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Pax Renaissance Review: Pull the Strings!

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09 May 2017 23:00 #248195 by DukeofChutney

I find games with a point of view endearing, whether or not I agree with it. In Labyrinth War on Terror Dick Chaney was right, in Pax Renaissance Martin Luther nailed his thesis to a door because the Fugger bank of Ausburg slipped him a 50.  Pax poses a history where bankers were the real play makers, pulling the strings behind the rise and fall of empires, driving the spread and evolution of ideas, and creating the genesis of the modern world.

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11 May 2017 22:57 #248196 by Gary Sax
You may have totally sold me on Pax Ren with your discussion of how it's a tad less take that and your cards stay around a little longer. That sounds great to me. I love Pax Porfiriana but I definitely see a place for a game where your position doesn't clean wipe so frequently.
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12 May 2017 10:37 #248215 by Msample
Maybe its all the games I've played on Yucate.de lately, but Pax Porifiriana is still more intuitive to me than REN. With the latter, the four completely different win conditions are harder to keep track of than the Topple or Gold victory. I played REN this past weekend and totally missed a Religious victory til it was declared. And while I agree that REN has less "take that" card play, when it does happen, it can be harder to predict and come from a wider variety of sources . I think REN is the richer of the two games and both are worthy additions to any collection.
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12 May 2017 12:44 #248217 by Unicron
Great review! I agree with Duke about every point except the complexity. I found Pax Ren more complex than Porfiriana or Pamir, but that may be the over abundance of info on every card, a map that flips over, the various one-shots, and ability to activate everything on one side of your tableau with a single action. It's not a game where one can plan their actions in intervening turns. The market was really difficult to read. I had a hard time getting gauging the game state from one turn to another. There is plenty of depth to the decisions players can make, but the clutter of graphics and text on each card with the lack of useful player aids tends to obviate that. I prefer struggling with other players to struggling with the design. I'm relieved, however, that Scott has stopped bringing it to my house:)
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12 May 2017 14:40 #248226 by Scott_F
Bastard. Pax is great in all forms. I've had 2-3 games active on yucata for the last couple months for Pax Po and continue to love it. Pax Ren remains difficult for me to sell to new players. It is a smaller deck and shorter play time, but the icons and lack of aid makes it tough. Just the idea of pax ren is tough to sell - in Po you clearly are an identity, and pamir you are one of three empires, but Ren you are just your tableau and how it translates to the map. Pamir is my least favorite of the three, it feels so tightly controlled and limited compared to the other two. Still good though.

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12 May 2017 15:44 #248233 by Msample

Scott_F wrote: Bastard. Pax is great in all forms. I've had 2-3 games active on yucata for the last couple months for Pax Po and continue to love it. Pax Ren remains difficult for me to sell to new players. It is a smaller deck and shorter play time, but the icons and lack of aid makes it tough. Just the idea of pax ren is tough to sell - in Po you clearly are an identity, and pamir you are one of three empires, but Ren you are just your tableau and how it translates to the map. Pamir is my least favorite of the three, it feels so tightly controlled and limited compared to the other two. Still good though.


I need to get PAMIR back on the table. The closed loop nature of the economy makes it feel very different. Supposedly the expansion opens things up a bit.

I've logged over two dozen plays of Pax Porf this year and am still learning new things about the game. I wish someone would code Pax Ren for Yucate as well.
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13 May 2017 00:35 #248257 by Vlad
I have never played one of Eklund's games, but I love reading about them. This in particular sounds fascinating. A game of shady power brokering in Renaissance is just my cup of tea. However, I can't really imagine how this complicated system does get played out in one hour. How many players are there? Is there any negotiation at all involved, a la Dune or COIN games?

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13 May 2017 10:31 #248263 by Black Barney
I haven't read any of this yet but I hope there's some talk of that cover

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13 May 2017 15:20 #248275 by Vlad
in Pax Renaissance Martin Luther nailed his thesis to a door because the Fugger bank of Ausburg slipped him a 50

I totally buy that, by the way. Not sure if the Fugger Bank approached Martin Luther, or Martin Luther went to the bank asking for a loan, but very few things happened/happen in this world without a proper financial backing.
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14 May 2017 08:30 #248291 by DukeofChutney
No discussion of the cover, but its pretty bad - very early 2000s euro game which i guess is someones thing.

The game works well 2-4, there isn't much negotiation, or at least as much as there is any in multiplayer game where you can get at each other. The Pax series is probably closer to COIN than Dune. Dune is all about leveraging player powers and board position in negotiations, this is a bit like COIN in that theres a lot going on and power being pulled back and forth. Less negotiation than COIN but it feels similar in some respects. Pax Pamir is a bit like COIN the card game, though it is my least favorite of the series for similar reasons to Scott.
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03 Jun 2017 18:37 - 03 Jun 2017 18:37 #249392 by Gary Sax
Totally going to order this, thanks for the review. First new game in 6 months, so there's that.
Last edit: 03 Jun 2017 18:37 by Gary Sax.
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