| April 4th 2016 |Thanks for checking out my blog. I have a new, much better looking version of this review here: http://www.boardgamebarker.com/blog/2015/8/21/augustus
A Worker Placement game set in the roman empire, count me in! Although the theme could have been over 9000 times as exciting as it was, Augustus is quite a fun game.
I will first give an overview of Augustus then I will explain why it didn't stick around at my gaming table.
You want to score as many points as you can before the game ends, the game ends as soon as a player has seven completed objectives.
|The scoring in Augustus is pretty complicated at first|
their score sheet helps make it easier, I just hate using
score sheets like this.
Give each player 7 red legions
Deal each player 3 objectives
Put all of the 'mobilization tokens' into the cloth bag.
Create a stack of the remaining objectives and then turn over 5 in the middle of the table
Display all the rewards (number of objectives, coloured objectives, gold and wheat)
One of the benefits (or drawbacks) of Augustus is the simultaneous gameplay, once a mobilization token is revealed, all players execute their turn at the same time. The game ends AS SOON AS a player completes 7 objectives.
The oldest player player starts as the 'Town Crier' that is, the person with the bag! They draw 1 token place it on the table and read aloud what it is:
Players now get to mobilize their legions that match the token that was just drawn out of the bag. In English: 1. You may place your red legions from your supply of seven onto any of your objectives
2. You can move a red legion from any space on an objective to a space matching the token that was just revealed
IMPORTANT: You can only place 1 legion or move 1 legion for each token drawn from the bag.
KIND OF IMPORTANT: You only pass the bag once someone has completed one of their objectives or the wild/joker token is drawn, you then pass the bag to that player and they become the town crier.
If by placing a legion that matches the revealed token you have successfully filled all of the spaces on your objective you can now shout out "AVE CESAR"
Once someone calls ave cesar, the gameplay stops and that player resolves his completed objective.
Resolving an Objective:
1. Remove all legions from the completed objective.
2. If the objective provides a power, use that 'power'.
3. Move the objective into your completed/scored objectives
4. If available, you may choose to take the 'reward'
5. Choose 1 new objective from the 5 face up objectives in the middle of the table.
IMPORTANT: If multiple people call ave cesar at the same time then the player with the lowest numbered completed objectives goes first.
Rewards are given when you are the first player to collect a set of coloured objectives or if you are the first player to reach a number of completed objectives. These award bonus victory points
Powers range from extra legions, rearanging your legions, removing opponent's legions and more.
End Game Scoring:
The scoring can be a little tricky due to a '?' where the number of victory points should be listed. These ? symbols give you points for each completed objective that matches them, eg: Green Provinces are worth 2 points each while Orange Provinces are worth 6 points each.
Each objective with a red banner coming down it is worth 5 bonus points.
Add all your points listed on objectives, rewards and bonus rewards together, the player with the highest score when a player completes 7 objectives is the winner.
The artwork is sort of confusing how some pictures show areas providing "resources" but the only resources actually used in the game are wheat and gold. It looks nice, just not functional, the cards are also quite flimsy, the one thing I did like is that they give you a lot of objective cards and since you don't go through too many in a game there is a bit of added replay ability. The workers/legions are boring, all being the same colour is not only a good mechanic for gameplay but looks nice too. None of the components are really special or awful.
Who Would Enjoy Augustus?
Family Gamers: It can be tricky to teach since gameplay is simultaneous but the rules are not complicated and very fun. There is no violence so the Roman theme can be brought onto the table even in family settings. Augustus can also be a fun way to teach worker placement to new or younger players, getting used to not spreading your workers, in this case legions too thin, this is a valuable skill in the world of boardgaming. Calling AVE CESAR when you complete an objective makes this fun a bit extra fun for families and once you have the rules down so does racing to be the first to complete your objective.
Casual Gamers: Augustus has enough strategy to keep you interested while not being too rules intensive, but lots of games have that what makes Augustus so special for casuals? Not a whole lot sets it apart other than its very quick setup and take down time because you don't have to sort coloured legions, all the tokens are drawn randomly anyways and the gameboard is on cards dealt to each player.
I play with my share of family and casual gamers, so why doesn't Augustus get played that often after the first two weeks of owning it? To put it simply there are better games out there, shouting Cesar was fun the first game but after that got pretty boring just like Bingo does, since there is no other real way to know if you are the first person to finish you are forced to shout something and since 'finished, bingo or done' all sound equally unappealing I would go with Cesar. I would be more inclined to shout Cesar during a game involving Roman politics or where legions actually clashed, sadly this game's key mechanic does not fit its theme and simplicity to me. The only other game that lost its appeal as quick for me was Escape: The Cursed Temple, both are solid games and I would recommend them to the right person, they are just not for me.