English language edition
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Each player oversees the building of his city-state. Temple, theater and oracle, a harbor with ships, vineyard with vintner, and many more must find space on the islands. Players must move fast to get the best land for themselves while blocking their opponents from good building spots. As building is expensive, players seek to save money by using the natural resources of the islands. Players also seek to organize their building in an order that gives them the best city-state.
Attika is a great game. I've played it close to 100 times and I still enjoy every playing. It scales well from 2-4 players and it is deep in strategy. It does have a small learning curve though.
Very highly recommended for gamers and families.
1. Always keep plenty of cards in your hand. You don't want to get stuck placing to your mat very often since it slows down your speed in getting your thirty buildings down.
2. It is everybody's responsibility to stop a connection win. Don't rely on other players.
I couldn't give this game 3 stars because it is quite simple and deep. It really packs a punch in regards to strategy! But I couldn't give it 5 stars because it is quite dry and even boring at times. The truth is that this game is not that much fun to play. Well, it is fun in an intellectually interesting way, but it does not have a great theme and not much fun player interaction.
To sum it up, if you are looking for a FUN game, then look somewhere else. If you are looking for an interesting and deep game, this you'd probably like this one.
I introduced Attika to my wife and mother-in-law over Christmas, and it was a big hit. Suprisingly, my wife particularly liked it, and she now actually asks to play it two-player. The only other game she likes this much is Carcassonne.
Because I'd read that winning by connecting two temples was "too hard," I initially started with a larger board (4 player setup for 3 players, 3 player setup for 2 players). True enough, we found connection victories difficult even with the large board at first.
The obvious solution to the blocking problem is laying a new map piece to give yourself a new route. The problem is that the new map tile typically gives you a route that requires 2 spaces to complete. You only get 2 draw actions, and since you get a map tile after a draw action that finishes a stack, you usually can only place 1.
Unless, of course, you have an Amphora. If you complete a set of tiles and they're all connected, you get an Amphora, which you can spend at any time for an extra action. Thus, if you take draw actions, you can often get around a block with a draw finishing a stack, place a map tile, draw and place, pay an Amphora for a third draw action and place again.
Once we learned this, all of our victories were connection victories. Using the proper, smaller starting boards didn't change that. The key to winning the game by connection rather than exhausting your tiles is proper management of those extra map tiles you can place and taking care to earn amphoras. Of course you also have to have enough cards in hand to play any tiles you draw.
It's also possible to win from your mat after placing a map tile, but harder. Doing this requires that you carefully watch your opponents, and catch them when everyone else is short of cards, short enough that they can't play a block tile before you win next turn. This is obviously most practical with fewer players, particularly two players.
Attika is a fairly deep game. Besides the aforementioned key issues, you also have to constantly weigh how to play your tiles quickly and cheaply. Early in the game, you can play cheaply using the resource symbols on the map. As the game progresses those are covered or blocked, so you must rely on your hand.
It's cheaper in terms of actions to play a tile immediately as you draw it, but if that is expensive in terms of cards, it may be cheaper overall to place it on your mat for later free play via prerequisites, or when you expand into a new map tile with the right symbols. Sometimes though taking a key space is more important than conserving cards, or your opponent may destroy your cheap move by covering a map symbol.
Overall, I'd say it's very good.
I added this game to my latest purchases because it sounded like it might have some hope, but looking at the photo and box top I didn't put too much hope into it.
BUT... There is more to the game than the photo and descriptions present. More components than I thought, and all good quality. (Funny, my cards don't fit in the storage spot provided?)
The 'city building' function is much better than I expected, frankly I didn't realize there would be much of anything.
All in all, it seems to be the #2 hottest game after Puerto Rico at big game gatherings, so don't judge this one by the cover, go get it.
My partner & I have played this game only about 5 times, but that's enough for me to know that it's going to get lots of future play. It works well for 2 players, and is a nice balance of luck (e.g., the order of tiles in the stacks) and strategy.
It's easy to get caught up in trying to win amphoras -- bonus tokens -- by connecting specific buildings. It's too distracting, in fact -- I have found myself putting building tiles in reserve, and waiting for the 'right moment' to build. Mistake! The key to this game is getting your buildings out on the board, pronto, without using too many landscape cards.
