“Italia” by Phalanx- tried out with Hans and Andrea, 9.11.2006
Andreas Steding has added a lot of chrome to the “Britannia” game system here, but avoiding some overly complicated mechanics that made “Hispania” very long to play. Still, this “Britannia” on steroids – the decision making is much more difficult as there are lots of things large nations can do on each turn: raiding, naval moves, building cities, campaigning. The latter mechanic simulates the long campaigns of Hannibal and the like, something like a mini game in the game as other players can react to the ongoing campaign moves, also something that has not been seen yet in “Britannia”.
Where the game shines is in it's 3-player scenario (or rather “game” – as the 3-player version is completely different from the 4-player version), which is the first time this has been done right, with basically two sides representing the nations oppressed by the Romans that constantly struggle among themselves, and the third player representing mostly the Romans in their struggle to dominate the peninsula.
Game material is top notch, although there are some strange omissions (like a historical reference or an overview over when all nations/armies appear). THe rules are not for the faint-of-the-heart – even Britannia veterans will have some new concepts to struggle with, although they still will feel at home. Recommended, but not for the casual gamer.