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Entries in Race for the Galaxy (2)

Monday
Aug232010

Review Glory to Rome

Review

Glory to Rome

Cambridge Game Factory

Designed by Carl Chudyk

 

The Spin:  “The seriously strategic strategy card game”

The Story:  Players of Glory to Rome take on the roll of Patricians who are hoping to play a large role in the rebuilding of Rome after it has been burned down in the great fire of 64 A.D.  Through the course of the game, players recruit patrons, gather material, build infrastructure and increase their wealth and influence in order to come out on top. 

The Play:  The rules to Glory to Rome are not particularly complex.  There are a small number of options available each turn which are further limited by the cards the player has in hand.  Those cards, however, are complex in that each card can serve multiple functions according to what the player wants to do.  Assuming the player doesn’t simply pass in order to draw more cards, he or she can choose to play a card that represents one of the game’s six roles (patron, laborer, architect, craftsman, legionary, or merchant).  The other players, in turn, decide whether to follow the action (assuming they also have the matching role card) or pass and draw cards.  Then, starting with the lead player, each player takes the action associated with the role.  The starting player card is then passed to the left and the next round begins. 

My TakeGlory to Rome can be a hard game to wrap your mind around.  There are forty different buildings, many of which can interact in complex ways.  Once a player has a couple of buildings and a few clients in play, turns can be complex and confusing, especially for new players.  On top of the combinations, Glory to Rome features a number of different paths to victory.  It can be a lot to wrap your head around.  That said, the game is filled with interesting, meaningful choices.  Each game feels different.  In other games of this type, one broken (read: too powerful) card can ruin the game.  Glory to Rome has dozens of cards that can be broken when combined with another card.  Really, every card could likely be part of a three-card combo that would seem abusive.  Given this, the game isn’t for everyone.  For me, trying to find combos for the buildings is a blast.  I love winning by fielding some ridiculous combo, and, more importantly, I enjoy the game even when it is my opponent that puts the powerful combo into play.  If you like tactical games and don’t mind a bit of chaos, Glory to Rome is a must-own.  If, instead, you like your card games to be perfectly balanced, I’d play GtR before buying it.

Similar Games:  Glory to Rome will remind players of San Juan and Race for the Galaxy.  It has many more combinations that San Juan and is far more chaotic than Race.  Huge fans of either of those games should definitely check out Glory to Rome.

 

Score: 9/10

Nerdblogger Dan

Thursday
Jul302009

Dominion: Intrigue + Race for the Galaxy

We got our first chance to play the new Dominion expansion/stand-alone Intrigue tonight.  We used one of the suggested card selections from the rule book.  I can't remember the name, but it was the one that included lots of cards that had card drawing powers and extra action/buy powers.   As good as vanilla Dominion is, I wasn't expecting to like Dominion + Intrigue to a much greater degree.  Turns out I was wrong.  The new cards are awesome.  We had a close, tense game with Malorey edging out Jody and me 47 VP to 46 and 46.  Actually, after the first count, we thought it was a three way tie, but Malorey had missed a single VP card in her deck and squeaked out a win.  It was a great game and I expect that we will be playing many more games of this in the coming weeks.

 

Earlier in the evening we played a three-player game of Race for the Galaxy.  We are pretty much latecomers to this wonderful card game, but we are making up for it with two plays already this month and likely more to come soon.  I got ahead early in the consume powers department and pumped out produce and consume actions that benefitted me more than my opponents and they never seemed to catch up, but Jody had a huge military and was conquering huge points worth of worlds as I collected VP for consuming goods.  In the end, I managed to get to the end condition on exactly the turn I needed to.  One round later and Jody would have flown to the lead.

Final scores were Me-45, Jody-42, and Mal 35.  I really like this game.  We haven't tried the expansion yet.  I wonder how many games we should get in with the base game before adding in The Gathering Storm.

 

Anyway, two good games and the promise of playing Agricola next game night.  Woo Hoo!