(One reviewer has said the easiest way to win is to connect the 2 shrines. Not in this house! That move is too easy to spot and prevent if you're awake.)
With its hexagonal, gear-shaped tiles and its landscape cards, Attika reminded me slightly of Settlers of Catan.... but this game is more active, and requires more 'juggling' of priorities. Again, as a 2-player game, I find it much more satisfying than the standard 2-player card-based games.
Overall, a delightful game!
The famous phrase from real estate concepts expresses the meaning of this game. You are given a Greek City-State at the beginning, and you are asked to construct a city, build to the temples, or connect all the city hexes.
Simple? Not exactly. In between, as a player, you are thwarted with your opponent usurping some of your city moves. You are thwarted by placing the wrong tile and losing places for tiles. You are thwarted by your way to the temple being blocked.
I will refer to the Green Player (Corinth) and the Yellow Player (Sparta) as the opponents. We created a two-player game, but the game is available for up to four players. After selecting our city-states, we were told by the rules to set up four stacks of tiles (with eight or so in each tile stack). Three stacks of tiles had white symbols on their backs to designate 'other buildings.' One stack contained the black symbol designed as 'main buildings.' The rules indicated we could choose two tiles from the four stacks or build three tiles from our player board. The only catch was everything had to connect according to the drawings on the player board of Corinth and Sparta.
Landscape cards also govern the board. The first player in a two-player game draws four landscape cards, and the second player draws five. During the game, if a build cannot be accomplished, a landscape card is drawn instead. At one point, a player can draw three landscape cards instead of accomplishing any of three builds from his or her player board. When a player constructs buildings of one type, the person is entitled to an amphora or free move, designated by a wooden arrow. Along the way, one must also pay for settlement costs.
Immediately, Corinth and Sparta set up the four large hex tiles for a two-player game. We established the two temples (as shown in the instructions)at the north and south end of the four hexes. We could only build on these four hexes until a stack of the four drawing tiles was exhausted. At the moment, we could place one additional large hex tile with the other four.
Everything went swimmingly until we started to build. The frustration of drawing the wrong or almost correct tile became quite apparent. I wanted the city of Corinth tile to connect the plaza, tavern, theater, and gymnasium. The tile did not appear in the initial draws, and I was soon faced with ships, vineyard, mill, and corn field on my player board. The corn field required a Fountain, and no other initial connections were possible. The Yellow opponent soon figured out to deplete the black symbol tile stack (only six in stack) and find his city of Sparta.
Soon it was discovered that one of the shortest ways to win was to connect the two temples. Valiantly, I connected the vineyard and vintner. That didn't free up quite enough squares for the city of Corinth (still to be drawn).
The first game (we played two)blazed away with my opponent completing at least five tiles and the City of Sparta tile. Further, Sparta had depleted two stacks and was adding large hex tiles at an alarming rate.
When I inadvertently played a ship tile instead of the Harbor tile first, I soon learned the value of paying too much for the cost of terrain. Whenever one lays a tile, he or she must pay the cost of the terrain. If terrain surrounds where you are placing a tile with certain costs, you can save some expense of terrain (e.g a water landscape and a hill landscape in adjoining tiles). Naturally, I felt good about paying only one forest landscape card and receiving a free water and forest adjoining tiles. However, that cost in the first game became quite apparent when paying three water landscape and one forest to build the Harbor. If I had built the Harbor first, I would have been entitled to a free ship tile or two or three, because the arrows or connectors on the player board indicate an attachment. Ah, the vicissitudes of learning.
The Yellow Player began to run away with the first game. He connected all the city tiles (at least seven) with Sparta. He also connected all the street tiles (cost of five landscape to start build), and, soon, I realized the hopeless position of trying to connect two temples.
Perhaps the second game would be better. It started with a fairly smooth connecting of five tiles and the city tile of Corinth. My opponent then blocked the southern temple from connecting with my city. Then, a fatal error occurred. I proceeded to connect the Harbor next to the city tile of Corinth. That left me with at least one useless tile, the Theater, because the connection with Corinth no longer worked. My opponent easily finished me off in the next few moves by, first, planting an additional large hex tile, filling that hex tile, and connecting the two temples. The Yellow Player let me savor my loss by finishing the game and connecting all his tiles. He won twice, first with the temple connections, and, second with all the tiles connected.
