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Subject: Greek/Roman Themed Game rss

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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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I know the title seems rather simple but there isnt the space in the above to describe what Im looking for.

Ok, Im looking for a Greek/Roman game where people build up their own cities etc and can attack others. I like the idea of the game Attika but it seems to lack some randomness and conflict. Hellas looks like it could be perfect but the game doesnt handle more than 2 people.

Perikles looks somewhat like it might be a contender but from the reviews Ive read Im not so sure yet. Some reviews state a lack of confrontation and such. The playtime is abit on the long end as well.

So some requirements to perchance help the brainstorm:
Ancient Greece (preferably) or Roman theme
Conflict allowed
Building up ones own state/cities and trying to reach a goal (like Attika)
Some randomness involved, dice are fine.
2-4 players
Preferably between 1-2 hours long.
Light to Light/Medium complexity.

Thanks for your help!
 
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Marc Frank
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Mare Nostrum? It only plays 3-5, so it's not perfect, but otherwise it seems to fit the bill.
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Thad Hobson
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Antike might not be exactly what you are looking for, but you should take a look at it.

2-6 players
Double-sided board
1.5 - 3 hours depending on # of players and newness
Lots of tension and conflict, but not as much military conflict as it might first appear
This game is a non-lucker though without randomness (I like it that way personally)
The complexity should be about what you are looking for
It ranks around # 150 or so

You have a goal of achieving a certain number of victory points by gaining citizens (temple construction), generals (temple destruction), kings (terrain expansion), navigators (sailing the seas), and scholars (technology development).

It's a very cool game with perhaps the only problem not being enough military action (but this might be because I haven't played it that many times yet).

This game is like its brothers Imperial and Imperial 2030. Mac Gerdts makes great games.
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Bill
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I highly recommend Antike based on your description of what you're looking for.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Could I ask how non luck the game is? Is it pure strategy? The reason I ask is because my principle game group is my family, my wife, and Father are EXCELLENT at non random strategizing and planning things out.

My Mom and I on the other hand prefer to have some things decided by random as we always dont see as far ahead as our opponents.

Could you give your opinions on Antike from that if you gents dont mind? The game looks good, something I could definitely pimp with plastic figures too .
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Antike is good, but the lack of randomness makes conflict a generally losing principle except at the very end which turns me off a lot to it. Military buildup can be essential, but on the whole it's not efficient to actually fight people. The lack of randomness also takes away from the fun of combat. This game also needs 4 people to play well, I think, and I don't know how fun 2 players would have (or 3 for that matter).

Perikles is kind of fun but it's not really about building up a city. You bid on cities to become in charge and then you fight battles with them. It's possible you might own an individual city only once, and then you only fight with it and get it rewards, you don't build it up. Also it is an auction game so it goes much better with more people.

Mare Nostrum is one I'd like to play but I decided to give up on the light games and go with heavier wargames for my ancients kick (like Sword of Rome, Pax Romana, Spartacus, etc.). I know nothing about it, though, other than that it looks neat (though I've heard it also needs a lot of people to shine because it has a big trading mechanism).

Hellas is very, very light and quick, and personally I like it a lot. I think exploration is a bit weak but it's necessary and can give some nice rewards (and for a short game it's not that big a flaw). However it is only a two player game and there's again no luck in combat (but there is some randomness in the sense that you don't know if an opponent has a battle card that will screw you, and some can be pretty severe until you play once or twice and know how to counter them).

This is something I've looked a lot into and I really don't think there are any games that shine in this area, so I'd go with the kind of mechanics that seem fun. If I had to pick, though, I'd definitely say Antike just because it plays so quickly and it can be very very fun (and there can be very tense military moments, but this is generally only late game with more people playing).

ALSO!

I had forgotten about this, but it is new and looks really interesting: Cyclades. I know nothing about it, but it's gotten some good reviews, it's got a lot of stuff going on (especially some randomness), and it has great minis. It honestly looks like a deluxe Hellas. I'll keep my above comments, but this is the one I'd throw my vote behind only because I've been burned by the other choices in one way or another and this could be either another flop or something special, and I'm an optimist.
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Antike is in fact almost pure strategy. The only "gamble" is whether somebody thinks you're so far ahead he needs to tear you down at his own expense (because that is what nearly every combat operation is; a way to hurt somebody a lot for some gain yourself that comes at the expense of losing more units).
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Thanks Dan, Cyclades is a #1 on my wishlist currently!

Its a shame Antike doesnt have more randomness, it sounds like it could be almost perfect.
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Its a shame Antike doesnt have more randomness, it sounds like it could be almost perfect.


I agree with this. My love of wargames is huge, so no randomness is a major, MAJOR failure for me. Despite that I still like Antike (it's quick and simple), but for me it isn't the grail game it almost was.

