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User Rating Comment Status
Mario T. Lanza
United States
Camp Hill
Pennsylvania
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10
Nov 2006*
Brilliant design! I ordinarily don't like games with combat; however, this game is clever and ties multiple elements together in an ingenious way. The design has just the kind of brilliant interwoven systems I seek out in advanced strategy games. Have played three times and remain enamored. Won once using the Bulgar attack.
2006-11-07*
Owned
Christophe Sancy
Belgium
Zaventem
B
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10
Nov 2007*
Another wonderful game from Martin Wallace: maximal player interaction, innovative mechanics, no downtime.
2012-11-16
Paul Nomikos
Canada
Kingston
Ontario
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10
May 2008*
Brilliant Gem!!! Unique Advanced Strategy Game!! Get a copy now!
2008-05-18*
Tony Hamen
United States
Austin
Texas
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Music sucks now....
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10
Sep 2012
Great game with a lot of strategy. I look forward to my next play!
2010-12-06
Owned
Nikos Kalfin
Greece
N.Makri / Athens
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9.3
Oct 2008*
Maybe not the best but surely my favourite Wallace game!
2009-11-25
Owned
Ubergeek
United States
Camas
Washington
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Be Happy in your Game!
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I spent 100 Geek Gold and all I got was this lousy overtext message!
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9.2
Oct 2005*
My top choice from Essen 05. A very interesting mechanism where you play both sides of the conflict and must balance your point collection. The game moves fast and is easy to learn. IMO, even better than Wallace's last game Struggle of Empires.
2005-10-24*
Owned
Massimiliano della Rovere
Italy
Pisa
Tuscany
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9
Sep 2009*
Content Language: -;
Rule Booklet Language: De.
2006-12-06*
Prev. Owned
Sergio Roscini
Italy
Perugia
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9
Nov 2005*
A resources (cubes and, in less measure, money) management game AND a wargame with a strong theme. You have to play in the two sides of the same conflict. You are at the same time a Byzantine noble AND an Arab sheik, you score points separately for the Byzantine and the Arab, but you have to balance the two factions so you can add the points together.

And there is much more going on.
Civil wars.
Barbaric population from the north.
The fall of Costantinople...

A very beautiful game with (and I think it’s unusual for Warfrog Games) great art. Wonderful board.
2005-11-14*
Owned
Alessandro Benvenuti
Italy
Marino
Rome
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9
Dec 2005*
Very long, but intense and with a lot of chosen to take.
2005-12-14*
Owned
Nicholas Barker
United Kingdom
London
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9
Dec 2005*
Thoroughly enjoyable quasi wargame which plays out in about 3 hours. There is quite a steep learning curve on first playing but you should be up to speed by the second game. Great depth of strategy and lots of nail-biting choices. One of those relatively rare games which works well for three players.
2005-12-17*
Owned
Alex Sorbello
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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9
Mar 2006*
great concept, the game plays smooth and has a way to force your opponents into certain positions. I also like the 3 dice max (with exception of elites) per battle round and biggest army wins mechanism... One of the better euro style wargames...
2006-03-12*
Owned
Koert Debyser
Belgium
Brugge
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9
Jul 2009*
Very good and original, but under-appreciated cube-management strategy game in which you try to balance and maximise your victory points earned by the two rival empires during the war between the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim Caliphate. The unique twist in this game is that all players control both sides and need to earn victory points for both sides. Conflict is resolved very straigthforward by rolling a number of dice based on the strength of the attacking force/defence with a 50% chance on inflicting casualties. Nevertheless, the stronger opponent will usually win the battle and hence the impact of this dice rolling on the overall game play and strategy is not that huge. By the way, you'll want to recieve casualties, as you have to pay for the upkeep of your armies at the end of the round. Take in account that if the balancing act with the victory points really doesn't succeed, then there is always the option to sack Constantinople for a knock-out Arab victory ...
2006-05-31*
Owned
Ulrich Blum
Germany
Cologne
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9
Jul 2006*
Martin Wallace did it again! Playing both sides of the conflict realy blows ones mind, but once grasped it opens up so many interesting strategies. Combined with the various end and winning conditions (wich remind me slightly of Liberté) this game is another wonderfully elegant design by Martin Wallace. What a great game. Can't wait to play again.
2006-07-10*
Owned
Eric
United States
Virginia
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9
Oct 2008*
A wonderful game that really shines with 4 players. The strategies are not at all obvious at first blush, and the interactions among the many choices the players can make are subtle. Nicely aggressive, a little bit cutthroat.