Would one play this game again after such deep losses? Absolutely. The game does not completely rank as better than Puerto Rico, but it has enough strategy and sheer gall with it to warrant many replays. Rio Grande has another winner.
There's a lot of good things to be said for Attika. In particular, I like semi-abstract historical games with simple rules but some strategy depth. And Attika has this, except for one flaw I haven't seen anyone mention.
Basically, it's just too easy to block off the shrines. In Attika there are two ways to win: Lay down all your tiles or connect two shrines. But due to the hexagonal layout of Attika, it's very easy for there to be a nearly mathematical elimination of the possibility for connection. (And this is true even when adding new board tiles.) This means things can quickly boil down to a race to build cities, which isn't nearly as interesting.
Now I've never played it as a 4-player game, so that might be where it shines brightest.
Don't get me wrong...I like the look, the boards, and lot of other things about this game. But loss of the connection-ability makes it less than what it might have been.
Attika is played on a board consisting of several tiles (4-8 depending on the number of players). Each tile consists of 7 hexes, which are the spaces buildings are placed. The goal of the game is to link any two shrines with a continuous chain of buildings, or to place all 30 of your buildings onto the board. There is one shrine per player on the board and each shrine is in a corner of the board.
On his turn a player may either draw two buildings (blindly) from his four stacks of buildings and place them on his player sheet, or place three buildings from his player sheet onto the board. If you only draw 1 building or place less than three buildings in your turn you can draw a landscape card for each of the remaining actions. Once a stack of buildings is exhausted the player places a new tile to expand the game board in any place he wishes.
Each building occupies exactly one hex (buildings also include roads, vinyards, vintners, and ships) and has a cost to play it. The cost is a certain amount of landscapes (mountains, forests, hills, and water) which are represented by cards. There are also landscapes on many hexes. To build the player must either play the landscape cards and/or place the building next to or on the approprate landscapes.
Buildings are organized by groups. If a group is built in the right order building is free. For example, if the quarry is built (which costs two mountains and a hill) then the fortress can be built for free if it is adjacent to the quarry. You can then build a tower for free if it is adjacent to the fortress. If an entire group of buildings are completely adjacent, not necesarily in order, the player receives an amphora which may be played at anytime to take an extra action.
There are a few other rules, but this should be enough to give you the flavor of the game. My intention was not to retype the rule book but to write a review. Here it is. Abstract games don't usually appeal to me, three stars is about as excited as I can get over an abstract game. The game requires planning and thought but does not suffer 'analysis paralysis'. The rules are fairly simple, but more complex than most abstract games. The game has some depth, the player with the best strategy of blocking his opponents from building for free or cutting him off from landscapes on the board will win. Most games are going to be fairly close with amphoras becoming important at the end. Most games are going to be won by the player who builds all 30 of his buildings first, it is simply too easy to block the path to connect shrines, this causes the game to drag on for a little too long.
I have played multiple games of Attika, but only as a two player game. My impression is that Attika may be one of those rare abstracts that plays just as well as a 2, 3 or 4 person game. If abstract games are your cup of tea you should check it out. If you are like me and steer away from abstracts give it a try, but let your friend buy it.
Most 'great' games are nearly universally recognized for their brilliance and replayability. Sure, there are exception to every game, but some games tend to polarize opinion, while still remaining quite popular. I am on the short end of the stick with Attika.
Players collect resource cards in their hand trying to get their stack of buildings onto the board. Games can end one of twow ays, but usually end when one player gets on their buildings on the board. The games does a neat job of placing bonus resources on the board that can be played by building on, or adjacent, to the bonus resources, creating a neat tension. Also, players get build discounts (and sometimes even free placement!) if they lay down buildings in sequence as dictated by their playmat.
I should really like this game, but after repeated playings, find it dull and uninspiring. The theme is well applied, and so I am mystified as to why I find it so dry, tactical, and dull -- but I do. Certainly the modular board, and snappy mechanics are a plus, and it really does play well with 2-4 players nicely. But overall, this is a game I simply find no draw to at all. The gameplay seems methodical, and surprisingly lucky, given the 'tile' (building) draws.
Definitely NOT a game for non-gamers, but has a good-size core of support amongst gamers. Just not this gamer.
