). Overall, it adds more wrinkles to the original game and, I think, gives it more balance and counter-options for each civilization."
"The new heroes and gods add a lot of variety and more interesting decisions."
"The Atlantean civilization is also a very cool addition. And the Kraken work wonderfully, making possible for Atlas to attack but without being overpowered."
"Playing with the mythical creatures and new heroes/wonders adds much to the game, both in terms of strategy (different civ-specific creature strategies, some worthwhile, some not) and additional paths to take. Highly recommended to play with the expansion map and additional player areas. More heroes and more choices leads to more replayability value."
"Adds both good and bad elements to the base game. The good: the mythological creatures (yeah!) add a welcomed new layer of tactics/strategy. There is also a staggering amount of new heroes/wonders delivered with the expansion, which adds many new ways to play the game. However I wasn't a big fan of the new God phase, which really didn't add anything interesting."
"It should also be mentioned that this expansion comes with a rulebook that includes all the rules for the expansion and the base game in one book. All expansions should do this; it is a huge boon."

2. It greatly improves the original game by correcting the flaws of the base game.
"It's the perfect addition to a very good game. It fixes balance issues, making for a more dynamical game at the same time, with little complexity added."
"Adds more spice and some balance to the basic game."
"This is a beautifully produced expansion set that blends seamlessly with the components of the original."
"Mare Nostrum: The Repair Kit. Greece is no longer the whipping boy of the game, the quick-spawning Romans now have a western front to worry about, and the Egyptian tax craze has been handicapped by some of the new additions. The wealth of new options here makes Mare Nostrum even more enjoyable for fans like me and well worth another look for people who weren't thrilled with it."
"More balance, more actions, full rewriting of the rules ... a must have."
"Mare Nostrum is one of my favorite games by itself, but the Mythology expansion somehow makes it even better. The addition of a few new components such as myth units, gods, and a 6th player (Atlantis) add to the game tremendously, making this one of the best expansions ever published."
"Improves the game, half by patching it and half by adding fun options."
"The original game without the expansion gets a 9, but with the expansion gets a solid 10. The expansion adds a lot of interesting elements and fixes the Greek civilization (it was really weak in the original game)."
"It corrects many flaws from the original and adds great god and myth units. Outstanding expansion."
"Fixes all the balance issues found in the base game and adds lots of interesting new stuff . If the base game was awesome, MN+ME is the only way to play the game now. There are few more enjoyable gaming experiences than 6 player Mare Nostrum + Mythology!"
"Much-needed fixes and enhancements for the basic Mare Nostrum game. The expansion is the only way to play."
"I think it's an excellent improvement to the original base game, which has a couple of small imbalances, I think."
"Fixes balance problems with original."
"It adds a lot of balance to the system and it's a must to play Mare Nostrum properly."
"It breathes a lot of new life into a game that was becoming worryingly dry in recent plays. Gods, wonders, and heroes are much more balanced."
"Corrects some "issues" with its parent and makes it a much better game."

3. It is flexible, and you can incorporate the additions and aspects that best suit your own needs and preferences.
"For maximum fulfillment, use the optional victory conditions: 5 Heroes/Wonders instead of 4, and a set of 13, not 12, for the Pyramids. I also like the 3 offices condition, which makes the game less of a race and more of a struggle."
"This is a decent expansion but don't use the expansion without at least 5 or 6 players, preferably 6. Otherwise there's too much room and seemingly not enough caravans."
"The "Greek Blockade" rule is one of the least elegant rule fixes I've ever seen. Instead of buying this expansion, I have incorporated several of the new rules (e.g. Pericles, Hannibal) into the base Mare Nostrum game."
"You can pick what you want from the rules and adjust the length and complexity of the game."

