Review – Armorica by Vainglorius Games

Armorica – by Vainglorious games, Designer and Artist, Eric B. Vogel

This little card game hit the game group table the other night. A set collecting game like many other card games, the basic idea is to collect your cards into long runs which don’t have the same colour twice, otherwise you need to start a new run.

Gameplay

I will say that I just didn’t find the game very interesting and I struggled to get the mechanics which actually weren’t difficult. I don’t know, maybe I was tired. The historical theme was ok but it just really didn’t do a lot for me. My buddies enjoyed it more than I did.To be fair, there was little down time between turns so the game moved along pretty well. I struggled with the icons as I tried to understand their significance. It just seemed that the only icon to pay attention to was wheat and then to get the sets into long runs. The mechanic of choosing cards worked well as you had more choices if you has multiple icons already in your previously chosen cards. There was basically nothing wrong with it and it did what it set out to do.

Did it work for me?

Just not my kind of game. I found it dry and utterly forgettable. A bit too much to think about and analyse for me and to no great return. The luck of the cards available has an impact but it doesn’t hurt the game. But it doesn’t lift it up either. Compared to Trollland, it is uninspired. The artwork is ok but nothing new or interesting or exciting. Run of the mill stuff.

But see Tony and Alan’s comments below for a different take…

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 5/10

Family Friendly?

Not for the young ones but the older analytical types may enjoy having a go.

For more info about games by Vainglorious games, go to –

http://www.vaingloriousgames.net/

Comments from the gaming table

Tony

Being about Gauls and Romans, this was definitely more like my kind of theme. Oddly enough – as we didn’t set out for it to be a specific ‘theme night’ – this was another game essentially about immigration (attracting both Gaullish workers and Roman workers / patricians to develop the province), and also based on collecting sets of cards (in this case as long a run of cards as you can make without repeating a colour). In a sense it also has similarities with the ‘build the most efficient economic engine’ game genre, as the different symbols on different cards let you expand your choices in the future for who you can attract (and therefore the chance of getting more different colour cards in your run), but you have to balance this against the need to also acquire other symbols that will enable you to help people survive the winter phase: don’t have enough and some of your people will die (you might think this is a good way to help link up longer non-repeating card runs, as you get something of a choice as to who to kill off in this situation, but that didn’t really seem to work out). There’s also luck involved, in the order the cards come out into the lines you can draw from, but for me it was the ideal level of luck: enough to help keep things spicy and potentially stop a clear leader running away with it, but nothing like enough to wreck the game and seriously impede a sensible strategy. Quite possibly rather too ‘thinky’ for some, but a good light game for the ‘serious gamer’ crowd. 4/5

Alan

Armorica is released by small games publisher Vainglorious games and I really liked it. In fact I’ve played five games now over three days with 4,3 and 2 players and it scales really well. The art is simple and functional but a colour blind friend of mind had some difficulty with the some of the printing as there can be subtle differences in the same colour on different cards. I liked the theme of Romans and Gauls and I thought the mechanics worked very well as you have to really pay attention to what you are doing; on two occasions I forgot to keep track of the amphora, to feed my population and ended up losing cards and unable to claw back. Overall an excellent filler that requires some thought

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