The Ludus Magnus Studio no longer needs presentations, a healthy and motivated company that is creating games after games, it would be better to say one better than the other but they are all so different and beautiful that ranking their games is impossible if not based on your personal taste (for us Black Rose Wars).
Divide et Impera (D.E.I. for friends) is their latest effort and will go live on Kickstarter on November 5th. The father of D.E.I. it is nothing less than Tommaso Battista, author of the much discussed and beautiful Barrage!
D.E.I. it is very different from the games so far released by the italian LMS. Few rules, among other things also very simple; no direct combat between the players; worker management with the main purpose of controlling areas of the map … would look like a German said so, wouldn’t it? And in fact the LMS this time did not realized a german but a Mr. German!
La storia dietro al gioco ci racconta di un futuro post-apocalittico dove il climate change così attuale ai nostri giorni ha ormai finito il suo corso su questo pianeta e purtroppo evidentemente la politica di un Trump qualsiasi ha avuto la meglio decretando la fine di un pianeta sano. Le grandi città sono letteralmente seppellite sotto metri e metri di neve, la vita è completamente cambiata e i tetti dei grattaceli, un tempo lontano dominio dei supereroi metropolitani, sono alla portata dei sopravvissuti che si muovono da un tetto all’altro alla ricerca di preziose risorse per poter sopravvivere un altro giorno.
The story behind the game tells us about a post-apocalyptic future where the climate change has ended its course on this planet by decreeing the end of the planet healthy. The big cities are literally buried under meters and meters of snow, life has completely changed and the roofs of the skyscrapers, once a distant domain of metropolitan superheroes, are within the reach of survivors who move from one roof to another in search of precious resources in order to survive another day.
Not everyone, however, is doing so badly. The Puri (the Pures) have risen above the others and now rule this post-apocalyptic civilization that lives perpetually in a sort of long nuclear winter. Thanks to their resources, they have developed technologies that are able to “control” the masses and push them to compete in work to finally conquer the much-needed “citizenship” and hope for a better future.
The game as we have said is a real German. We have elements of randomness such as the missions that are extracted at the beginning of the game and that will characterize the progress of the various game shifts. We have the workers placement which allows us to occupy areas of the map and thus control the territory in order to extract resources or build structures. We must move on the map to collect resources and use them not only to earn victory points at the end of the game but also to buy more powerful cards in the various more or less illegal markets to which players have access during each stage of the game. Yes, because the cards are a very important element of this board game. In fact, together with the miniatures of the workers, they are the only element of the game. Totally missing the dice to throw or any other element that could change with a stroke of luck a well prepared tactic.
Each player will have at his disposal a deck of cards, the same for everyone except in one or two cards that characterize and distinguish one faction from the other. One faction, for example, could have more mobility, while another could be more efficient in gaining resources.
There is an important component of building your own deck (deck building) which, thanks to the purchase of cards from various markets, will allow us to replace our starting cards with others that are sometimes stronger or sometimes simply different in order to change the strategy of the game and the tactic of the faction we are playing, also based on the missions to complete and the choices of the other players.
The game has been extremely play tested and therefore all the factions are however well balanced between them and none emerges as “stronger” than the others.
As always, when it comes to LMS, the care and design of game components is incredible. The models of the workers are in 22mm scale, but the details are very high (as you can see from the photo). The models of drones, the mechanical ones, present in the game are then even better thanks to their size.
But the component that best emerges from the first glance is the game board itself. A large modular map that develops the game not only horizontally on the table but also vertically, recreating the roofs of the skyscrapers on which a large part of the game will take place. The glance as the game develops is truly incredible and makes the gaming experience truly special, with the various groups of workers and drones that will occupy different areas of the territory and the tokens to represent ropes and grapples used for climb and move on the roofs that will help to make the game more intricate (but always clear).
We’ll talk more about factions and rules later in our review, but for now we’re sure we’ve intrigued you!
Stay tuned to find out what Gaia thinks and how to play Tommaso Battista and Ludus Magnus Studio’s new all-italian board game and in the meantime here is a small gallery of some shots taken during a game of D.E.I.