MAYFAIR GAMES: FIGHT for OLYMPUS
A 2-Player Strategy Card Game by Matthias Cramer
There are three types of cards: Heroes and Soldiers (called Units) plus Equipment. Each card has the same information: Name, Cost, Illustration, Colour, Attack Value, Type, Defence Value and Special Ability. The Heroes and Heroines are all known names from Greek mythology and thus there is only one of each in the deck. These include; Heracles, Jason, Hector, Castor, Pollux, Andromeda, Perseus and Bellerophon etc. Soldiers are the grunts; Achaeans, Amazons, Argonauts, Carians, Cicones, Danaans, Dardani, Lapiths, Myrmidons, Pleiaids, Phaeacians and Tauri. There are 60 Hero cards, 15 in each of four colours and 24 Soldiers, 6 of each colour. There are also 12 Equipment cards; Helmet, Shield and Sword, 3 in each colour.
The rules booklet says to "assemble" the game board but its a two fold single piece board so there is nothing to actually assemble, though you do have to make sure you have it the correct face up - the side with the VP score track. The booklet also shows it marked into sections, Troy, Delphi and Mount Olympus by text, but there is no text just sections created by illustration and colour; there are 6 marks along each edge so that Unit cards can be placed either side of the board's length. The flip side of the board shows a graphic godly battle scene; Javier Gonzalez Cava, the artist has created some amazing illustrations for the board and the cards. Equipment cards cannot be played on their own, instead they are positioned underneath Units to improve their value.
FIGHT for OLYMPUS is a game where each player plays cards onto the edge of the board by paying their Cost, as long as that can be paid as many cards as you can may be played. The Cost is shown on the top left side of each card. To pay this you have to discard cards from your hand (you can also use any previously gained coloured tokens) that have the colours shown on the card you are playing onto the board. This means that there are many Turns where all you do is Draw 2 cards because you cannot/do not want to play cards, though you must attack if you have any cards already on the board.
Once a player has played all the cards they can the next thing they do is attack the cards directly opposing their cards. Units may not attack if their value is zero, cards valued 0 need equipment to allow them to attack; there is no immediate counter-attack, you only attack on your turn, placing damage tokens accordingly. If you attack an empty space opposite you obviously do no damage but you do get a bonus according to the section you are in: Olympus receive 1 VP, Delphi take one of the coloured markers - these count as a card of the colour you are playing, Troy you draw a card. Abilities are shown by one of three icons. Lightning = only one use as the card is played, Cross-swords = every time this card attacks, Circular arrow = cards with this symbol are always in effect (and often extremely useful).
The game can end in one of three different ways. a) one player moves the score marker towards them until it reaches 7. This marker starts in the centre of two sets of 1-7 numbers and has a tug-o-war movement as VPs are scored. b) If all the card spaces on one side are occupied at the start of that player's Turn and c) the Draw pile is exhausted, the player whose side has the score marker, no matter the score, wins. Our experiences have the game ending on average in the order a, b, c, as described.
This is a game that uses a mix of well-known and well-tried mechanics with a twist or two on the usual that makes it a more thoughtful and very enjoyable game. The artwork is truly good; it augments the game play and is reminiscent of some of the art found in early TSR role-play books.