Mare Nostrum KS

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MythicalMino
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Mare Nostrum KS

Post by MythicalMino » Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:12 am

So, I purchased Mare Nostrum: Empires KS (brand new sealed) for $90.00. I am pretty excited about getting it. Tracking shows delivery should be tomorrow.

I know some on here have it and have played it. What are your thoughts about it? It looks like a solid game, well produced and all. Is it worth it, in your opinions, for the $90.00?

And what should I expect out of this game?

Chris
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Lordnine
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Re: Mare Nostrum KS

Post by Lordnine » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:10 pm

I think it is one of the better games I’ve backed on Kickstarter. My group likes it enough that I went back and picked up the ridiculously overpriced resource chips.

The best thing about it for my group as been that it offers a pretty deep and tactical experience that manages to play out in 1.5-2 hours even if you are playing with a full group of six. Not many games can boast that. The game is also pretty easy to pickup and learn, it looks overwhelming but I have not had any problems introducing new players to it, even people who aren’t that big of board game players. The best thing you can do is don't try to explain everything at once. The game breaks neatly into three phases, so explain the basics and then preform a short tutorial before the start of each phase.

The one real downside I have is the game has a VERY lengthy setup phase. If you are playing with new people I would recommend setting all the pieces up before they get there as seeing all the components without context is very daunting.

Another small problem is that the first couple times you play; Egypt or Carthage is probably going to win. This goes away with experience but they do have a sizeable advantage against new players.

As for the price, I’m not sure why it was $90 since the Kickstarter was $65 but it IS a good game and doubt you will feel bad about your purchase. Overall, highly recommended.

MythicalMino
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Re: Mare Nostrum KS

Post by MythicalMino » Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:01 pm

The price is like any other kickstarter....higher after the kickstarter is done. 90 was actually quite a bit cheaper than the other KS versions.

It sounds and looks like it will be a lot of fun....should arrive tomorrow.
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Moat_Man
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Re: Mare Nostrum KS

Post by Moat_Man » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:32 am

I backed the Kickstarter and I've played it with four players three times. It was fun all three times. The first game will most likely end in a Pyramid victory as that is the "easiest". Once players figure out that you can a) militarily stomp the leader or b) deny them resources through shrewd trading, it gets interesting.
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LordMortis
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Re: Mare Nostrum KS

Post by LordMortis » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:28 am

We played at OctoCon. I think we played six players. I liked the dynamic but I think I am getting too old for long games. The begin to feel draining after a few hours. That's too bad for me, as I used to really like long developing games and this one is really hard to decimate someone in, so no one ever feels truly out of it, like they are committed to wasting a few more hours of their own time.

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Lordnine
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Re: Mare Nostrum KS

Post by Lordnine » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:28 am

A few hours? :shock:

A couple of my regulars are the most analysis paralysis prone people I’ve ever seen and the longest game of this we’ve played was just over 2 hours with six people. I’m really curious what you guys were doing. :lol:

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LordMortis
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Re: Mare Nostrum KS

Post by LordMortis » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:19 pm

Lordnine wrote:A few hours? :shock:

A couple of my regulars are the most analysis paralysis prone people I’ve ever seen and the longest game of this we’ve played was just over 2 hours with six people. I’m really curious what you guys were doing. :lol:

It was a learning game for most of us. Still, after initial learning, I'd say the actual game for all us new comers was 3 hours and that was without any noticeable analysis paralysis, so I'm guessing six experienced players would bring it down to 2 hours plus set up time.

I'm guessing there was a good hour of setup and explanation of game mechanics before the game started to flow on maybe turn 3. I don't think six players is a good way to learn the game but when you are at an OctoCon, that's how all things work.

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Lordnine
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Re: Mare Nostrum KS

Post by Lordnine » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:27 pm

I guess that is fair. I'm just surprised because I don't think we've ever had a game run longer than 4 rounds and play is pretty fast.

The way I teach the game is to first explain the four win conditions and then explain that most things cost a set of 3 or 6 unique resources. You get 1 resource for having a camel in an area you control and 2 if you have a market as well. And that is really all you need to know going into the first trade phase.

Then when we get to the build phase I briefly tell people how heroes/wonders work and how movement of units function.

Finally, when we get to the combat phase I explain how conquering works.

In this way the tutorial is broken down into 3 easy to grasp 5-10 minute lessons instead of a huge info dump at the start of the game. It helps as well that the game comes with 6 handy reference sheets that explains all three phases.