The rules aren't perfectly clear, however, and they do leave out a few cases that are relatively likely to occur.

Beautiful components, and a wonderful board that very clearly displays the players' options. One of best I own.
2007-06-30*
Owned
andrea ciuffo
Italy
Modena
Unspecified
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9
Aug 2007*
Bought @ essen and played it many times, and many people asked me to play it.
2007-08-27*
Owned
Tom Rosen
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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9
Jan 2010
Purchased: September 25, 2007 (Tanga)
2007-10-07*
Owned
Pierre-Luc Thiffault
Canada
St-Laurent
Québec
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9
Jan 2009*
Enjoyed my first game. It was a 2 player. It was enough to get my feet wet concerning the game rules. Next time I want try a 3 or 4 player game to test the game in more detail.

Played 2 4 player games, and won both. 2nd game I conquered the capital.

Game is unique in the way of scoring points. Each player controls both nations. Each player has to score points equally enough for the chance of winning. If one of your nation scoring value is twice as your other nation scoring value, you just score one and not both nations together. If that happens, you just lost the game.
2010-08-10
Owned
Lech Osiński
Poland
Warszawa (Warsaw)
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9
May 2009*
Very good game with unconventional mechanics. A little of economy, strategy and a lot of blocks!

+ differences between Arabs & Byzantium (in arms and whole strategy and objectives).
+Bulgars ^^ <- I love that orange blocks.
2008-01-16*
Owned
Steve Bernhardt
United States
saratoga springs
Utah
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9
Mar 2008*
Very good game. Playing both sides at once is novel, and works very well. Tough decisions. I consider this a eurogame with a REAL THEME.
2008-03-03*
Nuno Gonzalez
Portugal
Estoril
PORTUGAL
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9
Jul 2009*
Schizophrenic Euro-Wargame in which each player represents a family with interests in the Byzantine court and the Caliphate at the same time. Excellent choice for three players.High rating for the magnificient components and for multiplicity of strategies and treacherous cynicism Byzantine contained, (You can be the byzantine Admiral and at the same time let YOUR arab faction take Constantinople by sea!!).
2015-05-22
Owned
Jason Leveille
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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Get your game on!
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You know you want to play with purple, don't you?
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9
Apr 2009*
Very fun "wargame". It's so tricky to figure out the balance between the factions, and then the threat of Constantinople falling to change the victory conditions adds a sweet twist.
Owned
ryan campbell
United States
Rockford
Illinois
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9
Feb 2011
It seems like it really needs 3 or more players; I doubt I will ever play a two player game of it again.

Also, as a pet peeve, the thickness of the wooden discs is twice what they should be and I find it very annoying. They get stacked too high and become too unstable, as well as block view of the board. Landing on their side too easily, they roll away. I'm in search for thinner discs or to cut these down.
2011-02-26
Owned
Want To Play
Ben Skellett
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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I know I'm gonna get got. But I'm gonna get mine more than I get got.
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And the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it's only one or two things. With me, I think it's one.
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9
Oct 2011
I love this game. Such an interesting theme & it's great to watch how the game unfolds. Limited actions & resources make the game so tight (as I would expect from MW) & the victory conditions are interesting. Want to play more.
2011-04-22
Owned
Want To Play
James Webb Space Telescope in 2018!
United States
Utah
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9
Feb 2010
Love this game
2010-02-18
Christopher Fritel
United States
Austin
Texas
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9
Dec 2010
4, 120
2013-03-15
Lindsay Scholle
Australia
St Ives, 2075
NSW
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9
Aug 2014
Excellent. Very simple and clear what you're trying to do, with a bucket load of options each turn and every one of them useful in some way. Each turn flies by as players do one thing and then execute it quickly. You're not sitting twiddling your thumbs waiting because it's go go go. Yet, despite the simplicity, there's a good historical feel here. Nothing too deep, but it's all recognisable stuff from history, and in a nice, light, not getting too bogged down in the details way. Combat is kept simple - there's no modifiers for this or that - so the pace is hardly slowed down at all.

