The Games You Want to Play…Part XXVI

We played two fun, quick games this week – Revolution and Galaxy Trucker. I feel like more gamers are familiar with Galaxy Trucker (although I had not played it before, I have heard of it for some time), so I thought I might give you some more details on Revolution.

Revolution was designed by Philip duBarry and released by Steve Jackson Games in 2009. It comes with two expansions, “The Palace” and “Anarchy”, but we did not play with either of those.

Revolution is a 3- to 4-player secret bid game in which you are trying to convince various leaders and citizens in a colonial-era city to support your faction through force, blackmail, and bribery. Each leader controlled gives you a combination of benefits (sometimes just one). The benefits include influence in various important buildings and areas of the city (control of which at the end of the game provide you status), additional bidding tokens (a fist for force, a black envelope for blackmail, and gold coins for, well, gold coins), status (essentially victory points), and some special abilities (i.e. the ability to replace someone influence over a building with your own). Some leaders are not susceptible to certain types of bidding tokens.

The game comes with a city map, a handy card showing the various leaders (including which tokens work on them and the benefits of controlling that person), a screen to hide your bids, the various bid tokens, and wooden cubes to show your influence in various buildings.

Game play is simple. Each round you secretly bid for control of each leader using the tokens you have available (you either win them during the previous round or you are given gold coins to bring your total tokens to at least five – you may have more if you earned them), all players reveal their bids, then you go through each leader determining who won each bid. Force beats blackmail, blackmail beats gold, and more gold beats less gold. A tied result (or no bid by any player) means no one controls the leader and you move to the next leader.

As the bid for each leader is won, the winning player takes the available actions, earns status, and/or collects tokens associated with the leader. At the end of the round, if you have fewer than five bid tokens (force, blackmail, or gold), you take more gold to bring you to five.

Once all of the influence spaces in every building are filled, the game will end. Throughout the game, players may have collected status by winning bids to control certain leaders, but building control is where you generally see the biggest jumps in score.

There were generally two strategies in play during our game this time. Two of us were focused on controlling the most buildings and the third was focused, almost entirely, on earning status through winning bids. The status player almost won the game, but lost by just a couple points at the end. It certainly seems like that could be a viable strategy, but the player will need to win influence over one or two of the buildings.

This was an entertaining game that was a quick setup and easy to learn. We enjoyed playing and will certainly come back to it.

We will have a number of light, quick games like this on the cruise, but be sure to vote for it if you want to see this one in the Library!

See you onboard,

Gaming By Sea


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