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Subject: Yugblad's Quick-Fire Review of Cyclades. rss

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Mark Chaplin
United Kingdom
Nottingham
Ice-choked tower, Mondavia, Nanglangka.
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Cyclades is a game portraying the bloodthirsty wars between 2-5 civilisations, that take place in the Aegean Archipelago - a Greek island group in the Aegean Sea - featuring a sprinkling of powerful gods, and many monstrous beasts, heavily.

The board will remind you of the Mount Olympus scenes from the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans - in that, Olympians manipulate mankind like pieces on a game board. Here you do the same.

The game's a lot of fun, an enjoyable Ameritrash/Euro-ish blend that plays fast, and scratches various itches of mine, ticking theme-boxes like there's no tomorrow. It's certainly not the game I'd have designed using the same theme and location, but I'm very happy with my purchase, and I like the direction this game took.



Here are my distilled thoughts:

THE PERSEUS:

1. Fantastic mapboard. Depicts the archipelago as spied, through encircling clouds, from Mount Olympus.
2. Brilliant evocative art throughout.
3. Straightforward rules (6 pages).
4. Scales well between 2-5 players. The board actually changes configuration depending on the number of players involved.
5. Many interesting decisions each cycle.
6. Great Clash of the Titans theme.
7. Excellent plastic miniatures - each civilisation has its own moulds!
8. Plays fast: approx 90 mins for 3 players.
9. You get to deploy the Kraken, Medusa, Cyclops, and many other mythical beasts. Each has their own special power, varying wildly in utility and power - mainly due to situational play.
10. Brutal combat.
11. Sturdy box with useful divides.
12. Multiple paths to victory.
13. Oodles of room for outthinking your friends, especially during the offering phase (bidding).
14. Possible to win using philosophy and priests, rather than fist and steel.
15. Minimal dice rolling - to provide a little pep to the battles. The dice add spice, so the fisher-folk of the islands say.



THE MEDUSA:

1. Very cutthroat gameplay. If your friends don't enjoy seeing their treasure vaults raided for gold by enchanted monsters, and then that very same gold used to buy an army, which is then forced to march on their newly built Metropolis and steal it from under their noses - then open up a Euro instead. Cyclades is a confrontational game - when somebody attacks, she has to invade one of her friend's islands. That's the perfect truth. So if you don't fancy sinking your friends fleets with the Kraken, and then slaughtering his armies, don't pick this game off the shelf.
2. Plays like a diet version of Mare Nostrum.
3. Similar, but superior to, Hellas.
4. Board is in 3 sections - which works for scaling the number of participants, but does mean that there's a small divide.
5. Offering to the gods is just a new spin on Puerto Rico's role selection, but a good spin, nethertheless.
6. Very abstract civilisation building.
7. Kingmaking is the often referred to fault of Cyclades, but that is what you could accuse most conquest games of doing. This game is no different. Yes, the rich sometimes get richer, but I believe that effective use of Apollo can mitigate this. Or, hey, plan ahead and don't invite my sword-slashing army to attack your weak, undefended island.
8. Easily mispronounced. I believe you should say: Sick-la-deez. If I'm wrong, I'm sure some bright spark will bolt a reply onto the bottom of this review.
9. No individual heroes, only armies. Though the number of pieces are so few that you could play this in your mind as fantastic heroes, I guess.
10. Some dice rolling, but, really, so few you'd hardly notice.

I recommend the game heartily.
I rate it 8/10.

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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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Yugblad wrote:
8. Easily mispronounced. I believe you should say: Sick-la-deez. If I'm wrong, I'm sure some bright spark will bolt a reply onto the bottom of this review.

I pronounce it see-klah'-dez, with the 'see' as in French or Italian 'si', and the 'ah' as in German 'Bahn' or 'fahren' or as in Dutch 'Maarten' meeple.

Nice and concise review btw.
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Brian Morgan
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Very nice review. I like the division between the Perseus and the Medusa. Although some of the "bad" still sounds good to me. I definitely have to get this one.
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Kevin Garnica
United States
Buena Park
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So, I guess I'm wrong when I pronounce it "sigh-klaids" laugh
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Joel Weeks
United States
Roswell
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for me it was an instant 10. it actually is probably in my top 10 games played of all time.
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Dan
United States
San Francisco
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I must think over my position and how I may improve it.
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cymric wrote:
Yugblad wrote:
8. Easily mispronounced. I believe you should say: Sick-la-deez. If I'm wrong, I'm sure some bright spark will bolt a reply onto the bottom of this review.

I pronounce it see-klah'-dez, with the 'see' as in French or Italian 'si', and the 'ah' as in German 'Bahn' or 'fahren' or as in Dutch 'Maarten'
I think the Greeks would disagree.
 
