On Saturday the monthly gaming group got together and I brought Mare Nostrum with me, hoping to play. I was in luck because we ended up having 6 people play, which means we got the expansion board out. After two plays I have to say I love this game. Let me talk about this play and at the end, I will give the reason I love it with some critiques as well.

Once I got it setup (a critique forthcoming), I started explaining the game to the 4 new players. it went pretty quickly and we decided to play the first round to show what I explained. Before we even started the Egyptian player made some remark about the Carthage starting hero and it was on between those two. Needless to say, Carthage kept the Egyptian player in check real quick. I liked this because I was playing Atlantis and Carthage was faced the other direction so I was able to expand and take over one of Carthage’s provinces without much effort.

Babylon started spreading out pretty quickly and took of two of the legendary cities and was 3/4 after about 4 turns. once I realized what he was doing I made sure everyone else knew as well. Eygpt finally stopped worrying about Carthage and went on the attack and helped delay Babylon’s victory. Rome expanded into Greece.  There were some good battles between those civilizations. Rome also helped keep the Babylonians in check as well. I stayed out of the way and focus on building my way up the tracks by buying heroes that helped with the leadership tracks. In the end, nobody could stop the Babylonians from taking the final legendary city. Carthage had the last turn but could not even attempt to  remove the Babylonians from Syracusae.

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Game end picture

 

Review:

I love this game for several reasons:

  • I love that the mythology is correct for most of the civilizations.
  • I love that although each civilization has different strengths they are balanced
  • The components are gorgeous (I will be buying the mini buildings now).
  • I love the play turn mechanic
    • using the leadership to choose the player order really keeps everybody on their toes
  •  Although you are not playing every second you need to pay attention because you don’t know when it is your turn and you want to be able to react to something that just happened.
  • I love the player interaction
  • The Heroes are strong, but not overpowered

Critiques:

  • Setup is long.
    • With all the components and everything that needs to be ready to go, it takes forever to setup
    • Similar setup time to Arkham Horror with at least 1 expansion (Est 30 min)
  • You have to have the right players
    • If someone is a sore loser DO NOT PLAY WITH THAT PERSON
    • This game can be very adversarial
    • Is someone does something to you, you need to take and move on. (Remember for future rounds
  • For me, this in not an issue, but the game is not short
    • The game above lasted for about 3 hours and 30 minutes with 6 players
    • It only took 1 hour 30 minutes with 4 players

Overall I give this a 9/10. I do understand that this game is not for everyone, but for me it is Awesome!

 

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