The Game

I played Time of Crisis pretty extensively – in base version, with expansion or even via Vassal – however, I still think it do not get enough attention from me. The same stands for general public – title seems to go mainly unnoticed while I think it deserves much more good press.

This light wargame is set in 3rd Century AD, while Roman Empire was on verge of collapse. We play roles of potential pretenders for Emperor title, fighting each other plus scores of barbarians attacking us from all the directions – Sassanids, Nomads, Franks, Alamanni and Goths. The beauty of game is in its deck-building mechanism, something similar to Dominion. However, the points from cards can be used on some specific actions in areas of Military, Politics and Populace. When you add to this ever-growing costs of governors, generals and armies plus uncertainty of events and barbarian invasions, you get very exciting and interesting mix. And most important – you want to be in Italy, govern it and repel all attempts to remove you – that is the way to get o lot of Legacy! Let us see how it goes in reality.

The Session

This week I had luck to have free Wednesday evening and invited Marcin, Lukasz and Konrad for Time of Crisis session. We played full (60 points) 4-players game with some expansion elements. Below I would like to present you the photo session-report from our game:

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Initial set-up – the chosen provinces and their initial owners (click to enlarge in the new window)
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The mix of cards we played with. Some from base game, some from expansion.
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Let’s the fun begin! And it did – Konrad rolled 3 or 4 times in a row Sassanid activation and I had scores of them in Syria! Somehow I manage…
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“Who lives by the sword dies by the sword” – now Nomads took a huge liking in Konrad’s provinces!
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After 5 or 6 turns we have first attempt on Italy. Konrad gets it politically but in a moment Marcin marches from Gaul and easily takes it over
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Short summary of first part of the game; me (red) got four provinces in the East but I am far from Italy; Lukasz (blue) was pushed from Macedon northward; Marcin (green) took over Italy and Britannia but lost Gallia to Konrad who is now also in Africa. (click to enlarge in the new window)
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The Nomads were everywhere and even reached me; my legions dealt with them swiftly 🙂
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What a bloody battle it was – Lukasz was attacking Marcin’s position in Italy but was successfully repelled!
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My position in Galatia was very vulnerable – barbarians everywhere…
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This time enemy was better prepared – Konrad again managed to take over Italy – back from Marcin
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Mid-late game; Konrad firmly in Italy with expedition forces in Britain; Marcin and Lukasz switching places between Panonia and Galia and my small empire in East fighting barbarians; still, everybody can be a winner (click to enlarge in the new window)
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Marcin has to go through hard moments on his island – both Franks and Konrad pays him a visit; in the meantime, Lukasz took over Gallia!
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Last but not least – huge, two turn fight for Rome; I lost militarily with Konrad but then my praetorian guard  did the job
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And the game ends – the bonus points (+10 to Marcin and Konrad and +3 for me) are critical for final places – Marcin wins! Above also some actions from last two turns – Konrad exchanges provinces with Lukasz (Galia and Hispania); likewise Marcin and Konrad (Brittania and Africa). We have also very strong contingent of glory-seeking Romans in Franks land (click to enlarge in the new window)

Summary

For Lukasz and Konrad that was first game, Marcin played second time. Still, everybody pretty quickly grabbed all the rules (another advantage of this positions!) and we had very enjoyable evening. For sure, Time of Crisis is not a game for the lovers of total control due to it heavy dependence on dice rolling. Still, you can plan for a lot of things and use unexpected turns of events to you advantage. Next time we plan to play with additional Expansion mechanics, including Emperors special characters (Military, Political or Populous).

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