Date: 16th April 2004
Game played: Saga ( Uberplay ) BGG Id: 9202

We then turned to one of the new Uberplay small box games: this time a Wolfgang Kramer design called Saga. The idea of the game is to battle for control of six kingdoms, through cardplay, by building up a number of armies in competition with the other players. Once a player has a more powerful army than the kingdom's defensive force, that player takes control of the kingdom and his army becomes its new defensive force. On each subsequent turn, he will receive income for being a kingdom's defender (if he remembers to claim it). The previous controller of the kingdom picks up the army cards previously defending the kingdom and adds them back into his hand for use again. The game ends once a player has no cards in his hand and points are scored equal to the size of each defending force the player controls, plus income collected during the game, less the value of any cards left in your hand.

This sounds fine in outline but in play it just didn't work for us. There is the inevitable ebb and flow as players wrest control for new kingdoms and lose others they currently control. This means you are getting cards back almost as quickly as you are playing them (because you can only lay one card per turn). Hence, whenever anyone started to get low in cards, other players attacked their kingdoms to put cards back in the hand of the player getting low. This would have been ok if it extended the game to about 30-40 minutes but our game clocked in at around 80 minutes and by that time we were all willing someone to get the game over with. The most enjoyable part was whenever a player forgot to take their income to the amusement of everyone else. Eventually Mark K managed to get rid of his last card and turned out to have won. The end game turned out to be disappointing as Mark K won due to the timing of playing his last card (which he couldn't really control), as this just happened to coincide with when I had just lost a kingdom to Mark G which otherwise would have given me the win. A bit disappointing really as there were some good ideas but these were lost in the poor way the game played.

Mark K
Mark G

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