Review: Augustus

Posted by James (admin) on 6th June 2013

Augustus GameAugustus is one of this year’s nominees for the Spiel des Jahres (the largest board games award).  It is designed by Paolo Mori who designed Libertalia and (one of my favourite games) Vasco de Gama.  In fact, Paolo seems to be designing more and more at the moment.

Players always have 3 objective cards and each can be completed by placing one of their  legions (meeples) onto each of an objective’s symbols (sword, shield, chariot, etc.)  Each turn, one player (the town crier) randomly draws one symbol from the bag.   Then, every player can place one of their legions onto a matching symbol if they have a vacant one on one of their objectives – the placed legion can be from their supply, or they can move a legion which is already placed on an objective.  So, if a sword symbol is drawn a player can place a legion from their supply, or from another objective, onto an empty sword icon.

There is a known mixture of symbols in the bag and there are more of some symbols than others, i.e. 6 swords, 5 shields, 4 chariots, etc.  Therefore, whilst it’s a random draw, some symbols are more likely to be drawn than others.  There are also 2 wild (joker) symbols in the bag – when one of these is drawn, players can place a legion on any one symbol, plus all of the previously drawn symbols are put back in the bag, and the town crier moves on to the next player. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Libertalia

Posted by James (admin) on 17th May 2013

Libertalia game boatLibertalia is by Paolo Mori who designed one of my favourite games Vasco de Gama.  Libertalia is a very different game to Vasco de Gama as it is a simple and relatively quick, card-playing game.

Players are pirate crews who are trying to earn the most doubloons buy collecting booty.  Each player has a set of 30 cards each representing a crew member with a value (1-30), a special ability and a tie-break number.  Each player’s set of cards is the same except the tie-break numbers are different so that no two cards are exactly the same.  Each card’s special ability states if it will be used in the day, at dusk, at night, or at the end of the campaign.  To start the 1st campaign, one player randomly draws 9 cards from their deck, then all the other players draw the same cards.

The game is played over 3 campaigns, each consisting of 6 days when players will play one card each.  At the start of each campaign, booty tiles are drawn at random and placed on each of the 6 days on the board (one token per player).  Most booty tokens are simply worth 1, 3 or 5 doubloons, although treasure maps are only worth 12 doubloons combined if you have at least 3 of them.  There are also cursed booty tokens worth -3 doubloons, as well as saber and Spanish officer tokens which are worth no doubloons but have special effects (see below). Read the rest of this entry »

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