Conquest of Pangea
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A fascinating game for dominance set in the distant past when all the world's land masses were joined in a single super-continent: Pangea. This unique game promotes battle and migration as the world breaks into pieces. The player-controlled species advance and evolve based on the in-game action. Featuring satisfying depth and near limitless possibilities, you will discover new facets to game-play each time you join in the Conquest of Pangea.
I saw this game at Gencon and was very interested to play because it won the Origins Award for Best New Board game... and their tournaments were sold out every day. I was able to play this at their cramped booth (please get a bigger booth next year). The object of the game is to dominate as much of Pangea as possible before all 6 continents break off from Africa. One extremely unique quality of this game is that the continents physically break apart. It's very cool and the pieces are very high quality.
At first it seemed like there were a lot of rules (because there are) but after a few turns it all made sense. It's pretty complex but also pretty straightforward. The set-up is totally random and there is also a bit of randomness with the Time Cards..the rest is strategy. It's a good balance. (If you want total strategy, go play chess.) I really wanted to get into the tournament but it was full so I bought a copy at the booth and plan to play it this weekend with my group. This is the coolest game I saw at GenCon. It has familiar elements of other games but it's really completely unique. This will be in my rotation for a long time.
Happy Gamer in NH
As soon as one breaks apart the components for Conquest for Pangea, one is struck with the quality of the product. The population pieces look like little mountains. The smaller tiles are labeled lakes (6), plains (5), forests(4), hills (3), tundra (2), and mountains(1). Little did I realize how significant these insignificant tiles would become in the game. The cards drawn from the Time deck each turn are well made and provide some fascinating dialogue. The Power deck card (at least one White) drawn each turn also represent good quality and points to play with. Those White Power cards are only earned if growth. Two White are earned with expansion, invasion, or migration.
The game begins with each player laying a population marker in a recessed area of the one of the five so-called continents. One is constantly reminded some of these continents will break away when the discarded time cards total 25 million years or more. To my considerable surprise I laid a population marker on the shape of Africa and drew some hills from the little bags provided with the game. My partner drew for another shaped continent, and the game continued. One was warned to be careful about drawing sulfur and the one small volcano tile. Naturally, after a few turns, I drew the volcano tile. That was placed in Northern Africa and later created major headaches for my opponent who wanted to venture into the Dark Continent and collect all the tiles he could. Also, no adjacent terrain tiles can be placed next to the volcano, and no growth can occur.
Once all the terrain tiles are played, the player achieves some "dominance" or Yellow Power Card. If you are as the player have two lakes, say, then, you can draw the strange animal shaped like a huge fish to defend the terrain. It can also serve as a raft. That goes for the mountains to the plains and everything between as a defense and growth. I especially like the "dominance" for the mountains with a huge lion card worth a defense of 5. The "dominance" changes throughout the game as players expand and battle. Once you control three adjacent terrains in a continent, you are given a plastic leader token. That allows you two extra points in "battle" if your leader is on the same area where the battle is being fought.
Adjacency is the key to winning in the game. Always, the players have to be aware of their terrains being adjacent to one another. You can grow population by placing one of your adjacent population "little mountains" on the bottom of another player's population plastic counter. Soon, you may have more of your population markers than your opponent. Then, a new kind of dominance occurs. You have, for example, more mountains than your opponent in different areas. You take one of his mountain cards, and with at least two mountain cards, for example, you can now take the lion or Yellow Power Card.
As I looked at my cards in the middle of the game, I was defended by a fleet antelope for my plains, a beautiful forest owl for my forests, a mountain lion for my hills, and, now, that mangy lion for my newly acquired mountains. Life was good. I noticed on the antelope and other cards three numbers: 3-2-1. The 3 column referred to the defense of the terrain, the 2 for grow, invade and expand, and 1 for "other terrain." What the other terrain meant was the combining of all those "dominance" cards to attack. Let's say the Lakes read "6" on the terrain tile. I had to have at least six points to "grow" in my opponent's area. The rules already told me I was entitled to five stones every turn. These stones could be broken up in any combinations I preferred for "growth." I could go into the hills for three stones and "grow." I could take the other two stones and go into the "tundra" of the opponent and "grow." I was always entitled to five stones every turn before I drew the dreaded Time Card that might eventually add up to 25 or more million years. The Time Card also told me which continent I could place a new population marker. Then, one of the continents shown on the card separated because of three time cards adding to 28 million. It took securing a raft or using the "raft" designee on the Lake "dominance" card to get back to that continent. Let's say I found all the hills and tundra covered to their capacity with the tile terrain number printed. I wanted to expand to the terrain area of my opponent. Five stones, that's it. However, I could take the "other terrain" number of the owl, since I was going from a forest to take a plain and "grow." I needed five points for the plain of the opponent. I take the Owl for one and four stones and visit my opponent's terrain for growth. That worked.
Then, the game progressed to its mean conclusion. My opponent decided he had enough of my stealing terrain. He had my one mountain tile in Africa surrounded on two sides. He attacked with his leader and some of his power cards. A power card is drawn if the player achieves at least growth in a turn. Two power cards are drawn if migration occurs at the end of a turn. Back to that mountain attack. I lost my mountain, my "dominance" lion card, and my pride. The game took some more ugly turns as continent after continent drifted away from its original location. My opponent had more rafts than me and proceeded to run all over the board. The game ended with a vicious score: 14 population markers to my measly 10 markers.
Still, it was an enjoyable evening, filled with drama and lost tiles. I fought to regain areas, and the mental stimulation was terrific. Definitely, a game to play again and again.