While I am not so much a miniatures player, I never pass on an interesting title. Especially if that concerns my favorite part of human history – Antiquity. Last year we had a Kickstarter for Hellenica expansions where one could also get the base version. Me fellow boardgames buddy Jakub decided to get this title and when it arrived I of course could not resist and gladly agreed to test the game. We convinced also Lukasz (who plays with me mainly Samurai Battles and Memoir) to join the fray. Let us see ho wit went – but first couple of words about the game.
An explosion of creativity and violence erupted in the Aegean Basin in 800 BC that defined ancient Greece. This combination of science, mythology, development, and war was led by powerful city-states like Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Troy, Byzantium, Corcyra, and Thebes. These states vied for control over their rivals and dominated the lesser states around them. In time, some of them became so well known that they are remembered even today.
Hellenica: Story of Greece is a 3.5X civilization game in which you harness the powers of one of seven beginning city-states to dominate the world around you. Your goal is to become the preeminent symbol of Greece for all posterity goals by achieving a combination of secret and public. Will you be remembered as a warmonger or a peaceful philosopher? Great priest or apostate? Will you develop a devotion to the gods or focus on the advancement of your people? All this possible in competitive and cooperative set-ups, with basic and advanced bot rules, allowing also for solo play.
In our initial game we decided to play on the whole map, with 3 players and 4 bots (in a simplified variant). As we shall see, that resulted in rather isolated game for each and every of us but on the other hand allowed the game to reach its finish. And to complete you need to fulfill 4 goals, where some of them must be private (only you see them) and some of them public. Let us see how it went!
(you can click each and every picture to enlarge it in the new window)
Two days later we decided to bring the Hellenica to the table for the second time. The learning was clear – we played on too large map for only 3 players. So we reduced map by removing Byzantium and Troy from play. That looked much more compact and proved to be many times more interactive – some might even say too much!
It was of course only two initial plays so the impressions will be limited, but let me share some of them immediately:
- Kuba full edition of the game, with miniatures and huge purchased map. It looks gorgeous! There is enough space for armies, miniatures are nicely produced and the map simply beautiful!
- The ability to add bots, in basic and advanced version, is a huge plus of this game as it allows even smaller groups to play Hellenica. But be careful – do not try full map if you do not have at least 4-5 players.
- I like the cooperative mode plus special scenarios – we did not have a chance to try it but I am sure this will be fun!
- The only drawback so far which I see is time to set-up, play, and clean-up the game. It really takes enormous amount of time!
I will not deny it – it was fan playing Hellenica, an interesting ancient-themed wargame with fantasy twist. Something different to what I can taste normally as far as boardgames are concerned. But this is exactly beauty of having varied boardgames colleagues group, with everybody bringing slightly different titles so we can try many genres, mechanics and positions.