Sunday, June 27, 2004


This game has a really clever mechanic. Usually, for me, that's
enough to make me really enjoy a game. With Alexandros, this is
unfortunately not the case. It's an area influence game, which isn't
my favorite genre, but that's not my main problem with it. It isn't a
bad game, it just isn't good enough.

The really clever mechanic is that the boundaries between the areas of
interest and influence are determined by Alexandros moving around
where he moves in (roughly) straight lines on a triangular grid, one
segment per player turn. It's neat. The rest of the game is a
relatively standard area control and cardplay game, but well crafted.
The components are nice and attractively produced.

The problem I observed is that it's easy for someone to fall badly
behind, and worse, it's easy to play unintentional kingmaker. I've
only played it twice (which will probably be about it), but it even
seems it may be a bit difficult for someone to not
accidentally make a bit of kingmaking move. I understand any
multi-player game is going to have a bit of kingmaking potentially,
but Alexandros seems to have it a bit more than I enjoy. Further, the
only way around this is for players to consistently gang up on the
leader(s), which happens naturally, but it's frustrating as a
fundamental game requirement. Finally, the luck of the cards isn't
overwhelming, but it is sufficient it can stymie attempts to hit the
leader even when that's the obvous correct move.

Overall, it's a nice set of mechanics, including one novel and clever
bit, but which falls victim to a few standard problems. The game is
fun, but the novelty is not so engaging as to distract from the
problems. In both games I've played, the problems rapidly outweighed
the fun. Not recommended, but not so bad as to not be worth a try. Rating: C

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