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Subject: Five Players, Three New Mini Expansions rss

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Jon Snow
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MARE NOSTRUM EMPIRES:
5 Players; 3 Mini Expansions
By Chas


We just finished our first game with all three new mini-expansions, using the standard Five Player set up (without Atlantis). Using the Alternate Starting Leaders was mandatory for all empires. The five Heroes each from Heroes of the Bible and Mythological Beasts were “salted” into the mix of 17, with seven more that had mostly not been played yet-- two that had been played only once; several from the Atlas expansion. There were randomly mixed together, and we use the method where only five are face up at a time.

When we saw that some of the new Leaders gave leadership bonuses, we adjusted the set up Leadership Board, and changed two Leader positions. Our first decision playing with the new pieces was that this was intended.

I took Rome, and played “peacefully,” intending to just consolidate nearby provinces between Greece and myself, as he started out taking Troy, and I figured he'd be pretty busy with Babylon over there. I thought I'd just be quiet and go for a 5 Leader victory. And in fact I was the first person to get three of them. When Carthage took Sicily slowly I let him; he also got naval enhancements that let his galley roll land dice in battle, and later on move two spaces (Mermaid). At first he had almost no military on the board, but he knocked out my only fleet near Sicily, that I had built to be able to dispute him, as he had never garrisoned the island.

Babylon took Jerusalem, and he and Egypt built up mightily on their common border. Egypt and Carthage left each other alone. All was fine, until Greece went nuts against me, since Babylon did not challenge them. I took a very unusual tack; instead of building up and defending militarily at first, I took the Manticore and destabilized the borders between Babylon/Greece and Egypt/Carthage. Babylon finally bit and took Troy. But it didn't help me, since Greece shrugged it off and went all the way to attacking Rome. Finally forced to build up, I put a fleet between us in Mare Hadriaticum, but he caught the trap and fortified internally on his coast. Then I took Gallium back from him. But being economically crippled now, I missed out on getting any more leaders. I was briefly Trade Leader rather than Carthage for a turn, and Military Leader several times with Heroes that gave military bonuses, but way to far behind in Culture/Cities to even think of a Leadership Victory, or Pyramids, or Cities for that matter. So I trailed behind for the rest of the game.

Carthage played havoc with Jesus, since his fleets allowed him to be adjacent to almost anyone, canceling their Temple advantages. In a previous game his bonus won his owner the game at the end just with his leadership bonuses, but now his power came into play properly! I had David, who helped out a bit on defense.

Both Babylon and then Carthage finally invaded Greece! I had my eyes on the Hydra to mess them both up, but missed buying him by one economic set. Finally, after several others came close to victory after about 3 ½ hours, Carthage got the fifth hero, and going last in the turn sequence, suddenly won.

First Observations On the New Mini Sets

No one complained that their new leader was not as good as their old one. In fact, the Greece player said he had been afraid that the game would get stale eventually with each empire having a standard start, so he was happy now. In the future, we'll give each player a choice between its standard and alternate leader at game start. Each player will position his choice behind his screen, and all will reveal them simultaneously.

Although a normal random mix in the future would not feature such a high percentage of Biblical or Monster Heroes, they proved to be mixed in helping out militarily (land or naval), economically, or etc. so the odd mix we used did not throw the game off at all by concentrating on the newbies. And since they offered no new game rules, but only occasionally exceptions like older heroes, it was simple to adjust to the new tiles.

Note that some of the FAQs that have come up regarding the mini expansions are now on the new Mini Expansions FAQ thread on the main game board. There are not many, mainly having to do with clarifications on the use of the new Leaders/heroes and how their powers combine with older ones. But there are very few so far.

We hope Serge Laget continues to put out more stuff for MNE. A new map for Asia? A second set of Alternate Starting Leaders? More leaders/heros (there are now 66; see my updated list in the Files section).

Who knows...

With the new mini-sets Mare Nostrum remains fresh and fun!
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Aaron Bredon
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chas59 wrote:


Carthage played havoc with Jesus, since his fleets allowed him to be adjacent to almost anyone, canceling their Temple advantages. In a previous game his bonus won his owner the game at the end just with his leadership bonuses, but now his power came into play properly!


Triremes don't make regions adjacent, they make them adjoining, so Jesus doesn't work over seas.
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Nice read!

I wonder, what extra hero did Egypt take with its new leader - and did you play with 5 heroes revealed or "all open"?

abredon wrote:
chas59 wrote:
Carthage played havoc with Jesus, since his fleets allowed him to be adjacent to almost anyone, canceling their Temple advantages. In a previous game his bonus won his owner the game at the end just with his leadership bonuses, but now his power came into play properly!

Triremes don't make regions adjacent, they make them adjoining, so Jesus doesn't work over seas.

Good one! That makes quite a lot of difference!
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Jon Snow
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See last sentence, first paragraph.

I may have forgotten this one; its another language problem--since in English there is no difference between those words. I'll have to check the rules.
 
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