Der Untergang von Pompeji
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Pompeji, the city at the foot of the Vesuvius, is at the high point of its development. Numerous Roman citizens, famous gladiators and rich patricians settled in the magnificent buildings. When the inhabitants of Pompeii begin their daily work in the morning of August 24, 79 A.D., they don't suspect the forthcoming disaster at all.
At the start of the game, the players bring their citizens into the city. When Vesuvius erupts, everyone tries to bring out as many of their citizens as possible from Pompeii. The winner is the one who saved the most of their citizens in the end.
The clever Pompeii theme carries this game -- and the volcano is a nice touch!
The game starts sedately -- players draw cards to populate the city with their own citizens, and their "relatives." Then, the first volcano card pops up, and the fun begins. Now, whenever an "Omen" card is drawn, a player can throw another player's citizens into the volcano. When the "A.D. 79 card" is drawn, things start to get really interesting. In this stage of the game, players take turns drawing lava tiles and placing them in various parts of the city, and moving as many of their citizens as possible through the city gates to safety. Place a lava tile on a space with citizens on it, and throw them into the volcano! The player with the most surviving citizens wins.
This is a quick game to learn, since the theme makes things intuitively obvious -- first, get people into the city, then get them out.
While it will not tax your brain, there is some strategy involved in deciding where to place citizens in the first part of the game, and how to move them out in the second part. (For instance, the number of spaces a piece can move is equal to the number of pieces sharing its current space. Also, it can pay to move your piece to a space occupied by opposing players, to minimize the chances of having your piece flattened by a lava tile.)
This is a great game for kids. It plays quickly (generally, within 30 minutes), and they seem to enjoy tossing citizens into the volcano!
Finally, the game looks great. The board is sturdy and attractive, and the lava tiles (which have different themes to indicate which part of the city they can be placed in) are colorful. And we do love that volcano!
Die Untergang von Pompeji is a light weight strategy game that is easy to learn and fun to play. The game plays fast with 4 people. The game is somewhat divided into two parts.
During the first half of the game, players take turns using cards to populate the city and then drawing. If you place a citizen in a building already occupied you get to place bonus citizens on the board. After a few rounds of play, the volcano card comes up signaling the omens of a volcanic eruption. Now when a player draws an omen card he/she gets to sacrifice a citizen to Mt Vesuvius in an attempt to appease the volcano. It doesn't work of course and When the volcano card comes up a second time, Vesuvius erupts!
The second half of the game now begins where players attempt to get as many citizens out of Pompeji as quickly as possible. Cries of "Run away, run away" are frequently chanted. The player with the most survivors wins the game.
I love the big volcano that comes with this game (or should I say 2 games). The first game is a boring set up and the second is a mildly amusing flee from danger.
The game is very light, but there are more rules than you'd want to learn for how random the game is. I like the theme! Unfortunately, the game is just not that good.