|About game:||Pericles takes the players to the 5th century BC and spans from 460 to 400 BC. It covers times of two great conflicts – First and Second Peloponnese Wars – between land super-power – Sparta and dominant naval state – Athens.
It uses innovatory system of play – there are four players, two representing factions in Athens and two factions in Sparta. They debate and fight each other internally (Debate Phase) while cooperate against other City State externally (Theater Phase).
This creates enormous amount of interesting decisions, tension, scheming as well as forced cooperation. It definitely feels like real politics – because Pericles is in essence not a pure wargame, but a political grand strategy, where military force is only one of the elements to gain domination.
The game is fueled by both cards – used mainly in internal debates and to decide conflicts results, as well as different issues which allow players to execute variety of actions. The “Last-in, first-out” mechanic when placing issues on the theaters adds to the tension – the phase when you uncover them and suddenly somebody realizes that he/she put the orders in wrong order are one of the most memorable moments of the game.
|Number of players:||4 (although fan-made variants for 2 players exist)|
|Playing time:||This depends to a very great extent on a particular scenario and players experience with that game. For me the “sweet-spot” are two scenarios depicting First and Second Peloponnese Wars – they are from 3 to 5 turns and are perfect for one evening.
On the other hand, we managed to play six vignettes to introduce new player in about 4 hours. So as you can see, you can adjust game length to your availability.
|Complexity:||That is one of those beautiful games (and which I like most) where the rules are not overly complex (although not trivial) but making them all working to your advantage and mastering is a hard piece of work.|
|What I like:||
|What I do not like:||
|For whom?||This is game for wargamers with at least some previous experience – and if they want to plunge in the great world of Mark’s Herman games, I strongly suggest Churchill first. However, if you are not discouraged by the need to digest pretty thick but comprehensive rule-book, you should definitely try this game!|
|More about the game:|
On top of above review, a couple of the pictures from my session reports.
Overview of the Pericles board (theaters):
Well, did I mention that I am addicted history-wargamer? I really like that product of Mark Herman – well balanced complexity level, interesting theme, beautiful components and tons of scenarios – for shorter and longer evenings!
See you in another game review!