30 September 2013

Spartacus 3-player session

Last weekend I also introduced two new players to Spartacus, it had been a while since I myself played the game so it took some refreshing. Fortunately the game is easy to get into after a little explanation. explaining.

The game used all but the "Batiatus" household, which I think is the weakest and as such excluded it from the draft. It was a very intense session, starting out with me taking the lead for two turns, then Oscar made a really insane jump on the prestige track - cashing in no less than 5 points in a single turn! A combination of cards and other circumstances. He also managed to foil my attempt to rig the match between my Gladiator and one of his slaves by shielding himself with a reaction card. That little stunt would have cost me my best gladiator had I not been the arena host that turn!

After some more scheming and games in the arena, Oscar managed to pull off a victory, having a 2 point lead ahead of me.

I really like this game, and I think the guys who played it for the first time liked it as well. The only thing that brings Spartacus down a few points is the unpredictable playing time. Granted that you can start with either 0, 4 or 7 prestige points depending on how fast you want the game to be. Playing from 0 or even 4 points can sometimes become a very long game, especially if players keep reducing each other's prestige with scheme cards. As such it becomes difficult to properly plan anything else around this game, such as another boardgame, because you don't know how long it will run and how tired people will be afterwards.

It's a great game if you want to focus an evening on a single game, a bit less ideal if you want to play a couple of different games down at the club in one afternoon.

4 comments:

  1. I really like the idea behind this one, but my playing group is mostly coop so I don't think it would sit well with them with all the backstabbing and what not. :P

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    1. I usually don't like these type of "backstabbing" games either, but at least everything is laid out and clear in the rulebook and every player knows how it will go down. I have more problems with games like Game of Thrones, which also have backstabbing but not really any framework of guidelines but rather complete chaos. That to me is a lot more frustrating.

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  2. Interesting looking game - could figures be used? Best, Dean

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    Replies
    1. Yes we actually talked about that during this session, you could if you want substitute the plastic minis for real miniatures to better represent the gladiator type on your gladiator cards. I haven't done that yet, but may try it next time - it would at least allow me to get some use for my gladiator collection which is otherwise collecting dust.

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