How many names does one man really need? And when such dark deeds are being done at the font, shouldn't some thought be given to the editor's typing finger?
For gamers Hans im Glck has long been established as the designer label and they invariably come up with something good for Essen. This year it was the latest instalment in the Carcassonne series and this interesting, tile laying and resource management game from the much named Herr Merkle.
The setting is ancient Greece and the players take on the roles of Athens, Sparta, Thebes and Corinth. Not that these names signify very much, for they are just labels to go with the usual blue, yellow, red and green. The aim of each player is to build a city, which they will do by placing round markers showing the pictures of buildings on to a `board' formed from snowflake-shaped tiles. (Put seven hexagons together as compactly as possible and you get the shape of a basic snowflake. These can then be pushed together in a variety of ways. That is what happens here.)
At the start of the game a number of tiles, equal to twice the number of players, is put together in a set shape to form the initial playing area. More will be added during the course of the game. At equidistant points round the perimeter shrines are then placed, one for each player. These are stand-up markers on hexagonal bases and so slot into the grid. The aim of the players is either to create a chain of buildings connecting two of these shrines or to get all of their buildings on to the board. First one to succeed wins.
Slightly more than half of the hexagons on the tiles are plain. Others show resource symbols in one of four types - wood, stone, etc., the sort of materials that you need to construct a building. These same four symbols are to be found on the cards of the resource deck. Each building marker shows, in addition to a picture and the name of the building, what resources are needed for its construction. For example, to construct the harbour you need 3 water and 1 wood. These resources can come from any combination of the hexagon on which the building is placed, vacant adjacent hexagons or resource cards. So finding a good spot for your building will reduce its cost significantly.
This idea of combining local resources (on or adjacent to the site) and imported ones (cards) is basic stuff - and none the worse for that, since it is also logical and appropriate to the theme. However, what gives the game its special flavour is that the price reductions don't end here, because in certain circumstances building becomes completely free. The buildings fall into groups and in each there are chains of dependency. One group consists of a quarry, a fortress and two towers. If you build the fortress directly adjacent to the quarry, it costs you nothing and if you go on to build either or both of the towers directly adjacent to the fortress, that is also free. Moral: try to get the quarry down first and in a spot that not only makes its construction cost low but which leaves space for the later, possible freebies.
At the start of the game your buildings are shuffled and then arranged into four stacks. One stack contains the ``master buildings'' (the stone quarry in the previous example) and the other three the rest. On your turn you do one of three things:
* draw three cards from the resource deck
* draw two building markers from your stacks
* build three of your previously drawn buildings
If you want to draw or build less than your entitlement, you make up the slack by drawing resource cards. When you draw a building marker, it is your choice which stack it comes from, but of course you don't know which building it is going to be. Once you have looked at it, you can either pay the cost to build it immediately or you can place it on your personal board, which has spaces for all the buildings and which shows the groups and the dependencies.
Whenever you exhaust one of your stacks, you draw and place a new land tile. It is your choice where it goes. There is also a bonus that comes if you complete a group of buildings and they form a contiguous block. This comes in the shape of an ``amphora'', which you can trade in either now or later for a slight extension to your turn - an extra draw or an extra build. This might not sound like a generous reward, but remember that this game is a race and small margins can prove critical.
And there you have it. The ``shrine to shrine'' route to victory is fairly easy to block. You just take it on yourself to guard one of them and rely on the other players to have the good sense to do the same. That being the case, when all the players are experienced enough to be able to spot and deal with the dangers, the game becomes a race to get all your buildings on to the board as quickly as possible. To achieve this you need to
1. minimise the number of turns you have to spend drawing resource cards by making maximum use of good sites and the free builds that come from placing buildings next to their ``feudal superiors'';
2. save vital time by making as much use as you can of your right to construct a building as soon as you draw it.
Of course, all this is easier to say than to do or there wouldn't be much of a game.
I like Attika and am happy to add it to my list of Essen recommendations, though I don't expect that in five years time we shall be hailing it as a classic. This is because I strongly suspect that there is a ``route one'' strategy and that once everyone has figured it out, the difference between victory and defeat will turn on who draws the most favourable tiles and whose building markers come out in the right order. But I can live with that. There are a lot of games that turn out to depend as much on good luck as good management and provided the game play is enjoyable I don't mind. This game is enjoyable.