4. It makes Mare Nostrum a great civilization game experience, but the game should be enjoyed for its own merits.
"This IS the long pursued civilization game playable in 3 hours, search no further!"
"Civilisation style games are my thing. This makes a good game great."
"This made my favorite civ game even better. I don't know why this one doesn't get more recognition. Simply one of my favorite game of all time."
"My very favorite civilization/Mediterranean basin game. Far and away better than the base game."
"When I'm in the mood for a Civ wargame with economics, this is one of my favorites, especially with this new Myth Expansion."
"Great 'light' Civilisation game."
"Good Game, like Civilisation only shorter and better."
"Mare Nostrum: Mythology is not a true civilization game, in my sense, because there is little development of a civilization except some buildings, utility cards and military forces. Nevertheless, it's a very nice mythological war game that involves many civilizations."
"Very nice civilization game - although I would not call it Civilization light - the game feels just too different."
"This game is not Civ Lite. It is Mare Nostrum. Enjoy it for what it is."

5. The general consensus is that if you enjoy Mare Nostrum, the Expansion is essential.
"It makes a great game that much better."
"Superb expansion for a very good game. The expansion turns Mare Nostrum into a completely different game."
"Pretty much essential. Makes a good game AWESOME."
"You MUST buy this if you play Mare Nostrum."
"I believe this is the first game where I rated the expansion higher than the base game. I do not want to play this game without the expansion."
"The rulebook is much better than the original; the game balance has also been improved and the game is definitely better. There is absolutely no reason not to pick up the extension."
"Adds a lot to the game. Wouldn't play without it."
"Excellent expansion and a "must have" if you own the base game."
"Need this to really make Mare Nostrum the game it is. Essential."
"Indispensable."
"Absolute must for Mare Nostrum! Makes the original a perfect 10!"
"Most expansions to boardgames are nice-to-haves; Mythology is a must-have. I would not want to play Mare Nostrum without this expansion."



6. The bottom line: what you need to know

Given that the original base game of Mare Nostrum has some flaws, the Expansion makes the necessary corrective patches to greatly improve it, as well as offering flexible additions that further enhance it, and thus is essential for those who want to make Mare Nostrum the unique game of civilization and war that it was intended to be.



For further reading and information, also see my review of the base game:

What you need to know and what people think about Mare Nostrum, and how many players you need
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/347621

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mb The complete list of Ender's "What you need to know and what people think about..." reviews:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37595
Subscribe to this list to be notified when new reviews are posted.
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Tim Fiscus
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Love the format- very creative. Nice job here.
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Drake Coker
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This is my tank for Combat Commander
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This review was super helpful. Thanks!

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Brian Gee
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Excellent review, I always enjoy this format. Why had I not read this one yet? I've been trying to decide about the expansion, it's a bit hard to track down though.
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Wolf God
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HELP- Nebies here: what to do about HELEN: SUBJECT Helen of Troy (HT) Hero Powers need clarification
SUBJECT Helen of Troy (HT) Hero Powers need clarification

1) Does HT rule only apply when under attack if so what constitute an attack/combat?
a. Ex- if you enter a HT’s province which only has an influence marker and a caravan for example, and no legions or fortress are there to defend (hence no combat) , are you attacking or conducting one of the
Quote:
situations after combat
? Meaning you can conduct Sacking, Occupation, Conversion without a loss of a Legion via HT conversion?

- Summary of Essential Game Elements states - HT:
Quote:
Convert 1 hostile attacking legion
vs. HT card states-
Quote:
Once each military phase you may convert one enemy legion which enters one of your provinces


2) It would seem all that HT needs is an Influence marker (and nothing else) to convert any enemy army entering that province.- so
HT would get the advantage of gaining a legion and a auto kill? - unbalanced?

3) If the player with HT has all their legions deployed on the board- how does the HT rule work? Where will that player pull the physical legion from? Does the attacking player still lose that legion?

COMMENT: The HT card would seem to create a un balanced game to the player who gets it first, especially if that player is Hammurabi
- I say if there are no legion bodies to take the new soul - then his soul is not taken and he lives on, and HT does NOT convert or kill when all her legion are in play on the board
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George
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You can take my game… when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the board!
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Answered here:
Re: Helen of Troy ability clarification

In the future, you'd be much better off creating a new thread in the Rules section if you have a question like this. A lot more people will see it and you won't be cluttering up a non-related thread.
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