Gameday First Play – Nations
I knew this was at Essen but it wasn’t one I was keen on playing. I thought “Civ game, meh” and never gave it much thought.
It had a lot of Buzz at the time and I’ve since had a chance to play it.
The game is played over 4 Ages with 2 phases in each Age. The Ages are Antiquity, Medieval, Renascence and Industrial.
You have a player board with some standard actions that give you resources such as Food, Coal and Gold or things like Science, Stability or Military.
These spaces can be upgraded by purchasing from a selection of cards that are refreshed twice per age.
You can also add an Advisor that gives you an ability such as a bonus for something or reducing the upkeep on a building etc
You can have two colonies that also give you a bonus.
There is room for some completed Wonders and a space for a Wonder that is being built. When you purchase a Wonder you have to pay resources to assigning a Architect from a limited number available. When your Wonder has enough Architects it is considered completed.
Turns are simple…
Pay the resources and use an unused Meeple to activate a card
Pay the resources and move a Meeple from a card to activate a different card
Buy a card from the selection available
Assign an Architect to an incomplete Wonder
Pass and End your Phase
Like Terra Mystica, as actions are short and simple the game flows very quickly.
After each phase there is an Event card which will give a reward or penalty to players with the most/least of something as well as show how much Famine there is (How much food must be paid from your supply that phase)
There also may be a war if a player has purchased one to activate for that phase. This penalises any player who has a military power lower than the player who bought the war. If you have the lowest Military power I suggest you use an action and spend a gold or two to buy the war yourself.
After each phase you receive income so you can choose from 3 Coal, 3 Food, 3 Gold or a new Meeple from your board. Each new worker comes at a cost. You either take one that gives you -3 food in your income, or one that gives you -3 Stability.
After the two phases of the Age there is a scoring phase where players gain 1 point for each player they are ahead of on the Science track.
After all 4 ages have been completed you score points for having Meeples on cards, completed wonders, etc etc many different ways.
Most points wins.
This is a very good game. Actions are quick, turns are short and you’re never out of the game long but long enough that you have time to look at what you need to do on your next action.
I’m really looking forward to being able to play this again. I really did suck at it the first time round but I’ve learned a lot (I hope) and really want to do better.
The Nations you choose to start with are doubled sided. An easy side where everyone starts the same or a reverse side where each individual nation has a unique starting point. For example, the Romans have more Military but less of other resources etc
Very VERY good game.