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Average Rating: 4.5 in 1 review
With Barons we get more card-game goodness from the same company that brought us Glory to Rome. I wouldn't quite call it a "new" Glory to Rome, even though it's from the same publisher, because it's lighter in feel, and the mechanics are quite different from both games. But cards still have multiple uses, and when played as buildings they will give you ongoing abilities and benefits. And it's definitely still a strategy card game, which is why the publisher is marketing it as part of their "Extreme Strategy" rather than their "Family" series.
The basic concept is that players are building up their personal barony by playing lands (which allow you to draw new cards by taxation) and buildings (which have special abilities), and there's interaction with other baronies by using knights. Cards are used as lands/buildings/actions/knights, but are also used as `money' (by discarding) in order to `pay' for the cards that are put into play.
There are four different coloured decks that are shared by the players, and each deck has unique cards with its own feel. There are certainly different strategies to explore by building around certain cards or colours. Barons also has the advantage of scaling well as a two-player game, and plays quite quickly - so you can play a couple of games back-to-back. I've played it many times, and find that many of the nuances only become apparent after multiple plays - I believe it's been somewhat unfairly the recipient of criticism from those who have judged it too harshly after just one or two plays, without taking the time to explore it more fully. So bear in mind: 1. don't expect it to be like Glory to Rome (it's lighter, and different); 2. don't judge it too quickly after just one or two plays (there's more strategy and tactics going on than meets the eye!)