Friday, March 02, 2012

#99: Alea Iacta Est (Mark's 100 - 2012)

Alea Iacta Est

Mark's Ranking
  • 2012: 99th
  • 2010: did not appear
  • 2005: prior to publication


  • rank: 734
  • rating: 6.66

Print Status

  • in print

Why It's On The List

  • it's a press-your-luck game on two levels... you're fighting the game system (you must lock dice each turn) and other players to exert influence in ancient Rome. (I really, really like the dice mechanic at the heart of this game.)

Tips & Tricks:

  • I think the game works very well with 2-4 players... but I'm not a fan of it with 5. (Too slow.)


  • "Alea iacta est" is Latin for "the die has been cast" - a fitting name for this dice game!


    Blott said...

    It's been awhile since I've played this one, but it is a high-quality game. Out of the dice-rolling strategy games that became common a few years ago this might be my favorite. The best part is that the game isn't scripted at all. You can win with multiple different strategies, so you never play the same game twice.

    Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

    Agreed... I like the "no dice is bad - if you can find a place for it" mechanic.

    huzonfirst said...

    Jeff Allers and I have been pen-pals for several years and through him, I've exchanged notes with Bernd Eisenberg. And you know how much I love Alea games. So I was predisposed to like this.

    And it IS good. But there are other dice games I like more. Specifically, I prefer Airships, the other leading dice game that doesn't use the time-honored Yahtzee mechanic, but instead has you roll your dice only once. The reason is simple: the turns in Airships are faster and downtime is the biggest issue in a dice game. Normally, I'd just play Alea Iacta Est with fewer players, but adding the Temple to a four-player game makes for a more interesting experience. I have no problem playing the game, but given its pedigree, I was hoping for something slightly better.

    Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

    Sadly, I have not yet played Airships, though it seems like it would be right up my alley.

    huzonfirst said...

    Sounds like a good game to bring to Niagara Falls, as there may not be another copy.