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Alexandros


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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Strategy Game, 2005

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 45 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Leo Colovini

Manufacturer(s): Venice Connection, Rio Grande Games

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Product Description

Alexander moves with army back and forth across Asia Minor, conquering the land as he passes. To bring peace to these newly conquered lands and to reward his generals, he gives them control of the new lands. The generals establish administration over the lands and levy taxes on the people living there. Naturally, each general tries to acquire the most productive lands for himself. With more productive lands, the general can levy higher taxes, show his worth to Alexander, and win the game!

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Strategy Game, 2005

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Leo Colovini

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

  • Year: 2003

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 45 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 745 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
  • 1 Alexander figure
  • 16 guards in 4 colors
  • 55 cards with 5 symbols
  • 65 black boundary walls
  • 10 red boundary walls
  • 4 scoring discs
  • 1 rule booklet

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 3.5 in 4 reviews

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Not Realistic? WHO CARES! Great Game!!!!!!
January 08, 2005
Most great games have an abstract core with a theme and a little color thrown in. This game throws out any facade of realism by giving a patchwork quilt for a board and having objectives which are quite abstract. Like Setlers of Catan or Carcassone it's rules are simple, but involve an exciting and addictive gameplay. Like the other games of this creator it can be taught to non-gamers and provide an evenings fun fairly quickly. All I can say is that when these friends come over, it is the game most requested. While I was playing and enjoying this game over the holidays, several "Award Winners" were gathering dust on the shelves.
 
 
 
 
 
by Dr Jay
A Patchwork Quilt That Makes Sense!
April 04, 2004

When you first open _Alexandros_, you are greeted with a mass of triangles (maximum, four players) that doesn't make too much sense. You are to control all the triangles you can and create provinces with your guards (four guards for two-player game)in control.

That sounds easy enough, doesn't it? You are given wooden bridges or boundaries to show your movement from triangle to triangle. After moving the Alexander block with one of the two face-up cards, you then take two other actions: (1) draw two cards or take one face-up or one from the deck; (2)occupy a province with your guard or steal an opponent's province; (3) levy taxes once a turn;or (4) take back a guard to bring your depleted four initial guards back up. It should be noted you can take a card from your hand and substitute for a face-up card, but it does mean losing two cards instead of one. Everything works fairly well until movement. I had to ask the distributor to clarify the following rule: 'The player need not choose a point closest to Alexander, but may choose any of the three points of the chosen triangle.'' What that means is the player moves to the nearest triangle, not nearest point of the triangle.

You have five symbols on the cards you draw and move to on the triangles. They are: nourishment, a jug (amphora), horse, lyre (culture), soldier or warrior, and temple (administration). When drawing these cards as part of your two actions, it is wise to conserve amphora, horse, and warrior, because these cards do not seem appear too often in a well-shuffled deck.

Levying taxes can become a real pain in the neck. Let's say you control six triangles, and you decide to levy taxes as one of your actions. You collect the victory points or money all right, but your opponent also collects his or her taxes. It is wise to only levy taxes when you benefit.

The rules suggest it is a good idea to break large sets of triangles into much smaller plots to place one guard instead of wasting two. You may in your turn hoard as many cards as you wish in your hand. My opponent did that and waited for just the right moment to play his three horses, two temples, and a jug to achieve a rather sizable piece of property or province (triangles). Since the scoring of points occurs immediately, my opponent soon figured out that maybe triangles of five or so meant many more points, ultimately, in the victory column.

As the parcels or triangles were gobbled up by my opponent, I waited patiently for the extra warriors and horses to complete a rather large plot. It finally happened with about 10 triangles, but the problem is snatching parcels from your opposing player. My opponent started thinking, hmm, if I could get three temples, two jugs, and three soldiers (warriors) in my hand, I could take over my friend's property. It is important to recognize the removal of the opponent's guard starts the takeover effort. If a guard, for example, is resting on a temple symbol within a triangle, the opponent must have two temples in his hand to remove that guard and then play all the other cards to complete the occupying of that province. That occupying, naturally, subtracts victory points from the opponent levying any more taxes. Levying taxes can only be accomplished once a turn.

The viciousness of the game is balanced by the sheer fun attached to the playing. It is challenging to plan just the right moves to reach the triangle points with the cards in one's hand. To remind ourselves, it is any point on the nearest triangle.

My opponent, eventually, outdistanced me by 30 or so points. That, obviously, meant he has passed 100 points or one of the ways to stop the game. He allowed me to continue the game beyond the last card and wall as a possibility of catching him. That did not happen, but that does show how the game can become addicting once it is started. Also, if a player recognizes not enough boundary walls or thin blocks exist to complete the path, the game comes to a screeching halt. Once the rules clarification of triangle points was completed, the game is well worth playing again and again.

 
 
 
 
 
Not great, But good!
October 18, 2005

Actually, this is somewhere in between 3 and 4 stars.

It's a nice little game, and the theme is kind of married to the play, albeit abstractly, like Samurai and La Strada (both of which are solid games like Alexandros).

It also has a fairly unique mechanism, and you do have to think carefully about how to balance your various options.

One drawback is that there are a bunch of minor rules that exist to balance out the game play. And while most games have those, the ones that don't merit 5 stars in my book (like Carcassonne). BUT, it's not a complex game overall and smrt children (7 or above) could play this and give an adult some trouble.

As is said below, however, the game is a tad dry. But I suspect some people will love this game, so if you've loved games such as Attika, Samurai, La Strada or others like that, then you will probably like this a lot.

 
 
 
 
 
Impression: Just not worth it...
July 28, 2004

Initial impressions of games can sometimes mislead, but often you get a good sense of game after a first play. And Alexandros simply didn't do anything for me. It is designed by Leo Colovini -- which usually means dry, abstract, fun, and addictive (rare for me to use those adjectives in the same sentence). The man seems to have a gift for elegant replayable games. Sadly that gift seemed to wane slightly in this design. Also, while most of Colovini's games are well priced, this game is simply too SIMPLE for the lavish production it received. And the art is bland, and the gameplay somewhat counter-intuitive, and tactics blandly calculating. Can't find much good here. I even found the artwork quite annoying. (Very 60's textbook feel.)

Players are trying to carve up the Great Empire by moving Alexander by way of cardplay. Play a card and then move Alex to the nearest matching symbol on the board. But players also need to save up card symbols in such a way as to claim provinces. This mechanic simply fell flat for me.

Alexandros is not horrible, just lackluster. For a better example of the man's excellence, I recommend Clans, Cartagena, or Carolus Magnus.

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