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Play Summary: Alea Iacta Est

Authorianoble    CategoryBoard Games     Tags

Quick play summary after my first 2 player game of Alea Iacta Est.

First plays are always difficult, especially if both players haven’t played before. So I’m not going to be too hard on the game just yet. But, if I’m honest, I didn’t see a whole lot to make me want to play again.

We set the boards up, minus a few elements not included in the 2 player game. I then went through the requirements for each building and how a turn sequence goes. From there I followed the layout of the rulebook and explained why you would want to put dice in each spot. Then I got to scoring…It’s like were only allowed one more page in the rulebook, so they had to mash all the scoring rules into a few vague paragraphs. Oh well, we weren’t playing the first game for optimal points anyway. I just left that to be figured out at the end.

We started rolling and placing. At first we started to try and one up each others sets or groups, but after a few times rounds we were really just doing our own thing. The only real competition was in the Forum for the people tiles. Even that wasn’t all that cutthroat since many of the tiles didn’t match the provinces that we had. It seemed almost robotic at one point. Not a ton of tough decisions to be made. Very dry, but not in that euro game way where there are a lot of different things to do, all with positive and negative outcomes. In this game I never felt challenged. One of the best features of Alien Frontiers is that you have to make hard decisions sometimes. Sometimes between 2 bad options. Here, I always had at least 1 optimal thing to do.

Another strange aspect of the game was the “end condition”, I put it in quotes because there really isn’t one. In the rulebook it says that we play 6 rounds for a 2 player game. Luckily that means when the senate cards run out the game is over (3 removed per “Set”, 24 total cards). But what if no one ever put dice on that building? And what’s with all the left over provinces and patricians? Seemed like they should of had us remove a certain color or a certain amount of tiles to keep everything in sync. Just felt that it wasn’t very thought out.

Yes, I haven’t said very many good things about the game up to this point. Maybe the game gets better as you learn the 2 pages(!) of different senate cards available, since we found out that a lot of points come from collecting and fulfilling those. That might take a few play throughs, though. Oh, one other thing, it would have been nice if they included a 7 Wonders style of score sheet to keep track of all the points. We ended up using the dice to score, but that gets a bit tedious.

If you like the game, let me know what it is about it that draws you in and keeps you coming back, cause I sure didn’t see a whole lot there.

* Disclaimer: These thoughts were after my first play. There might have been rules mistakes that would have significantly changed the game, but I did my best interpreting a poorly written rulebook.

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