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Die Magier von Pangea
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Store:  Strategy Games
Theme:  Fantasy
Format:  Board Games

Die Magier von Pangea

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Ralf Burkert

Publisher(s): Queen, Asmodee North America

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Product Description

Players try to gather five amulets into their citadel. There are fifteen regions spread around the sea. Players produce amulets on these tiles, sell them to other players and buy amulets for themselves from other players. During the game, amulets become more and more expensive. Production also suffers from a limit: Each region can only carry so many people, when there are more in a region, production stops completely. Magic can be used to switch regions around or to move neutral playing pieces, either to use them for one's own production or the remove them from the influence of other players. The amount of magic that a player can use depends on the amount of amulets he owns.

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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 5 in 4 reviews

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A must buy for even veteran boardgamers
April 16, 2002

The rules are easy.

The strategy is built in,just add two or three devious friends and the game flows.

No dice rolling takes out a lot of luck.

Actions during your turn can be spent so many different ways that it can keep you thinking about moves you could have done two days later.

A must have for any strategy game player.

by Scott
What are you waiting for?
March 17, 2002

I've developed an unhealthy addiction.. I've been systematically buying the majority of the games that appear on the top 1-50 list of this site and slowly introducing them to my family and gaming groups with little to no regret. Most notable choices were Settlers, Acquire and Elfenland.

Based on the already well written reviews and the interesting description of this title I ordered it and was floored by the production quality of this game - the wooden bits are top rate, the tiles are easily as thick as those in Carcasonne and there's a cloth bag for each player.. in short, excellent bits. The only downside was that the board is like most boards, cut and creased in multiple directions to allow for collapsing to fit a small box which lends to a less-than-perfectly flat board despite physical coaxings.

The rules are a quick read as the game mechanics are extremely simple which belies Pangea's incredible depth. You'll be performing mental cartwheels with the wealth of options in no time as the game is about getting the amulets you need, producing goods with your minions all the while preventing your opponents from doing the same. The ability to shift the land tiles around is what tops the cake. You'll feel the tension as folks jockey the land tiles about the board which is mostly preventable by your 'lock-down' spell but you're limited to only an empty water space or single tile and there's almost always more than one way to prevent that player from getting another amulet back to their tower.

Pangea also adds to the strategy by making each player's minions capable of producing goods on only three of the five terrain types which promotes commerce between all the players. Minions produce goods on their native terrain types and any player can buy from any other player's minions so long as they are active on their native terrain. A minion can be inactive if there are a total number of minions on that tile that exceed the tile's labeled capacity.

With the three victory conditions and excellent play balance ( NO DICE!!! ) the end score is always close and the game always plays out differently. Any collector or even initiate of European board games would be well served to pick this one up.

This one wins by a land slide!
November 01, 2001

A while back, when this game first came out, I heard a bit about it and it intrigued me. True, the 'wizards and spells' theme is nearly done to death, but I heard that the 'earth' (the board) was made up of land tiles that were arranged differently every play (like Settlers of Catan), and that, during the course of the game, players could actually slide the land masses around! Now I didn't know too much more about it than that, but it certainly piqued my curiousity. So I waited to hear the great response to the game... and it never came. There were one or two rather indifferent comments and that was about it. I was surprised, but perhaps the execution of the game wasn't that good.

Well, flash forward several months. I'd asked around to see if it was going to be released in English by Rio Grande, but apprently Jay decided to pass on it. I kept my eye on the game hoping to hear some good press, and the more I read about it, the more I was sure I'd like it. But the game was published by Queen--a smaller publisher in Germany--and seemed doomed never to be purchased by anyone in our group. But at last one member picked it up. When I walked into his house and saw it, I couldn't take my eyes off it. We played several games that night, but Pangea was the one I was waiting for. One guy left early leaving me and my friend, and I asked him if he would mind if we played it with two players. He agreed.

We pulled out the components and admired the very pretty bits--one of the best looking games I have played, right up there with Tikal and Elfenland. The instructions took a couple of careful readings, but actually were less complicated than they sounded. We got going on the game and what unfolded was very sweet indeed! Basically, on your turn you get one special action for every amulet you possess (minimum 1 action, even if you have no amulets). There are several actions to choose from, all very basic--produce a new minion, move a land mass, etc. You proceed thru six phases, each person particpating in each phase, then you repeat until the game ends. The phases are very simple to do and take very little time--indeed, the game flies by--but one great part of the game is the winning conditions. There are three different ways to win: get 5 amulets, get 4 amulets and 10 goods, or get 3 amulets and 20 goods. Getting 5 amulets seems more glorious, but it is very difficult to accomplish.

Goods are pretty easy to get. Each minion is 'home' on a different type of terrain. If they are on the type of land they like, they produce one good per turn; if not, they don't. Amulets are harder to come by. You see, you have to send out your minions all over the 'earth' to go purchase the amulets from other players' productive minions. And on your way back, you may find that the earth has split in two, or that your minion is suddenly on an island (due to the rather importune intervention of your opponents! =) On top of that, each land tile has a population limit, and if it is exceeded, all the creatures become unproductive, which means they can produce no goods and they can not sell amulets. Wait, I'm not done yet! No matter how many humans play, 5 'teams' are always on the board. In the action phase, one option is to move the neutral players' minions which can help you acquire amulets much more easily. But when you are trying to shift the earth, produce your own minions, and move neutral pawns, you find your action points drying up very quickly.

I've had a chance to play this game more lately and find it great with 2, 3, or 4 players. There is less interaction with two, but also less luck. Playing with more makes for more malice. The 3 different winning conditions mean that you must pay a lot of attention to what the other players are doing. Sometimes getting 3 amulets and 20 goods is a very viable strategy, which means piling minions onto tiles to render the other players' minions unproductive is often necessary. And to crown off the whole game, it plays with very little downtime in about 45 minutes! This game is tense, tricky, and a pleasure to play. I waited a long time to try it out, and the wait was worth it. This is one of the best games I have played, in fact, the best game I've played since [page scan/se=0899/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Princes of Florence, and I highly recommend it for those who want an uncomplicated but tense game. It sure will keep you on your toes.

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