Huch&Friends 400159 - Trajan
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HUCH! & Friends Trajan Board Game
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Trajan (Quined Game Edition)
Trajan Board Game
Have you ever found yourself wishing that you had a game that had a buffet of victory points, or one that is a game within a game? No?... Well I'm not surprised, but you may after you try Trajan. Trajan is a game that puts even the most complicated of multitasking minds to task.
This brain-burner by acclaimed designer Stefan Feld, who has brought works such as Castles of Burgundy and Bruges, is arguably one of his best works. This is supported by its current high rank all time. It plays from 2-4 players and claims to play in 90 minutes (certainly not with new players).
It mixes area control, card management, and set collecting as mechanisms of play. All of this is managed by each player using a clever Mancala mechanism to drive play selection.
Trajan is set in the 1st century AD Rome. It is named after the great Roman emperor Trajan, who was known for not only his brilliant military mind, but also for territorial expansion, social diplomacy, and building programs.
We find ourselves in Rome attempting to expand our own rule through military expansion, building project, Senate influence, and trade routes each of which provides victory points. The player with the most victory points at the end, regardless of how they were attained, wins. There is both a main playing board, and individual player boards.
The game is set up in 4 years, each year divided into 4 quarters (16 turns total). Though I won't expand it, the length of each quarter is determined by how many moves a player takes, so turn order stays the same, but the amount of turns each player gets through out each quarter can change dramatically. On a players turn he will move his chits on his own Mancala board (see below). This allows players to predetermine what action they would like to accomplish, and with enough savvy they can end up doing multiple actions per turn.
There is a lot going on in game play. There are 6 options for actions per turn, and with the addition of Trajan tiles to the Mancala board (tiles allowing extra actions), you are consistently setting your next move or moves up.
The players can also gather tiles that allow you to duplicate actions x1 and x2. I won't go in depth with the available actions other than to say you can: area control with legionaries, build with master builders, set collect cards for trading, and manipulate the Senate to gain end game bonus multipliers.
So who is going to like this game? Well me for one, I think it is brilliant! I love all of the internal struggle to decide which action is best, or which can wait, or which will end up ruined because of Mancala play. I also do not mind constantly moving everyone up the point tracker, or tracking the total Mancala moves.
Who is not going to like this game, well anyone who does not want to track tons if points, have a plethora of options each turn, or constantly erase and reset up a main board. I suggest you try it once, and maybe avoid the friend with AP when you do.