Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another new game: Julius Caesar block game

Another game that my brother and I played during PacifiCon was Columbia Games new block game Julius Caesar. JC, as I'll call it, is very reminiscent of other recent Columbia Block games such as Hammer of the Scots and Crusader Rex in that you play a card each turn then move that many groups of blocks.

JC adds the extra mechanic that movement cards have both a number (Roman numeral in this case) showing how many groups you can move, and symbols for how many steps can be recruited after movement. These steps can be to rebuild damaged blocks or to recruit new blocks. The extra wrinkle in this game is that many blocks, such as Roman legions, can only be recruited at a particular city. So, leaders find themselves having to move a block to that city (fighting for it if necessary), then using one of their recruitment steps to "build" a new legion. The legion is built at strength 1, so it's still very fragile at first, and players may have to spend several turns improving it so that it's fit to fight.

In our first game, which only lasted a few turns, I found it confusing knowing where all these recruitable legions were located. I suggested that we place these recruitable legions on the board face down. It then became obvious what cities were important to both sides for recruitment purposes.

This is a good game. Block game fans should check it out.

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