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LordMortis
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Re: Mare Nostrum KS

Post by LordMortis » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:49 pm

Lordnine wrote:I guess that is fair. I'm just surprised because I don't think we've ever had a game run longer than 4 rounds and play is pretty fast.

The way I teach the game is to first explain the four win conditions and then explain that most things cost a set of 3 or 6 unique resources. You get 1 resource for having a camel in an area you control and 2 if you have a market as well. And that is really all you need to know going into the first trade phase.

Then when we get to the build phase I briefly tell people how heroes/wonders work and how movement of units function.

Finally, when we get to the combat phase I explain how conquering works.

In this way the tutorial is broken down into 3 easy to grasp 5-10 minute lessons instead of a huge info dump at the start of the game. It helps as well that the game comes with 6 handy reference sheets that explains all three phases.
I don't know how many rounds we went, but it was more than 4. I was the guys who got a free expansion every turn (5?, maybe? 4?). I went through all my free expansion tokens and probably another three rounds, maybe more. I'm guessing that was 8 or 9 rounds before the pyramid was completed... actually by a troop intensive civ on the west coast. There was a considerable arms race going on around the full continent.

Explanation of the game, I think would best be served in like a three player game, with the game set up ahead of time and playing the first two rounds opens hand as you go.

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Lordnine
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Re: Mare Nostrum KS

Post by Lordnine » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:07 pm

Wow, that’s crazy. If everyone was focusing on military instead of resources that could do it. Given how powerful Forts are (Negate 1 enemy hit and 1 guaranteed kill), we’ve never found military is worth much aside from as a deterrent. Trade is generally our path to victory.

Carthage, for example, only needs 11 unique resources to win and they start with 5. Egypt also only needs 11 and can easily hit 6 unique after the end of the first turn. If either of these factions becomes trade leader (and Carthage starts with it) and mandates a high trade number then they can easily hit 8-9 in turn two. One opportunistic expansion early on is all it takes to lead to victory.

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Re: Mare Nostrum KS

Post by Zenn7 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:45 pm

LordMortis wrote:
Lordnine wrote:I guess that is fair. I'm just surprised because I don't think we've ever had a game run longer than 4 rounds and play is pretty fast.

The way I teach the game is to first explain the four win conditions and then explain that most things cost a set of 3 or 6 unique resources. You get 1 resource for having a camel in an area you control and 2 if you have a market as well. And that is really all you need to know going into the first trade phase.

Then when we get to the build phase I briefly tell people how heroes/wonders work and how movement of units function.

Finally, when we get to the combat phase I explain how conquering works.

In this way the tutorial is broken down into 3 easy to grasp 5-10 minute lessons instead of a huge info dump at the start of the game. It helps as well that the game comes with 6 handy reference sheets that explains all three phases.
I don't know how many rounds we went, but it was more than 4. I was the guys who got a free expansion every turn (5?, maybe? 4?). I went through all my free expansion tokens and probably another three rounds, maybe more. I'm guessing that was 8 or 9 rounds before the pyramid was completed... actually by a troop intensive civ on the west coast. There was a considerable arms race going on around the full continent.

Explanation of the game, I think would best be served in like a three player game, with the game set up ahead of time and playing the first two rounds opens hand as you go.
At least 9 rounds before Rome (me) won. I built all my forts, most of my legions and was starting on Triremes (defensive measure against all the other triremes coming out and wanted to keep military control in case one of my neighbors decided to try something).

Carthage (Hepcat) - said he had almost won before Egypt took an island from him. Egypt had tried to hit Babylon militarily, but got beat by the fort and 1 legion every time. Atlantis hit Carthage once. No idea what Greece or Babylon were doing/waiting for. They weren't moving much other than building up their defenses. Atlantis was going for islands/legendary cities (no one else was going for the islands before them). Rome was building up defenses to prevent attack while building up camels/markets to get market control and capitalize on the stuff I could get. Thought I was going to have to try and attack Greece (my +1 attack bonus, his +2 defense bonus - and he had the myrmidon hero, I had the centaur hero). Probably would have been an interesting fight but fortunately not necessary. They had a resource I didn't have, thought war might be necessary to get it. But then, I got market control, 5 trades and by some great fortune, there were enough of everything to get the 3 resources I needed for the pyramid.

Part of it was that I think we had 3 new players, and I had only played once, and that was the old version, more than a year ago. Stopping to read the heroes and a little extra time figuring things out initially. Not sure everyone had a solid plan of what they wanted to do. I pretty much did what I wanted as to as Rome, though I had thought I'd get at least one fight in.

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