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Cleopatra and The Society of Architects or Why Am I Embarrassed to Admit That I Like This Game?

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21 Sep 2020 09:31 #314265 by Francie Berger
Now let’s dial it back even more years. In order...

Once upon a time, when I had just discovered Euro games and there were far fewer of them in the world… when I had saved the requisite $50 so I could pay my share when ubarose and I combined orders for free shipping… I would spend my time diligently perusing each title on Thoughthammer website. Man, I miss Thoughthammer. Anywaaay…If a title caught my eye, I would studiously read the game’s description. Not once, not twice, but several times- often enough that I would pretty much commit it to memory. After all, these were important decisions to make. I had saved my money, and being the thrift hound that I am, I needed to make sure that this, possibly only one board game purchase of two I would allow myself during the year, included the best of the best. The games that I would want to play over and over again to ensure that I had gotten my money’s worth. Important decisions indeed.

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21 Sep 2020 10:18 #314266 by ubarose
The disappointing thing about Cleopatra and The Society of Architects is that it has all all these cool bits, but is actually a card game. You never get to really "play with" the cool stuff.

This was also what was most disappointing about Age of Mythology (anyone remember that one). It was a box of a bazillion cool mythological minis, but the game was mostly played with a handful of tiles representing buildings, with the minis rarely coming into play. I always felt that they should have done that in reverse. The buildings should have been minis and the heroes and monsters could have been tiles for as much as they got used.

Kemet did it right. The cool monsters are important and you get to play with them.

Also, I miss Thoughthammer.
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21 Sep 2020 10:54 #314271 by ChristopherMD
Fun Fact - This game was inspired by the 2002 French comedy film Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. A fun movie that's worth watching.
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21 Sep 2020 11:29 #314275 by Sagrilarus
I liked Cleopatra. I bought it when it was new, when Days of Wonder lived up to their name and had that instantly recognizable look and feel. It's a good game, but a game you can play with pizza on the table and the Orioles losing on the TV. Plenty of room for socializing in spite of there not being a social aspect to the game.

It got sidelined after we played it three or four times, and oddly enough I bought a second copy when GameSurplus.com was unloading it for $10 a copy. It got me free shipping so it was more or less free. Sat on both for awhile, then traded both away when it became hard to find and people decided they wanted it again.

I'd pull it out again, and I think the corruption factor is a good idea that hasn't been used again, or at least I haven't come across it. We'd always total score first and then reveal corruption, because "winner or dinner" seemed like a more dramatic ending.
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21 Sep 2020 12:43 #314282 by Shellhead
When I ponder buying a board game, replay value is always an important consideration. I don't want to play a game just a few times and then leave it gathering dust on a shelf. So I have learned to watch for certain elements that suggest replay value: asymmetric starting conditions, modular board sections/tiles, variable player powers, and maybe expansions.

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21 Sep 2020 13:16 - 21 Sep 2020 13:22 #314285 by ubarose
Francie is the most careful purchaser of board games that I know, and the most ruthless culler. She has been playing and buying board games for 20 years, but her entire personal collection fits into a single standard sized bookcase and two tubs (one of everything Ticket to Ride, and one of everything Railways of the World). Her games either get played often and regularly, or get traded for something that will be.

Cleopatra and The Society of Architects is her one anomaly.
Last edit: 21 Sep 2020 13:22 by ubarose.
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21 Sep 2020 13:47 #314287 by dclose
I adore Cleopatra and The Society of Architects! And so does my game group. And no, we aren't investing in the reboot because the classic is perfect just as it is!
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21 Sep 2020 14:20 #314290 by gilhova
This game has two of my favorite mechanisms: corruption (obvs) and a boxed deck of cards (cards that can come out of a deck face-down or face-up). I wish I could see them in more games; Phil Walker-Harding had a card-based dungeon crawl with both of those mechanisms a few years ago!
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21 Sep 2020 14:35 #314292 by ubarose
I agree, the boxed deck of cards is very cool, and so simple.

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