Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Caesar and Cleopatra card game

I received this game as a Christmas present, and I've had the chance to play a few times with it, so I thought I would share some thoughts.

Ceasar and Cleopatra is part of the two player Kosmos series from Rio Grande games, and as it is mostly myself and my wife playing it suits us well. The background to the game is that Egypt is attempting to win independence from Rome and each player plays one of the two factions. The aim of the game is to win the support of Roman senators. This is done by playing numbered influence cards against difference groups of senators. When a vote is called (this is done each turn) the player with the highest (usually) influence for that group wins the support of one of the senators. At the end of the game, each senator won gives a point, as does winning the majority of senators in a group, and there's a bonus for acheiving a certain goal given to each player (winning a certain number of senators in a group).

So the game boils down to:

-Hand management: You can only hold 5 cards at a time which can be a combination of influence and action cards. Action cards allow special actions such as removing a influence card from your opponent.

-Bluffing: Influence cards be played either 2 face up or 1 face down. There is a special type of card called the Philospher which means that the player with the lowest influence total wins the vote. The fear of this card can be a useful bluff tactic when you play a card face down.

So that is the game mechanics in a nutshell. The components are OK, the box is compact and portable and takes only a couple of minute to setup and tear down. The artwork on the cards is quite nice, though some of the Roman senator names are a bit dubious in some cases.

The game plays quite fast (about 45 minutes) and is quite good fun, though there is a strong element of luck to the game. Overall, I quite like it and if you're looking for something for two players and you like the theme, then it's worth a punt

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