I had a blast playing this. I skimmed through the rules at super speed and yet walked into it with a decent understanding of how it worked - not necessarily how it all fit together so I could play well, but well enough to launch into a game and enjoy myself. Well written rules and a nice clean system make this game light, but a reminder of what games can be - fun. Looking forward to many more plays.
2014-08-17
Jason Reid
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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9
Jul 2011
Like a Ming Vase, Byzantium is fragile yet beautiful. When handled with care by the right group of players, a wonderful strategic narrative unfolds over the course of the early-, mid-, and end-games.

The first time my group of three played it, the game shattered quickly into a million pieces. But we taped it back together again and had a great second play.

Byzantium is recommended for folks who like games like Imperial & King of Siam, and thus can avoid self-identifying too strongly with either of the factions on the board. However, be advised that there's quite a bit of luck involved. Bad luck isn't crippling, but very good luck can send the system spinning out of control. That said, the game would not be nearly as interesting without that dynamic.
2011-08-29
Prev. Owned
Gareth
Switzerland
Zürich
Zürich
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My ass is green, but I don't let it worry me.
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8.8
Jul 2009*
Fascinating game where everyone plays both sides in a war off against each other. The need to balance your scores combined with the early end conditions keep the game interesting.
2009-07-12
Owned
Dimitris Vasiadis
Greece
Vari
Attiki GREECE
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8.7
Jan 2014
Another classic Wallace game. Distilled strategy of a light wargame but an excellent economic game. Lots of interesting details in this diamond, like the "Hannibal" retreat rules, the fact that you forfeit your faction vps if they are less than half of the other faction vp's etc (brilliant mechanic!). Excellent game overall, without being too complex like other Wallace games. I loved too many different small details to list here.
2011-04-10
Jur dj
Netherlands
Leiden
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8.5
Oct 2005*
good game, always fun to play two (or even three sides) in a conflict. Doesn't have the range of options of SoE and PotR though, so I will need more games to determine whether it's as good as...
2005-10-18*
Owned
Alastair Cornish
United Kingdom
Croydon
Surrey
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8.5
Dec 2011
Based on one play, couldn't stop thinking about it, great game!
2011-12-06
Owned
Geo
Greece
Athens
Marousi
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8.5
Nov 2005*
A very good gamer's game with many options each turn.
2005-11-19*
Owned
Michael Van Biesbrouck
United States
Mountain View
California
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8.5
Jun 2006*
This game has a number of fun challenges, both strategic and resource-managing. The mechanics force interesting conflicts, in particular the incursion of the Arabs. Possibly better with 3 than 4 players.
2006-06-14*
Owned
Walter
Netherlands
Soest
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8.5
Sep 2009*
Challenging and fun to play. Playing both sides of the conflict (both arabs & byzantines) and balancing both sides makes this game unique.
2007-07-01*
Owned
Andre Leme Lopes
Brazil
Brasilia
DF
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8.5
Sep 2007*
Weird! It isn't a wargame, but there are battles. It isn't a eurogame, but there are lots of cubes. You control both sides of a conflict, and you can attack your own pieces! And it's a great game! Very weird!
2007-09-15*
Owned
Dave J
United Kingdom
Plymouth
Devon
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8.5
Dec 2007*
I have never known a game which sounds so complicated but plays so well. I really enjoy this game, which scratches my 'heavy game itch' without taking up an entire day. Well done Mr Wallace!
2007-12-12*
Prev. Owned
Cristian Cano
Spain
Sevilla
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8.5
Jul 2011
Another very good Wallace game.

The rules seems to be a hard and difficult game, but once you start to play it isn't. Maybe it has too many little rules like Brass.

I don't know why, but is always funny beat on others.