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JS
Germany
North Germany
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The game title is not written with "C" but with "K"; you can see the small brown lines next to every "C". Originally, this word is written in Greek as follows:
Κυκλάδες
This is the Greek letter Kappa which is pronounced like a "K" in the name "Kane" or in "kale": Kykládes = Kyklaades.
(y not "why" but y like the german "ü" or like y in scylla; long a = alpha with acute accent; short e = epsilon, not eta).


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Dan
United States
San Francisco
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I must think over my position and how I may improve it.
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HauRuck wrote:
Hahahahahaha, because that makes it true.

1. That's a terrible English pronunciation based on the Latinized Greek.

Why would you pronounce cyclops "PSI-clops" and cyclades "SEE-cla-days." There's no precedent for it.

2. We were only talking about how the Greek would really be pronounced differently, and at least I was intimating that it's silly to correct someone on their pronunciation when there are several correct ways (and apparently much disagreement).
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Joe Wyka
United States
Walnut Creek
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Similar to Hellas? Oh god, no. My interest was just completely sapped away!!
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Andrew White
Australia
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Mortifikator wrote:
The game title is not written with "C" but with "K"; you can see the small brown lines next to every "C". Originally, this word is written in Greek as follows:
Κυκλάδες
This is the Greek letter Kappa which is pronounced like a "K" in the name "Kane" or in "kale": Kykládes = Kyklaades.
(y not "why" but y like the german "ü" or like y in scylla; long a = alpha with acute accent; short e = epsilon, not eta).
:)



I'm fairly sure the "d" is pronounced "th" as in the, then, their etc. The d was written originally δ and is not the same as d, such as dog, dirt, even though we write it d. I vaguely recall something like that from uni..

So it would be Kyk-laa-th-es

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Richard
Greece
Marousi
Athens
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andywhite wrote:


So it would be Kyk-laa-th-es




That's exactly how it should sound. No need for double a.

kyk= sounds like kick
la= sounds like la
thes= sounds like this but with an e instead (that sounds like the e in bet)
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Tim Collins
United States
San Rafael
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man I want this game, I will prolly break down and order it.

I pronounce it like I would Cyclops (sigh clops)

Sigh-Clay-dees
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Andrew White
Australia
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Unicorniclops wrote:
man I want this game, I will prolly break down and order it.

I pronounce it like I would Cyclops (sigh clops)

Sigh-Clay-dees


Actually Cyclops was originally it was spelt Kuklōps

Sigh-Clay-dees would be about the worst way to pronounce it. For one, how you get "sigh" out of kyk is beyond me. If you must spell it Cyc, then you need to pronounce it with a hard C --- such as cat, and the y like dysfunction.
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Richard
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andywhite wrote:

Actually Cyclops was originally spelt Kuklōps



You know your Greek! thumbsup
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Tim Collins
United States
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andywhite wrote:
Unicorniclops wrote:
man I want this game, I will prolly break down and order it.

I pronounce it like I would Cyclops (sigh clops)

Sigh-Clay-dees


Actually Cyclops was originally it was spelt Kuklōps

Sigh-Clay-dees would be about the worst way to pronounce it. For one, how you get "sigh" out of kyk is beyond me. If you must spell it Cyc, then you need to pronounce it with a hard C --- such as cat, and the y like dysfunction.


I am aware of that, but the common pronunciation fro those of se that dont know greek will suffice I think.
 
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Ernest S
United States
Renton
Washington
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From now on I am going to pronounce it as "datcoolgreekgameladidas"

Great review & this game seems to fit the kind of game I would love to own.
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JS
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Andy White wrote: "I'm fairly sure the "d" is pronounced "th" as in the, then, their etc. The d was written originally δ and is not the same as d, such as dog, dirt, even though we write it d. I vaguely recall something like that from uni.. So it would be Kyk-laa-th-es"


Hm. Κυκλάδες is obviously written with a Delta, not with a Theta or Tau. So in ancient Greek it should be pronounced "d", not English "th". I know that modern Greek uses something like a "th", but (in my opinion) not the ancient Greek. I studied the ancient Greek language for over 4 years at university (ancient greek and roman history), and we never said Kykláthes - our professor compared the ancient Greek often with modern Greek and told us that the "English th" is only a part of the modern Greek language. But... correct me if I am wrong.

I know that a lot of people in several countries pronounce the Latin and ancient Greek words different, and we don´t know the original pronunciation especially of the ancient Greek language so there is no received pronunciation. All told, the ancient Kyklades should be as fine and correct as the modern Kyklathes.
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