Alexandros is a semi-thematic game of area control and card management with an interesting mechanism for moving the neutral Alexander piece around the map of his empire and carving it up into provinces for the players to occupy and tax. The map is clearly recognizable as a representation of the extent of Alexander's empire, and the roles of the players as generals fits with the historical fracturing of his empire. Beyond that and the Hellenistic iconography, the game is fairly abstract. The decision space isn't very large, but it can be a brain-burner.
Today's session started a little slow, and the lead traded hands a few times - by only a couple of points each time at first, but then more dramatically as each of us took control of a larger province and then levied taxes when a scoring advantage was achieved. As we made our way around the victory point track, I thought Kathy was going to extend her lead and break away, until I managed to occupy a large province in the northeast corner of the board worth 11 points. It was too big for her to take over from me right away, and Alexander had moved on in such a way that she was unable to make him double back and cut my province into smaller sections. As a result, I was able to extend my lead pretty dramatically over several turns until she couldn't stop me from scoring 100 points and winning the game.
|Small provinces, scored early in the game, appear in the foreground. |
Kathy's larger province is visible in the middle distance to the left.
But because the leader doesn't have an advantage from being the leader, I don't see Alexandros as suffering from a runaway problem. Just as our early- and mid-game leads changed hands frequently, I think there is still plenty of opportunity to thwart a leader through sufficiently aggressive play - assuming the right cards are available.