Roman Empire / Republic themed games are my favorite ones. I am a history geek who loves to see the past events unfold sometimes not in a fully historical way – thing possible thanks to boardgames. One of such – for long time on my radar – was Time of Crisis and thanks to Jarek (owner of that copy) finally I managed to test this position. Hopefully, I will have a chance to play more of this – why? The answer in article!
During the years we indeed played more of ToC! Time of Crisis – how does it play with Bots? Mid-week session with Time of Crisis Time of Crisis – first game with expansion Time of Crisis via Vassal Rome during times of crisis – first steps
We planned to play during the weekday – we thought it a little risky (length of game) but our session finished in 3 hours (we played to 40 legacy points). I was very positively surprised how such interesting and reasonably thorough game (I will not use word complex as it would be too much) can be quickly and efficiently played. Definitely, thanks to the theme, length of play and very interesting mechanic it will land on our table much more often.
But let us have a look on the map and our game. We had four players: Jarek, Dominik, Pawel and me – Michal:
(1) Dominik started in Macedon and quickly spread to nearby Pannonia and Asia
(2) I landed in Britain – that isolated island was in the future to be my last line of defense…
(3) Pawel initiated game in Hispania and then took over Africa…
(4) While Jarek was planning expansion from Egypt, controlling Egypt first
The interesting things were about to start…
(5) The initial fight for emperor seat was between me and Pawel. I rolled 6 dices, needed 6 successes, but achieved only 5… That really hindered my progress; Pawel was more lucky and as first player took over Emperor seat
(6) Well, I did not succeeded in Italy, Pannonia was taken so… Senate and People of Rome decided I should be governor of Thracia!
(7) Jarek was trying to survive with all the Sassanids, Numidians and even Goths attacking him…
And Dominik was building up his forces…
(8) … yes., Dominik was planning for something big and suddenly, unexpectedly attacked my capital in Gaul. The generations old family seat of Red Clan had fallen to Green Greeks.
(9) But in order to compensate victory points loss in Gaul, I gambled for Italy second time. This time successfully, although odds were worse then first time.
(10) Jarek started clean-up operation which really paid off – not only he eliminated barbarians but also gained many legacy points.
(11) And Pawel was dealing with riots in Spain – it will be his nightmare till the end of the game.
(12) Last turn witnessed crazy changes on the map. First, my Thracia fallen to Pawel. I was left only with Britain, as all my forces on continent were wiped-out…
(13) Dominik become emperor.
(14) Pannonia was taken over by Jarek!
(15) And long struggle erupted for control of Egypt, finally won by Jarek.
Dominik’s victory was fully deserved – he very well used the game mechanics and hit hard (Gaul!) or in a sneaky way (Italy and Emperor in last turn). Also, he got a luck as last event drawn by Jarek gave emperor 4 points… But luck loves winners 🙂
Some of my Initial Impressions
- Deck building mechanics – that is really great and interesting – a real puzzle within the game; from level 2 to 4 cards have not only more points to spent but also special event to use. And you need to be very careful not to buy too many of them – as you dilute your hand. And how to later get rid of one of those 1 point trash cards. Really enjoyable dilemmas.
- Quality of components – GMT really shines in that area and I am very satisfied with the pieces created for the game.
- The game is very thematic and you can really feel the Roman Empire being torn apart by internal and external dangers.
- Fast, light but engrossing and thrilling
I am sure I will play more of this!
I highly recommend the 60-point game, even if it is a 3-hour game sometimes. For us, we played the 40-point game and it barely felt like it was getting started when it ended.
But this is a fantastic game!
Yes, this is exactly what we felt after first game – the fun was just beginning…
It was a huge supprise that ToC is such a replayable game – Crisis Checks, deckbuilding aspect of strategy and Event Cards make this game very interesting. I liked the way in which we draw cards at the and of turn – in most deckbuilding games we are forced to draw from the top of our deck. In ToC, where we decide which cards to draw from the availeble stack of cards make this component of the game so strategical. The randomness of die throws wasn’t any problem for me – always you can make a safe throw if you want no risk. I’m looking forward for a second game and thanks for your hospitality Michal. 🙂