The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Britannia and other games

Got in a longish gaming session, including the new Fantasy Flight Britannia. I’d never played the old game; but heard good things.

Now, we were playing the 3-player ‘short’ scenario since none of us had ever played before. This is fine for learning the game … you only play 7 turns (instead of 16) and eliminate the special rules relating to the Romans. I also think it’s unbalanced (particularly with new players). One player starts with 22 armies on the board, another starts with 7, the third starts with 11 or so. Now, the smaller armies do get some nice reinforcements as the game goes on, but those are roughly equal to the bigger armies invaders.

So it was a runaway. Still, the game only took a few hours (with rules) and we can hopefully try the full four player game sometime soon (aka ‘this year’).

Played a few more games of Phoenicia. I’ve now hit 25 plays, and still willing to pull this out once or twice a session. (Incidentally, our four player game used the random deal on turn one, and the eventual winner started with a ‘4’.

Also played Glory to Rome two more times. Not quite the hit of the year, but the sleeper title this year (ok, of 2005). The new edition (which changes quite a few cards, and hopefully comes in a better box) should be out soon. I’ll be picking that up.

And we’ve started to run into issues with Stage II. Namely — between our group we’ve played every card. Ah, if only the mythical expansion had been published. This really needs an update … Hasbro, can you hear me? (I keep meaning to make a few new cards, but haven’t gotten started).


Written by taogaming

September 18, 2007 at 5:40 pm

4 Responses

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  1. So what’s your feeling on the ideal number of players for Phoenicia? Obviously there is some “lumpiness” in how the various buildings are scaled with the number of players. I’ve felt like the 4-player game played a little more cleanly than the 5-player game.

    I’d like Britannia *so* much better if it were just a little shorter. As it is, I enjoy it once, maybe twice a year.

    Chris Farrell

    September 18, 2007 at 7:50 pm

  2. It’s tough to gage ideally … I haven’t played a 5 player game since it came out (only the prototype). The two player game has a purity, but also a kabuki-like quality. The 3-4 player games are more dynamic, and can get into odd situations.

    Of course, it may be that most of my two-player games are online against one of the most experienced players.

    Right now I think four is slightly better than fewer; but I should like to try several 5-player games. Compared to Britannia, the difference between ‘ideal number of players’ and ‘other number’ is vanishingly small.


    September 19, 2007 at 10:15 am

  3. Chris, I’ve yet to play Phoenicia with 3 or less, but I definitely prefer it with 4 rather than 5. I don’t see what the fifth player adds to the contest except for extra duration.

    Larry Levy

    September 19, 2007 at 5:16 pm

  4. 25 plays (in, what, less than six months?) is pretty remarkable. I gotta get this game!


    September 19, 2007 at 8:07 pm

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