There is nothing so satisfying as seeing a city decked out in all its palacial glory for the maharaja, the elephants are polished, your oiled rivals are suitably slick, but wait, where is he? Why is he standing amongst the brick dust in the next city along? What only your architect got the last minute change of shedule?! Oh my, what an coincidence, gold sire, oh but of course, I might find a place for it, no, no it isn't too much trouble, I have extra lining in my pockets.
This game is a euro with an incredible amount of interaction. Fun from last night's play was:
1) distracting the maharaja from cities your opponets have built in thus starving them of cash.
2) Distract your opponents away from that palace building thing, let them go for gold while you build for cash and glory!
3) stealing character cards from your opponents and scuppering their perfect strategies once they do see the light.
4) Enjoy the underhanded lengths your rivals will go to disrupt your own schemes, unfailry and without cause.
5) realize in the closing rounds that subtle and unspoken alliances in the game may well aid you and your 'ally' pull ahead of the pack.
Maharaja's spitefulness is very enjoyable and reminiscient to Kramer & Kieslings stunning Mexica, like Mexica it is a fast ride so that resentment isn't generated. Maharaja seems to favour a more tactical player, rather than one who prefers an iron cast plan, wheels within wheels are great but there are lots of disrupting mechanisms avaiable. There are plenty combos for the character cards lending to a wide range of creative moves, we just realized this halfway through the game. The action wheel mechanic is inspired and maharaja also seems to curtail AP.
This is easily one of my top three euros. I don't think I've seen a game with quite so much opportunity for and variety of screwage. It's creative options for play and strategising are reminiscent of Dune, it's very very very good.
Hertzog van Heerden
Lost in Cardboard
This game has to be one of my favourites as well!
And it gets better with experienced players. The capacity for cruel, conniving, underhanded backstabbing and concurrent merrymaking in friends you thought you knew is ...scary. Yet fun