By Robert Florence on December 17th, 2012 at 9:00 am.
Editor’s note: These are going to start appearing thick and fast this week.
On the third day of Boardgamemas, my true love gave to me THREE FRENCH HENS. Except they weren’t French. They were Roman. And they weren’t hens. They were gladiators. And there wasn’t three of them. There was only one. His name? SPARTACUS.
WHAT IS IT?
Spartacus was my big board game surprise of the year. A TV show tie-in game, inexpensive, launching without much fuss. And yet it turned out to be one of the most thrilling, cut-throat games I’ve played in years. I’ve even accosted strangers in board game shops to tell them to buy it. The problem is that NO-ONE BELIEVES THAT THIS GAME IS GREAT. And my loving it has nothing to do with the show either. I haven’t seen the show. I just love the bones of this amazing game.
I covered it in some depth right here and I can’t think of a better game to play on a lazy boxing day. Four players, each a powerful Roman arsehole, manipulating each other and sending gladiators to battle each other. The game is like a festive selection box of some of the best board game mechanics. There’s a little bit of card play, a little bit of blind bidding, a little bit of betting, and a whole lot of rolling dice and decapitations. If decapitations are a mechanic. Let’s just agree that they are.
I just love this game. It’ll be a strong Game of the Year contender when I make that tough old decision in January. It’s been a great year.
WHO TO BUY IT FOR
Someone who watched Spartacus. Even if they were only watching it to see nude bodies.
Someone who thinks board games are boring. This game is so thrilling it will CHANGE MINDS.
Someone who likes getting really angry at being betrayed, manipulated, poisoned and decapitated.
WHERE TO BUY IT
You can also find it online, of course. But try to support your independents. This game is on the less expensive end of things, despite being full of cool shit.
WHAT TO BUY
A copy of Spartacus, a lot of food, and a lot of booze. This game is wild. You should feast and drink like the most decadent of Romans while you play this. You could even transition into a full orgy afterwards, if your gaming group bucks tradition by being even remotely attractive. Regardless, I guarantee a great time.
THIRD UPDATE DOWN!
And it’s SPARTACUS! What will be next?! Nine to go!