Also, if Cyclades sucks it's not my fault; I know next to nothing about it except it looks like a pimped out Hellas (which is a compliment). Though I will admit it's #1 on my wishlist, too
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Jim Cote
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The End of the Triumvirate
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Joker Smiley
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To add to the ideas above:

Glory to Rome (the 'Legionnaire' role is an attack of sorts)

La Città (no direct attacking but you can 'steal' each others citizens)

Cyclades does indeed look interesting, either a simpler Mare Nostrum: Mythology Expansion or a more complex Hellas ...
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Antike, Perikles and Cyclades are the three that come to mind first.

For a "left field" suggestion, check out Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean.

-R
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Thad Hobson
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Like others have said, Antike is virtually luckless. About the only luck is who gets which starting civilizations at the beginning of the game. The same goes for Imperial and Imperial 2030. They use an interesting concept called a Rondel. There are no dice and no cards that get flipped over during the game. You know everything that is in play.

So from a purist strategy perspective they are great; from a military perspective, the combat seems a little disappointing because fighting actually hurts you and the one you are fighting. The players who aren't engaged are really the only ones who benefit from battles.

Still I find these 3 games fascinating, but it seems like the combat rules need some tweaking to make that aspect of those games more engaging. It seems like in Antike you keep building up your army and building it up and building it up and almost ready to fight -- and then the game is over.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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thobster wrote:
Like others have said, Antike is virtually luckless. About the only luck is who gets which starting civilizations at the beginning of the game. The same goes for Imperial and Imperial 2030. They use an interesting concept called a Rondel. There are no dice and no cards that get flipped over during the game. You know everything that is in play.

So from a purist strategy perspective they are great; from a military perspective, the combat seems a little disappointing because fighting actually hurts you and the one you are fighting. The players who aren't engaged are really the only ones who benefit from battles.

Still I find these 3 games fascinating, but it seems like the combat rules need some tweaking to make that aspect of those games more engaging. It seems like in Antike you keep building up your army and building it up and building it up and almost ready to fight -- and then the game is over.


How hard would it to modify the combat end of it you think? Something along the lines of just each side rolls a die and who ever rolls the highest gets an advantage when fighting that particular battle? Ive not seen the rules so I wouldnt know how hard this would be to implement.
 
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Thad Hobson
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
thobster wrote:
Like others have said, Antike is virtually luckless. About the only luck is who gets which starting civilizations at the beginning of the game. The same goes for Imperial and Imperial 2030. They use an interesting concept called a Rondel. There are no dice and no cards that get flipped over during the game. You know everything that is in play.

So from a purist strategy perspective they are great; from a military perspective, the combat seems a little disappointing because fighting actually hurts you and the one you are fighting. The players who aren't engaged are really the only ones who benefit from battles.

Still I find these 3 games fascinating, but it seems like the combat rules need some tweaking to make that aspect of those games more engaging. It seems like in Antike you keep building up your army and building it up and building it up and almost ready to fight -- and then the game is over.


How hard would it to modify the combat end of it you think? Something along the lines of just each side rolls a die and who ever rolls the highest gets an advantage when fighting that particular battle? Ive not seen the rules so I wouldnt know how hard this would be to implement.


Let give you an example of what a battle might look like in the present game:
1) Defender has one soldier (=+1 defense)
2) Defender has a city (=+1 defense)
3) Defender has temple in addition to city (=+2 more defense)
4) Defender has Democracy advancement (=+2 more defense)
So the defender has a defense strength of 6 but in reality only has one soldier present. The attacker would have to have 6 soldiers to destroy everything the Defender has, and then he wouldn't have anything left afterwords. In other words, Attackers loses 6 soldiers; Defender loses 1 soldier + 1 city + 1 temple. This is a 6:1 ratio of soldiers. The Attacker has to amass so many soldiers just to get anything accomplished militarily.

One could tweak the game a couple different ways to produce somewhat different results:
1) Cities no longer inherently have a defense strength OR
2) Temple only adds 1 more defense strength to cities OR
3) Democracy has an effect different than + 1 more defense (how about +1 OFFENSE??)

These tweaks would still always have predictable combat results, but at least changes like these would produce more offense. As it stands, Antike is much more a Defender's game than an Attacker's game.

Other options could be used to make outcomes less predictable. Possibly something like Carson City where players have objective elememts like cowboys + guns but then also a random element of 1 6-sided die to add to that. The person with more objective stuff will more likely win battles, but the outcome isn't guaranteed.

I think there are quite a few things people could do to shake up the battle part of the game, but the game is still very good straight out of the box. What I'm saying above is not a criticism of Mac Gerdt's design; I believe he's an economist by profession, and he likes everything to be mathematical and objective. There's nothing wrong with that; I usually don't like much luck anyway in games. But if someone wants to ramp up the combat portion of this game, I believe some adjustments to the present rules would be necessary.
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Wink
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The Downfall of Pompeii is not a wargame but there is conflict. It is light and very scalable to # of players you are looking for . . .
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