Bunker Project Log

30 Sep

Colosseum FTL!

The Emperor… which is not me. The emperor, as you married people know, is the wife.


I have now officially struck out three times with Mrs. G. First Settlers the Card Game, followed by Caylus, and ending with Colosseum.

?I was sure she was going to like it. I mean, the whole thing is about putting on a good show, and she had a drama career in High School and College… and… it’s a Days of Wonder game! They made a wargame that she liked! A?war game!

But alas, it was not to be. We made it through one?round before she begged me to stop. The game only has five. Seriously, I figured knowing exactly when the game was going to end would help. Obviously it didn’t.

So, I’ll tell you about what I’ve learned through playing one round. Maybe you’ll like it.

First, the game is about putting on productions in “Roman times”.? Productions boil down to groups of assets, represented by cardboard chits.

A Player's bits

In the picture above, you see two of the “free” productions I was given at the start of the game. “Naumachia” and “Drama Ultima”. Above them are the six assets I started with. I have one of the four assets I need for Naumachia, the red gladiator. I have two of the six assets I need for “Drama Ultima”, the yellow actor, and the blue columns.

From here I need to acquire more assets to complete my production. They can be?purchased by auction?from the markets.

The Markets

I can initiate bidding on any one of the five sets above. ?My best bet is probably the rightmost side of the pentagon, which has a horse, a torch, and an actor. This would give me four of the six I need.

Of course, I need to win the auction. It is very likely that another player desperately needs?parts of that set.

Unfortunately,?you must?produce something each round, so?you’re stuck with what you get. However, productions are slightly forgiving, and you don’t need?all the pieces to put on?the show. You?just don’t score as well without them. Had I acquired my desired set, I would have been?two assets short, and would have netted?eight points instead of the twelve for a complete production.

If the game was limited to this, I think she?would have been fine.?The game is notlimited to this though.?First, you have to?trick out your?colosseum?in a few different ways.?Making it bigger, to house?more elaborate productions,?adding an Emporer’s Loge, which makes it more attractive to the nobles, or adding season tickets, which guarantees spectators.

A basic Colosseum. There are two spots for a noble to reside in. As the Colosseum expands, there are more chances for nobles to land there.

A Colosseum

From there you’ve got this whole noble thing. They are constantly circling the board, and through die rolls, you influence who moves where. Get a noble in your Colosseum, and they bring in more spectators. Get a noble to “resting place” and you get a medal which you can turn in for more stuff.

A senator on the track.

A senator

It was about this point where I really lost her. I must admit, I don’t know what the real-world equivalent of the “medals for resting places” is, but I understand how it works in the game, and she didn’t.

I liked this 1/5th of?the game that I played. There are lots of tricky decisions to be made regarding expansions. There is a social component with the bidding and trading of assets. And finally, the assets you acquire at the beginning of the game?ultimately contribute?to the final production at the end, so there is a?sort of climax?in the last round of the game that is probably very satisfying… if you ever get there.

I hope to rope some suckers into a full-on game at a Bunker party, or a game night or whatever, so go to the Days of Wonder site and download the rules!

2 Responses to “Colosseum FTL!”

  1. 1
    Ms. G Says:

    The pieces were pretty. The rules were dumb. It’s not that I didn’t understand how they worked (after you told me the rules), it’s just that I hate games with encyclopedia-long instruction booklets, and games that turn fun things (putting on a show) into totally unfun abstractions (collecting chits).

    Plus playing a 3+ player game with 2 players never seems to work out.

    I need me some Rat Hot to get the residual boredom out of my system. And I’m still waiting for you to accept my Singstar challenge…

  2. 2
    Gma Christy Says:

    you guys are too funny. I just realized you have more pictures of your game pieces than you send me of pictures of your and Ms G’s kids.

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