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Each player has a crew of hired scalpers that divide their efforts between buying the best tickets and hunting down loose-pocketed patrons.
Your crew of scalpers is represented by a set of cards numbered 1-8, but despite what you might think, no blind-bidding is involved. A Starting Player card and Favor cards are laid out next to Caesar's Villa; tickets equal to twice the number of players are laid out next to the box office; and finally patrons are drawn for the three venues, in each case one fewer than the number of tickets available.
Players visit these three sets of locations – Caesar's Villa, the box office, and venues – in order. At each spot, you take turns laying down one of your scalpers, playing a Favor card (should you have acquired any), or passing. Once everyone passes, you claim goods, with the highest numbered scalper picking first, and so on, with ties broken by whoever played on a location first. So everyone plays to Caesar's Villa to see who claims the Starting Player and Favor cards, then you play to the box office to see who buys which tickets, then you play to the venues, selling tickets to the patrons in line.
Your score in a round is the value of your tickets sold (1-3 each), the value of patrons who purchased these tickets (2-6), and the number of scalpers you didn't use (0-3 points for 1-8 loafing scalpers), in addition to possible bonuses.
The Favor cards naturally twist the rules a bit, letting you buy or sell two tickets, for example, or reusing a scalper that had already been played earlier in the round. (At the time of this writing, the Favor cards were being tweaked.) Caesar himself sometimes shows up in line at a venue, but not because he needs to wait for a ticket. He is Caesar, after all! He's trying to do a favor for someone waiting in line, and you can help him out -- to your benefit naturally.
Circus Maximus is played over three rounds, with bonus coins awarded for some patrons in the second and third rounds to up the payout. Whoever has done the best job of meeting demand with supply wins the game and is cursed by others for a greedy and rapacious nature.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com
Jeffrey D Allers
Players: 3 - 5
Time: 45 - 75 minutes
Ages: 10 and up
Weight: 300 grams
Language Requirements: Game components contain some foreign text, possibly requiring occasional reference to rules translation. An English translation of the rules is provided.
- 110 Cards:
- 5 Locations
- 40 Traders (8 each in 5 colors)
- 18 Favor Cards
- 18 Tickets
- 16 Visitors
- 12 Coin Cards
- 1 Starting Player Card