On The Radar: Pantheon

Posted by James (admin) on June 7th, 2011

Pantheon is by the same designer as Stone Age which is one of my favourite boardgames.  I read through the rules recently and it’s definitely one I want to try out.  As the name suggests, the theme involves the Gods.

The game’s played over 6 turns (epochs) and each turn one of the nations on the board is activated which means loot tiles are placed on hexes with that nation’s symbol, that nation’s special effect is executed and some god tiles are revealed.

During their turns, a player can either:

1. Move – Spend cards to place their coloured pieces on the board; thereby, claiming hexes in chains across the board which in turn can gain loot tiles.
2. Buy – Purchase sacrifice tiles & more pieces to place on the board
3. Gain a god tile – Gained by having enough sacrifice tiles and cards (although, unlike tiles, cards are single-use)
4. Draw 3 cards

    God tiles (and loot tiles to a lesser extent) give players special abilities during the game.  At the end of the game, players score victory points for god tiles as well as the number of columns each player has placed on the board.

    It seems like a simple game with lots of interaction as players race to gain god tiles, take cards before their opponents, and reach hexes (especially as only 2 different players can be in 1 hex, being second into a hex costs extra movement, and columns can only be placed in specific hexes).  The placement of pieces reminds me a little of Chicago Express and the card drafting is like Ticket To Ride.

    The land rush to place columns sounds very competitive as non-column pieces get removed from the board each epoch but columns remain in place which give players more options where they can place their pieces in the next epochs.  Also, as one nation gets activated each turn, players are encouraged to utilise the same areas of the map which I expect to increase directly competitive play.  Plus, I like the idea that pieces are removed each epoch so being fenced off from an area is not necessarily for the rest of the game.

    Overall, there doesn’t seem to be one major unique game mechanic but, given the heritage of the designer, I am expecting the combination of these elements to work well, deliver an exciting game of difficult choices.  So, I’m looking forwards to it.



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