On The Radar: Pergamon

Posted by James (admin) on 21st February 2011

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you may have noticed that I like interesting game mechanics, especially those that are simple, make you agonise over your decisions and allow you to annoy other players too.  From reading the rules, Pergamon sounds like it has such a game mechanic at its heart.

In the game’s excavation of artefacts for displaying at the museum, one of the core mechanics is to select how much funding you will request.  Each player must ask for different amounts and all players only know the rough total of funding that will be available.  When all players have made their request, the actual funds available are revealed and the players that asked for the least funding will get their cash first.  Players that asked for the larger amounts could end up receiving nothing at all if all the funds have been given out by the time it’s their turn to be paid.  However, asking for larger amounts of funding means you get to dig up the more valuable artefacts.  This reminds of my favourite part of Fresco where you choose what time your artists will get out of bed as each player must pick a unique time and the time sets turn order, your purchase costs and more.

Pergamon has some other clever mechanics too like placing tiles (that show two halves of different artefacts) together to make a whole artefact, and making existing museum displays less valuable by adding even better displays.  As a result, Pergamon is definitely a game I’m looking forwards to.

View Eggertspiele’s Pergamon page and rules.


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Thoughts On: Fresco

Posted by James (admin) on 11th October 2010

(With Spiel in Essen only just over one week away, there are so many games I’ve played this year that I have still yet to review.  Always so many reviews, so little time.  Rather than let my thoughts gather dust during the on-coming mass of reviews of new games, I’m going to post some ‘Thoughts On’ articles over the next few days.  First up, Fresco.)

In Fresco, players buy and mix paint colours so they can paint the cathedral ceiling to earn points.   The main game mechanic is a worker placement game but there are some clever twists.  At the start of a turn, each player places one of their workers to determine turn order by saying when their workers will get up to start work.  Going (getting up) early is good because you get the first pick of the paints to buy and have first chance to paint sections of the cathedral which makes them unavailable to other players.  However, going (getting up) early is bad because the paints at the market cost a lot more, plus the workers become less happy (which can mean one may go on strike next turn).  This is an excellent balance and I find it’s the most fun decision-making part of the game as you (and the other players) struggle to decide which position in the turn order would be best. Read the rest of this entry »

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