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David Miller
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Silver Spring
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Background

Steve Jackson Games was demonstrating Revolution! at PSI Game Night on Trade Day of Gen Con 2008. When I recognized the game from BGG as one that was being self-published, the SJG rep told me that the company had picked it up and was mostly finished with playtesting. As I understand it (I haven't played the original) the major difference in this new version is the absence of cards which contributed a random factor to the game.

What I Like

Revolution! exhibits the trait that I find most appealing in a Euro game—elegance. The rules are quite simple but game play involves strategic thinking. You can teach this game is under 5 minutes. Turns proceed quickly and players go simultaneously, so players stay engaged with little down time. Also, winning players need to stay on their toes. With good play and some surprise moves, it is possible to come from behind.

What I Don't Like

Not much. The biggest problem I had was forgetting on a couple of turns that you can't bid a currency on a matching color space. But honestly, bidding limits are pretty obvious during the game and no one else had such a problem.

Some More Details

SJG's version of Revolution! consists of just two mechanics—auction and area control. In the first part of each round players bid in secret on the 15 characters available (General, Merchant, Printer, Spy, etc.,). Bids are placed with three currency types: force (red chips), blackmail (black), gold (yellow). Blackmail always beats any number of gold and force always beats any number of blackmail. However, currencies may not be bid on roles identified with matching colors on the player auction sheet (e.g., the General does not respond to force).

In the second part of each round, bids are revealed and one-by-one, in order, each character is resolved, with the winning bidder receiving a set benefit. The benefits received are a unique combination for each character. For some, the winner receives more force, blackmail, or gold to bid next round. For some, the winner can place an influence marker in a particular zone on the board (market, town hall, port, tavern, etc.). For some, the winner can do special actions, such as switch two influence markers already on the board.

The game ends when all zones are filled with influence markers. The player with the most markers in each zone gets the support points for that zone. And the player with the most total support points is the winner.

My Opinion

Great game! Want a game that's easy to learn but challenges you to think? This is it.
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Philip Reed
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Kyle
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Thanks for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Did you play on the floor in the hallway (before the doors opened)? If so, that was with me.
 
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Philip duBarry
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Cincinnati
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Great review, David! Now to go blog it...
 
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Mike Ricotta
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This may be way way off, but is there any comparison to Junta? Any backstabbing? Double Dealing? That kind of thing?
 
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David Miller
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No, none of that. No negotiating between players. You place your bids on each character behind a screen. Everyone reveals simultaneously. In order, you grant the benefits of each character to the winning bidder. The only direct conflict between players is that some of the characters allow the winner to switch two influence markers or replace an existing marker on the board with one of yours (from off the board).
 
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David Miller
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Phil, no, I played the first game at the table inside the room. Was that you? Either way, I loved the game! If there's anything I can do to help, let me know. Are you looking for any outside playtesters? Also, send me any news so I can post it on Purple Pawn.
 
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Philip Reed
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robul wrote:
Phil, no, I played the first game at the table inside the room. Was that you? Either way, I loved the game! If there's anything I can do to help, let me know. Are you looking for any outside playtesters? Also, send me any news so I can post it on Purple Pawn.


Not me. I played outside the hall, before the event started.

Playtesting is finished and we're down to production and then printing. Thank you for the offer, though.
 
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Philip Reed
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robul wrote:
No negotiating between players.


I've played in games where we've made deals. Like any game, it's more a matter of the group's taste than anything else.

 
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Jason Levine
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Could you describe the components a little? There's a board - how big and how many influence zones (roughly)? What do the characters look like -- are they just a color and a special ability?
 
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David Miller
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There are seven areas on the board in which players compete for control. To see what the board looks like, check the Images section.

The characters are not pieces on the board. Rather, each player has a small individual board on which they place their bids each turn behind a screen. Each player's board contains 12/15 spaces (can't remember the exact number), one for each of the personalities. So, at the beginning of a turn, behind the screen, you place your bids on the character spaces. Then everyone reveals there bids. And one-by-one for each space the group figures out who won the bid for that character. Then, if appropriate, you place an influence marker (a small wooden cube in your color) on the board.

Overall, components (at least in the playtest model) are very simple. But then again, I don't think anything else would be appropriate for this game.
 
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Philip Reed
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pkitty wrote:
Could you describe the components a little? There's a board - how big and how many influence zones (roughly)? What do the characters look like -- are they just a color and a special ability?


The characters are flavor; none of them are actually shown.
 
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Enon Sci
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Wow.. Steve Jackson putting out a Euro? Itsa Niiiiice..

I grew up with this company, and I credit them for turning me onto ontological anarchy, poetic terrorism and other forms of weird though (Discordianism, Robert Anton Wilson, psychedelics culture, etc). Hell, I was a 6th grader when I followed the advice on the back of The Illuminati game and had my dad purchase me Cosmic Trigger.

Sadly, I never really played any of their games. They were all just too long and fiddly, like most american titles of that era ("all" - in my world - consisted of Hacker, the original Illuminati and Car Wars).

I'd be honored to play this once it's released.
 
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