Histrio from Bombyx games
‘Each year at Court an event is held which sends ripples throughout the world of theater: the Munificent Theatrical Festival. Troupes from the far reaches of the Kingdom present their shows, hoping to win the favours of his lordship, the King Leonus XIV, who presides over the festivities.
Each year, everyone wonders what state of mind the King will be in - will be be in a joyous and laughing mood? Is he expecting a light and funny show, a comedy which will fill his heart with happiness? Or, quite the opposite, will he be gnawed by melancholy and thus be more affected by a deep and dramatic play, a tragedy which will reveal to him the depths of the human soul? Those who know how to satisfy his expectation will leave with a light heart and a coin pouch filled with beautiful Ecus, which will be enough to ensure their theatrical adventures for the year to come...’ 3 words to describe this game: theatrical, balance and charm Gameplay:
This game is played over two seasons. Scoring occurs at the end of each season and during the season players travel to different cities, resolve anything they find there and assess new opportunities. One card is initially laid out under each city and you secretly pick a place to travel to. If you are alone in travelling to that city when everyone’s travel plans are revealed, then you can resolve the cards there which might give you bonuses, provide you with actors for your troupe or give you an acrobat which you can use on later turns. If however, you and your opponent choose the same city then you are forced to discard cards and change the mood of the king. You do this by moving a lever above the theatre to the side of the tragedy or comedy depending on the mood. The actors that you collect for your troupe are either comedic actors or tragedian actors and at the end of the season, you want to have more of your actors on the side of the kings mood at the time. Being the most pleasing show is your ultimate goal. Therefore the swinging back and forth between these two moods is crucial if you are to ensure you can perform the most pleasing play to the king. Along the way as you garner favour with the king, there may be opportunities to be asked to complete secret requests which will offer end of season bonuses should you be able to complete them.
Components: 48 encounter cards (acrobats, bonuses, actors): The artwork on these cards is awesome and they have such a whimsical nature. The values on the cards are clear and concise and cards which offer additional bonuses or actions are also easy to understand. 22 secret request cards: these give different options for end game scoring, artwork again is in keeping with the encounter cards and I just love the style of them Travel cards, 8 caravel cards, 3 managers in each of the five player colours: each player has some minis for use in the game; 8 caravels which are used to show choices in location that are made during the game, and managers (eagles or some such looking bird) which is placed on the theatre creating the play for the king Coins in copper, silver and gold denominations: plastic coins denoting the different amounts, a bit cheap and tacky but does what it says on the tin and we’d probably play with our metal coins anyway 1 central board: central board denoting the city locations on which cards are placed, the numbers are the most important element but again the artwork here is too notch 1 3D theatre: this is what drew me into the game. The 3D theatre is used to show the current mood of the king and for the managers to start preparing their plays. I enjoy the element of turning the backdrop to show the change in favour which in turn swipes off the managers (little things please me!)
Overall thoughts: This game arrived and we instantly wanted to bring it to the table and it did not disappoint. This wasn’t one of the games on our wish list infact I rarely see any material about it, however we had the opportunity to buy it and thought we’d give it a go as we are always intrigued by interesting looking games. Initially, I guess the feature that stands out is the 3D theatre and this did draw us in. However, there is so much more to this game and it was surprising and pleasing to find out just how much this game had to offer. Now we would definitely recommend it to others. It just felt so fun to play. It’s deck building and strategy with a little bit of a luck and the cards work well complementing each other while making for a fun and fair game. The little gimmick of the revolving theatre backdrop is fun and I think that this game will be one of our favourites for a while. The two player variant adds an extra element to gameplay which adds to the suspense and frustration and adds an extra dynamic to an already tense game as you battle back and forth trying to gain favour with the king. Love this and for the amount we paid for its, it’s an absolute steal! Go find yourself a copy if this sounds like your cup of tea.