Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tuesday 15th November - Byzantium

Originally uploaded by coljen.
Tonight was a chance for us to tackle Byzantium, the new game from Martin Wallace published by Warfrog. None of us had played before so Steve ran through the rules. This took about 40 minutes. I thought it a bit like Caylus, no not the game but the way the rules looked a bit daunting at first, but once you have got into the game it seems to play quite smoothly. Not to say its an easy game, because you need careful planning of your resources to avoid running out of money to pay the upkeep of your army. Actually we knew that we probably wouldn't finish a complate game so we decided to play to a time limit, not ideal but it gives you a chance to explore the games mechanics and hopefully when we play again everyone will know what they are trying to achieve.

The game is unique in that everyone has a Byzantine and Arab army, and that everything is determined by cubes which represent everything. Your army, movement and special actions all involve utilising your cubes. You have a certain amount of free cubes to use and once these are used up you can use cubes off of your playmat for a cost of 3 money each. Basically you have a certain amount of actions you can perfom during your turn. You can take control of a unowned city, strengthen your army, choose a special action, tax, move an army and fight or not, activate the Bulgars and fortify one of your cities. You take one action each in turn until 3 people have passed then the fourth player gets one more action and that ends the round. You
play 3 rounds.You score points for both your Arab and Byzantine armies, at game end your weakest score must be at least half what your strongest score is otherwise
it doesn't count. A bit Knizia like.I started in the middle but soon got caught in a pincer between Richard and Garry so my cities soon dwindled down. Richard activated the Bulgars (just cos he could) and attacked one of Steve's cities with them. Garry worked his way across the med and Steve attacked my Arab cities.

I think we would all have different ideas next time we play, managing your resources is obviously key in the game. I think there was a lot more attacking as we were playing to a time limit so the scores are not very representative of a full game. Anyway after our first play these where the scores.

Final Scores
Steve 47, Garry 45, Colin 41, Richard 37


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