Deep down it's a majority game, but you fight for get these majorities. Better than the average Wallace game and I love Wallace games.
2012-08-05
Owned
Marco Delmiglio
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8.5
Apr 2013
• ITA • Di gran lunga il mio gioco di guerra preferito. Di certo è un wargame atipico, ma forse è proprio ciò che più mi piace. La meccanica che fa gestire a ogni giocatore truppe di entrambi gli schieramenti in campo (bizantini e arabi) è veramente originale e consente situazioni di gioco piuttostro strane: uno stesso giocatore può trovarsi ad un certo punto a guidare una grande invasione araba poco dopo aver difeso strenuamente roccaforti bizantine in Terrasanta…
2013-05-06
Owned
Sarinee Achavanuntakul
Thailand
Bangkok
Select a State
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8.5
Dec 2012
Pretty neat area control game with a twist: you have to score for both sides. Not sure about the Bulgars though; it seemed too easy in our game for them to attack Constantinople and trigger Arab-only win. I like the mechanics of cubes and separate treasury for both sides.
2012-12-02
Owned
Bosze Gabor
Hungary
Kapuvár
Győr-M-Sopron
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8.5
Dec 2014
Hát vegyes érzelmek! Volt kinek tetszett, volt kinek nem. Át nem láttam, de nem mondom, hogy szenvedtem játék alatt. Most egy kicsit belegondolva máshogy alakítanám a stratégiámat. De a lényeg, hogy van, nem is kevés a lehetőség. Valójában kockamenedzselés az egész, de mégsem egyszerű, főleg anyagilag nehéz létezni.
Tetszett, de játszottam már jobb Wallace-al is életemben. A harci rendszer pedig kiegyensúlyozott. érdekes, hogy senki nem panaszkodott, hogy kockák miatt nincs annyi pontja, hogy jobb eredményt érjen el, ahogy az lenni szokott kockák esetében. Jó ez a rendszer.
2014-12-10
Owned
Nikolas Sakaloglou
Greece
Keratsini
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8.3
Mar 2011
One of the most underrated Wallace games. Complex design that offers various strategies and tactics. Bulgar army is an issue. It adds to the historic consistency but it also introduces the luck aspect in a game with minimum luck. I like it but I also understand why some others don't.
2009-05-12
Owned
Iñaki Ocaña
Spain
Cuenca
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8.25
Mar 2010
Buen juego aunque no le vi la gracia como a otros del estilo pero buen juego muchos cubos y muy buena la mecánica de equilibrar los marcadores
2010-03-07
Want To Play
Russell Webb
New Zealand
Christchurch
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8.2
Jan 2010
Fairly long and complex. Mechanics make sense but there's a bit too much book keeping at the end of phases. Still highly enjoyable and nerve racking (in a good way).
2010-01-21
Owned
Neil Henderson
United Kingdom
Newport
Shropshire
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8.2
Mar 2007*
All wooden pieces and simple atmospheric board give this a nice tactile feel in play. Easy to learn but with repeated play there are quite deep tactical subtleties here to master. Brings out the history and feel of the era in a simple but effective way.
2007-03-13*
Owned
Nate Merchant
United States
New York
New York
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8.2
Sep 2007*
A totally underrated design by the great Wallace. I'm still stunned how wargamers especially think his games are "lightly themed." Instead of having chrome to your eyeballs, Wallaces focuses on gameplay and elegance first, THEN on theme, and after 3-4 hours with 4 players, you realize that you've played a loose model of the fall of Byzantium with asymmetrical powers, unique victory conditions, and nailbiting gameplay par excellence.

Committed AT-ers and literalist wargamers need not apply.
2007-09-01*
Owned
Geoff Brown
United Kingdom
Manchester
Unspecified
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8
Oct 2005*
After lots of work...it works brilliantly
2005-10-19*
David Fair
United States
Damascus
MD
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Or maybe PowerGrid?
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Yeah, that's me. Handsome devil, I know.
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8
Sep 2008*
Played a partial game thus far. There is a lot going on. I consider this among the games I most want to play right now...
2005-10-22*
Prev. Owned
Ákos Tasnádi
Hungary
Budapest
Unspecified
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8
Nov 2005*
Just another well-designed game of Mr. Wallace. More a cube-management game, than a war-game. The fights are fast, easy and quite predictable; it's a good one. It's very interesting, than you fight with the Arabs as a Byzantion, and with Byzant as an Arab, and collect victory points of each side - and sometimes in a civil war you beat an other player as Arab vs Arab... The rules could be seem a bit difficult, but they aren't - at half of the first turn you'll be a professional.
2011-05-02
Owned
Gerard Mulder
Netherlands
Voorhout
Netherlands
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8
Nov 2005*
Preliminary rating as I want to get in a few more games. I think it is a very strong economic game. Specially for 2 players it works very well!
2005-11-07*
Owned
Eerk Katerman
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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8
Nov 2005*
simple yet fun and intriguing mechanics, fast and highly original. what more does a game need?
2005-11-13*

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