Mare Nostrum is one of my favourite games from 2016, it fires on all cylinders whilst tackling economy, combat, trading and mini civ building. For a more in-depth look at the game you can read a review of the game back when it first came to the door fresh from the Kickstarter. You can also use the search function to see unboxing videos of not only the base game but the expansions and other Kickstarter add-ons too.
Towards the end of 2016, I received an email from Academy Games saying that they needed shipping address confirmation in order to send the kickstarter exclusive war and peace tokens, so I was happy to oblige, but the email also contained the opportunity to get my hands on a couple of ‘mini expansions’, which I just couldn’t say no to. So, without further ado here is a look at everything that came in my little package from Uwe and Co.
The biblical heroes were something I was surprised that they made, just because biblical themeing isn’t something that I’ve come across a lot in board gaming. Sure there’s games like Here I Stand that have a religious theme, but it’s not often you see Jesus and David kicking around in a game with the Atlanteans! These are a neat addition that’s entirely optional; you just mix them into the heroes and wonders pool and they may or may not become available for use in the game.
Alternate Starting Heroes
These are exactly what they say they are, they can replace starting heroes in the base game and player expansions. You don’t have to replace all of them, they can be picked and chosen and they still maintain their game balance. I love that they’ve done this, because it keeps factions fresh, if you end up playing the same one a few times. Each faction already has a distinct focus in the game, and the map means the play styles and objectives are wildly different so this is just another extra added layer to keep you hooked. Love it!
War and Peace Tokens
[Plus odysseus token (Kickstarter exclusive – unvailable at retail)]
These are by no means a necessity and you won’t miss not having these, but they are handy, for when there is forced peace [due to a particular hero] in play. They just act as a signifier which helps players across the map and table to see the strategic lay of the land and hopefully allow you to plan better how to attack people on a second front when they’re weak. The Odysseus token is great, again, not necessary, but I love that it is there.
Here’s just a quick side by side comparison of the components, because oft times when pieces are made post production the quality and the graphic design differs. There’s nothing I hate more than buying an expansion and the cards are a slightly different shade of green or something.
Size- and card stock-wise the heroes are almost identical, there’s a couple of tiny graphic design differences – the small white line above the name is absent, and there’s some copyright text on the expansion pieces.
As you can see, the new pieces still have that great textured look and feel, so you’ll be able to seemlesly integrate these into the game.
The tokens on the other hand are made of much thinner card stock than anything in the base game, which I was a little surprised about, but it’s very minor, because they’re still thick and won’t be being thrown around or anything to damage them.
Also, the new tokens are printed with a smooth gloss finish, as opposed to the matte finish of the base tokens, and they aren’t on that nice textured card stock anymore, so they do stand out as a little different. That being said, these aren’t being mixed into some pool where they’ll stick out like a sore thumb, and I won’t lose any sleep over them being different.
So hopefully you like the look of the new heroes and abilities and if they peak your interest, I’d highly recommend getting them because it’s just more of what makes this game really standout.