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Mare Nostrum

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"Megalomania anyone?"
4 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Well I will admit right from the get go – I am a board game geek and proud of it.

I have played many different ‘eurogames’ and particularly love ‘civilisation building’ games. This is one of my all time favourites, it looks good, plays well and has an excellent expansion that raises it from the 8/10 game to a 9.5/10 game it was meant to be.

OK why does it rock?

1/ There is little luck involved.

2/ There is great depth to the game.

3/ It is easy to learn and hard to master giving it great re-playability.

4/ The components are lovely.

5/ You may well become the greatest leader in ancient history.

The only failing in the production values is that the player aid sheets are on flimsy stock and really need to be laminated if you want them to last.

The only fault in game design is that each of the ancient civilisations is unique in it's ‘qualities’ and some are hard to do well as when a novice player.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


You are the leader of one of the great burgeoning empires that encircle the ancient Mediterranean Sea - Rome, Carthage, Egypt, Greece, and Babylon. In order to secure your place in the annals of history, you must build the Wonders of the World and hire legendary heroes. Or, you can build the greatest wonder of them all - the Pyramids.

When the game begins, your empire is just beginning to grow. You have influence over a few provinces, you have already built a couple of cities and fortresses, and you have organized caravans to help collect resources. You have no armies, no fleets, no temples, and no markets. Its time to start expanding!
During the Commerce Phase, you collect income from your cities (taxes) and your caravans (commodities). Then you trade with your opponents to improve your supply of resources.

During the Construction phase you spend all of your resources on stuff: legions, fleets, caravans, temples and more. You can also expand your influence over neighboring regions. If your income is really good, you can build wonders and hire heroes. But if you want to truly expand your empire…
During the Military phase, you mobilize your fleets and legions in order to battle your opponents. Battles are decided by simple die rolls. The conqueror may decide to sack the area, camp out on a resource to gain its income, or start the process to completely take over the province.

The road to victory, and everlasting fame, is not always paved with legions and fortresses. If you trade shrewdly and manage your own empire correctly, you will be able to get an economic jump on you opponents, and win the game. Mare Nostrum is a game for the whole family, where anyone can test their skill and luck at controlling an empire.

Contents: 1 game board showing the Mediterranean Sea at the dawn of civilization, 144 special cards, 58 cardboard counters, 5 sets of wooden game pieces, 5 player aid cards, 8 dice, 1 rule book. Box size 43 x 30 x 5cm

Optional expansion pack also listed.

3 to 5 players
Ages 12 & up
Playing Time: 2 - 3 hours
Aurthor: Serge Laget
Publisher: Eurogames / Descartes Editeur

Release date NZ
March 27th, 2008
Board Game Mechanics
  • Area Control
  • Dice Rolling
  • Set Collection
  • Trading
  • Variable Player Powers
Age Groups
Box Dimensions (mm)
Product ID

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