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Zoom In Magna Grecia
Close Zoomed Image Magna Grecia
Store:  Strategy Games, Ding & Dent
Edition:  Magna Grecia
Theme:  Ancient Greece
Genre:  Civilization Building
Format:  Board Games

Magna Grecia

English language edition


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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 75 minutes 2-4

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Product Description

2500 years ago, Greek traders and adventurers traveled to southern Italy to settle and develop the area. They called the region Magna Grecia. The development of the area led to a era of rapid cultural and economic growth. Before the arrival of the Greeks, the region was populated by only a few small isolated villages. The region's rich soil, navigable rivers, great forests, and bronze and silver mines offered the Greeks enormous development potential. In time, the Greeks built great cities such as Tarantum, Syrakusai, Katane, Locri, and Naxos. There were also numerous small villages, many of which have disappeared or were swallowed whole by the growing cities. They built a dense network of roads to support trade and the prosperous markets in the cities. With success came strong rivalries among the cities, especially as they competed for the attentions of the oracles for the fame they offered.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Advanced Strategy Game Nominee, 2005
International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2003

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Leo Colovini, Michael Schacht

  • Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Venice Connection

  • Year: 2003

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 75 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 1,465 grams

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English).

Contents:

  • 1 game board
  • 80 road tiles
  • 80 city tiles
  • 9 oracles
  • 80 markets
  • 4 player markers
  • 4 summary cards
  • 12 action cards

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.3 in 3 reviews


 
 
 
 
 
by Mary
Very good, even with 2 players
January 22, 2004

This is a very good tactical game with enough happening in it to keep you constantly assessing the board and your plans, but it plays quickly. The scoring rules can be tricky so ready them carefully. If you like building road/track on a hex board, balancing your spending with your anticipated income, and a little bit of interfering in others' plans, then this is my recommendation for a quick, tactical game.

 
 
 
 
 
by Dr Jay
It's All Greek to Me!
December 14, 2003

A two-player game of Magna Grecia should not work well, but it did. As my friend and I read the rules, we noted how important oracles and markets were in the game.

The solution to decent Grecia playing is to build roads carefully and use two of three actions with caution:

1. When you draw the tile for turn sequence, you may build roads or cities (depending on the numbers).

2. You may also draw from supply to replenish your roads and cities.

Constantly, the rules admonished the two of us to remember how expensive cities were. On the Internet reviews I had read how bland the colors are on the board. That didn't seem to interfere with the game; we played the German version, but the cards in German did not cause a play slowdown. We each built our road network from two different sides of the board, North and South, if you will.

Our plan was to meet in the middle. I like the feature of the game of building one city and receiving a market free. It soon became apparent my player friend had six markets, while I had five. Four oracles were controlled by me, but the middle-of-the-board oracle appeared threatened by my friend.

We soon discovered the road supply was not endless. We were left with mainly straight roads, while all the curves and winding pieces had been used by both sides. That made the last road network to the oracles and more villages hard to build.

Suddenly, my friend announced he had more markets and cities facing my oracle in the middle of the board. At the beginning of the game, you can scatter in a two-player game the five oracles in any patterns you wish. All players begin the game with a green hex village where they can build one of their first cities. A city costs one point on the point chart. The city must control an oracle. This threatening at this game moment meant I was going to lose the oracle that had taken three road hexes to reach.

Ah, the vagaries of game play. Each oracle is scored at the end of the game with four points, and the markets are scored with the number of villages and cities that intersect (direct connections) a particular market. You could, for example, receive three points for one market that had numerous intersections(direct connections).

The final scores became 35 and 22. I wasted three road hexes trying to reach a village and an oracle instead of using those precious hexes for short building. As my friend commented, if we had been smarter, we could have built to three village hexes in the middle of the board and, eventually, controlled more markets.

All in all, this game kept one thinking about the numerous possibilities of road building and market creation. I am happy to announce neither the Brown nor the Yellow (my friend) player had to sell markets to replenish the number of points allotted in the game. I would play the game again; however, with at least four players, the cutthroat competition to secure oracles would be considerably intensified.

 
 
 
 
 
'the Greeks don't want no freaks...'
October 31, 2003

A rockin' tune from the Eagles 'Long Run', Magna Grecia unites two designers with rockin' track records, Leo Colovini and Michael Schacht. Its a civilization building game using a tile-laying mechanism.

2 - 4 players have 12 turns to build cities, connect them with roads, establish markets and attract the 'Oracles'. Players all begin on the coastal perimeters of the board (green villages) and work inward towards the Oracles. On a player's turn, you may take two of three actions; lay city tiles, lay road tiles, add tiles to your supply. The turn sequence system limits the amount you may do of each. You may increase this number by doing only one of the three actions. Players also have a limited budget that keeps uncontrolled growth in check. Players establish markets in cities/villages to gain victory points at the end of the game. The more cities/villages a market is directly connected to, the more VP's it is worth. Players also connect roads to the 7 / 9 Oracles, randomly placed on the board. Each Oracle is worth a set 4 VP's. Oracles favor the cities with the most cities/villages/Oracles directly connected to it. All play is geared towards the end game scoring. After the twelfth turn, game ends, points totaled, highest score wins.

Magna Grecia is a fine collaboration of its two designers. The semi-random turn sequence that establishes who goes first every turn keeps the game fresh. Players must be constantly vigilant over where everyone else is developing. Getting your markets into new cities before it has a chance to expand gets you maximum return for your investment. While it is a tile-laying game, it really is a business/investment game at heart. Your limited budget has you constantly deciding where can you get the most VP's while spending the least (perfect capitalism!). The game does allow players to 'sell' a market to add back points into your budget, but at a cost to your final scoring. Players MUST establish themselves with both the variable market scoring and the set oracle scoring .As road connections determine the value of everything in the game, NEVER run out of them. Concentrating on just one scoring mechanism (markets vs. Oracles) has yet to yield a victory for a BGoR player (exception: 2 player game) . You can feel to power struggle influence of Colovini (Carolus Magnus) mixing with the road networking of Schacht (Paris Paris) seamlessly. The 'fiddly bits' player aid chart at boardgamegeek is quite helpful with the German version. Enough has been said about the poor color choices (what were they thinking?!?) in the German version, so wait for Rio Grande's English version to clean that up. Toward the end game, the analysis paralysis syndrome can become an issue, so as we say at BGoR, 'Be bold...MAKE A MOVE!'

A solid 4 from BGoR, barring the poor color scheme of the German version. We look forward to more from these two designers.

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