Ahhh, I saw this game being played at BGG.con a lot. One of my friends, Jon, played it three or four times. Back-to-back plays even. So for a game that takes anywhere from three to five hours or more to play, thats a high recommendation. I kept an eye out on eBay for copies of this game. Unfortunately, the general buzz was too high and demand was great. Copies went for $150 or more. Also, there was news that the game was going to be reprinted, but in 2008. Sigh. So I was really happy when a version of this game fell off the back of a truck and into my lap.
After disc golf and lunch, four of us played this game. The first game took five hours to play. And the second (three player game) took three hours.
It is definitely worth the buzz. It feels like a meaty version of a civilization building game. This game has a couple of different levels to it. You can play a simple version of it. Or you can play a three era game with the option to attack people. Or you can play a four era game with full blown wars. There are different leaders with special powers during each era. And, as time passes, your technology also improves. For example, you start out with warriors, move to knights, and then to tanks.
The war aspect to this game is more of an incentive to stay in the pack with everyone else in relative strength. The stronger people can cause bad things to happen to the weaker in this game. So, while it may take resources away from your strategy to win the game, it behooves you to spend some of those resources to maintaining your national defense.
This game has definitely moved to my must-buy list. Unfortunately, it is not coming out quick enough. In the meantime, the current copy will have to do…