English language edition
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In Quo Vadis? each player becomes the head of a powerful Roman family striving to gain as much political power and glory as possible.
Senators of your faction occupy seats on the various committees. To advance, they must make deals and acquire votes from other factions to win Caesar's favor. As your members advance, they gain the laurels of high office and move closer to a seat in the Senate's Inner Sanctum. Your faction must advance at least one member into the Inner Sanctum and collect more laurels than any other faction to win the game.
How will you guide your family to glory in the Senate? Will you use a charismatic approach or just make sensible deals? How will you handle the faction that resists your advancement? Will you gloat over your accomplishments and anger your allies? Are you prudent enough to remain silent when others make mistakes? Will you honor your long term agreements or are others simply fools who trusted you?
Quo Vadis? is a Knizia game themed on Roman politics that revolves around pure negotiation and deal-making
It is easier to learn than most negotiation games, and features a very elegant game that combines simple rules with satisfying gameplay. It is also quicker to play than most negotiation games, and less vicious.
Since it is a negotiation game, the game-play and fun factor will largely depend on the personalities of the players. To be best enjoyed, a minimum of four players is needed, preferably five. The components are one of the game's weak points. Furthermore the extra chits and optional/advanced rules that come with the game likely do not improve it. But the real appeal of this game doesn't lie in production values, but the fun and entertainment of the negotiation, and the interaction that players bring to the table.
If you enjoy negotiation games and have a group of four or five players that enjoys them too, Quo Vadis is an excellent choice for quick and easy-to-learn game that offers pure negotiation without the long playing time or viciousness that accompanies most other negotiation games.
Quo Vadis? is a prime example of a game where tactical skill takes a backseat to the ability to fast-talk other people into accepting your deals. As such, it gets an undue amount of bad press from the wargamers. But if your group can get into the politicking and negotiating, it can be a great game.
The small amount of luck that comes from the laurels that get turned up is just about right, I think, and the fact that you can't win without having a man in the Sanctum strikes a nice balance between wanting to sit around and make deals with whoever comes by versus needing to keep moving.
All in all, a great game. I highly recommend it.
The current reviews trash this game, so it's time to step in. After playing it months ago, I just bought my own copy, and a friend just finished making his own set of men in his wooden lathe. That should serve as introduction to how my gaming group feels about it.
We don't play it with the fancy rule tiles (I think those complicate the game unnecessarily), but rather with the basic rules. This way we get a quick game, where a minimum of 3 players (ideally 4) get to go nuts. The negotiations are straightforward: 'If you don't play nice, I move the Caesar in front of my guy and advance next turn without your support. You have a problem with that? Then you must waste a turn moving the Caesar out of my path, letting player #3 or 4 (or both) get ahead of us.'
Basically you try to get one guy into the Senate and appeal to others' fear to score points. You get to learn or teach a thing or two about timing and real estate. Played with the basic rules, you can explain it unambiguously in 5 minutes or fewer. Can't go wrong here. Also note that, unlike Diplomacy, the tricks you can pull on people here will not ruin your friendships!