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Subject: [Review] Glory to Rome, I.V edition rss

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Tom Vasel
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When I first played Glory to Rome (Cambridge Games, 2005 - Carl Chudyk), I was initially overwhelmed by the rules but struggled through to find a tremendous game - one that has easily made my top 100 list, and a game that I'm always eager to play. There were many comparisons to San Juan, although Glory to Rome makes San Juan look like a kindergarten game when compared with complexity.

Today the game will likely be more compared to the phenomenally popular Race for the Galaxy, as both games have a similar feel. The themes are wildly different, of course; space and the Roman empire aren't tremendously similar, and I think it's safe to say that they occupy different parts of my collection. Race for the Galaxy has a very polished feel, while Glory to Rome seems a bit bloated - although in this case I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

I bring up the game only because a new version has been released, denoted the I.V. edition. The game has basically remained unchanged, but enough has been updated to bring it to your attention. Interestingly enough, the company is doing an amazing exchange feature for those who bought the original game (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/282257). The new edition has better components, MUCH better rules, and several changes among many of the cards.

The original Glory to Rome came in a bag, which while functional, was not as nice as the plastic box the game is now packaged in. They've also rounded the corners of the cards, which are included in three tuck boxes in the bin, keeping them easily organized. The chips are unchanged; but the real change, the most important thing by far, is the fact that they've included reference sheets. On my first playing of the game, I recommended that they provide them, but these are light years ahead of what they originally made available on the net. Using pictures and arrows to easily denote what cards go where, this is a HUGE improvement and helps the game flow very smoothly.

And on that same note, the new book has major clarity improvements; it's accessible and will allow players to quickly pick up the game. Cambridge Games has taken both the rulebook and building summary book and combined them into a very clear understanding of the rules. The game is still going to take a while for new folks to absorb how it works, but they'll have a much better shot at it with this edition.

A few rules changes have occurred:
- Players now use all six Jacks, rather than one per player. This allows players more options in smaller games, since one player can't grab all the Jacks quickly and hold them for the entire game.
- Out of town sites: The extra resource cards can now be used to build an "out of town" building. These buildings require two Architect or Craftsman roles but give players the chance to build a building of an extra color. I enjoy this change, since it's nice when you get a handful of extra cards (specifically brick) and want to build another building of a certain type.
- Petition: Players can discard three cards of the same type as a Jack. This allows a player to reduce their hand if it's clogged up with "useless" cards.
- Over twenty of the building's functions have been changed - a few minor; several have had complete overhauls. This hasn't changed games much that I've played but does seem to help balance everything out a little more and help clarify what exactly some of the buildings do.

I recommended that players get the game when it first came out; I doubly push that recommendation now. The components are drastically improved, the rules more so, and the entire game plays in a tight, engaging fashion. Don't put off checking out this deep, strategic card game - a tremendous value for the price.

Tom Vasel
"Real men play board games"
www.thedicetower.com
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E J
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Tom, stay outa my wallet!!

I just ordered this one from Fairplay. Looks and sounds really fun.
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E J
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Got the game, played my first time. Love it! Tom is right on the money here. Surprised at the fairly low ranking. Great medium weight card-game.
 
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Nick Bos
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Played it for the first time today, great game! Has some similarity with RftG, but it is different enough, and really fun!
 
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