Caesar & Cleopatra
English language edition
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Caesar and Cleopatra are locked in a struggle to determine the amount of independence Egypt will have. The decision lies in the hands of the powerful patricians. The players, as Caesar and Cleopatra, use their influence and special actions to win patricians to their side. When a vote of confidence is called, the player with the larger influence wins the voice of a patrician. Each voice brings one victory point. There are additional victory points for the majority in a patrician group, for the influence of a whole group and for a secret influence bonus. Whoever earns the most victory points, chooses the fate of Egypt and wins the game.
This 2 player card game is my favorite among this type. It is based on "influencing" a group of Roman patricians to let Ceasar or Cleopatra (you and your opponent) to rule Egypt. You influence these patricians by laying action cards with a point value either face up (2) or face down (1) on a particular patrician group, and when a vote of confidence is called the winner of the vote gets to keep the Roman patrician in that group. There are several other cards that are played that add quite a bit of variety and counteractions throughout the game.
It is fairly easy to learn, but does require some attention and memorization of cards played, and strategy in outwitting your oppoent. Once you know the rules, a game can be played in 30-45 minutes. The cards are of high quality, and the artwork makes you almost want to pause and gaze at the different pictures printed on them in the middle of a game.
Although it does not have the layers of San Juan (recommended) it does offer its own satisfying gaming experience.
Play this with the modifications noted elsewhere, (less orgy cards and 1 card down option) and it usually is a tight game. The cards are beautiful and easy to hold. Lighter than Hera & Zeus (which my game partner thinks is too chaotic), but deeper than Carcassone, and no comparison to Lost Cities, which I think is worthless. The only down side it the cards need to be banded or they will slide around over the holders. Then again most games are packaged badly, so it's not a big deal. Also the 'immoral' comments are baseless.
I just bought this game last night and I thought it was great. It has some bluffing in it, but I found it to be mostly a light strategy game. The cards are a little risky but it's just a game. They really aren't as bad as the other reviews make it seem. The game last about thirty minutes and I haven't played a better two-player game yet. So, I give it 5 stars!
Welcome to Rio Grande's translation of this fabulous game, which was included in our 1999 Games 100 in its less accessible German format. As Caesar or Cleopatra, with your own decks of beautifully detailed Influence and Action cards, you fight to gain the support of five groups of Roman patriarchs, represented by columns of three or five cards. You can place up to five numbered Influence Cards on your side of a column. The arrival of an eighth card on either side demands a Vote of Confidence. All cards are turned faceup and the highest total value wins a patriarch and its accompanying Victory Point. You're the champ if you end up with the most Victory Points, including bonuses for collected groups. It's possible to play a wicked Philosopher Card that, when revealed, allows the lowest value in Influence points to win! Action Cards add further uncertainty, with spies, assassinations, and other fine tactics available to thwart your opponent. This exciting and entertaining game usually ends in small margins of victory.