Hellenica is that type of game which requires some preparation and proper mood within our boardgame group to hit the table. That is why it is usually present on larger conventions, like our yearly meeting around New Year. I shared my First Impressions of the game from similar occasion over a year ago. However, this New Year we had a chance for the first time to play in a 6-player set! What and epic session it was – and what completely unexpected finish we achieved!

The game

Before we dive into the actual report from our game, couple of words about this title so you can get a feel what we were organizing.

An explosion of creativity and violence erupted in the Aegean Basin in 800 B.C. that defined ancient Greece. This combination of science, mythology, development, and war was led by powerful city-states like Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Troy, Byzantium, Corcyra, and Thebes. These states vied for control over their rivals and dominated the lesser states around them. In time, some of them became so well known that they are remembered even today.

Publisher Page

In essence, Hellenica: Story of Greece is a civilization game in which you harness the powers of one of seven beginning city-states to dominate the world around you. Your goal is to become the preeminent symbol of Greece for all posterity by completing a combination of secret and public goals. You of course Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate.

Will you be remembered as a warmonger or a peaceful philosopher? Great priest or apostate? Will you develop a devotion to the gods or focus on the advancement of your people? All this possible in competitive and cooperative set-ups, with basic and advanced bot rules, allowing also for solo play (solitaire mode is still in front of us to familiarize with 🙂 )

The session

Big convents allow even the most player-intense games to be brought to the table in its full glory. Hellenica definitely shines best when played with more opponents – of course you can substitute for solo bots, but human interaction is as important for us in such meetings as the gameplay itself. We were lucky to gather as many players as six, and even one lady (Dorota) decided to take part in what seemed to be a pretty confrontational feast. We rolled for sides and started…

(you can click on individual pictures – not slideshows – to enlarge it in the new window)

Couple of words about the set-up. It is HUGE. We needed like two table to fit the neoprene mat and all elements needed for 6 players. But it looked splendid!

In the initial turns of Hellenica, you develop your research, city and immediate neighborhood. Land civilizations invest more in appropriate army inventions while marine ones – much more in naval technologies. Everybody has to be aware of the public and secret goals, as fulfilling 3 of them will bring victory. But at such early stage this is highly unlikely.

  • How to deter your immediate opponent? Maybe by pushing the mythological monster (spawned as part of chaos events) toward him?
  • Yes, that seems like a good plan! Southern flank of Corinth (me) secure by placing Minotaur in Sparta (Lukasz).
  • But I was not the only one doing "jokes" to opponents. It was deemed that Athens (Kuba) were developing to quickly on the sea, so a Cyclops landed there!
  • Thebes (Dorota) also got its fair share of troubles as Medusa was discovered on Mt. Olympus!
Situation mid-game – after three turns. A lot of tension on Corinth (me) – Athens (Kuba G) border. Minotaur in Sparta deterring Lukasz expansion as well as Cyclops in Cyclades. Filip (Byzantium) and Kuba K (Troy) are investing huge sums in their Triremes. And Dorota (Thebes) slowly but steadly expands north.
  • There is a way to get rid of those ugly monsters. you need to send your Heroes and then attack the creature successfully. Kuba (Athens) managed to do it...
  • ...just as Lukasz finally dealt with the present from me :) (Minotaur)
Enough of pretending – the forces were built, Peloponnese will soon be witness to HUGE land battle among the three nations located there: Sparta, Corinth and Athens. Looking at the numbers, the result is more or less predictable…
The Eastern part of the map is witness to similar arms race but in Naval dimension. Byzantium, Athens and especially Troy amassed huge numbers of Triremes. The sea will run with blood…
BOOM! There will be no huge war in Peloponnese (Sparta, Athens, Corinth); there will be no large clashes in Aegean Sea (mainly Byzantium vs Troy). Dorota (Thebes) outplayed everybody! In victory phase she flatly announced that she got 3 goals fulfilled…
These were Owning More Cities than Any Other Player, Own Four Temples to single Deity and Wining Two World Bids.


Wow, that was a truly spectacular finish to our game! Masculine part of the table felt a huge dissatisfaction and even wanted to continue – gearing up for war and finishing just before dogs of war were unleashed! But let us be honest, we got ourselves outmaneuvered by peacefully developing Thebes.

Hellenica for 6 players definitely fulfilled all our hopes – that was an epic game, on a scale rarely played by our group. Beautiful components, interesting mechanics, elements of Greek Mythology as well as regular warfare. We shall bring it to the table in the future for sure!