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Game designer Bernd Eisenstein's first published title was Maya from Abacusspiele in 2003, and although five years passed from that point until the release of his next design -- Kosmos' Zack & Pack in 2008 -- he wasn't idle during that time, with alea iacta est seeing print in early 2009 from alea and now Peloponnes from his own company, Irongames.
In Peloponnes, each player is trying to establish one of seven different civilizations in 1,000 BC. To do this, they must erect buildings and annex land to be developed, thereby increasing both their wealth and their population. Your goal: Nothing less than being the most dominant civilization on the peninsula at the start of a new millennium. To do this, you'll bid for tiles each round, with one chance to overbid others or bid on a different tile. After players take income from their holdings, two disaster tiles are revealed; if the third instance of a particular disaster is revealed, all players must suffer from it -- although some buildings will shield you from these effects.
All land and building tiles provide victory points, and each inhabitant is worth three victory points as well. Two complications, however: First, you must feed your civilization's inhabitants twice during the game and once again at game's end or else see them starve. Second, your score at the end of the game is the lower total of your population points and your land/building points.
Says Eisenstein, "Peloponnes offers a deep playing experience in a reasonable amount of time. There is even a solitaire variant included in order to learn the game, and a level system in order to gauge improvement and add new challenges to the solo game. If that isn't enough, there is already an expansion available, including components for adding a sixth player, new building tiles, and a sea variant with special tiles for more tactical possibilities."
Language: German and English
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com