Rainy Day Game's Board Game Review of Attika:
Attika in Summary
The ancient City-States of Greece fight for dominance of a small island. Trying to squeeze the others out of prime building locations, you will try to find the land, resources and position to create the winning settlement.
The Attika board game takes the best themes of the German board game genre (settlement building, resource management, board placement) and develops them into a game of strategy and tactics. Down time is minimal as you have to constantly re-evaluate costs and benefits, board position, building locations, even the order in which you will place your buildings. The level of player insteraction is high as your jockey for board position, trying to block your opponents and secure the best building sites for yourself.
Attika is now our settlement-building game of choice. We'll always play Settlers of Catan for the fun and family elements. And games like Puerto Rico are fantastic challenges and a lot of fun. But when we want and hour of settlement-building, the Attika board game is the cream of the crop.
The Attika board game has some unique play mechanisms which make it a little more involved to learn than some other games which use more standard rules. It will take a little time to get into playing Attika smoothly, but the effort is well worth it. Basically, you are trying to win by either connecting two corners of the map marked by temples, or be the first to place all 30 buildings in your City-State. Either road to victory will take alot of skill and cunning.
Each turn Attika players have one simple choice to make: Either draw buildings from randomised piles into your hand (max. 2), or play buildings from your hand onto the game board (max. 3). Building cost resources which are marked on each building tile.
How do you get resources? Well, first, you can abandon your draw/build action to take resource cards instead. You can even partially do your action, then finish it off with resource cards. So instad of building 3 times, you can place one building and then take two recource cards. These are then used to finance the costs of building.
But more importantly, the game board itself is full of resources which you can apply to your building costs. If a building site has a resource that your building requires, you do not have to spend one of your resource cards. These natural resources are critical to your plans. Some building sites will be very cheap, while others will require a lot of resources cards to build on. One of the most important decisions you will make will be where to build which building.
Complicating that issue is that buildings come in groups. If a building is played in the proper position in its group, it is FREE to build. For example, the start of one group is the Well. Once you've built that, building the Cornfield next to it is free. Once you have that, the Mill can be built next to it for free etc etc. But playing out of order or not directly adjacent means you must pay the full cost of the building.
As you can see, there are a lot of choices to be made in Attika. If I draw The Cornfield, I can play it right away for a cost. If I do decide to build it, there are many places on the board with various strategic benefits as well as costs to be considered. If I decide to wait, perhaps I can build my Well first and get my Cornfield for free, but ONLY if there is a available adjacent building site.
Play continues like this (with some extra rules to help balance game play and add another level of strategy) until one of the winning conditions is met. No Victory Points in this game. Attika continues until one player is crowned the ruler of Greece!
Who should buy Attika?
The Attika board game is a classic "middle-weight" German board game. It sits perfectly in that second teir of games, the ones you pull out for a group who already have their feet wet with gaming, but would like a new and diferent challenge. For anyone with familiarity with other German board games, Attika will be a welcome fresh face in your gbames cabinet.
The Manufacturer's Board Game Review of Attika:
Each player oversees the building of his city-state. Temple, theater and oracle, a harbor with ships, vineyard with vintner, and many more must find space on the islands. Players must move fast to get the best land for themselves while blocking their opponents from good building spots. As building is expensive, players seek to save money by using the natural resources of the islands. Players also seek to organize their building in an order that gives them the best city-state.
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