Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea (ACIS) was one of the GMT Games bestsellers of the 2019. I was intrigued by that position for quite some time and in the end decided to purchase and try it.

The box was full of colorful tokens, two very nice, mounted maps, relatively short Rulebook and very thick Playbook. Add to this multiple civilization mats and you have a full game. What especially surprised me is the amount of scenarios both historical and a-historical for 2 to 6 players plus comprehensive solo rules. Designers really did they work and created simple system with multiple interesting conflicts depictions.

I have started my adventure with the game by playing two solo scenarios – the suggested Fall of Rome II, first on western and then on eastern map. After this we were ready to try our first full game in a four-players set-up. What follows is short photo session report from those three engagements – I always think picture is worth thousand words 🙂

Fall of the Rome II – solo – Western Empire vs. Visigoths

Fall of Rome II scenario is suggested and preferred entry into the solo system of ACIS
The initial set-up shows Western Roman Empire (purple) occupying all land areas, including three great cities (with gold) Gades, Carthage and of course Rome.
The Vandals (green) started their invasion from Aquitani so they have chosen Gades as primary target. Unfortunately, due to cards and talents advantage they managed to pillage it.
Some of the events in ACIS are very nasty – that one actually saved Carthage from being plundered.
In the end Vandals managed to create a bridgehead near Rome which immediately grow to an enormous invasion force. Force, which in the end will sack Rome twice…
The final situation on the map – the game lasts 4 turns of Epoch 4. I lost bitterly: 10-31

Fall of the Rome II – solo – Eastern Empire vs. Persians

The second attempt against AI I approached with knowledge and experience from the first game. Eastern Empire (red) was definitely more rich (4 cities with gold) but also harder to defend.
Here they come – the Persian attack two gold cities in Turn 1.
Eastern Empire can use some of Western one special abilities which greatly helped in repelling enemy attack for full two rounds.
But finally they got the Egypt gold and then the Tyre…
However, I won all three grand battles in Constantinople and was getting 4 VPs every turn.
The re-match with AI was successful – this time I won 28-9.

4-player standard set-up game

Then, during one of the mid-week boardgame sessions, we played short, 2-Epoch introductory game with Jakub (Gauls), Konrad (Troy), Marcin (Egypt) and me (Carthage).
We used a lot of nasty cards, like above invasion from the East. We treated the game as fun so there were no hard feelings about such play 🙂
Mid-game we realized that default set-up for 4 players gives definitely too much space for peaceful expansion:) Not our style!
When we were finishing the game, there was still plenty of space left on the map. We developed our empires nicely, we had some barbarians but to feel the real game we would need to play version with smaller map 🙂
Marcin (Egypt) finished with 22 points and won
My Carthaginians also had 22 points but less wonders thus second place.
Kuba with Gauls took third place – 20 VPs
The fate was least nice to Konrad – Troy – who with 16 points was fourth.


The game was quite fun – of course, nothing compares to play with live enemy, so the last game with 3 opponents gave me most satisfaction. Still bots are fine to play and allow for quick introduction to the system. As for the title itself, indeed that can be sometimes unpredictable and brutal – but when you approach that game having in mind as main goal fun not necessary victory at all costs, you can spend some really nice time with it. Definitely good, light position which can be a good entry point to wargaming hobby.