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Author Topic: Archon: Glory and Machinations  (Read 1826 times) Average Rating: 0
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Zarniwoop
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« on: 22 April 2014, 11:59:03 »



Components:
On the whole the components for this game are of excellent quality and the artwork is superb, the card art and board art is very beautiful. The main board at first glance can be quite daunting, as the graphics can be a little overwhelming, but once you start playing this goes away and things get easier to see.

There is a slight printing error on the main board for the "Royal Guard" action where it has a Black Cube printed on the board as part of the cost but it should be a Silver Cube. This is correctly described in the rulebook and is easily fixed by putting a Silver Cube from the supply over the printed one (I have printed a corrected cube and stuck it over the top).

The resource cubes and player pieces are made of wood and again of good quality, though the player colours chosen are similar to some of the resource colours which may cause some initial confusion for new players but again all becomes clear during play.

Gameplay:
Here there is a new twist on the Worker Placement mechanic where players have a hand of cards they draft every odd turn to use to place workers out. Players take their 10 cards and split them into two hands of 5 to be used for the current and subsequent turns. They choose which cards go into each hand, each action area on the board has worker slots depicting 1 or 2 cards. In order to place a worker on these places they play the appropriate number of cards from their hand. At the start of the game players have basic Courtier cards and a couple of Magister cards. The Magister cards are one of four different types that have special abilities as well as allowing players to play 1 Magister card to use a 2-card slot.

In turn order players play a card or cards placing out a worker and taking the action, this continues until all players have passed. Turn order for the following turn is based on who has the most cards left unused and ties are resolved by the value of the cards (Courtier=0, Tax Collector=1, Cleric=2, Scribe=3, Merchant=4). If this is the end of the season an attack card is turned over and resolved and then the round is scored.  As well as the actions available on the main board there are a number of Kings favour cards that provide additional actions, after each turn one is discarded and a new one added.

I won't go into any more details on the rules but instead talk about what the game is like to play.

I like this style of game where the players have a wide choice of actions, all of which are beneficial in some way, but you are unable to take them all so have to make tactical choices as you progress through the game to maximise you chances to score well. In this games it does that very well building a good level of tension between the players, as your progress through the turns the Magister cards have a significant influence on helping you achieve your aims.

This is not a quick game to play but it by no means outstays its welcome during play engaging players continually throughout all the turns. The final scoring round and End game scoring buildings, can have a significant effect but generally on the games I have played the scores are close with the game feeling really balanced.

Conclusion:
This is a really fun game with a lot of strategic choices to be made but where the different paths to scoring are well balanced. I have played quite a few games of this now in a relative short period and still enjoy playing it there is a lot of variety here allow for plenty of replay without feeling samey.

They have done a great job with this game as it plays really well, some of the graphical and colour choices whilst strange do not really harm the gameplay. I would have no hesitation recommending this to anyone else and will happily play this again.
« Last Edit: 22 April 2014, 12:05:21 by Zarniwoop » Logged

Regards,
Zarniwoop

<*> I'm dangerous when I know what I'm doing <*>

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