After taking some flak on Rozmiarek’s site about only having a meaty diet when gaming, I was ready to play some lighter weight games tonight. Unfortunately, the other people wanted to play TtA yet again. Mike has declared that this game is in his top 10 game list and that he had to own a copy at all costs. So he bought one copy of this rare game (only 500 were made). He quoted a price of between 100 and 200 dollars for what he paid. I suspected that the location was Gnome, Alaska in that price range.
The actual game has some nicely produced components (the box, the center boards, and the rules) and some poorly produced components (the cards and the player boards). I consider these poorly produced because, although the look nice and colorful, they cannot stand up to repeated game play. My copy is perfectly functional and I will wait until the second edition is printed before purchasing a real copy.
This game has a couple of flaws. First, is that it is played slowly. There is not much that you can do about this. Hopefully, we will get faster as we are more experienced with it. The second is the drawing of cards from the military deck. For the civil deck, you see thirteen cards and can choose from them (paying more action points the farther to the right that the card is located). However, for the military deck, its just a random draw. The problem is that you need a good balance of cards in the different categories from this deck. You want some defensive cards, some tactics cards (to boost your military), and some attack cards.
In this game, I never drew a defense card during the entire game! Gah! Total suckage. I believe that we need a house rule to fix this. Use the same face up setup for civil cards.
Because we only played until the end of the second era, we played with a house rule of you couldn’t use St. Peter’s Basilica with Michelangelo (and also, we discovered, with Joan of Arc).
In our game, Mike was clearly in first and I was clearly in second. Then, much farther back, was Adam and Jon bringing up the rear. I was doing good with keeping an army of three warriors using Legion tactics. The problem was that I had to spend them a couple of times on bidding for colonies. So I had to rebuild them. Unfortunately, my food and ore production was entirely consumed when I did this. So I was riding a thin line. That line broke when Adam first attacked me. He had taken Joan and built up his army enough to jump ahead of me in military strength. I decided to spend my entire army in stopping that attack. And I never was able to recover from that attack. I had missed my chance to take some stronger troops (swordsmen or riflemen). And I didn’t have enough stockpiled food and ore to rebuild.
In this game, when you attack someone, your best bet is to attack the weakest player. That attack will cripple that player. Which makes it much harder to recover and build up your military to become closer in relative military strength. This game definitely proves the old adage of the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.
After playing TtA, Mike was up for a game of Tichu. And my one-sided run of bad luck continues…
|GT/T||Team #1||GT/T||GT/T||Team #2||GT/T|
|MarkH & MikeCh||AdamR & Jon|