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2 de Mayo» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Dos de Mayo: History made game and great fun too! rss

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Paco Jaen
Spain
Valencia
Valencia
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By Paco G. Jaen.

On the second of May 1808, the Spanish revolted against the French in Madrid, starting a revolution that would drive the invaders back to Napoleon’s France and help Spain start a new era. This little (in size!) game re-enacts that day.

You will drive the Spanish or French forces or the Spanish guerillas around the streets of Madrid conquering territories and vanquishing your enemies in an attempt to retain or free the Spanish capital.

This 2 players Spanish game looks unassuming enough. The box is very small and inside you have a whole bunch of red and blue dice, a deck of cards, two instructions books (yes, two…) and a sturdy game board gorgeously illustrated with a map of Madrid in the 19th century.

However this is where the unassuming bit ends and the true might of the game becomes very clear. The attention to detail and the amount of thought given to this game is staggering, but let’s go bit by bit.

Although Spanish born, the designers have done everything bilingual. You will have everything in Spanish and English. That includes the instruction booklet, of which you will find two copies. The book deserves a special mention too. It delivers both the game rules and some historic references to put the game into context. Amongst the references, are those of the characters depicted in both sides and who do have a historic background. It is a very interesting and highly enjoyable book to read to boot!

The rules are very simple. Dice represent army or guerilla units, they can move from one section to the board to another in turns and the game takes place over 10 turns with 4 phases per turn. If at the end of the 10 turns there are any Spanish troups left, or the French haven’t conquered all doors that give access to the capital and defeated at least half of the Spanish rebels, the French side loses. The French units outnumber the Spanish ones to the point of looking unfair (it was!) in the game. This, though, is the perfect reflection of the real events, where a handful of people revolted against a full army. The proportion, though, is extremely well balanced and soon after the first couple of turns begin, one starts to see that winning by sheer number won’t always work.

The actions in the game can be aided by the use of the enclosed cards, which they are drawn one by one by each player at the starting of each game. The cards have been lavishly illustrated with very well done drawings very typical of the times. Although there are only a handful of cards, colour coded for each side, they’re more than enough to add variety to the game and keep a good element of chance going, as well as to help develop srategies.

All and all the game is extremely enjoyable and keeping abreast of your enemy will be crucial in your victory, as it will be to plan your strategies and think on your feet if you want to win.

Indeed a highly recommended game that will keep you amused for many hours.

This review was first published in http://www.gmsmagazine.com
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Kevin Garnica
United States
West Covina
California
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Good review, Paco.

I have the game, too, and it's one of my favorite 2P games.

You mention dice a couple of times. I don't know if you have a different version than me, but I believe the game comes with colored "cubes" not "dice."
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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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pacman88k wrote:
You mention dice a couple of times. I don't know if you have a different version than me, but I believe the game comes with colored "cubes" not "dice."

In some languages it's the same word, e.g. Polish and (I'm guessing) Spanish.
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Paco Jaen
Spain
Valencia
Valencia
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That is very correct... Cube and Dice can mean the same in my language and my translation/writing skills are not the greatest!

Sorry for the confusion!!
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Kevin Garnica
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I stand corrected. I ought to know, really, I'm Spanish, but haven't spoke it fluently since I was a kid, so...my bad.

Regardless, the game is great, though, isn't it?
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Andrzej Sieradzki
Poland
Opole
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We don't stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing.
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Thanks for a nice review, Paco. The game was on my radar for a while and now when the price of it has dropped significantly, I've ordered it and waiting for a parcel.
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